Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

Boosting your Libido Part 2: Natural Alternatives to Cialis and Viagra

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Last week I discussed how drugs such as Cialis and Viagra are double-edged swords. On the one hand they effectively increase the blood flow to the penis, thus combating erectile dysfunction. However, they are linked to some potentially serious side effects, such as penis damage due to a prolonged erection, as well as dangerous drops in blood pressure. They also involve discussing intimate issues in order to procure a doctor’s prescription, which many men are reluctant to do.

Some dietary supplements, although not as potent as Cialis and Viagra, rarely present with uncomfortable side effects and may have health benefits in addition to their sexual enhancement effects.

The Natural Lineup

Red ginseng is the sexual enhancement supplement with the most credible research behind it: four well-designed human clinical trials, to be exact. Only four, you say?  In the erectile dysfunction dietary supplement realm, four is significant. All four studies showed a significant increase in erections in men who took red ginseng over a prolonged period of time. But one dose won’t suffice. The study participants took 2 -3 grams of red ginseng per day over 8 – 12 weeks, which is a normal time period for a study so that potential negative side effects of the treatment can be detected.  Red ginseng is also used as an adaptogen (to reduce stress and bring balance to the body) and for increasing one’s overall energy levels.

The second sexual enhancement supplement on the list is Tribulus terrestris. This plant is commonly used by bodybuilders because it is purported to increases testosterone, the hormone responsible for male physical characteristics like increased muscle growth, and to a certain extent, libido and erections. However, the studies done on Tribulus do not show a significant rise in testosterone levels. In animal studies it was shown that Tribulus increases the number of testosterone receptors in the brain, which may be how it increases libido and erections. Like ginseng, Trubulus was also shown to reduce stress and is considered an adaptogen. As I have mentioned in before, stress is an enemy of fertility, libido and sexual performance in general.

Another famous plant for increased fertility is maca, a vegetable used by the ancient Inca and Aztec civilizations to boost fertility. It also promotes brain and bone health and has high nutritional value. While the exact effect is not completely clear, it is said that maca acts mainly as an aphrodisiac, increasing erections through its positive effect on libido. Maca also suppresses prostate hypertrophy (i.e., enlargement) in men. Maca rivals the effects of some of the standard prescription medications in this area. Some 80% of all men will have prostate hypertrophy at some point in their lives and many of them will have uncomfortable symptoms associated with this condition.

The final one is Eurycoma longifolia jack, aka tongkat ali. This Asian plant has been found to increase libido and erections. It’s also a pro-fertility agent because it has been shown to increase sperm volume and motility. And just like ginseng and Tribulus, it too is a stress- busting adaptogen.

This month we are “back-to-school”. I will be discussing how to reduce stress and anxiety, how to increase memory and mental performance, how to increase energy without causing anxiety and how to stay in good physical shape despite the long hours spent sitting down and eating steady a diet of junk food.

Take care.

Dr. Karol, MD

Author: Dr. Karol, MD

Alternative medicine expert, educator, medical health advisor and author. Recognized as a health expert who is highly knowledgeable in conventional medicine, supplementation, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition and diet and exercise programs. Karol graduated with a B.Sc. with distinction from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Following this Karol completed a doctor of medicine degree as well as the medical post-graduation internship in Europe. Karol started his media career by hosting the radio Radical Remedies portion of The Natural Health Show. The Natural Health Show brings together a collection of health experts to discuss natural health solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Karol also speaks on health matters and the potential of healthy ingredients on video blogs and at health tradeshows. He currently works closely with and represents some of Canada’s leading health product companies. Karol is currently the Medical Director of Vitarock.com, an online store for all things healthy. Here Karol reviews the products considered by Vitarock to ensure they meet the company’s four core pillars; to be pure, green, safe and fair. He also interacts directly with Vitarock’s online shoppers, being available by phone to provide a free medical consultation and to recommend the best possible products. He is also a senior advisor for dicentra, one of Canada’s leading regulatory and scientific consulting firms. Karol reviews science and compiles reports for Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help companies bring new and exciting products and ingredients to market. His overall philosophy is that as a society we should implement a more personal approach to our existing medical system showing more empathy, personal attention, as well as emotional and psychological support to individuals in need of help. He also believes in the value of integrating modern Western medical practice with natural remedies, exercise, time spent with nature, and a healthy diet rich in super foods.

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