Nitric oxide is a key component in developing and maintaining an erection. The amino acid L-arginine — found naturally in red meat, fish and wheat germ among other foods — is known to boost the body’s production of nitric oxide and has been used to successful treat ED in the past, according to WebMD. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database has also said the amino acid could be used to treat ED, Everyday Health reports.
2. Spider Venom
The toxin PnTx2-6 — found in the venom of the Brazilian wandering spider — was found to improve “erectile function in aged rats,” according to a study published in August.
3. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice has a number of health benefits; researchers recently found the tart drink was responsible for lowering blood pressure. A 2007 small-scale study that found promising results in using pomegranate juice to protect against ED called for a larger test to prove its efficacy, WebMD reports.
Mmm, bark. Prior to Viagra hitting the market, doctors would prescribe the bark of the African yohimbe tree to ED sufferers. While its ability to improve erections is questioned, doctors are no stranger to its yohimbe’s many scary side effects, including increased blood pressure and irregular heart beat, according to WebMD.
Live Science noted that ginseng was among one of the many natural aphrodisiacs that had the most potential to treat ED.
A recent study found that ginko biloba extract does not prevent memory loss in those with Alzheimer’s, but it may help ED sufferers by increasing blood flow to the penis, according to Mayo Clinic.
Also known by its snicker-inducing name horny goat weed, epimedium has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to treat ED, according to the Mayo Clinic. However it warns that there has been little study into the herb’s side effects, which include blood thinning and lower blood pressure.
For men with zinc deficiency, taking the mineral may help with erectile dysfunction, according to Mayo Clinic.
A recent survey of four studies found there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that using the centuries-old practice to treat ED actually worked. But urologist Bruce Gilbert told Everyday Health acupuncture is worth a shot: “It probably works best to treat the psychological component of ED. There is very little downside to trying it.”