With the introduction of Viagra and other male enhancement medications, many men (and women) have become intrigued with the prospects of overcoming their sexual afflictions. Herbs present a natural over-the-counter solution to sexual enhancement for men, boosting libido and helping harness testosterone. Yohimbe, gingko and ginseng are popular herbs for male enhancement. However, because herbal remedies are not strictly regulated by the FDA, safety and effectiveness are not guaranteed. Talk to a doctor before beginning an herbal regimen.
Derived from the bark of African evergreen trees is the widely used herb yohimbe. The herb was used as an aphrodisiac and traditional remedy for sexual enhancement, used in marriage ceremonies and fertility festivals. Today the herb is used to treat erectile dysfunction, sold in both prescription strength and over-the-counter formulas for male enhancement. As an over-the-counter dietary supplement, extract of the bark is put into capsules and tablets. However, some yohimbe products contain insufficient amounts of the extract, making prescription options a better choice. Side effects can be serious, resulting in high blood pressure an increased heart rate, according to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
Gingko has been a component to traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Used to treat asthma, bronchitis, ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and improve memory and alertness, extracts of the herb are derived for the leaves and formulated in medicinal teas and capsules, which are sold over-the-counter. A natural male enhancement remedy, according to the NCCAM, the herb is also a treatment for sexual dysfunction. Some side effects could be dangerous, including thinning of the blood. Those taking certain medications may be advised not to use gingko.
Ginseng is another age-old remedy used by the Chinese. Now a part of modern medicine, the herb represents a natural approach to treating certain conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, a few studies using Asian and American ginseng indicate benefits for erectile dysfunction. The herb is also considered safe, as reactions as considered rare. However, some drug interactions could occur with the use of anti-depressants, causing mania.