Olive Oil & Lemon Juice For ED: Is It Effective?

We've heard some pretty out-there “cures” for erectile dysfunction over the years, but olive oil and lemon juice for ED is definitely in a category of its own. Nevertheless, this classic salad dressing recipe could offer more than flavor, according to some modest scientific research. 

However, the data is pretty thin. Studies say extra virgin olive oil may offer cardiovascular health benefits and lemon juice may contain useful antioxidants, but there isn’t any high-quality scientific research to claim olive oil and lemon juice for ED will have any effect at all on your sexual performance.

Below, we’ve shared some of the research and busted common myths about the effects of olive oil and lemon juice on your erections and sexual function. We’ve also shared some evidence-based treatments that don’t read like the recipe for a vinaigrette.

Is Olive Oil and Lemon Juice for ED Effective?

If you came here looking for a tasty way to tame your ED, we have bad news: currently, there’s zero scientific evidence suggesting that olive oil and lemon juice work as a treatment for erectile dysfunction

Both of these ingredients are good for your general health and well-being, and eating them as part of a healthy diet may help reduce your risk of developing medical conditions whose symptoms absolutely include erectile dysfunction. But their effects on your sexual capacity, testosterone levels and risk of erectile dysfunction are indirect at best.

Is Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Nature’s Viagra?

No, we’re sorry to say that olive oil and lemon juice aren’t nature’s Viagra. For anyone who read a headline like “Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Better Than Viagra and Cialis,” you can essentially disregard this information (and the people who wrote it) as uninformed. 

Olive oil and lemon juice are foods with benefits we’ll get into in a moment, but they’re not really a medication designed to do anything. Viagra, meanwhile, is. It’s a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor — one of the prescription ED treatments specifically designed to increase blood flow to your penis. It’s powerful, effective, and safe if used correctly.

And as for the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice side effects, well, there aren’t any unless you have a particular allergy (or aren’t a big fan of either one). Viagra, on the other hand, does come with a risk of side effects — mostly benign, but some serious ones, too.

That means no mixing olive oil and lemon Viagra shots for some superfood pregaming, guys. 

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The Benefits of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

Olive oil and lemon juice aren't erectile supplements, but they both offer possible benefits as regular elements of your diet.

Olive oil is a liquid fat that, when used in a balanced diet, may contribute to healthier blood vessels. Some research shows that as part of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil helps with weight loss. 

Lemon juice, meanwhile, is the juice from everyone’s favorite yellow citrus fruit. It holds anti-inflammatory properties through vitamin C and other antioxidants.

In other words, olive oil and lemon benefits sexually speaking are indirect at best.

ED And the Mediterranean Diet

So, where did the whole "olive oil and lemon juice for sex" thing come from? Look no further than the Mediterranean diet.

A Mediterranean diet is a significant commitment that includes olive oil and lemons (or lemon juice) may help reduce your risk of developing heart disease and improve your overall well-being. 

It may help keep your blood vessels healthy and reduce men’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is a major contributor to ED. Reducing your cardiovascular risk may improve your blood flow, which may positively impact your erectile health. 

Here’s the data to support this reasonable theory:

  • A study published in the European Heart Journal in 2021 found that men with hypertension experience improvements in erectile performance, levels of testosterone and exercise tolerance when they stick to a Mediterranean diet.

  • The Mediterranean diet is built around plant-based meals with moderate portions of lean meat, poultry and seafood — not just olive oil. 

  • It emphasizes avoiding or limiting your intake of eggs, butter, red meats and sugar-rich foods. 

But there’s more to it than just cooking with olive oil and chugging lemon water. Related information: does drinking water help sexually?

Like with many nuanced and complicated science-related topics, study findings don’t always make for exciting headlines. So, this olive oil and lemon Viagra alternative was exaggerated.

News outlets and tabloid blogs exaggerated the importance of the ingredients and shifted away  from things like, “It may help improve blood flow” to, “Does Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Work Like Viagra,” to “this stuff'll make you A SEX GOD.”

Some of these headlines:

  • The Independent, a UK newspaper, published a story with the headline “Olive Oil ‘Better Than Viagra’ at Slashing Impotence” in August of 2018.

