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Herbs to Enhance Men�s Health

Sexual potency and concerns about prostate gland function are the two major areas in which herbal medicines have been promoted for the benefit of men�s health. Throughout the ages, men have sought a magic elixir to maintain or regain the potency of youth. In Ayurveda we have a category of herbs known as vajikarana, which are characterized in an understated manner as �producing a long lineage of progeny, providing quick sexual stimulation, enabling one to perform sexually with women uninterruptedly and vigorously like a horse, making one charming for women, promoting corpulence, and infallible and indestructible semen even in older persons, rendering one great, having a number of offspring like a sacred tree, branched profusely and commanding respect and popularity in society.?

Herbs such as amalaki and ashwagandha are reputed to provide these potent qualities. Like ginseng in China and Korea, these Ayurvedic herbs have powerful reputations that have thus far been difficult to characterize scientifically. Amalaki has potent antioxidant qualities, as does ashwagandha, but it is unclear how these properties influence male potency. Of interest is a recent Korean study of ginseng that suggests this ancient herb may work through a nitric oxide pathway, similar to the mechanism by which the recently fashionable Viagra works. Studies are in progress around the world in attempts to characterize the efficacy and means of action of these traditional herbal medicines.

Yohimbine is a minor herbal medicine used to treat difficulties with erection. Derived from the bark of an African tree, Pausinystalia yohimbe, this chemical blocks the effects of nerves that constrict blood vessels. Although several studies have shown yohimbine to be mildly to moderately effective, it can cause anxiety, sweating, and nausea and should therefore be used with caution.

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