Aim: To examine the treatment efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) in impotent men with erectile dysfunction (ED).
Methods: A total of 60 patients presenting mild or mild to moderate ED were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which the efficacies of KRG and a placebo were compared. The patients received either 1,000 mg (3 times daily) of KRG or a placebo.
Results: The five-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) score after the treatment was significantly higher in the KRG group compared with that before the treatment (from 16.4 +/- 2.9 to 21.0 +/- 6.3, P < 0.0001). In contrast, there was no difference before and after the treatment in the placebo group (from 17.0 +/- 3.1 to 17.7 +/- 5.6, P > 0.05). In the KRG group, 20 patients (66.6%), reported improved erection, significant in the global efficacy question (P < 0.01); in the placebo group there was no significance. Scores on questions 2 (rigidity), 3 (penetration), 4 and 5 (maintenance), were significantly higher for KRG than those for the placebo when those questions were answered after 12 weeks of each treatment (P < 0.01). When the score in the KRG group was compared to the placebo group after the treatment, there was a significant improvement in total score (IIEF-5 score) in questions 3 and 5 for the KRG-treated group (P < 0.001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). The levels of serum testosterone, prolactine and cholesterol after the treatment were not statistically significant different between the KRG and the placebo group (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Our data show that KRG can be an effective alternative to the invasive approaches for treating male ED.