Herbal "Man Power" Formulas

Viagra has certainly made its mark, and Pfizer's making a fortune.  As is always the case, when a drug finds popularity, supplement sellers come out of the woodwork selling "herbal alternatives."  Most "Herbal Viagra" offerings are combinations of vitamins, amino acids, and Yohimbe, and while they work by a very different mechanism than Viagra (and should not be referenced using a drug name), some do have the potential to improve sex life for a male who has impotence issues.

Prior to Pfizer's "little blue pill," the only drug that was mentioned in the Physicians Desk Reference as an aid to overcome impotence was Yohimbine Hydrochloride.  This is derived from the bark of the African Yohimbe tree.  Standardized extracts of Yohimbe Bark have been shown to have a similar effect to the drug.  In men, Yohimbe helps to increase blood flow to the penis (I guess the "in men" part of that sentence wasn't necessary).  The amino acid L-Arginine has also been shown to dilate blood vessels, further increasing blood flow, and Vitamin B6 seems to potentiate the process.

It's not a panacea by any means.  Yohimbe has a stimulant effect.  Often the formulas also contain the amino acid Tyrosine which enhances alertness.  Elevated heart rate is a given, and, while many people might use this product for evening activities, if taken late in the day, sleep is going to be quite a challenge.

These products should not be used by anyone who has experienced bouts with hypertension or anyone who has any heart problem at all.  I'd also caution you against following label directions.  Many of these products promote dosages 3 times per day.  While that ensures product sales, there isn't any advantage to using it regularly.  The effects kick in about an hour after taking it.  I'd also users to start out with 1/2 the recommended dosage.  That may be enough.

Many of the "Male Potency" products on the market contain weak or inactive forms of yohimbe.  Others have been found to include yohimbe on the label, but not inside the actual bottle.  These "herbal" products are not drugs, thus there is little in the way of strict control. Use them cautiously, heed any label warnings, and do not exceed reasonable dosages.

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Phil Kaplan
Phil Kaplan's Fitness Associates
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