Firm Up Your Sex Life with Korean Red Ginseng

viagra naturel ginseng naturalIn 1998, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer introduced a new medication called Viagra®. Within a year, this small blue pill racked up sales of over 1 billion dollars, and its popularity is still going strong. It is estimated that over 4 million men in the United States take Viagra on a regular basis (many women do too). Because of its popularity—and, therefore, its ability to generate enormous profits for Pfizer—other drug companies are working around the clock to develop drugs similar to Viagra. TAP Pharmaceuticals plans to introduce Uprima®, to compete with Viagra, early in 2003.

The reason that Viagra is such a bonanza for Pfizer (besides an aggressive, ongoing, multimillion-dollar ad campaign) is that this prescription drug revolutionized the treatment of impotence (which is called erectile dysfunction by those who lack the courage to speak plainly). In the United States, it’s thought that at least 30 million men suffer from impotence.

Achieving Erections Is Hard Work

The physical and biochemical processes involved in achieving and maintaining an erection are complex, which is one of the reasons it took drug companies decades to come up with a product such as Viagra. In simplified terms, here is what happens. The first spark in the erection process occurs in the brain (the number one sex organ), which sends nerve impulses to the penis to get things going. The action begins with the production of nitric oxide (NO) from the amino acid arginine. NO, a vitally important neurotransmitter, penetrates the outer membranes of almost all cells in the human body, and it helps regulate many cellular functions.

In the smooth muscle cells of the penis, NO stimulates the production of a compound called cyclic GMP, which causes these cells to relax. This allows copious amounts of blood to enter and engorge the penis (in a specialized area called the corpus cavernosum), which obligingly stiffens as a result. Voilà—an erection. To ensure that the erection doesn’t last too long, however (believe it or not, that can be quite uncomfortable and even dangerous), the smooth muscle cells of the penis also contain phosphodiesterase (PDE), an enzyme that breaks down cyclic GMP. When this happens, the excess blood drains from the penis, and the erection wilts.

Knowing the mechanism just described, one can imagine several ways in which an erection could be induced and maintained for longer periods of time. The way Viagra exerts its biochemical magic is by inhibiting the action of PDE, thereby allowing cyclic GMP in the penis to remain at high levels. Because of this, the blood doesn’t drain out, and the erection lasts longer. Uprima, the first prescription drug to compete with Viagra, works earlier in the process by amplifying the brain’s erection signal to the penis.

Viagra Is Not for Everyone

Although many men may view Viagra as second-best only to getting a drink from the fountain of youth, the fact is that this drug is not for all men—even those who are impotent. First of all, it is not 100% effective: some studies show a failure rate of 40–50%. Second, Viagra is expensive: most pharmacies charge between 9 and 10 dollars per pill! Viagra is also not without side effects, some quite serious. A significant percentage of men who use this drug experience headaches, facial flushing, and upset stomach—none of which goes particularly well with sex.

For men who have heart problems and are taking any kind of medicinal nitrates (such as nitroglycerin for chest pain), Viagra’s side effects can be much more serious, with death being a very real possibility. Uprima also has some significant side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and blackouts—and women just don’t take kindly to such things during intimate moments.

With so many men suffering from impotence, prescription drugs such as Viagra will continue to make millions of dollars for their pharmaceutical creators, no matter how outrageously priced they are or how unpleasant the possible side effects. However, for men who don’t want to pay $300 a month for Viagra or who are on nitrates and don’t want to pay with their life for a night of fun, there is a safe, natural alternative that has been known for at least 5000 years.

Ginseng—A Natural Prosexual Herb

Ginseng, often called the “king of herbs,” has been used in the Far East since antiquity. Chinese inscriptions representing ginseng have been found on bones and tortoise shells that date back to about 3000 B.C., and the earliest record of its being prescribed for medicinal use dates from about 500 A.D. For at least that long, people in China, Korea, and other regions of the Orient have used this remarkable herb to increase stamina, decrease fatigue, and give a boost to their libido.* Now research on the biochemistry of ginseng and on its effect on human sexuality is showing that these ancient tales are well founded in scientific fact.

It should be noted that we are talking here about the type of ginseng commonly called Asian ginseng or, more specifically, Chinese or Korean ginseng. These are all the same plant, Panax ginseng, but different varieties of it are cultivated under different conditions and processed in different ways throughout Asia, so there are many variations on that botanical theme. As we will see, a high-quality variety called Korean red ginseng is of particular interest.

Korean Red Ginseng Works in Animals

A paper entitled “Ginseng, Sex Behavior, and Nitric Oxide,” published recently in the prestigious Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, examined the scientific evidence behind ginseng’s purported beneficial effects on sexual health.1 The authors stated that there is hard scientific evidence that certain active chemical ingredients in ginseng, called ginsenosides, have prosexual effects. In their own words, “There is good evidence that ginsenosides can facilitate penile erection by directly inducing the vasodilation and relaxation of penile corpus cavernosum. Moreover, the effects of ginseng on the corpus cavernosum appear to be mediated by the release and/or modification of release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells and perivascular nerves.”

