Introduction

Herbal (and non-herbal) supplements have been used for thousands of years for several purposes. The effects from these supplements can be amazing. My initial (and unsuccessful) attempt at overcoming erectile dysfunction was by taking an herbal supplement. However, I had more success later as I learned more about various supplements. This section explains the experiences, discoveries and effects I have had of using these supplements. In addition, this section gives an overview of some of the benefits of taking basic supplements such as vitamins and minerals.


Supplements

I find supplements absolutely fascinating! After having experienced their ability to help restore imbalances in my body, but also their ability to enhance erectile functioning, strengthen libido, and also amplify the pleasurable sensations from sexual stimulation, – I have become a very faithful admirer and user of these supplements. 

There are basic supplements, such as vitamins and minerals for instance, that can be very useful for plugging deficiencies in the body. Then there are other supplements that often go beyond this. Often these are more complex, such as herbal remedies. These generally provide an extra gear or two (or three) when it comes to restoring libido, erectile functioning and sensations from sex. And because I have become such a huge admirer of many herbal supplements, I have also profiled some of my favorite ones in a separate section on Truelibido. To learn more about these supplements on Truelibido, please go here.

#
#

The pharmaceutical drugs, Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, will enable many men with erectile dysfunction to get erections and to (at least initially) function sexually. I have tried these, and they have for the most part had the desired effect on me as well. However, I don’t like to take drugs or medication. First of all, I will normally always want my body to try to fix a problem itself, whether its a cold, headache, pain, or my penis for some reason doesn’t want to get hard. This will often strengthen my body and it will also teach me to be nicer to myself so that I try not to cause the same pain or effect later on. 

In addition, I particularly don’t like the side-effects from medication, and some of the pharmaceutical drugs for erectile dysfunction gave me bad side effects, such as headaches, blurred vision, a hot and red face, etc. And lastly, it is common for the body to build tolerance and resistance towards medications (and in fact towards most other things we over-expose our bodies to), which means that the medications become less and less effective. These drugs, after I had taken them for long enough, stopped working for me.

So, popping a pill right before having sex, never sat easy with me. It really bothered me and it was something I always wanted to quit. In addition, these drugs do nothing about the underlying cause of the problem. They don’t help people get rid of erectile dysfunction, they only treat the symptom (inability to get an erection). Therefore, users of these drugs are on a path to keep using them (until they don’t work anymore). Therefore, I really wanted to find a long-term sustainable solution that solved the underlying cause of my problems. And I wanted to find a natural solution so that I wouldn’t need to rely on medication.

I had my first encounter with erectile dysfunction when I was in my late 20’s. I was not able to get an erection while I was with a woman (despite several efforts), the woman got hurt and upset, and I was left dumbfounded. It was probably the most embarrassing and confidence-shattering experience I have ever had.

After it happened repeatedly, I got desperate to find a solution. I was still angry and mad at the world, and I was determined to find a quick fix. My first port of call was to search online for sexual performance remedies. At the time, there was a lot less information available than there is today, but I found a few articles that spoke warmly about an herb used for thousands of years called gingko biloba. It was supposedly a great supplement that would help me get and stay rock hard. It sounded like its success was almost guaranteed. So I went ahead and bought a bottle of gingko biloba capsules.

I took two capsules a day, as instructed by the label, and had high hopes that I would never ever have any troubles getting erections again. I waited in anticipation. But nothing happened. There was no effect, not even a sliver of improvement. Complete failure. My first experiment with an herbal remedy was a big disappointment. My frustrations grew.

After this, I started reading, studying and educating myself about erectile dysfunction and libido problems. I really wanted to understand what was happening to my body and I became even more desperate to find a solution. From time to time, I came across rave reviews or articles about herbal remedies. I discarded most of them because of my initial failure, but I also got intrigued from time to time. 

#
#

About a year after my initial failure, I decided to give it another go. This time, I bought eight different tinctures of herbal mixture potions that were claimed to have fantastic effects on both sexual desire and performance. My hopes were sky-high as the information from the manufacturer was utterly convincing. I followed instructions faithfully and again waited in excitement for the effects. But nothing happened. Not a hint of an effect. I threw away all the tinctures in frustration. 

Although I had experienced nothing but failure so far, a part of me was still convinced that there had to be something to these herbal remedies. After all, they had been used for thousands of years across several different cultures and there were many anecdotes and stories of success. People had been telling and writing about the effects of these for ages. It couldn’t all be a hoax, could it?

