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Erectile dysfunction health centre


BMJ Group Medical Reference


This information is for men who have erection problems. It tells you about ginseng, a treatment used for erection problems. It is based on the best and most up-to-date research.

Does it work?

Maybe. Ginseng may help you get an erection and have sex. But there's not enough evidence to be sure that it works.

What is it?

Ginseng is a traditional herbal remedy from Asia. The type of ginseng that has been studied for erection problems is called Korean red ginseng. It's sold as capsules in health food shops and some pharmacies.

In the study we looked at, men took 900 milligrams of ginseng three times a day. But it's sold in lots of different strengths. You need to check the pack to see how often you should take it.

The recommended dose is 500 milligrams to 2 grams a day.

How can it help?

Taking ginseng may: [103]

  • Help you get an erection

  • Increase your desire to have sex

  • Help you get an erection firm enough and long-lasting enough to have sex.

In one study, 6 in 10 men said ginseng helped them have better erections. [103] But the study was quite small. It only looked at 45 men, so it may not be completely reliable.

How does it work?

We don't really know why ginseng may help men with erection problems. It has been used in traditional herbal medicine in Asia for many years.

Can it be harmful?

Ginseng doesn't seem to have any harmful effects at the recommended dose. But the study we found didn't look at side effects.

However, ginseng can interfere with some medicines. For example, it may make your blood sugar too low if you're taking certain drugs for diabetes. It can also make warfarin and other blood-thinning drugs not work as well as they should. So it's best to talk with your doctor before trying ginseng if you're taking any prescription medicines.

How good is the research on ginseng?

There isn't much evidence to show that ginseng works for erection problems.

We found just one good-quality study that involved 45 men. [104] Men in the study found ginseng was helpful. But the study was quite small, so it may not be completely reliable.



Diabetes is a condition that causes too much sugar (glucose) to circulate in the blood. It happens when the body stops making a hormone called insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when insulin stops working (type 2 diabetes).

For more terms related to Erection problems


For references related to Erection problems click here.
Last Updated: August 15, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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