The authors based many of their conclusions on laboratory studies done on rats and rabbits. One animal study specifically examined the effects of Korean red ginseng (KRG) on the penile erectile tissue of rabbits and the erectile response in rats.2 In both test-tube (in vitro) and live-animal (in vivo) experiments, KRG significantly enhanced penile erectile capabilities, with the authors concluding that “KRG potentiates the erectile response in normal animals.”

Korean Red Ginseng Works in Men Too

Of course, as good as a supplement (ginseng or any other) may look in the laboratory, no significant claims should be made about it until it is tested in humans. Fortunately for men who are interested in taking Korean red ginseng for impotence, such tests have recently been conducted, and the news is all good.

A recent study done in Korea examined the effects of KRG in 45 men (average age 54) who had documented impotence, defined by the authors as the “persistent inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for normal sexual satisfaction.”3 All the men underwent a rigorous, week-long baseline medical evaluation, including testing of their erectile function (or lack of it). They were then randomly selected to take either 900 mg of KRG or placebo three times a day for the next 8 weeks (the study was double-blinded, so no one knew who was getting what). There followed a 2-week “washout” period during which none of the men received any pills. Then there was another 8-week testing period during which the men who had initially received the KRG were put on placebo, and vice versa. In this way, each man served as his own control—a technique called crossover.

Significant Improvement in 60% of Men

The results of this study showed that Korean red ginseng lives up to its reputation as a prosexual herb. A full 60% of the men taking KRG reported a significant improvement in achieving and maintaining an erection (this percentage is comparable to that of Viagra). Furthermore, the men who took KRG reported higher scores for sexual desire and satisfaction in intercourse.

Interestingly enough, there was no difference between KRG and placebo when the men were asked about orgasmic function. The researchers, while admitting that the number of patients in the study was small and that further studies are needed, nonetheless concluded, “Considering that some patients with erectile dysfunction are reluctant to depend on a drug to achieve erection, Korean red ginseng could be used as an alternative remedy with its multiple beneficial effects on health.”

Korean Red Ginseng—An Ancient Herb for the Modern Man

Impotence is a common yet still too often ignored problem in men. Although drugs such as Viagra undeniably help many men with this affliction, the high cost, as well as the unpleasant side effects, are obstacles to many others, who are left with the feeling that they have lost a vital part of their life. For these men, and for others who desire the benefits of Korean red ginseng for whatever reason, this ancient herb may be just the boost they need to be able to rise up each day with a smile on their face.

Forget Viagra, a tablet made from ginseng could boost a man’s love life: Research claims herbal remedy really does work

viagra naturel ginseng naturalIt’s long been used by the Chinese as an aphrodisiac, but new research claims tablets made from ginseng really can perk up a man’s love life.

A South Korean study found men with erectile dysfunction improved their performance in the bedroom after taking the tablets for just a few weeks.

Although some previous studies have suggested ginseng can help tackle impotence, many have been conducted in mice.

The latest research involved more than 100 men who had been diagnosed with erection problems.

Impotence affects one in ten men in the UK at some point in their lives.

Although drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have revolutionised treatment in the last ten years, around 30 per cent of men who take them see no improvement.

For these men, the only other options are to inject drugs straight into the penis, or use a pump that manually increases blood supply to the organ.

Neither is very popular.

While herbal remedies like ginseng have been touted as alternative treatments, the evidence to support their use has been lacking.

Ginseng is a plant that has been used for thousands of years to bolster overall health.

The root contains several active substances, called either ginsenosides or panaxosides, that are thought to be responsible for the medicinal effects of the herb.

Scientists at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, recruited 119 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

The group was split into two and while half took four tablets a day containing extracts of Korean ginseng berry, the rest took identical dummy pills.

After eight weeks, researchers measured improvements by using a recognised scale called the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction.

The results, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, showed a small but significant improvement in sexual function in the ginseng group compared to those on the dummy tablets.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: ‘Korean ginseng berry extract improved all domains of sexual function.

‘It can be used as an alternative to medicine to improve sexual life in men.”

Watermelon: A Natural Viagra?

Men hoping for some fireworks in their love life this Fourth of July may want to skip the burgers and beer at the barbecue and eat plenty of watermelon.

Watermelon may be a natural Viagra, says a researcher. That’s because the popular summer fruit is richer than experts believed in an amino acid called citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

“We have known that watermelon has citrulline,” says Bhimu Patil, PHD, director of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University, College Station. Until recently, he tells WebMD, scientists thought most of the citrulline was in the watermelon rind. “Watermelon has more citrulline in the edible part than previously believed,” he says.

