Erectile Dysfunction and Traditional Oriental Herbal Medicinals


Erectile Dysfunction and Traditional Oriental Herbal Medicinals

 Authors: Satch Purcell, L.Ac., OTR

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to have or maintain an erection sufficient for normal sexual activity. More than 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 years experience ED to some degree. In recent years there has been an increased awareness of the problem of ED. This increased public interest in ED is evident by the fact that the number of physician visits for ED nearly tripled between 1985 and 1999 (National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey). This is probably related to the introduction of the drug Viagra (sildenafil citrate) in March of 1998. Practitioners of Oriental Medicine have, for a long time, offered traditional solutions for this very private male complaint. However, with the introduction of new drugs for an old problem, we as herbalists are asked to look at our practice with greater wisdom and insight as part of the ever growing marriage of East-meets-West medicine. I believe that while Oriental Medicine practitioners enjoy a wide and flexible view of our patients' entire health, Western medical science can open our eyes even wider if we look in the correct manner. Here I will attempt to do this very thing.

This article will 1) review the Western physiological process of erection and its dysfunction, 2) examine ED in the context of overall health and disease, 3) review what information exists in the professional literature about Chinese herbal medicinals and their role in erectile physiology, and 4) tie this information together by analyzing some formulas
and products for ED.

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* Articles Originally Published in SUN TEN Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2008

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