Abstract Evidence for herbal treatments for ED is contradictory. This could be due to differing definitions of ED, non-standardized outcomes and different procedures used in the preparation of plant extracts. Additionally, animal studies are not accurate because they do not allow cerebral aspects of sex to be evaluated and instead rely solely on basic mechanical or instinctive sexual function.
Preliminary research on a few drugs such as ginseng, PLC and DHEA is encouraging, but well-designed randomized controlled clinical trials are lacking. It is likely that the use of medicinal plants will increase in popularity as men seek subtle methods of treating themselves. However, whilst it is easy to purchase many 'natural Viagra'-like substances over the Internet, the safety and reliability of many of these drugs is poor, and patients should be cautious when acquiring these products. Information about how these herbal products interact with prescribed drugs is also limited.
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