How could watermelon be a natural Viagra? The amino acid citrulline is converted into the amino acid arginine, Patil says. “This is a precursor for nitric oxide, and the nitric oxide will help in blood vessel dilation.”

So, the burning question: How much watermelon does it take?

“That is a good question,” Patil says. Unfortunately, “I don’t have an answer for that.”

He does know that a typical 4-ounce serving of watermelon (about 10 watermelon balls) has about 150 milligrams of citrulline. But he can’t say how much citrulline is needed to have Viagra-like effects.

He’s hopeful that someone will pick up on his research and study the fruit’s effect on penile erections.

Watermelon’s Viagra-Like Effects
On hearing about the Texas finding, Irwin Goldstein, MD, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, was underwhelmed. Suggesting a man feast on watermelon to boost performance, he says, “would be the equivalent of someone dropping a beer bottle in Minneapolis, where the Mississippi River starts, and hoping to see it make an impact on someone in New Orleans.”

“To say that watermelon is Viagra-like is sort of fun,” says Goldstein. “But to even vaguely hope that eating watermelon will alleviate ED is misleading.”

“The vast majority of Americans produce enough arginine,” adds Goldstein, medical director of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, and clinical professor of surgery, University of California San Diego School of Medicine. “Men with ED are not deficient in arginine.”

Though arginine is required to make nitric oxide, and nitric oxide is required to dilate blood vessels and have an erection, “that doesn’t mean eating something that is rich in citrulline will make enough arginine that it will lead to better penile erections,” Goldstein says.

Goldstein has served as a consultant for many companies that make ED drugs.

Calling watermelon a natural Viagra is “clearly premature,” says Roger Clemens, DrPH, adjunct professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the Institute of Food Technologists.

Clemens studied the amino acid arginine himself, researching a supplement to improve vascular flow for patients with hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. He has since abandoned that line of research, he says.

It can require a lot of watermelon to boost blood levels of arginine, he adds. In a study published in 2007 in Nutrition, he says, volunteers who drank three 8-ounce glasses of watermelon juice daily for three weeks boosted their arginine levels by 11%.

Watermelon is low in calories and provides potassium and the phytonutrients lycopene and beta-carotene, in addition to the citrulline.

Clemens’ advice on watermelon and the Fourth of July? “Put salt on it and enjoy.”

Just don’t expect fireworks anywhere but in the sky.

Does natural Viagra exist?

A commonly held belief is that women reach their sexual peak later in life than men. This may be true, but a recent study published in the medical journal Fertility And Sterility found that women generally experience a reduction in their sexual responsiveness as they age.

While some of this may be due to the effects of the menopause, the research suggests it is also a product of the ageing process.

Dwindling sexuality does not seem to be confined to women, either, as shown by the runaway success of the drug Viagra. Despite Viagra’s popularity, however, a recent study found that little more than half the men who try the drug are using it three years later.

Also, a significant proportion of them found it necessary to use a substantially increased dose to get the same effect. Fortunately, nature offers various remedies for boosting libido and enhancing sexual pleasure.

Sexual responsiveness is very dependent on the supply of blood to the genitals. Enhanced blood flow to the penis can do much to improve a man’s ability to attain and maintain an erection.

In this respect, the herb Ginkgo biloba has much to offer. Renowned as a circulation enhancer, Ginkgo biloba was found in one study to help 78 per cent of men with impotence.

The beneficial effects of Ginkgo biloba may take three or more months to become apparent, though it does appear to be a safe, natural alternative to Viagra for men.

It may have significant benefits for women, too. There is growing awareness that improved blood supply to the female sexual organs can enhance sexual sensation.

I have seen several patients who experienced a subjective enhancement in sexual pleasure after taking Ginkgo biloba long-term.

Another herb which may help improve sexual function in both men and women is Damiana. Damiana, which grows wild in Central America and Mexico, was the favourite aphrodisiac of the ancient Mayan people.

While its precise effect on the body is not known, Damiana’s botanical name – Turnera aphrodisiaca – hints at its libido-enhancing effects.

Its effects take hold quite quickly after ingestion, making it ideal for use on an ‘as required’ basis.

For rapid absorption into the body, Damiana is probably best taken in tincture (alcoholic extract) form. One teaspoonful should be taken about one hour before sex.

The herb Panax ginseng is another sexual stimulant. This has been used for more than 2,000 years in Eastern medicine as a tonic.

Many women who take Panax ginseng find that it improves their libido. In men, one study found that it brought about a 60 per cent improvement in the symptoms of impotence, while at the same time enhancing sexual appetite.

Panax ginseng is usually taken for periods of two to three weeks, interspersed with break periods of one to two weeks.

