Herbal treatment of erectile dysfunction not yet established – Dr Subramanian


The incidence of erectile dysfunction is high, globally, including Nigeria, according to experts. A senior consultant urologist with 35 years of experience, and specialty in kidney transplantation, robotic surgery, at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi in India, Dr Narasimhan Subramanian talks to WINIFRED OGBEBO on the worrying case of the predominantly male disease.

What exactly constitutes Erectile Dysfunction in men’s reproductive health?

The inability to achieve and maintain a normal erection adequate for penetration implies erectile dysfunction. A delay in achieving erection or inability to maintain erection will also imply erectile dysfunction.

What are the immediate and extreme symptoms of erectile dysfunction?

The immediate and extreme symptoms of erectile dysfunction(ED) include complete loss of erection and often acute psychological distress and gradual loss of desire for sexual activity.

Is Erectile Dysfunction peculiar to only those that have diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, peripheral vascular diseases etc. and give reasons for these?

Erectile dysfunction may occur under various circumstances ranging from spinal injuries, neurological and psychological dysfunctions and often without any identifiable cause. However, it’s far more frequently seen in diabetics and to some extent in those with cardio vascular diseases, hypertension and peripheral vascular disease. The effect on the nerves and consequently on the blood vessels leading to poor blood flow seems to be the primary reason.

In Africa, plants and herbs have served as dependable and ever ready source of medicines for the treatment of chronic erectile dysfunction among the underclass people, and there has been claims of potency of these alternative medicine. This really pitches the traditional method against orthodox treatment of the disease. To what extent would you support the use of alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction?

Various plant products and herbal medications have often been reported to produce good results. However, there are no controlled studies comparing those with established allopathic medicines or with placebo.

What is the root cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

The root cause of erectile dysfunction is inadequate inflow of blood or derangement of mechanisms which enable the blood to be held in the specified area of the penis. Many of the reasons are as indicated in the answer number 3.

What advice will you give to people suffering from Erectile Dysfunction and preventive action to be taken to overcome it?

The advice given to people suffering from erectile dysfunction, include; assessment of blood sugar, cardio vascular assessment, measurement of hormones like testosterone and prolactin. A psychological evaluation will often benefit those who suffer from performance anxiety. Depression is often seen as an accompanying factor of erectile dysfunction in many people. A detailed evaluation of one’s medication is also important. Smoking and excessive drinking are both known to have significant adverse impact on erectile dysfunction.

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