Mayo Clinic Health Letter, February 2001

I’ve heard of an herbal alternative to Viagra for impotence. Does it work and is it safe?

Anwser: There are several products. One of the newer ones is a combination of 18 Chinese herbs marketed as BetterMAN. It’s supposed to provide benefits similar to sildenafil (Viagra) but without Viagra’s side effects. It was formerly known as NuMAN.

The product is supposed to ease erectile dysfunction and also reduce the frequent overnight urination that occurs in many men with enlarged prostate glands.

Unlike Viagra, which is taken an hour before sex, this product is taken on a daily basis and is purported to allow men to get erections at any time of day, improve spontaneity. A month’s supply costs.

As for the product’s safety and effectiveness, more research is needed. It has not been tested in any U.S. clinical trials involving human subjects, so its short- and long-term effects are unknown.

In addition, as with any herbal product, BetterMAN has not been reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Mayo Clinic doctors recommend that men with any degree of impotence or urination problems talk with their doctor first.

Impotence can result from a number of causes, including underlying medical conditions, surgery, trauma, reaction to medications, substance abuse and psychological conditions.

In addition, effective treatments that have been extensively tested are available.