London, Jan 8 (IANS) A study involving over 100 men has found individuals with erectile dysfunction improved their sexual performance after taking tablets made from ginseng, a plant used for long by the Chinese as an aphrodisiac.
The South Korean study found men with erectile dysfunction improved their performance in the bedroom after taking the tablets for just a few weeks. Although some previous studies have suggested ginseng can help tackle impotence, many have been conducted in mice, Daily Mail reported.
The latest research involved more than 100 men who had been diagnosed with erection problems. Impotence affects one in 10 men in Britain at some point in their lives.
While herbal remedies like ginseng have been touted as alternative treatments, the evidence to support their use has been lacking. Ginseng's root contains several active substances, called either ginsenosides or panaxosides, that are thought to be responsible for the medicinal effects of the herb.
Scientists at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, recruited 119 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. The group was split into two, while half took four tablets a day containing extracts of Korean ginseng berry, the rest took identical dummy pills.
After eight weeks, researchers measured improvements by using a recognised scale.
The results, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, showed a small but significant improvement in sexual function in the ginseng group compared to those on the dummy tablets.
"Korean ginseng berry extract improved all domains of sexual function... It can be used as an alternative to medicine to improve sexual life in men," said the researchers in a report on their findings.