  • A day later, the Huffington Post published an article with the headline “Olive Oil May Be Better Than Viagra At Improving Your Sex Life, Greek Scientists Say.”

  • The Huffington Post story quotes a Medical Daily page that’s since been removed for failing to meet the outlet’s editorial standards.

These articles aren’t totally wrong, but how they present the evidence isn’t accurate. Some assessments of existing research tend to conclude that we have “large, strong and consistent” evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with better cardiovascular health outcomes. 

But for those of you who found your way here googling how to use olive oil for manpower, or olive oil and lemon juice for sex, this isn’t the salad dressing you’re looking for. 

Unlike the average American diet, the Mediterranean diet can indeed reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, but there isn’t any evidence that olive oil is “better than Viagra” as a treatment for ED.

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Alternatives to Olive Oil and Lemon Juice for ED

Instead of drinking olive oil and lemon juice to deal with ED, you’ll get the best results for better erectile function by sticking to evidence-based, proven treatments, including medications, lifestyle changes and, sure, a balanced diet. 

Currently, the FDA has approved several oral medications for erectile dysfunction, all of which belong to a class of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. These medications include:

  • Sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in Viagra

  • Tadalafil, which is the active ingredient in Cialis

  • Vardenafil, which is the active ingredient in Levitra®

  • Avanafil, which is currently available as Stendra®

PDE5 inhibitors work by increasing blood flow to the erectile tissues inside your penis, making it easier to get and stay hard when you’re sexually aroused. ED medications can be taken at least 15 to 60 minutes before you plan to have sex (depending on the specific med), making them easy to use as needed.

You can also try making simple changes to your habits and lifestyle, which can also reduce your risk of experiencing long-term erectile dysfunction. Try to: 

  • Quit smoking. Smoking can contribute to heart disease, which is a major risk factor for and one of the potential causes of erectile dysfunction.

  • Stay physically active. Even if it’s just a walk around your neighborhood, getting at least 30 minutes of regular physical activity a day can improve your heart health and blood flow, and regulate blood pressure and general quality of life.

  • Eat a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet is linked to improvements in cholesterol, heart health and erections, but you can see benefits from any diet that prioritizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats over salt and saturated fats.

  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Excess alcohol use is associated with ED (both in the long term and in the short term, which you may hear referred to as “whiskey dick”) and premature ejaculation (PE), so drink in moderation or avoid drinking alcohol entirely.

  • Avoid recreational drugs. Many recreational drugs can reduce arousal and sensation, so put them down when you try to get it up (and if you think you have a substance use disorder, let your primary care provider know).

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The Final Word on Olive Oil and Lemon for Men

So, are you about to balsa-make your problems go away with a little light-dressing? Nope. That’s not how it works. 

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is one of the most common forms of male sexual dysfunction, affecting an estimated 30 million men in the United States alone. Treating it is a popular problem that’s far outside the scope of your favorite Greek restaurant.

It’s going to take more than olive oil and lemon for you to treat ED. What you need to remember is:

  • YES eating a diet with a focus on olive oil, fresh vegetables and lean protein sources may provide real, measurable benefits for your cardiovascular and sexual health. 

  • AND over the long term, this could contribute to better circulatory health and a reduced risk of heart disease and/or ED.  

  • BUT the theory that drinking a mix of olive oil and lemon juice before sex can stop erectile dysfunction isn’t supported by any real evidence, nor is the idea that olive oil works similarly to medications like Viagra, which are designed specifically to improve blood flow to the penis.

  • SO if you have ED, you’ll get the best results by sticking to proven erectile dysfunction treatments such as sildenafil, tadalafil and Stendra

Interested in learning more before you start? Our complete guide to the most common erectile dysfunction treatments and drugs goes into more detail about how these medications work, as well as the steps that you can take to deal with ED for good. 

Oh, and have that lightly dressed salad anyway — it’s not like it’s going to hurt you. Depending on your recipe, you might want to know the facts about some other ingredients as well, like whether honey makes you last longer?

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

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