Is herbal Viagra safe?

It sounds too good to be true – just take a herbal remedy and enjoy an improved sex life. As a matter of fact it is too good to be true: there is no proof that treatments sold as “natural Viagra” do anything to improve erections. And what is worse, they can have side effects, too.

Last reviewed: 7/11/2019 by Dr Clair Grainger

Which kinds of natural Viagra are there and do they work?

The market for erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments such as Viagra is huge. Not only do many men need treatment for ED but many are also reluctant to seek help from their GP. As a result, online sellers have an easy time selling unlicensed treatments online, regardless of whether they work or not. The words “herbal” and “natural” are misleading – they make these treatments sound safe, but there are many hidden dangers. No herbal treatments are currently recommended or licensed for the treatment of ED.

These are some of the most common “herbal treatments”:

Arginine

Arginine is a dietary supplement which is often sold as a treatment for ED. There is limited medical evidence that this may be effective in men with mild to moderate ED but not enough for this to be a licensed treatment.

Korean Red Ginseng

Korean Red Ginseng is sold in many health food stores. Some people believe that it improves sexual function but there has never been a substantial clinical trial to confirm this. Korean red ginseng has also been trialled as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women, but results remain inconclusive.

Horny Goat Weed

As legend has it, a shepherd observed that his goats became stimulated after eating horny goat weed. How much of this is true remains unclear but one thing is for sure – it does not work reliably for humans. While studies have shown that horny goat weed could work in similar way to Viagra, it is not confirmed by any large-scale studies to be an effective ED treatment in humans.

Yohimbine

You may also find Yohimbine advertised as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction. This drug is derived from the bark of a tree found in Central Africa. Yohimbine is an alpha-blocker, which means that it can widen your blood vessels. It has not been approved for the use as an erectile dysfunction medication and it can have dangerous side effects.

Which side effects can natural Viagra cause?

Most treatments sold as natural Viagra have never been tested in clinical trials, which means they might not be suitable for men with erection problems. They are unlikely to help you get an erection but they may well cause unpleasant side effects. One of the problems with natural or herbal medications, is that the dose of the active ingredient in the pill cannot be well controlled. It is also problematic if you experiment with these herbal treatments while taking other medication – Yohimbine for example can cause very dangerous drug interactions when combined with prescription drugs such as blood pressure treatments.

How can I get treated online?

Don’t fall for the scammers – always buy your medication from licensed, regulated sellers. You should bear in mind that there is only one official over-the-counter Viagra treatment for erectile dysfunction – Viagra Connect. If an online shop sells Viagra or other erectile dysfunction pills without a proper assessment by a doctor they are breaking the law and they may be selling counterfeit pills. You can still order Viagra online, you just need to make sure you rely on an accredited online doctor service such as Superdrug Online Doctor. You should generally not trust any online shop which sells herbal supplements for the treatment of ED.

To order Viagra or ask one of our doctors to recommend a treatment visit our erectile dysfunction clinic.

View Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
View Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Sources

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