Thursday, December 8, 2011

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND AYURVEDA

Erectile dysfunction or impotence is emerging as one of the most serious life style and stress related disease. Over exertion, physiological disturbances, lowered level of hormones and strained relationship with partner are the main causes for this disease. Apart from drug therapy and diet control regime, ayurveda offers natural drugs with proven efficacy for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Ancient medical literature, especially Ayurveda, mentioned several natural drugs, alone or in combination, under the chapter of ‘Rasayana’ and
‘Vajikaran’ to be used in this type of disorders. Garlic is one of them used traditionally to enhance sexual power. Psychotherapy alongwith meditation and self belief may also prove very useful approaches to treat this disease. The latest research in modern medical science yielded several purified compounds to deal with bodily disorders. Sildenafil citrate USP and related compounds are the latest addition in the weaponry of the modern medicinal system used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In present article, two alike drugs of different systems and properties- Garlic – a traditional drug and Sildenafil citrate – a synthetic drug are compared. Special emphasis is given to establish the correlation in mechanism of action used for similar therapeutic effect i.e. erectile dysfunction along with a comparison on pharmacological and social basis. The results had shown that garlic has more or less same therapeutic effect and mechanism of action as that of Sildenafil citrate. The only step that differs is that Sildenafil citrate increases blood GMP level by inhibiting its degrading enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE 5) while garlic acts by activation of guanalyl cyclase enzyme and thus by increasing production of GMP in body. Garlic was observed to have lesser side effects and toxicity, no abuse potential and contraindications in comparison to Viagra. The use of garlic is also justified from social aspect and may be a drug of choice in comparison to Viagra. There is a possibility that an odorless garlic preparation
may have potential to treat erectile dysfunction. Therefore further research work in this direction may be worthwhile.



ASHISH BALDI*Plant Cell Culture Lab., Department of Biochemical Engg. and Biotechnology,Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016 (India)

9 comments:

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