I kept repeating these experiments a few times. I tried new and different herbal supplements, but was left in disappointment as the effect would never come. Then I temporarily gave up. Then I tried something new a little later, but failed again. I started suspecting that all supplements were probably a scam designed to take unsuspecting people’s money. Until one day.

One day my eyes lit up as I saw a tiny ray of hope. I had purchased a number of different supplements and tried them one by one, this time in capsule form. And one of these supplements gave me a little something. The herb was called Tribulus Terrestris

The effect was subtle, but there was something. I was intrigued. This was new! The effect was not able to produce an increase in libido or restore erectile functioning by any means, but I felt a tiny bit of increased sensation from sex. It was like the pleasure from sex was a tiny bit amplified. A little bit more intense. I tried several times to replicate the results. It sometimes worked but sometimes didn’t. Although this supplement had some sporadic effect, and gave me very encouraging feedback, it was not able to help me with my problems, and I once again put the supplements away.

I later also had a similar experience with an herb called Horny Goat Weed. I took the capsules twice a day as recommended, and I again felt a slight change in the sensations from sex. It was as subtle as the effect I had experienced from Tribulus Terrestris. However subtle, there was again something, and it was exciting and encouraging. But just as with Tribulus Terrestris, this was neither able to help with my sexual health problems, and I again put the supplements away.

After fighting a battle to restore a faltering libido and to fix erectile dysfunction for more than 10 years, I came to a turning point. I came to a turning point in the way I was approaching my problems. I had tried lots of different things, but my efforts had been inconsistent and unsystematic. I had also gotten to a point where pharmaceutical drugs didn’t have much of an effect on me anymore – my body had built up tolerance toward them and they just didn’t work reliably. I then decided that it was time for a change. It was time to step things up as I was absolute desperate to solve my sexual problems.

#
#

I started measuring everything, got blood tests done, became systematic and meticulous about everything, documented what I did, discarded what had no success and explored further what had some success, kept score of the results, etc. One key thing I did was to zoom in on the actions of the past that had yielded a little bit of success. I then wanted to dig deep to try find out whether this little success could be expanded and turned into something that could yield even more success.

I had in the past had a tiny bit of success with the herbs Tribulus Terrestris and Horny Goat Weed. So I wanted to explore these more fully. I had a suspicion that the stuff I had taken in the past was simply not potent enough. So I decided to get some stronger stuff. I started off by buying a high grade Horny Goat Weed extract. It contained icariin extracted to 50% in loose powder form. It was significantly more expensive than any herb I had bought in the past and I had high hopes that this was going to be the real deal. I took 250 mg of this extract mixed in a cup of water twice a day, as I had been recommended. But I saw no material effect. Nothing happened. I was again despaired.

At this point, I was close to giving up. But I also wanted to try Tribulus Terrestris before letting go of my hopes entirely. I bought a high grade version of Tribulus Terrestris, containing saponins extracted to 90%. But instead of taking a small dose (like the 250 mg dose of Horny Goat Weed) religiously twice a day, I decided to try something different. I decided to go with a high dose before sex. So one day, about an hour before having sex, I took a half-topped table spoon of Tribulus Terrestris (about 7 grams), mixed it in a cup of water and drank it up. 

My goodness..! The effect was astonishing! Nothing short of absolutely amazing! This was beyond what I had hoped for in my wildest dreams.

Not only was I rock hard throughout the entire session, but the sexual sensations were blissful! The pleasurable sensations were magnified! The sensations were on a different scale! This was beyond what I knew existed! It was simply amazing!

I had finally found an herb that worked! What an epiphany! I was stunned at what I had just discovered. I could not believe what had just happened. After having tried so many herbs in all kinds of forms, I had actually finally found something that worked! At that moment, I might have just been the happiest man on planet earth!

I tried the same thing again and again, and it worked. I then went on to experiment with other supplements in a similar way. I purchased other high grade products, took a large dose about an hour before sex and documented what effects they had on me. At the same time I would also educate myself about the supplements, try to understand how they worked, which pathways they were supposed to work through, what effects they should have on me, safety, etc. I have through this experimentation found several supplements that have given me fantastic experiences and benefits.

And I am still experimenting with new supplements. I plan on adding new herbal (and potentially non-herbal) supplements to Truelibido as and when I have sufficiently tested new ones and I am happy with the results.

#
#

During the span of about 10 years, I have purchased a plethora of supplements in capsules, tinctures, lose powder, tea or the original leaf or root. My experience is that most of these supplements are a waste of money. One key reason for this is that the quality of most of the supplements, at least the ones I have tried, has been inadequate or simply poor. A second reason is that at the recommended dosage (or what I have seen as the recommended dosage), even of the higher quality products, there isn’t enough of the stuff to produce the desirable effect, at least for me. A third reason, is that taking supplements faithfully every day and far in advance of sex, at least for me, did not have much effect.

