Few things could be more frustrating than an inability to achieve a rock-steady sustainable erection. Men and women from all over the world face this difficulty from time to time, and clear methods to remedy the situation are not always easy to find. Now I am not saying that an erect penis is absolutely necessary for a fantastic sex life, far from it, but, the ability to gain an erection in the first place is certainly a contributory cause for many delightful sexual experiences – experiences that are unfortunately denied to all those who have trouble in this area.
The causes of a man’s inability to give rise to and sustain an erection are multifaceted and complex – ranging from the biological to the social and psychological. Thus a simple effective catch-all remedy is most likely not ever going to be found. However, most would agree that if the basic mechanical biology and physiology needed for erections is not working properly then erections will, in principle, become impossible.
Generally, the scientific literature has pointed to a number of biological factors that are correlated with erectile dysfunction. To put it simply, apart from obvious mechanical injury to the ‘apparatus’, the main biological factor that underlies most erectile dysfunction is cardiovascular health – in particular the health of blood vessels and other factors (e.g. heart) that affect blood quality and flow to and from the penis.
The following three herbs have potent beneficial effects on the health of the heart and blood vessels, as well as multiple other beneficial effects. Be sure to check with your favorite healthcare practitioner before supplementing with any substance to ensure correct dosage and safety.
Gingko Biloba has been used for millennia by many cultures around the world as a potent super herb. Research indicates that Gingko improves sexual arousal, increases orgasm intensity and improves the ability for men to generate and sustain an erection! It is thought that these remarkable effects are due to ginkgo’s ability to affect and improve blood flow to the penile area by encouraging the production of nitric oxide (a key molecule involved in the dilation and constriction of blood vessels).
Ginseng has long been known as a potent aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory to Chinese medical practitioners. Ginseng’s active components have been shown to protect the liver from damage, reduce chronic fatigue, boost immune function and protect the cardiovascular system from damage and degenerative disease.    
More to the point for our purposes is the fact that several studies have shown that certain components of ginseng (viz. ginseng derived polyphenols) improve erectile functioning and increase sex drive and sexual satisfaction in men with erectile dysfunction. These effects are thought to be due to the ability of these ginseng derived polyphenols to stimulate nitric oxide production (helpful for the cardiovascular system) and modulate testosterone balance in the body.    
Maca has become increasingly known in recent years as a tasty malty-flavored superfood, however, what many may not know is that it has been considered as a fantastic aphrodisiac and ‘endurance booster’ by traditional Peruvian tribes for centuries.
Modern scientific investigation into this ancient aphrodisiac has revealed that the powdered root of the Maca plant is chock full of essential micro minerals and amino acids. Studies into the effects of Maca root powder have shown that it can improve metabolism, help regulate body weight, reduce stress, improve mood, increase energy levels and enhance memory.    As if this wasn’t enough, Maca has also been shown to improve libido, combat erectile dysfunction and protect the nervous system.  
 Xu, A., et al. “Immunomodulatory effect of Ginkgo biloba exocarp polysaccharides on immunosuppressive mice induced by cyclophosphamide.” Chinese Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 22.1 (2008): 69.
 Cohen, Alan J., and Barbara Bartlik. “Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.” Journal of sex & marital therapy 24.2 (1998): 139-143.
 Kang, Byung‐Jo, et al. “A placebo‐controlled, double‐blind trial of Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant‐induced sexual dysfunction.” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 17.6 (2002): 279-284.
 Sohn, Michael, and Richard Sikora. “Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction.” Journal of Sex Education and Therapy 17.1 (1991): 53-61.
 Kim, Hyun Ju, et al. “Protection of rat liver microsomes against carbon tetrachloride-induced lipid peroxidation by red ginseng saponin through cytochrome P450 inhibition.” Planta medica 63.05 (1997): 415-418.
 Wang, Jia, et al. “Anti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng CA Meyer.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 130.2 (2010): 421-423.
 Lee, Y. S., et al. “Activation of multiple effector pathways of immune system by the antineoplastic immunostimulator acidic polysaccharide ginsan isolated from Panax ginseng.” Anticancer research 17.1A (1996): 323-331.
 Meldrum, D. R., et al. “Lifestyle and metabolic approaches to maximizing erectile and vascular health.” International journal of impotence research 24.2 (2012): 61-68.
 Kitts, D. D., and C. Hu. “Efficacy and safety of ginseng.” Public health nutrition 3.4a (2000): 473-485.
 Jang, Dai‐Ja, et al. “Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 66.4 (2008): 444-450.
 Kwan, Chiu-Yin, et al. “Vascular effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): endothelium-dependent NO-and EDHF-mediated relaxation depending on vessel size.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology 369.5 (2004): 473-480.
 Hong, Bumsik, et al. “A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.” The Journal of urology 168.5 (2002): 2070-2073.
 Choi, H. K., D. H. Seong, and K. H. Rha. “Clinical efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction.” International journal of impotence research 7.3 (1995): 181-186.
 Večeřa, Rostislav, et al. “The influence of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on antioxidant status, lipid and glucose metabolism in rat.” Plant foods for human nutrition 62.2 (2007): 59-63.
 Zenico, T., et al. “Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well‐being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double‐blind clinical trial.” Andrologia 41.2 (2009): 95-99.
 Rubio, Julio, et al. “Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 6.1 (2006): 23.
 Balick, Michael J., and Roberta Lee. “Maca: from traditional food crop to energy and libido stimulant.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 8.2 (2002): 96.
 Gonzales, Gustavo F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.” andrologia 34.6 (2002): 367-372.