Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 7/26/2021
Being able to achieve and maintain an erection is a process that’s very easy to take for granted, especially when you’re in the heat of the moment.
However, getting your penis hard and keeping it hard long enough to engage in satisfactory intercourse isn’t always a given — especially when you live with a condition like erectile dysfunction.
As a condition that can cause considerable heartache and embarrassment to individuals and their partners, seeking treatment is usually an immediate reaction to its symptoms — which is where erection teas come into the equation.
Drinking your way to strong and reliable erections may sound like a tall tale to soak in, but erection teas have enjoyed long usage as a traditional treatment for erectile difficulties.
But do erection teas work? And how well? And should you consider traditional medicine when learning how to treat your bedroom problems?
Erections may get all the focus down south, but this process actually begins above the belt.
Prior to sexual activity, when you are mentally or physically stimulated and become sexually aroused, your brain releases nitric oxide, which is instrumental for relaxing muscles within the penis.
To do this, nitric oxide stimulates the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This cGMP is really to thank for getting penile muscles to relax.
When the smooth muscle of the penis relaxes, it does so on the veins present. This restricts how much blood can exit the penis, leading to, you guessed it — an erection.
To properly understand erection teas, it’s important to note that the bags or tea leaves you enjoy at the bottom of your favorite mug may sometimes have medicinal effects.
In the same ways we know green tea has tons of antioxidant effects and chamomile tea can help you relax before bed, erection teas are purported to help us with our erections.
Erection teas are commonly made up of a blend of herbs, leaves or roots. These ingredients are intended to be medicinal, and are typically put together to promote penile strength and performance during intimate moments.
For centuries, the chances of restoring or improving erectile function was heavily dependent on the strength of the brew in a teacup.
While modern, carefully developed methods have since been introduced, erection teas remain relevant in managing erectile function.
Some of these teas include:
Even though our focus is on its benefits for erectile dysfunction (ED), we should note that Ginseng is commonly described as the king of herbs thanks to its supposed health benefits that cover everything from physical stamina to immune function, aging and improving memory.
For its benefits a little down south, this Asian herb has been praised for its ability to boost libido, improve sexual performance and manage cases of erectile dysfunction.
Another suggestion predicts that ginseng may relax muscles in the penis. When relaxed, these muscles permit blood to flow into and fill up the penis causing erections. This effect is believed to be due to the activities of ginsenosides, the active ingredients in ginseng.
While it isn’t 100 percent certain how ginseng may achieve these benefits, this herb has been a common resort for relief from the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Of course, it’s also worth noting — as will be common with the other teas on this list — that the benefits of green tea on erection health are far from proven, and research is still developing.
Feeling extra zen when you have a cup of green tea isn’t entirely by accident. This beverage is high in theanine, a compound that has notable calming and sleep improving qualities.
While you enjoy your calm mood and all the additional time curled up in bed, this substance may also help to improve symptoms of ED that you’re experiencing.
To achieve this, there’s a chance that green tea works through properties that help to protect blood vessels from damage.
This tea has also been said to improve blood vessel function, while helping to prevent the buildup of plaque in these channels.
These presumed abilities suggest that green tea has the capacity to regulate blood flow to the penis.
This may help to delay or prevent erectile dysfunction, especially when it is caused by age.
Ginkgo Biloba may receive the bulk of its attention for helping with memory challenges linked to dementia, as well as managing hypertension and even helping boost energy levels.
However, this plant, native to China, may also have benefits for ED tucked in its dried leaves.
Ginkgo Biloba tea has been proposed to possess properties that encourage the relaxation of smooth muscles in the penis.
As we’ve seen, this can encourage the flow of blood into the penis, promoting the formation and maintenance of erections.
However, very limited studies exist on its effects on humans, so we can’t be too certain of how ginkgo biloba will play out for human needs.
Working very hard to live up to its name, this herb also has suspected benefits for improving sexual function.
It’s believed to possess vasodilatory properties that allow for the increased flow of blood to the penis.
This herb may also restore testosterone levels, as well as the thyroid hormone that helps improve the libido.
L-arginine may not be the most familiar name to you, but this protein is a substance you’re intimately acquainted with, as your body produces it naturally.
To help with managing erectile dysfunction, teas containing this amino acid have been considered capable of producing nitric oxide, a compound that helps with relaxing muscles in the penis to permit increased blood flow.
While many studies have been carried out to determine the extent of L-arginine, most of them have had various shortcomings, from small sample sizes to inconsistent or insignificant results.
Additional studies are needed to fully understand the exact mechanism of how L-arginine may help with erectile dysfunction.
While anecdotes dating back centuries vouch for the effects of erection teas in managing sexual dysfunction, modern science is a little slow to share the same enthusiasm.
Very few studies confirm the effect that these teas have on erectile function, and those that do are more commonly carried out on animals.
For those carried out on humans, however, evidence seems to be in favor of the erectile benefits of certain teas.
In one literature review, researchers looked at seven randomized clinical trials to determine the effects of red ginseng on humans struggling with ED.
The results of the review strongly suggested that the herb could be a promising ED treatment.
However, the researchers also noted that more study is necessary to definitively recognize this.
Supporting the popularity of horny goat weed in managing ED, a review found this herb — and others — to be one of the most popular erectile dysfunction supplements (a systematic review and evidence-based analysis of ingredients in popular male testosterone and erectile dysfunction supplements).
Likewise, a study comparing the effects of orally administered L-arginine and tadalafil for managing ED found the amino acid to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate forms of this health condition.
We should note however, that it was found to be a more potent therapy when used in combination with other ED medications.
Erection teas can be enjoyed as a coffee substitute in the mornings, a way to increase energy levels in the afternoon or even as a nightcap later in the day.
However, enjoying this beverage at every point of the day, many days in a row may not always be the best option for your wellbeing.
For instance, while there is no optimum “dose” known for red ginseng, this herb has been associated with adverse effects such as headaches, insomnia, upset stomachs and constipation.
Likewise, consuming L-arginine has been linked to cases of headache, indigestion, insomnia and skin flushing.
If ginkgo biloba is your tea of choice, you should know that users have reported having seizures and headaches after consumption.
To get the right benefits from these teas, it’s important to carry out necessary research, as well as consulting a healthcare professional before usage.
If you’re looking for more tried and trusted measures to manage ED, years of trial and research have come up with different medications that are now household names when it comes to improving erectile function. They include popular treatments like:
Our guide to The Most Common Erectile Dysfunction Treatments and Drugs shares how they can help with performance during sex, as well as side effects you should be aware of when using these treatments.
Giving a satisfactory performance during intercourse can be a big boost to your self-esteem and overall sex drive. This is why options like erection teas are commonly resorted to.
However, despite ginseng, horny goat weed and others being common alternative treatments for erectile dysfunction, their effectiveness in managing this condition isn't 100 percent guaranteed.
Treatments such sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and avanafil have the stamp of approval for improving erectile function.
For the best results and the best sexual experience, it's important to first speak with a trusted healthcare professional when making a choice.