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Kate Fox, co-director of SIRC, is a social anthropologist and bestselling author of popular social science books.She is also a Fellow of the Institute for Cultural Research.A 2013 South Korean study found that taking the herb for just a few weeks improved guys' performance in the bedroom, including helping them last longer before finishing.Meanwhile, a study in found that ginseng can also help make for harder, longer-lasting erections and improve testosterone levels, which in turn boosts libido.While the rationale behind why it would work is airtight, the research on arginine’s actual effect on erectile dysfunction is slim, points out Charles Walker, M.D., assistant professor of urology and cofounder of the Cardiovascular and Sexual Health clinic at Yale University.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.
Meds like Viagra fix this problem, but herbs, vitamins, and amino acids have been eliminating erection problems long before the magic pill came around.
“The body uses this semi-essential amino acid as the primary building block for nitric oxide,” explains Harry Fisch, M.
D., clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The vitamin helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation—one of the underlying causes of both high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction.
“Vitamin B3 is also used to make sex hormones and other important chemical-signal molecules,” says Fisch.