Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Viagra Alternatives: 5 Myths About Natural Male Enhancement Aids

They Do What They Say They'll Do

According to the Mayo Clinic, "no reputable scientific research endorses or supports any type of nonsurgical penis enlargement." Furthermore, the FDA has never approved a pill or device for enlarging the penis.

That's because they don't work.

Instead, in all of those e-mail ads you get, promoters rely on anecdotal evidence and flat-out untruths to sell their products. Some promise inches, some promise ecstasy and all promise to take your money.

There are promoters making money off information. You pay for their eBook, which will detail a questionably ancient method (allegedly from Persia) that claims to grow your penis after you practice a stretching technique for 30 minutes a day.

Scientists say that if you could actually stretch your penis, you'd reduce the strength of your erections. Penile chambers aren't meant to be stretched; they're meant to remain tight, providing rigidity to the penis when filled with blood.

That's the size scam. What about performance-enhancing pills and herbs? Even the FDA-approved drug yohimbine, which is derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree, doesn't have solid scientific research backing it. The American Urological Association found that they couldn't definitively say how well yohimbine worked in treating ED, while another study found that the drug worked no better than a placebo [source: American Cancer Society].

If the biggest damage caused by male enhancement drugs is to your bank account, you're lucky. But as we'll see next, some herbs can actually do damage to more than just self-esteem.