Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction

Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction
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What are the effects of both oral and topical application of the spice saffron for impotence in men?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The spice saffron has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac. It has been shown to improve Prozac-induced sexual dysfunction in women, and men—significantly improving erectile function. If it works for drug-induced dysfunction, might it work for just regular erectile dysfunction?

Why not just use pills, like Viagra? They can work, but many men stop using them due to, for example, “adverse side-effects.” Nearly half of men decide the cons outweigh the pros. For men that don’t like drugs, there’s always surgery—the implantation of “penile prosthetic[s].” Unbelievably, “[p]enile implant usage [evidently] dates [back] to the 16th century. Early experiments involved transplanting a guy’s rib cartilage, or their actual rib, into their penis. Thankfully, space-age technologies in the 60s allowed men to keep their ribcages intact. Originally, the implants left men in a “permanently erect state,” but then the “Flexirod” was invented, with a hinge in the middle, so the guy could like bend it down in half “for improved concealment.” Of course, proper sizing is important. If the implants are too small, there can be drooping at the tip, leading to what’s called a “supersonic transport…deformity.” Why? “Because …its resemblance to the nose of [the] Concorde” jet. Whereas “[o]verlong prostheses can also be a problem,…with the semi-rigid rods [eroding out of the penis].” Although they “generally perforate…into the urethra, [the rods] can also extrude through the [tip] or []the shaft.” Ouch.

Now, there are inflatable devices, and perhaps one day there will be “expandable foams that respond to external magnetic fields,” or metal mesh technology “that could expand and retract in a cage-like fashion.” And, you thought it was hard to get through airport security now.

There’s got to be a better way. Twenty men with erectile dysfunction were followed for ten days taking 200 mg of saffron a day—that’s about a quarter teaspoon. But first, they were brought into “the RigiScan room,” where they were hooked up to a computer-controlled, battery-powered system for recording of penile tumescence, meaning swelling and rigidity. You can hook men up and have them watch a VHS video tape, though use of the device is controversial—described as an “expensive, complicated, and time-consuming effort.” But after the ten days of taking saffron, there did appear to be a significant improvement in tip and base rigidity and tumescence. “Whether it’s possible to replace [Viagra-type drugs] with this golden plant [will require] further research with a bigger sample size.” But, it’s not just size that matters; they didn’t use a control; so, this could have all just been one big placebo effect.

Finally, though, a head-to-head challenge—saffron versus Viagra. Now, normally, there’s a third group—a placebo group—as well. But evidently, they felt it would be unethical to let men go 12 weeks without an effective treatment. The saffron appeared safer—significantly fewer side effects, like severe “headaches,…hot flushes,…nasal congestion…and nausea,” but not effective at all. So, that’s why I never did a video on the subject—it just doesn’t seem to help.

But, maybe it’s because they made the mistake of taking the saffron orally, as opposed to rubbing it on their penis. The effects of topical saffron on erectile dysfunction. About half of middle-aged men appear to suffer; so, how about a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. “[A] gel containing 1% saffron,” or, instead of saffron, a gel containing a little “golden yellow food color[ing],” so they looked the same. Though presumably, half the penises smelled like paella; I guess they didn’t control for that. “Both groups were trained to rub a pea-sized amount of the gel on their penis half an hour before…sexual intercourse,” and then were re-assessed a month later. And, compared to the food coloring gel, the saffron did lead to significant improvements in function, and desire, and overall satisfaction. They attribute the effects to a compound in saffron that evidently enhances nitric oxide production in the arteries. But, if that’s the case, then probably better to treat the cause, and prevent the vascular dysfunction in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: sharonang via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The spice saffron has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac. It has been shown to improve Prozac-induced sexual dysfunction in women, and men—significantly improving erectile function. If it works for drug-induced dysfunction, might it work for just regular erectile dysfunction?

Why not just use pills, like Viagra? They can work, but many men stop using them due to, for example, “adverse side-effects.” Nearly half of men decide the cons outweigh the pros. For men that don’t like drugs, there’s always surgery—the implantation of “penile prosthetic[s].” Unbelievably, “[p]enile implant usage [evidently] dates [back] to the 16th century. Early experiments involved transplanting a guy’s rib cartilage, or their actual rib, into their penis. Thankfully, space-age technologies in the 60s allowed men to keep their ribcages intact. Originally, the implants left men in a “permanently erect state,” but then the “Flexirod” was invented, with a hinge in the middle, so the guy could like bend it down in half “for improved concealment.” Of course, proper sizing is important. If the implants are too small, there can be drooping at the tip, leading to what’s called a “supersonic transport…deformity.” Why? “Because …its resemblance to the nose of [the] Concorde” jet. Whereas “[o]verlong prostheses can also be a problem,…with the semi-rigid rods [eroding out of the penis].” Although they “generally perforate…into the urethra, [the rods] can also extrude through the [tip] or []the shaft.” Ouch.

Now, there are inflatable devices, and perhaps one day there will be “expandable foams that respond to external magnetic fields,” or metal mesh technology “that could expand and retract in a cage-like fashion.” And, you thought it was hard to get through airport security now.

There’s got to be a better way. Twenty men with erectile dysfunction were followed for ten days taking 200 mg of saffron a day—that’s about a quarter teaspoon. But first, they were brought into “the RigiScan room,” where they were hooked up to a computer-controlled, battery-powered system for recording of penile tumescence, meaning swelling and rigidity. You can hook men up and have them watch a VHS video tape, though use of the device is controversial—described as an “expensive, complicated, and time-consuming effort.” But after the ten days of taking saffron, there did appear to be a significant improvement in tip and base rigidity and tumescence. “Whether it’s possible to replace [Viagra-type drugs] with this golden plant [will require] further research with a bigger sample size.” But, it’s not just size that matters; they didn’t use a control; so, this could have all just been one big placebo effect.

Finally, though, a head-to-head challenge—saffron versus Viagra. Now, normally, there’s a third group—a placebo group—as well. But evidently, they felt it would be unethical to let men go 12 weeks without an effective treatment. The saffron appeared safer—significantly fewer side effects, like severe “headaches,…hot flushes,…nasal congestion…and nausea,” but not effective at all. So, that’s why I never did a video on the subject—it just doesn’t seem to help.

But, maybe it’s because they made the mistake of taking the saffron orally, as opposed to rubbing it on their penis. The effects of topical saffron on erectile dysfunction. About half of middle-aged men appear to suffer; so, how about a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. “[A] gel containing 1% saffron,” or, instead of saffron, a gel containing a little “golden yellow food color[ing],” so they looked the same. Though presumably, half the penises smelled like paella; I guess they didn’t control for that. “Both groups were trained to rub a pea-sized amount of the gel on their penis half an hour before…sexual intercourse,” and then were re-assessed a month later. And, compared to the food coloring gel, the saffron did lead to significant improvements in function, and desire, and overall satisfaction. They attribute the effects to a compound in saffron that evidently enhances nitric oxide production in the arteries. But, if that’s the case, then probably better to treat the cause, and prevent the vascular dysfunction in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: sharonang via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Those who want to clean out all their arteries and treat the cause may want to check out my video Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death. What about Viagra and Cancer? Watch the video to find out.

The other video I mentioned earlier was Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction. I have a few others on the golden spice:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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