There are several dreadful chemicals like Tadalafil (Cialis) and Sildenafil (Viagra) that you can put into your body to help you get it up.
But these tend to have a range of side effects, can do a world of damage, and treat the symptom rather than the problem.
Fortunately, there are several natural erectile dysfunction remedies out there to help you with your morning wood that are less expensive, better for you, and scientifically proven to work.
In this article we’re going to talk about: L-arginine, L-citrulline, and Pycnogenol.
First, L-arginine and L-citrulline (people usually drop the L) are amino acids. They’re two of the three dietary amino acids in the urea cycle (the liver and kidneys).
They are both found naturally in food, with arginine being found in animal products like red and white meat, fish, and dairy…and citrulline being found mostly in watermelon.
Fortunately, rather than gorging yourself on watermelon and steak (although I can think of worse fates) you can buy supplements fairly easily.
Citrulline is converted into arginine in the kidneys, but as supplements they work in slightly different ways (more on that later).
Pycnogenol, also known as condensed tannins or in French Écorce de Pin, is the proprietary extract from the bark of a particular type of pine tree, the maritime pine.
Pycnogenol is a patented product owned by Horphag Research Limited, a Swiss-based German company that was founded in 1925.
All three of these supplements work by having a positive effect on the role of nitric oxide (NO) which your body uses to build erections.
Here’s the story: First, to get the wood that you want, you need to have plenty of NO flowing around down there.
That’s because NO acts as both a neurotransmitter and a vasodilator for the smooth muscles in your penis…by telling your body to convert guanosine triphosphate to cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).
What this means in layman’s terms is that in order to get it up, your penis needs to be nice and relaxed so that blood can flow into the spongy tissue and get stuck there.
NO is the key ingredient your body uses to get your penis to relax and fill with blood. So if you stimulate NO, then you’re going to have better erections.
Each of these supplements do this in different ways.
Citrulline works by improving your ability to recycle ammonia and metabolize NO. This means that once you start using it, there will be more nitric oxide flowing around, increasing your ability to get (and stay) hard.
Even though citrulline is converted into arginine it’s still worth taking both, because even though they end up as the same thing…they follow different pathways.
Arginine spikes arginine levels in your plasma, which increases NO directly. Citrulline, because your body needs to convert it, releases more slowly over time.
It’s similar to the way you’ll get a sugar high from a coke but not from a prune – even though prunes have lots of sugar, it’s less refined so your body needs to break it down first, slowing the release.
NO is produced by cells called endothelial cells. They release an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase, which acts on arginine to produce NO.
So by increasing the amount of arginine for these enzymes to act on, you automatically increase the amount of nitric oxide circulating in your body.
Pycnogenol works in a slightly different way again by causing the endothelial cells to produce more nitric oxide synthase.
So together, these three ingredients:
With more nitric oxide in your body, you’re better able to fill your penis with blood, and build productive, useful erections.
There is a lot of evidence that these three erection boosters work to restore wood in men suffering with ED.
One study that was published in the European Bulletin of Drug Research in 2005 found that arginine and Pycnogenol together with testosterone improved sexual function in 76% of men over the course of the 11 month study.
The study was conducted on 50 middle age guys suffering with ED and low testosterone levels (hence the extra testosterone). Plus, the treatment improved sperm quality and quantity, with 40% of patients actually achieving fertilization.
In another study where 50 guys were randomly allocated, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled, the researchers found that Pycnogenol and arginine taken over a month doubled the amount of sex they were having, increased how much sperm they were producing, increased testosterone levels, and restored penis function to normal.
Plus, they found lower cholesterol and blood pressure!
Finally an Italian study looked specifically at the effect of citrulline on erectile functionality.
In this trial they gave 24 men (average age 56) a placebo for a month and the citrulline for a month. Half of the men reported an improvement in the hardness of their erections, and all 12 of them chose to continue taking citrulline after the study concluded.
Plus, not one of the 24 men had a single side effect.
There are more than just studies though. There are success stories from men using these natural erectile dysfunction remedies all over the internet:
“With L-Arginine and Pycnogenol there are no side effects, plus you don’t have to rush to have sex after you take them since they stay in your system.
It’s only been three days and I’ve already had the best erections I’ve had in a long long time. The rock hard, shiny-tip kind, which hasn’t happened in ages for me.” – Jvtizz, 2013
Other combinations like citrulline and Pycnogenol also yielded positive results:
“I’ve been taking citrulline malate and Pycnogenol together for about a month, and have successful sex with no worries about getting an erection every weekend” – confusedguy
But poking around a bit, there’s even positive feedback for just citrulline:
“this shit WORKS” – Nacho, 2009
However, Nacho does go on to say that even though he was happy with the results, the dosage took a little bit of tinkering.
First, you can’t reasonably totally overdose on these supplements. So that’s good.
You can, however, make your life pretty unpleasant. Too much arginine, for example, will likely give you diarrhea. And, since citrulline converts into arginine, too much citrulline will have the same effect (like what happened to Nacho).
So what sort of dose should you be using?
You should be taking up to 15-18g of arginine across three meals, so about 5 grams at a time. However, arginine will spike your NO levels for a few hours at best.
For optimal results, combine with 3g of citrulline across three meals, so 1g per meal. That will boost your NO volume and help you maintain those levels over time.
It’s recommended that if you’re combining arginine and citrulline, you adjust the dosage accordingly. Don’t take more than 10g at a time, as that will likely lead to diarrhea.
Most studies on Pycnogenol seem to recommend 100-200mg daily, although much smaller doses have been effective in some studies.
Studies also usually go for two doses a day, breakfast and dinner. I’d recommend starting low (100mg per day) and working your way up.
Arginine, citrulline, and Pycnogenol all work to do the same thing – increase the effectiveness and amount of nitric oxide in your body, making your system more effective at trapping blood in your penis.
But because they all work in slightly different ways, some producing more raw materials for your body to make NO, and some catalyzing the rate of nitric oxide production, they’re best when used together.
I suggest you get a copy of my ebook for more info on natural erectile dysfunction remedies (there’s no charge for this material).
Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.