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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Responds to Treatment With Korean Red Ginseng
By NEW YORK (Reuters Health)
Dec 12, 2002, 9:07pm

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More than half of men with erectile dysfunction in a preliminary study reported improved erection while taking Korean red ginseng, investigators in Korea report in the Journal of Urology for November.

Dr. Bumsik Hong, of the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, and colleagues enrolled 45 patients, mean age 54, in their double-blind, cross-over study. The authors describe this cohort as having "significantly severe erectile dysfunction." The trial included two 8-week treatment periods with ginseng 900 mg or placebo
t.i.d., with a 2-week washout period in between. When questioned about global efficacy, 27 patients (60%) reported that ginseng improved erection. Nine (20%) reported that placebo led to improvement and two that both treatments were effective. Seven patients observed no improvement during either treatment period. According to the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF),
mean score after ginseng treatment was 38.13 versus 28.0 at baseline and 30.92 following placebo treatment (p < 0.01). RigiScan analysis revealed that penile tip rigidity following audiovisual stimulation improved significantly with ginseng treatment (p < 0.05).Changes in penile base rigidity, tumescence, and velocity of the cavernous artery according to duplex ultrasonography did not differ significantly from baseline or according to treatment, the report indicates.

Dr. Hong's team suggests that the observed improvements represent clinically relevant success. They conclude, "Considering that some patients with erectile dysfunction are reluctant to depend on a drug
to achieve erection, Korean red ginseng could be used as an alternative remedy with its multiple beneficial effects on health."

J Urol 2002;168:2070-2073.

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