I have read several articles and blogs that claim that in order to get the desired effects from these herbal and other supplements, one should take them consistently over time, increase the dose gently and adjust the body to the effects of the supplements. Many of these articles say that the effects of an herb will not normally be felt immediately, but only after weeks of use. 

That is not the experience I have had. Taking them consistently over time and hours in advance before sexual activity has not given me much or any desirable results. That said, I am not discarding any effects from long-term, steady use, and I am intending to try this out further and will report any interesting findings on Truelibido. It is possible, that the effects from long-term, steady use are the adaptogenic effects that many herbs have, meaning they restore general imbalances in the body. Also, many research studies indicate that steady and long-term use is beneficial, so I believe there has to be something to it. 

I have made one very interesting discovery from my experiments with herbal remedies in particular. And that is that if my body is significantly out of balance, herbal remedies normally have little or no effect. For instance, if I have been very stressed, if my diet has been awful, or if I have not slept enough, I have normally not experienced much (or any) effect from herbal remedies. 

Therefore, I am trying to be kind to my body (and mind) by giving it what it needs in order to be in balance. This includes sleeping enough, exercising, eating well, not stressing, giving myself some sun exposure, etc. But it also means making sure I give my body the nutrients it needs.

As I have mentioned on the diet page on Truelibido, I start the day with blending together several vegetables and fruits, adding protein powder, bee pollen, chia seeds, etc. I do this because this breakfast contains a large amount of vitaminsmineralsfatty acidsamino acidsphytonutrientsantioxidants, etc. that are essential for a well-functioning body. Without these essential nutrients, the body and mind don’t have the fuel to run the body optimally. Also, without these nutrients, nor do the body and mind have the optimal building materials for building and maintaining the body and mind to ensure they are in tip top shape.  To learn more about my experience with diets on Truelibido, please go here

With today’s modern diet and lifestyle, it is very common to be deficient of several vitaminsminerals or other nutrients. In fact, it is not particularly common to have a body sufficiently stocked with all these nutrients. Research studies have shown that it is particularly common to be deficient of one or more of the following:

#
#
Vitamin AVitamin CIodine
Vitamin B12Vitamin DIron
Folate (B vitamin)Vitamin EMagnesium
Niacin (B vitamin)Vitamin K2Potassium
Thiamine (B vitamin)CalciumZinc

Most of these nutrients can be supplied from foods by eating healthy and having a diverse diet (adequate levels of vitamin D however, typically need to be provided by the sun). In the event all these nutrients cannot be supplied from foods (or the sun), they can be provided from supplements. Ideally I much prefer to get these nutrients directly from foods, as the original source will typically always be better than a synthetic source. Also, with foods from the natural source, I will typically also get other healthy ingredients such as phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, etc. However, given that it is very hard to cover all bases with foods, I am OK with resorting to supplements.

Therefore, every day I take a multi-vitamin formula containing most or all of the essential vitamins and minerals I need. I also take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when the skin is exposed to UVB sunrays. Some vitamin D can also be obtained via foods, bit only smaller amounts. Given that I don’t get much direct sun exposure, I also take vitamin D to ensure I get enough of this vitamin. To learn more about my experience with the sun and vitamin D on Truelibido, please go here.

Vitamin B12 is another vitamin I take. This vitamin is present mostly in meat and dairy, and because I hardly consume meat and dairy, I also supplement with vitamin B12. I also take a supplement containing zinc in periods when I exercise significantly, as the body flushes out substantial amounts of zinc through perspiration during exercise. I also get little zinc via my diet. Lastly, I also take fish oil. I probably don’t eat enough fish and other foods containing omega 3 fatty acids and therefore supplement with this.

When I have provided my body with these nutrients and the body is in balance, my experience is that the other and often more complex supplements, such as herbal remedies, can have phenomenal effects. And the effects are larger than just helping with erectile dysfunction.

In fact, I have derived three different benefits from these supplements. Some of the supplements have given me all of the benefits, and some have only produced one or two. The three effects I have experienced are:

  • An increase in sex drive. When I take certain of these supplements, I often have more sexual energy, a higher libido and I think about sex more frequently.
  • Easier, harder and longer lasting erections. When I take some of the supplements, I often get erections just by having a sexual thought, and if there is any stimulation, I typically get super hard and persistent erections.
  • An increase in the sensation from sexual stimulation. Some of these supplements also significantly amplify and expand the pleasurable sensations from sexual activity.
#
#

Is it safe to take these supplements in the doses that I have been using? Normally, this would be a half-topped tablespoon, or about 7 grams. The answer is that I don’t know. I am not a doctor and I can’t say for sure “yes, it’s safe”. Neither can I say “no, it’s unsafe”. What I can say is that I have personally never had any bad reactions from any of the supplements I have taken. I have noticed no-side effects, no unwanted reaction or nothing negative.

