Is there a food supplement that helps to delay ejaculation?
Or can changing your diet or eating specific foods help you last longer in bed, naturally?
If you’re about to spend some of your hard-earned cash on a supplement because some guys on a forum said they last all night on it… maybe, maybe but just hold on there…
I’m not a pharmacist or a nutritionist but I do have some insights, based on my psychotherapy practice. I often speak with men who’ve tried supplements and pills to last longer, and I keep an eye on the science too.
Kratom for premature ejaculation
Kratom comes from a plant in Southeast Asia with opioid-like qualities. And some people say it helps with performance anxiety.
Now kratom, along with some of the other compounds I’ll mention, is banned in some states and countries due to serious safety concerns. The FDA advises against using it, and it’s prohibited in the UK too.
But it’s pretty popular right now, and men looking up kratom for sexual performance will no doubt see a research study that just came out in early 2023. It reported that taking Kratom increased time to ejaculation in 66% of men who tried it.
That sounds significant, right?
But in this study of kratom, the researchers simply used a questionnaire. They didn’t get a bunch of guys in a lab.
And the researchers sent this questionnaire out to a kratom subreddit and some Twitter-based Kratom groups. So the respondents were likely to be biased in favour of kratom.
In my opinion, considering kratom’s legal status, some of the known adverse effects (especially on cardiovascular function) and pretty flimsy research when it comes to sexual function, I’m not convinced it’s a viable remedy for PE.
So how about kava?
Next up, an intruguing substance which comes from a plant in the South Pacific.
Kava is often used to make teas for a calming effect. It contains lactose compounds which are considered to have sedative properties, slowing things down.
Kava is more widely available but still prohibited in quite a few places including the UK.
Can kava help men last longer in bed? It’s reputed to affect the body’s reaction to sexual stimulation but I’m not aware of any real testing of this.
And just like kratom, the effects of kava aren’t fully understood. Always do your research and check with your doctor before embarking on any natural remedies.
Some herbs and vitamins can interact with medications and we don’t always know enough about their side-effects, or their impact on the liver for example.
Ashwagandha for lasting longer
Next up is ashwagandha, sometimes known as winter cherry. This is a shrub that’s native to India and Southeast Asia. It’s been used for thousands of years as a treatment for inflammation, anxiety and, yes, sexual stamina.
Ashwagandha is widely available, including in the UK, but there is some restriction – it can only be sold by licensed herbal practitioners.
Does ashwaghandha help with PE? Alas, there’s no concrete evidence that it does.
A thorough study into ashwaghandha and erectile dysfunction conclusively found that it had no effect compared to a placebo. I would say the same applies when it comes to PE.
That said, ashwaghandha has a safe reputation and can have wider health benefits. Several studies have shown its effectiveness at reducing cortisol, the stress hormone, so it probably does have a place in nutritional support.
How about horny goat weed?
Next we have epimedium, also known as bishop’s hat, fairy wings and horny goat weed. It comes from a plant found in various parts of the world.
Horny goat weed supplements are legally sold pretty much everywhere, and are often taken as an aphrodisiac and to help with sexual performance.
Historically, this seems to be based on the observation that eating this plant does indeed make goats horny. They love it.
But what about humans who eat it? There is no evidence of any benefit, to my knowledge.
Can kanna make a difference?
Next up, we have sceletium which is also known as kanna. This is a plant from South Africa, where native people have long used it as a traditional medicine.
Kanna is thought to be useful for anxiety, depression and many other conditions. And it might prove helpful for premature ejaculation. At least one pharmaceutical startup is currently researching kanna for this very purpose.
Sceletium is lesser known as a food supplement but it is available from online stores. Can kanna help with lasting longer in bed? We’ll see what Kanna Health develop in due course, but I wouldn’t bother with generic kanna supplements for now.
How about spicing things up with turmeric and cloves?
Turmeric and other spices are sometimes reputed to help with lasting longer. Turmeric is healthy and beneficial in many ways, but alas not for lasting longer in bed.
Cloves are sometimes taken for sexual difficulties including premature ejaculation. Natural remedy gurus advise men to add cloves to warm milk and drink before bedtime, or to apply clove oil directly to the penis for a numbing effect.
Interestingly, there is a study on the effect of cloves as a food supplement for rats. Not only did the researchers observe the male rats lasting longer, but also enjoying improved erections and mounting frequency.
That sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
But to my knowledge, this study has never really been followed up or progressed to human testing.
CBD for PE? Don’t bother
Just a comment about taking CBD for relaxing during sex and lasting longer. CBD oil has been much hyped in recent years. But I’ve discussed its effect – or non-effect – before.
Now I could go on… there are plenty more herbal remedies that claim to help men with stamina and potency etc, but you can probably see the trend here.
Substances with interesting properties, often with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but lacking any real evidence that they help men last longer in bed.
So can nutrition help at all with PE?
At this point, you may be thinking “oh he’s trashed all the supplements, so does nutrition make any difference to lasting longer?“.
Well yes, I do have some actual positive suggestions. Hurrah.
Remember that emotional arousal is very relevant: feeling turned on, our excitement and feelings of performance anxiety too. Our level of activation drives how long it takes us to reach orgasm and ejaculation.
And the foods that we eat have a significant impact on our emotional balance. Thanks to the growing field of nutritional psychiatry, we’re understanding more about this connection.
The answer is simpler than we may think
We may not need fancy supplements from obscure plants growing on the other side of the world.
For example, magnesium plays a key role in the regulation of our stress and activation reflex. If you have magnesium deficiency, that’s not helping you to be in good working order.
So foods naturally rich in magnesium can help. Get eating some leafy greens like spinach, nuts, seeds, whole grains. Bananas are pretty good and dark chocolate too.
Foods rich in zinc can help with emotional balance too. Chickpeas, lentils, eggs – these are high in zinc and have been liked to lowered anxiety.
And get sufficient protein too. There was a protein craze in the last few years, I know. But protein does maintain our serotonin levels, which is a major player in male sexual function. Lower levels of serotonin are linked to premature ejaculation.
If you’d like some tips for naturally boosting your serotonin levels, see my other video on that. Top tip: eat your protein with some carbs too for optimal serotonin benefits.
Finally, probiotic foods too – such as kefir and sauerkraut. Topping up your gut bacteria can help with social anxiety, and that’s often in the mix of our intimacy struggles too.
So I hope this was a useful summary and if I’ve missed anything, please do let me know in the comments.
And if you went for it and bought the supplement and now you’re lasting all night, I will be all ears!