Catuba, a species of evergreen tree which grows in the Amazon rainforest, is another natural remedy for enhancing libido. The inner bark of this tree has been revered as a potent aphrodisiac by the Brazilian people for hundreds of years.

When the Brazilian government researched more than 100 plants used to treat sexual problems, only three were singled out for further research. Catuaba was one of them. You can buy it in health food stores.

Another herb which is commonly used to help bolster sexual energy in women is Angelica sinensis.

In Asia, Angelica is considered to be the ‘female ginseng’. It is well known to have general tonic action in the female body, and is thought to improve gynaecological function.

Historically, Angelica has been the aphrodisiac of choice for women in the East. Angelica should be taken as directed on the packaging.

Le Ginseng, Un Nouveau Viagra Naturel?

Le ginseng est considéré depuis longtemps comme un aphrodisiaque. Une nouvelle étude sud coréenne vient de révéler qu’un médicament à base de la racine pouvait soigner l’impuissance en quelques semaines. C’est la première fois qu’une étude scientifique démontre l’efficacité du ginseng au niveau sexuel. 

119 hommes souffrant de dysfonction érectile ont participé à ce test. Le groupe a été scindé en deux: certains devaient prendre un placébo, les autres quatre comprimés contenant des extraits de ginseng par jour. Après huit semaines, les chercheurs ont constaté une amélioration légère mais significative auprès de ceux qui avalaient les comprimés à base de ginseng. 

Pour les chercheurs, il ne fait aucun doute que la racine est une alternative naturelle à la pilule bleue… Les chercheurs ont déclaré, dans leur rapport, publié dans l’International Journal of Impotence Research: « Le ginseng peut être utilisé comme une alternative à la médecine pour améliorer la vie sexuelle des hommes. 

La maca : attention au nouveau Viagra “naturel”

Depuis quelques temps, de nouvelles gélules contenant de la maca ont fait leur apparition, essentiellement sur internet. A en croire les publicités qui les accompagnent, la maca serait une plante miraculeuse, un anti-fatigue naturel, le nouveau Viagra.

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Elle est originaire du Pérou. Elle pousse uniquement sur les hauts plateaux, dans des conditions extrêmes. Elle ressemble un peu à un navet. Elle est d’ailleurs consommée comme un simple légume, très nourrissant, par les Péruviens.

Pour ce qui est de son utilisation médicinale, c’est sa racine que l’on utilise. Celle-ci est réduite en farine.
Depuis les années 70, les effets de la maca ont été étudiés par les scientifiques, mais uniquement sur des rats et des souris. Ils ont observé que ceux qui ont pris de la maca étaient plus résistants, plus fertiles, avaient plus de force, voulaient davantage procréer, étaient moins stressés.

Ses bienfaits supposés

En fait, quand on connaît la composition de la maca, il ne semble rien y avoir d’étonnant à ce qu’elle possède tous ces bienfaits. Elle est composée de glucides, de protéines, de fibres et d’acides gras. La racine est aussi bourrée de vitamines (B1, B2, B12, C, D3, E, P), d’oligo-éléments (calcium, phosphore, magnésium, cuivre, fer, manganèse, zinc, potasse, soude).

Ce sont surtout les soi-disant vertus aphrodisiaques de la maca qui ont fait que l’on se soit précipité sur elle. Selon certains revendeurs sur internet, ce serait un « viagra » naturel ! On l’appelle également le ginseng péruvien. On la compare aussi à la DHEA.
Elle serait efficace contre les troubles de l’érection, les manques de libido, la fatigue, les insomnies, la mémoire, le stress, le manque de concentration, le dérèglement hormonal, etc.
La maca serait donc véritablement une plante miracle pour les personnes victimes de pannes sexuelles et pour les personnes ménopausées. Elle constituerait pour ces dernières un très bon complément alimentaire.

Mais rien n’est prouvé scientifiquement pour l’homme…

Mais, je vais certainement en décevoir plus d’un. Malgré tout ce qu’en disent les revendeurs de la maca, rien n’est prouvé scientifiquement ou si des études ont été faites, elles n’offrent pas tous les gages de sérieux que l’on pourrait attendre d’elles.
D’ailleurs, en France, l’AFSSA (Agence Française de Sécurité sanitaire des aliments) n’a toujours pas validé la commercialisation de la maca. Le 2 juillet 2008, elle a renouvelé ses deux précédents avis : elle estime que « dans l’état actuel des connaissances, la sécurité d’emploi de la poudre de racine de maca n’est pas démontrée. » D’après des études scientifiques récentes sur l’homme, il y aurait des risques pour les personnes souffrant de tension artérielle et rien ne prouve encore la non-dangerosité de la maca sur les sujets sains.

Donc, faites très attention avant de consommer de la maca, si vous en avez envie malgré tout ce que je viens d’écrire.