However, please understand that this is my personal experience to date. This may be different for other people, and I may also have negative reactions in the future. I am by no means saying that herbal remedies do not have side effects.


Research Studies

Adimoelja A. Phytochemicals and the breakthrough of traditional herbs in the management of sexual dysfunctions. Int J Androl 2000; 23:82-84.

Bella AJ, Shamloul R. Traditional plant aphrodisiacs and male sexual dysfunction. Phytother Res. 2014 Jun; 28(6):831-5.

Bourre JM. Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients. J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct; 10(5):377-85.

Chauhan NS, Sharma V, Dixit VK, Thakur M. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:868062. DOI: 10.1155/2014/868062.

Dickson JM, Naylor G, Colver G, Powers HJ, Masters P. Multiple vitamin deficiencies in a patient with a history of chronic alcohol excess and self-neglect in the UK. BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Sep 22; 2014. PII: bcr2014204523. DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2014-204523.

Drewes SE, George J, Khan F. Recent findings on natural products with erectile-dysfunction activity. Phytochemistry 2003; 62:1019-1025.

Ernst E, Posadzki P, Lee MS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction in older men and women: an overview of systematic reviews. Maturitas. 2011 Sep; 70(1):37-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.06.011.

Ernst E. The risk-benefit profile of commonly used herbal therapies: Ginkgo, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Kava. Ann Intern Med. 2002 Jan 1; 136(1):42-53.

Gil M, Głodek E, Rudy M. Evaluation of the dietary intake of vitamins and minerals in the daily food rations by the students of the Rzeszów University. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(4):441-6.

Guirguis WR. Oral treatment of erectile dysfunction: from herbal remedies to designer drugs. J Sex Marital Ther 1998; 24:69-73.

Ho CC, Tan HM. Rise of herbal and traditional medicine in erectile dysfunction management. Curr Urol Rep. 2011 Dec; 12(6):470-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11934-011-0217.

#
#

Kennedy ET, Bowman SA, Spence JT, Freedman M, King J. Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity. J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Apr; 101(4):411-20.

Leblanc JC, Yoon H, Kombadjian A, Verger P. Nutritional intakes of vegetarian populations in France. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 May; 54(5):443-9.

MacKay, D. Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: Examining the evidence. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Mar; 9(1):4-16.

Malviya N, Jain S, Gupta VB, Vyas S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction–a review. Acta Pol Pharm. 2011 Jan-Feb; 68(1):3-8.

Moyad MA. Dietary supplements and other alternative medicines for erectile dysfunction. What do I tell my patients? Urol Clin North Am. 2002 Feb; 29(1):11-22, vii.

Neufeld LM, Jalal CS, Peña-Rosas JP, Tovey D, Lutter CK, Stoltzfus RJ, Habicht JP. The WHO evidence-informed guideline development process and implications for vitamin and mineral research priorities: symposium rationale and summary. Adv Nutr. 2013 Sep 1; 4(5):557-9. DOI: 10.3945/an.113.004291.

Pratap SA, Rajender S. Potent natural aphrodisiacs for the management of erectile dysfunction and male sexual debilities. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1; 4:167-80.

Rowland DL, Tai W. A review of plant-derived and herbal approaches to the treatment of sexual dysfunctions. J Sex Marital Ther. 2003 May-Jun; 29(3):185-205.

Shamloul R. Natural aphrodisiacs. J Sex Med. 2010 Jan; 7(1 Pt 1):39-49. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01521.

Shatenstein B, Nadon S, Godin C, Ferland G. Diet quality of Montreal-area adults needs improvement: estimates from a self-administered food frequency questionnaire furnishing a dietary indicator score. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Aug; 105(8):1251-60.

Tamler R, Mechanick JI. Dietary supplements and nutraceuticals in the management of andrologic disorders. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2007 Jun; 36(2):533-52.

Watanabe R, Hanamori K, Kadoya H, Nishimuta M, Miyazaki H. Nutritional intakes in community-dwelling older Japanese adults: high intakes of energy and protein based on high consumption of fish, vegetables and fruits provide sufficient micronutrients. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2004 Jun; 50(3):184-95.

 

#
Comments Off on Supplements

Comments are closed.