A Panoramic View of Medicinal Plants Traditionally Applied for Impotence and Erectile Dysfunction in Persian Medicine

J Tradit Complement Med. 2018 Sep 29;10(1):7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.08.008. eCollection 2020 Jan.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence are common male sexual problems, and they are highly prevalent in male adults with a history of hypertension or diabetes mellitus. This review aims to bring together the standpoints of the early Persian physicians on these disorders and to identify the respective medication in comparison with conventional contemporary medicine. The main medical and pharmaceutical manuscripts of traditional Persian medicine (TPM) are from 9th-18th century AD. Besides the medieval findings, the current knowledge on ED and impotence, and the related effects of the cited medicinal herbs were studied. In the medieval and traditional literature, male potency is called bāh. According to the TPM approaches, the first step in the mitigation of impotence focuses on the treatment of the main body organs including the heart, brain, and liver. The TPM approaches for diagnosis and treatment include the evaluation of the quality of semen, sexual habit, and quality of urine. The treatment strategies in TPM involve lifestyle modification and prescription of natural medicaments. Many medicinal herbs have been traditionally used for the mitigation of impotency. There could be numerous possibilities for bringing out new natural medicaments with aphrodisiac effects supported by the early medical literature.

Keywords: Erectile dysfunction; Herbal medicine; Impotence; Persia.

Publication types

  • Review