Somehow, the herbal supplement industry has convinced us all that herbs are safer, kinder, gentler alternatives to pharmaceuticals. But let's not forget that Socrates died from a cup of hemlock and that the wrong kind of mushroom can send you on a trip from which you might not return.
So, even though the ads might promise you a "completely safe and natural" way to enhance your penile performance, you'll want to think twice as you consider the side effects of certain herbs.
Horny goat weed is one particular herb that's cropping up in health food store displays, where it's touted as a Chinese sexual tonic. It even shows up on the shelves of convenience stores in energy drinks. The problem is that when used over long periods or in high doses, it can cause vomiting, nosebleed or heart arrhythmias. Not quite a recipe for romance.
Ginkgo biloba is another popular herb used in cases of impotence, and some studies have shown that it helps men with impotence by dilating blood vessels. However, it can increase the risk of internal bleeding or extended bleeding, so it's vital to avoid using it before any surgery or if you're already taking blood-thinning medication.
Another natural substance that has gotten some attention for helping men with low testosterone is Dehydroepiandrosterone, more commonly known as DHEA. Unfortunately, it can alter the body's natural balance of sex hormones like testosterone and can cause acne, which might not make it best for a boost in the bedroom.