It’s no wonder that some people call ginseng the King of
After all, it’s been used for thousands of years — since before recorded history began — to treat all kinds of medical conditions.
But does ginseng work for erectile dysfunction?
Well…the evidence is contradictory.
You may decide that adding ginseng to your dietary supplements makes sense for you. Or you may decide there’s a better way to deal with ED.
Either way, it certainly makes sense to make an informed decision.
This supplement has been linked to an improvement in stamina, better libido along with helping men get and maintain erections.
Herbalists call ginseng an adaptogen — an herb that helps you overcome the negative impact of stress.
Plus, it’s in energy drinks because many people believe it gives an energy boost. The reasons to take it seem to be adding up.
But what do scientists say?
One overview of previous research conducted in 2008 found that Korean red ginseng, taken un-skinned and unheated but dried, showed evidence of helping with ED.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the review found that there was “suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction” (source).
But the researchers cautioned that sample sizes were small and the methodological quality of the original studies was dubious. So they suggested more studies.
The Pros Of Ginseng For Erectile Dysfunction
The most often quoted study regarding the effectiveness of ginseng for erectile dysfunction comes from the Journal Of Urology in 2002.
It looked at 45 patients who had been diagnosed with ED and tried to determine if Korean ginseng worked better for them than a placebo.
The men who got the real thing took 900 mg three times a day for eight weeks, then took two weeks off, then repeated the process again for another eight weeks.
The men were then examined and given questions to determine their Mean International Index of Erectile Function Score. (Yes, there is such a thing.)
And an astounding 60 percent of patients said that ginseng improved their erectile function (source).
From this, the authors concluded that red ginseng is helpful for treating ED. Another study half a decade later found good results too.
And there have been several others that have found a positive impact as well.
So how does it work?
Korean red ginseng has been shown to boost nitric oxide output — which has been proven in many other studies to enhance erectile function.
Have you heard about nitric oxide?
NO dilates your blood vessels which increases blood flow to the penis…so an increase in nitric oxide is going to mean an increase in erection strength and quality.
So that’s the good news.
The Cons Of Ginseng For Erectile Dysfunction
But does it really work — or is this just hype to get people’s hopes up to sell some ginseng supplements?
That’s difficult to say.
Ginseng helps ED, according to a 2013 study from the International Journal of Impotence Research that was highlighted in some newspapers.
But it turns out that the study results really didn’t match up with the headlines.
In this case, the trial compared 59 men taking a pill form of ginseng to the same number of men taking a fake substitute.
The ginseng worked a bit, but so did the fake stuff (source).
Erectile function, sexual satisfaction, orgasm and sexual desire all improved for those on ginseng.
But not very much.
And guys who only thought they were taking ginseng got about the same improvement as those who really were.
So what can you make of that?
The authors of the study put an extraordinarily positive spin on things, and the media grabbed ahold of the story. But the study didn’t really proven anything.
Also, there are some reasons to be concerned about taking ginseng.
These include the following:
You shouldn’t take ginseng with some depression medications. If you take this herb while using an MAOI, you can get tremors, manic episodes and other side effects.
You also shouldn’t take ginseng with blood pressure or heart medicines.
Certain blood thinners don’t get along well with this herb, and Procardia may not work the same if used along with ginseng.
Unexplained side effects can also happen in certain cases.
Some men who take ginseng can’t sleep, get diarrhea or develop headaches, plus, there’s the possibility of wild fluctuations in your heartbeat and blood pressure.
Because ginseng can increase bleeding, even taking it with aspirin isn’t recommended.
Of course, if you don’t take any medications and don’t experience any of these side effects, it may be fine for you.
But that still leaves the question of whether using ginseng for erectile dysfunction is worth the time, money or hassle.
So what’s the bottom line?
In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to rely on ginseng alone to treat ED.
This especially true since there are so many other herbs that have a more profound impact on erectile dysfunction.
In other words, I believe ginseng may improve erectile function somewhat, especially the first few times you take it.
But I’ve had much better luck with several other herbs.
These include Tongkat Ali, Cistanche, He Shou Wu and Polyrhachis Ant Extract.
These supplements may not sound as familiar to you as ginseng, but they impact libido and erectile function much more effectively than ginseng does.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend taking just one of these herbs either.
The best approach is to cycle several supplements so that you can get the benefits of all of them.
There’s also another good reason to cycle your herbs: you can avoid building up a tolerance to any individual supplement.
In other words, it makes sense to focus on the results and not get stuck on any one particular herb.
So go ahead and try ginseng if you’d like, but to avoid building up a tolerance to it, cycle it religiously.
And if you ever experience a negative side effect, drop it for a week, then try again at a lower dose.
If the side effects continue, drop the herb entirely, and move onto something else.
You can read more about cycling ED herbs on This Page.
Ginseng For Erectile Dysfunction – Conclusion:
If you have erectile dysfunction, ginseng may help a little bit but it’s not going to cure you, or bring on the raging erections you had in your 20’s.
Plus, the side effects may not be worth the risk, especially if you’re using any of the medications mentioned above.
On the other hand, if you’re not using medications and your erectile dysfunction is not too severe, it may be worth a shot.
Just don’t expect any miracles.
Ginseng For Erectile Dysfunction – References: