Touted as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction, Rhodiola rosea is a perennial flowering plant found in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia.
Its first recorded medical use was in 77 C.E. by the Greek physician Dioscorides, who recorded that it is “useful for those aggrieved with headaches”. Since then, it has been picked up in traditional Russian and Scandinavian medicine and has been rumoured to help treat everything from high altitude sickness to nervous system disorders.
But the evidence supporting these claims - especially the proclamation that it can help treat ED - is incredibly sparse.
We get to the bottom of whether Rhodiola rosea has any real benefits for ED - or if its “erection-boosting ability” is just an old wives’ tale.
Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea for erectile dysfunction
While there are a plethora of anecdotes about Rhodiola rosea’s ability to treat erectile dysfunction, there is very little scientific evidence available to back these claims up. As it stands, there is no documented research into the exact biological effect Rhodiola rosea has on erections.
A few small studies have attempted to show Rhodiola rosea’s effect on erections, but these studies - as explicitly stated by the European Medicines Agency have - are of exceptionally low quality.
For example, one study (consisting of only 40 people) reported that 75% of participants given Rhodiola Rosea for one month experienced enhanced sexual function. However, the study does not state whether the patients involved even had erectile dysfunction.
Another small study appeared to show that 74% of men with ED and/or premature ejectulation reported improved sexual function after being treated with Rhodiola rosea for three months.
However, the data leaves us scratching our heads - as it is difficult to tell how effective Rhodiola rosa really is based on the data given to us. Since the study was carried out on people with ED and/or premature ejeculation, it is impossible to tell from the data how successful it is for treating erectile dysfunction alone.
Therefore, based on current scientific evidence (or lack thereof), it is not possible to confidently endorse the rumoured benefits of Rhodiola rosea for ED.
Side-effects of Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is believed to be relatively safe, but like many other ‘natural’ ED remedies it has some side-effects you should be aware of, including:
- Minor/serious headache
- Increased blood pressure
- Chest pain
As always, consult your doctor before attempting to take any ‘natural’ erectile dysfunction remedy to ensure it is safe for you to take and does not interact with any existing medication.
The bottom line
Despite its rumoured ability to treat erectile dysfunction, there is no robust evidence to support Rhodiola rosea’s ability to restore erectile function.
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