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Men have always attempted to boost their “performance” or manhood by looking for a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction (ED). Each and every culture has invented an ED cure, from eating bulls' testicles to shark fin soup.
At best, natural remedies will contain the same ingredient as Viagra, but in much lower quantities, which makes them significantly less effective.
The power of the mind is not to be underestimated when it comes to believing in remedies so they may sometimes work, even if they do not contain any active substance (this is known as a placebo effect). However, herbal ED remedies offered online can present major health risks. It is important that you understand your treatment options before you take any medication.
Below, we clarify the risks and dangers of taking herbal Viagra, and explain your treatment options.
Many traditional remedies are being sold online, due to the exceptional demand for erectile dysfunction treatment.
This is worrying in light of the fact that just 1 in 4 men will discuss their ED with a professional doctor, as it suggests that many are risking their health by buying dubious products online.
In many cases, ED is caused by an underlying cardiovascular problem, which requires immediate treatment. Make sure you talk to a professional. This can be face-to-face, or if you feel too embarrassed, you can consult our online doctor.
Many alternative remedies have not been licensed and tested. In some cases, sellers have altered the formula, packaging and labelling to avoid regulatory issues.
National agencies which regulate medicines and online pharmacies have to deal with a vast number of new treatments offered, and many ineffectual or dangerous drugs end up on the market. Unregulated medicines may contain an incorrect dosage or a harmful substance.
In the UK, legal herbal remedies show either the THR (traditional herbal registration) logo or the product licence on the label.
When looking for a natural cure for erectile dysfunction, your search results on the web might prove quite confusing. You’ll be looking at an endless list, each product claiming to be the most effective or most ancient and so on.
Researchers have managed to break down these treatments into a short list, based on the active principle behind each of these herbal remedies.
DHEA is a steroid hormone naturally produced by the body; it only helps when you have a low level of testosterone, which is a rare condition and unlikely to cause ED.
Side-effects include acne and a reduced level of good cholesterol. High levels of bad cholesterol can over time lead to ED.
Recent research shows, that this ancient chinese remedy works in a similar fashion as Viagra. Under the label of a natural cure for erectile dysfunction, horny goat weed is probably the most famous treatment available online.
However, its effect is on average 80 times less than Viagra, so achieving an effective dosage is difficult.
Several supplements and vitamins are sometimes advertised as remedies for erectile dysfunction, too.
In men with a zinc deficiency, taking a zinc supplement will help but you need to beware of taking an overdose. Too high a level of zinc in your body can harm your immune system.
Some online pharmacies sell vitamins to help cure ED and studies have shown that Vitamin E may help men who also take Viagra - but conclusions are largely speculative.
Vitamin supplements don't have side effects, as long as dosage directions are followed carefully.
Ginseng is a natural cure for ED which originated in China. Studies have shown that it can have a mild positive effect on impotence. However, ginseng may also lower your blood sugar levels, which makes it highly dangerous for diabetics. Do not take it if you think your ED may have been caused by diabetes.
Many products will claim to contain a herbal form of Viagra: these are often dangerous and have been banned in the US and elsewhere in Europe.
In the UK, look for the THR logo (traditional herbal registration) on the box of the product.
Original, licensed Viagra is only available on prescription. It is important that you talk to a fully qualified doctor prior to taking it - this is to ensure you get the best treatment possible for your ED.
Many natural erectile dysfunction treatment options represent “a serious threat to public health and could be dangerous”, as the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK)) states.
Again, the importance of consulting a professional doctor must be highlighted.
It is not worth finding a dangerous treatment online, when effective and safe treatments can be legally prescribed and obtained for a similar price - for example from a regulated UK online doctor such as DrEd.
Your ED may also flag up a serious underlying problem that also needs treatment: you need to consult a GP for this.
The Food and Drug Administration has listed a number of potentially harmful products to avoid that are often being sold under the category of "natural cure for erectile dysfunction".
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