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Erectile dysfunction

ED is a common disease which affects about half of men aging from 40 to 70 years in the west. In this condition, various alternative or complementary therapies are being investigated to increase the curative effect for ED, with Chinese medicine at the forefront of this trend.

In TICM, the fluids and blood in human bodies are produced and distributed by Qi, a vital energy permeating the whole universe. Qi is generated from the interaction between Yin (cool) and Yang (warm). It flows through meridians in human bodies and nourishes the organs. Besides, Qi is responsible for enhancing the immune system and protecting the body from external pathogens. Each organ has its own Qi that maintains its normal function. From the perspective of TCM, an organ is not an existing entity but a theoretical construct with a certain function. Even though the organs in TICM have the same name with the organs in Western medicine, they refer to different things with different functions.

Kidney and liver are the two primary organs related to ED in the TICM understanding. The Kidney stores the essence, while Liver stores blood. Essence can be recognised as a power that is responsible for growth, development, and reproduction. Besides, it participates in the generation of blood and can enhance immunity. In addition to storing blood, liver can modulate blood volume and maintain the flow of blood. Sexual and reproductive functions are also under the control of Liver. Thereby, Kidney and Liver are two important organs with a wide range of functions in TICM. Both the essence and blood belong to Yin in nature; hence the Kidney and Liver are thought to be of the same source. The weakness of one organ usually leads to the imbalance of the other one. The diagnosis of disease in TICM lies in identifying patterns of disharmony, which is also called syndrome differentiation. ED commonly involves the Kidney or Liver patterns of disharmony, such as Kidney yin vacuity, kidney Yang vacuity and binding depression of Liver Qi. Recognising the relationship among the organs involved in ED is critical for making an effective therapy plan. Information from PMID: 2854022

How TICM can help:

Nourish the Kidney and Liver systems. Kidney and Liver are the two primary organs related to ED in the TICM understanding. The Kidney stores the essence we call "Jing", while Liver stores Blood. Lifestyle habits like poor nutrition, drug abuse, high levels of stress, too much sexual activity and high consumption of alcohol can drain Jing. Other signs that Jing is draining too quickly is hair loss, knee, and back pain. To combat this, go to bed early, avoid drugs and alcohol, exercise, meditate, eat whole and nourishing foods, get acupuncture, use herbs, balance emotional health, and or stress.

Foods that especially nurture the Kidney system: beans, black sesame seeds, dark leafy greens, sardines, organ meats, oysters, wild salmon, wheat grass, seaweed, bone broth, walnuts, miso, soups, stews. Ginger powder boosts circulation and Blood flow to increase libido.

Rou Cong-Rong also known as Cistanche is the most important herb for improve sexual function in traditional medicine. Cistanche is one of the main components in Cappra®, the bestselling sexual enhancement supplement in Thailand, which was shown to improve erection in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study of Thai males with mild erectile dysfunction.

Multiple studies have shown that Cistanche may help:

Improve reproductive dysfunction and testis injury by regulating testosterone synthesis.

Shorten erectile latency and prolong erectile duration.

Attenuate poor sperm quality and testicular toxicity.

Increase sperm quantity.

Increase sex hormone levels.

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