What is herbal viagra? Should you trust it?

What is herbal viagra? Should you trust it?
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
15th July 2020

Erections aren’t always easy for millions of men in the UK. It’s no big deal. Choose from highly effective, clinically proven solutions.

In 30 seconds…

Herbal Viagra is one of the most aggressively-marketed alternative treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED), especially online, and it’s often hard to know whether it’s legit or not. Simply put, usually, it isn’t.

What is herbal Viagra? It is the name given to any blend of herbs or plants that is sold as a treatment for ED. However, it has nothing to do with Viagra and there is scanty evidence that it helps give firmer erections. In some cases, it can be dangerous. And when there are so many reliable ED treatments around, there is no reason to take the risk.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that can affect men of all ages. An erection is the result of the complex process involving your psychology, your hormone levels, and, importantly, your blood flow. When any of these becomes affected adversely, ED can creep up on you. 

ED can be a really frustrating condition to experience – and it is natural for you to find it embarrassing. However, it is this fact that makes men experiencing ED vulnerable to scams – including scams involving herbal Viagra. 

A study back in 2002 found that herbal Viagra was the subject most prevalent in email spam. Yet, this is not an ED treatment that has anything to do with Viagra. And it can be very dangerous – particularly given that you can’t be sure what it contains. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what herbal Viagra is – and why you probably shouldn’t trust it.

What is Herbal Viagra?

Herbal Viagra is the name given to many different herbs- or plant-based treatments for ED. However, given the number of different brands offering treatments under this name, it is difficult to know precisely it is that you are buying. 

The main selling point of herbal Viagra is that it is an alternative ED treatment made from natural ingredients. These can include ginseng, yohimbine, and L-arginine, all plants which are believed by some to have similar effects to Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. That’s, namely, to increase blood flow to your penis and improve your erections. 

However, herbs such as these have not been proven conclusively to be of any help with ED. Meanwhile, herbal Viagras have been found to include dangerous quantities of Sildenafil and Tadalafil, which are approved medical ED treatments, but without being marked or correctly quality-controlled. It is a very unregulated space, meaning it cannot be relied on to deliver effective treatment.

The trouble with herbal Viagra is that you can really be buying anything. Herbal Viagras are completely unregulated – and that word “herbal” is just a nice and fluffy way to disguise what they may contain.

Are There Any Herbal Treatments for ED?

Whilst “herbal Viagra” as a product is best avoided, there are some herbal alternatives to Viagra that may help with your erectile dysfunction. It’s important to note that scientific studies of their effectiveness for ED have been inconclusive. And, although their potential side effects are mild, it would be wise if you consulted a doctor before experimenting.

Panax Ginseng

Sometimes known as the ‘herbal Viagra’ itself, Panax Ginseng has been found in a number of trials to be somewhat effective for ED. This root has been part of Chinese and Korean medicine for thousands of years, where it has been used to help concentration, stress, and overall well-being.

Despite its nickname, Panax Ginseng has not been licensed for ED treatment – and it is not effective enough to warrant its nickname.

Maca

Maca is another root that has a reputation for being effective in treating erectile dysfunction. And whilst it is no doubt pretty good for your overall health – including helping stress and memory – there isn’t any convincing evidence for ED. The only scientific study looking at the link between Maca and sexual performance was conducted in rats – which certainly isn’t enough to convince the doctors.

Yohimbine

Yohimbine comes from the bark of an African tree, and it is believed by some that it is effective as an aphrodisiac and a treatment for ED. Whilst it used to be prescribed for ED treatment, its effects are these days described by scientists as “modest”. Next to drugs like Sildenafil, Yohimbine is no longer seen as an effective player in ED treatment.

Should you trust herbal Viagra?

The short answer really is “no”. Herbal Viagra is not actually Viagra; it isn’t proven to have beneficial effects on ED; and it can, in some cases, be dangerous. Its name is really just savvy marketing. Simply, you cannot trust that you know what is going to be in products sold as herbal Viagra. With cases of herbal Viagras containing high levels of ED drugs and even obesity medication, it’s not worth the risk. 

When there are plenty of reliable and science-backed treatments for ED on the market (for example, Sildenafil and Tadalafil), don’t gamble on your health with unregulated meds. At best, there might be a placebo effect. At worst, you’ll have paid for something useless – or even potentially damaging.

Viagra (Sildenafil)

The little blue pill

It’s the active ingredient in Viagra. MHRA approved and clinically proven to be highly effective by increasing blood flow into the penis.


Best for
One off use
Effective in
8 out of 10 men
Dosage
50 to 100mg

Key Takeaways…

Scammers prey on ill-informed people. You don’t need to be one of them. And whilst it is understandable that you may be reluctant to talk about your ED, it’s best to gather as much reliable information as possible before you purchase any alternatives to FDA-approved medication.

As a rule, it is not worth trusting herbal Viagra. You can simply never know what you are going to get.

Erections aren’t always easy for millions of men in the UK. It’s no big deal. Choose from highly effective, clinically proven solutions.

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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