Despite the name, horny goat weed actually helps improve your erection, not libido.  Botanically known as epimedium, this herb has been used by the Chinese for centuries to treat, among other things, low libido and erectile dysfunction. “A growing body of research shows that isolated icariin—the extract of epimedium—inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) and significantly increases nitric oxide synthase, helping to improve erectile function,” says Fisch. In fact, this is the same mechanism that Viagra works through (but the herb comes with a way better name).
Because the study included only subjects with dyslipidemia, the results may not be applicable to those with ED who have a normal serum lipid profile. Furthermore, patients using aspirin or NSAIDs were excluded to avoid the effect of these drugs in inhibiting prostaglandin D production, which may be one of the potential mechanisms for the effects of niacin on ED. It should be noted that it is quite common for ED patients to have coexisting cardiovascular disease that requires the use of aspirin. Therefore, further study on the interaction of aspirin and niacin in ED patients may be needed to establish the role of niacin in clinical usage.

You may know horny goat weed from its omnipresence behind the counter at your local convenience store, but this traditional Chinese formula is less sketchy than it sounds. Used for centuries to treat low libido and erectile dysfunction, the herb’s potential efficacy was show in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers who fed the supplement to rats found they had improved erectile function; another study showed that the supplement can block a natural chemical that wilts erections. (Just be warned: Viagra was found to be 80 times more powerful.)
This scenario raises a key concern for us (and should for you as well) about what is recommended to treat erectile dysfunction. I performed a quick Google search on kegels as treatment for the pelvic floor, and found hundreds of websites instructing men to perform kegels to ameliorate erectile dysfunction, have longer and stronger erections – a quick and easy fix. I found a few sites instructing men to perform anywhere from 50-100 repetitions per day (insanity). I discovered a new book called Male Pelvic Fitness, a “user manual to your man parts
Men typically have higher zinc needs than women, which can make them more vulnerable to zinc deficiencies. In men, zinc is also needed to support healthy prostate and penile function. Keep in mind that excessive amounts of zinc can be harmful so it is best to follow package directions on the supplement you choose, should you decide to supplement with the mineral.

The researchers noted that "when patients were stratified according to the baseline severity of ED, the patients with moderate and severe ED who received niacin showed a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.56 0.96 [P = 0.037] and 1.03 1.20 [P < 0.001], respectively) and IIEF-Q4 scores (0.56 1.03 [P = 0.048] and 0.84 1.05 [P < 0.001], respectively] compared with baseline values, but not for the placebo group...For patients not receiving statins treatment, there was a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.47 1.16 [P = 0.004]) for the niacin group, but not for the placebo group. Niacin alone can improve the erectile function in patients suffering from moderate to severe ED and dyslipidemia." [3]


ED can be caused by a handful of things, but one thing’s for sure: You need a healthy supply of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) to get and maintain an erection. NO is produced in nerve tissue and helps jolt your Johnson by relaxing the smooth muscle so blood can fill the penis. After the initial release of NO, your body releases a cascade of chemicals—including more of the neurotransmitter—to help keep you hard and happy, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat ED and impotence in China. A recent review of studies on acupuncture for erectile dysfunction was published in the British Journal of Urology International. After reviewing four studies, the authors concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to say that acupuncture worked. However, some experts believe it's worth trying. "Acupuncture can work," says Gilbert. "It probably works best to treat the psychological component of ED. There is very little downside to trying it."
It’s easy to see how erectile dysfunction subsides with exercise. Not only does it help reduce cardiovascular risk factors, but it’s also been shown to reduce stress, another cause of the condition. The best part is that it doesn’t take much effort to get started on an exercise routine. “When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” co-author Dr. Stephen Freedland said in the release. “However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if it’s less intense, is better than no exercise at all.”
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Erectile problems can sometimes be linked to cardiovascular issues. If your heart isn't in full health, your sex life maybe suffering as result. Men who suffer with moderate to severe erection problems have significantly lower levels of folic acid than guys without the issue. The B vitamin has been shown to work with nitric oxide which would explain why an absence of it would lead to problems in the manhood. This seems to help with erectile dysfunction more than some medications. Treatment with folic acid resulted in men having an increase in their erectile strength.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems that men deal with. There are a host of different causes of ED that range from nutrient deficiencies to clinical depression. It’s important to talk to a medical professional about ED, in order to determine the cause of the issue before exploring treatment options. That said, erectile dysfunction has been found in recent years to be a symptom of zinc deficiency.
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