Purpose: We investigated the efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Function, RigiScan (UroHealth Systems, Laguna Niguel, California), hormonal levels and penile duplex ultrasonography with audiovisual sexual stimulation.
Materials and methods: A total of 45 patients with clinically diagnosed erectile dysfunction were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study (8 weeks on treatment, 2 weeks of washout and 8 weeks on treatment) in which the effects of Korean red ginseng and a vehicle placebo were compared using multiple variables. The ginseng dose was 900 mg. 3 times daily.
Results: Mean International Index of Erectile Function scores were significantly higher in patients treated with Korean red ginseng than in those who received placebo (baseline 28.0 +/- 16.7 and 38.1 +/- 16.6 versus 30.9 +/- 15.7, p <0.01). Scores on questions 3 (penetration) and 4 (maintenance) were significantly higher in the ginseng than in the placebo group (p <0.01). In response to the global efficacy question 60% of the patients answered that Korean red ginseng improved erection (p <0.01). Among other variables penile tip rigidity on RigiScan showed significant improvement for ginseng versus placebo.
Conclusions: Our data show that Korean red ginseng can be as effective alternative for treating male erectile dysfunction.