Perhaps no other drug in the entire history of humankind has achieved as much fame (and at the same time, notoriety) as Viagra. Targeted at curing impotency, this drug – developed by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – has achieved almost cult status, with sales of over hundreds of thousands of pills everyday around the globe. The success of Viagra itself speaks volumes about how prevalent impotency is among men all over the world.
However, ancient sciences like Ayurveda and Unani have been known and practiced several natural medicines for treating impotence since centuries, and that too with positive results. These therapies are herbal, and most of them have been proven for their efficacies in the western world too.
But before going into details of the natural treatment options available for impotence, let us see what the real Viagra does. Viagra is the trade name for the drug sildenafil citrate. When it is consumed, it helps the blood flow to focus better on the corpus cavernosa of the penis. The corpus cavernosa is composed of several spongy tissues. When these spongy tissues are engorged with blood, the penis becomes hard, which is the state of erection. Thus, Viagra brings about a temporary erection by filling the corpus cavernosa with blood.
There are some disadvantages when a person consumes Viagra. One of the most important ones is that Viagra needs to be continuously used to obtain an erection. No Viagra, no erection. And those who use Viagra know how expensive the little blue pill is! Health-wise, Viagra can produce explained common colds, headaches and dyspepsia. Sometimes, Viagra can produce embarrassing prolonged erections. Prolonged use of Viagra can cause loss of peripheral vision and also total blindness. There have also been cases known of men suffering from heart attacks when having sexual intercourse under the effect of Viagra. Hence, the medical fraternity has always maintained that Viagra is a potentially harmful drug.
This has led both medical experts as well as users to keep seeking for alternatives to Viagra. This has made the herbal supplements ever more popular. The sudden interest of the western world in the Ayurvedic herbs and supplements for the treatment of impotence is due to the success of the Viagra. Before that most men were learning to cope up with their conditions of impotence.
However, now that we know that several herbal supplements exist for the treatment of Viagra, let us see how they affect the male penis. All these are carefully made preparations by mixing just the right amounts of several herbs and then carrying out several intricate processes for blending them. Since the name Viagra has become so common, these preparations are called as herbal Viagras in slang, though they have nothing to do with Viagra. Viagra is a chemical drug, herbal Viagras are made of herbal constituents.
But just like the original Viagra, the herbal Viagras work in two ways:
(i) they improve the circulation of blood to the penis and (ii) they alter the hormones so that the male has better libido.
Herbal supplements are used for the treatment of not just impotence, but several other male sexual problems such as weak libidos, penis curves, penis enlargement, premature ejaculation, etc.
The important herbal constituents used in herbal Viagras are Panax ginseng (Indian Ginseng), Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Avena sativa (Oats), Muira puama (Potency Wood), Lepidium meyenii (Maca), Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo), Tribulus terrestris (Caltrop) along with scores of other herbs. The first thing that these herbs do is to improve the circulation of blood in the region of the penis, which causes harder and more permanent erections. One more important function is to improve the male sexual hormone, testosterone, which helps in increasing the male libido and also to make the man perform the sexual act better. Some of these herbs can have antidepressant properties, which are very much beneficial in the treatment of men who are suffering from problems pertaining to weak erections.
In the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, there is a whole list of more herbs which are used in the preparation of herbal Viagras. These are different from the above herbs, in the sense that they are used almost exclusively for the treatment of impotence. Some of these herbs are the dong quai, kava, blessed thistle, black cohosh, golden seal, etc. These are the same herbs that are used in the enhancement of breasts in females.
In recent times, a particular substance called as yohimbine has gained a lot of popularity in the treatment of male sexual problems. Yohimbine is extracted in its hydrochloride form from the tree Pausinystalia yohimbe, indigenous to West Africa. Yohimbine hydrochloride has been proved to generate better and more sustained erections in men. It is being widely used nowadays in alternatives to Viagra. Some Ayurvedic supplements are using yohimbine in their preparations.
Herbal Viagras are made by carefully mixing specific herbs like those mentioned above in the proper proportion. They might be mixed in some oils, or burnt into ash, or molten into a semi-liquid semi-solid kind of preparation, or prepared in some other way. The basic intention is to make the best use of the chemicals present in the herbs. The herbal Viagras are generally to be taken with milk.
Since the herbal Viagras contain more than one herb in them, one major plus point becomes that a single preparation can be used to treat several male sexual problems at once. Also, since they are made of natural herbs, they do not have major side effects like the real Viagra does.
But some precautions need to be taken. First and foremost, if you are suffering from hypotension, you need to ask an Ayurvedic doctor whether you can have the herbal Viagra. Some people claim that since herbal Viagras alter the hormonal balance of the body, they are potentially harmful. This is true indeed if the herbal Viagras are taken for a long time. There may be interference with other hormone-driven activities of the body. Some components of the herbal Viagras can also cause depression, dyspepsia, headaches, common colds, etc. when used separately. However, whether they can cause the same effects in their mixture form or not is yet to be studied properly.
For these reasons, the use of herbal Viagras are also considered skeptically by medical experts. However, the general idea is that they are much safer than the natural Viagras and more usable for a wide number of people.