The myth: garlic should be eaten to cure ED
Mojo’s verdict: myth (there’s evidence garlic has health benefits that could indirectly improve your erectile health, but there are better ED treatments out there)
Garlic is a staple ingredient used in most kitchens. According to mythology, you can use garlic to keep vampires away (unless biting’s your thing), to ward off evil spirits(1), and to treat erectile dysfunction (also known as ED or impotence).
But can this food – known for its potent smell – really help with impotence? Let’s get into it.
Is it good to use garlic for ED?
No research has been done on garlic and erectile dysfunction specifically.
But, research has proven that garlic has a range of health benefits. It can help reduce blood pressure, benefit blood flow, and improve heart health. Let’s take a closer look at the causes of ED, and the corresponding health benefits of garlic below.
The connection between garlic and erectile dysfunction
“Although no studies have proved that garlic can cure erectile dysfunction, garlic eaten as part of a healthy diet that can have a secondary effect on erectile dysfunction.”
Aron Snowsill, Nutritional Therapist
Garlic’s health benefits
Reduced blood pressure
Some studies have found that garlic can lower blood pressure.(2) It is thought that 'allicin', a compound found in garlic, improves heart function, and helps to reduce blood pressure.(3)
Improved heart health and reduced cholesterol
Garlic contains substances(4) that have been shown to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in a person’s body.(5)
Increased blood flow
Allicin (the compound we were talking about earlier that reduces blood pressure), can also increase nitric oxide levels.(6) Nitric oxide helps blood vessels expand to promote better blood flow.
"A small number of studies suggest that garlic might improve blood flow, which could, in theory, help with erections. But, more studies are needed, and it isn’t clear how much garlic would have a noticeable or consistent effect.”
Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor
Lower levels of stress
In a study on mice, garlic was shown to significantly decrease stress-related hormones such as cortisol and the feeling of anxiety in mice.(7) In theory, garlic contains compounds that can help with stress responses.
All of these health benefits could indirectly impact your erectile health and therefore your erections.
How to use garlic for erectile dysfunction
“Most doctors would not actively suggest garlic as part of a treatment plan. There are more proven treatments and lifestyle choices that doctors would suggest first, and are specific to the cause of the ED identified.
That said, if eating garlic seems to work well for you, it's unlikely that a doctor would stop you."
Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor
If you’re using garlic cloves for your erection woes, keep in mind that there are more proven treatments.
Erectile dysfunction treatments
Don’t worry, you don’t have to reach for garlic before a first date. The following treatments are all more researched, more effective, and more successful than garlic at beating erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological, physical or lifestyle reasons. Depending on the root cause of your ED, treatment will be different.
Treating psychological ED
You can read our guide to psychological ED treatment here, but for now, we’ll do a quick recap.
Psychological ED can be treated by:
- Reducing anxiety in the bedroom by practicing methods that can help you escape ‘fight or flight’ mode or other stress responses
- Achieving more reliable erections through ‘erection training’, guided ED meditations, box breathing exercises, and mindful masturbation
- Actively learning more about sex and ED
- Psychological and sexual counseling
- Having community support
Not sure where to start? At Mojo, we've made things easy for you by developing a platform that includes all the above. We offer treatments based on psychosexual therapy and expert insights, and we offer support every step of the way.
By using these methods, we've helped thousands of men with their erectile issues.
Treating physical ED
There are lots of treatments for physical ED, but they’re all specific to what is causing your ED in the first place. You can have a look here at treatment options which include:
- PDE5 inhibitors, also known as ‘ED pills’
- Physiotherapy and pelvic floor exercises
- Penile medication
Treating lifestyle-based ED
Day-to-day lifestyle choices can have an impact on your erections, and you can take the following steps to both prevent and treat lifestyle-based ED:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get enough exercise
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Cut back on smoking or taking recreational drugs like cocaine
- Avoid steroids
- Get enough sleep
The get down on using garlic for erectile dysfunction
Popping a clove of garlic won’t give you a rock-hard erection or cure your ED. While garlic might not make you a seasoned veteran in the bedroom, it does have health benefits, so you can eat it as part of a healthy diet.
As for curing ED? If you stick to the more scientifically proven treatments, they’ll help you regain your confidence in the bedroom.
Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.