A Review of Medicinal Plants Traditionally used to Treat Male Sexual Dysfunctions – the Overlooked Potential of Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K. Jansen

Pharmacognosy Reviews,2021,15,29,1-11.
Published:June 2021
Type:Review Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Lecildo Lira Batista1,2, Lucas Corrêa do Nascimento2, Gabriel Francisconi Guimarães2, Arlindo César Matias Pereira1, Rosemary De Carvalho Rocha Koga1, Abrahão Victor Tavares De Lima Teixeira Dos Santos1, Caio Pinho Fernandes1, Thiago Afonso Teixeira2,3,4, Yutao Hu5, Xuebo Hu6, José Carlos Tavares Carvalho1,*

1Drugs Research Laboratory, Federal University of Amapá, Rodovia Juscelino Kubitisheck, Macapá, Amapá, BRAZIL.

2Division of Urology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Amapa, AP, BRAZIL.

3Men’s Health Study Group, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo, SP, BRAZIL.

4Androscience, Science and Innovation Center in Andrology and High-Complex Clinical and Research Andrology Laboratory, SP, BRAZIL.

5Lianyungang TCM Branch of Jiangsu Union Technical Institute, Lianyungang, CHINA.

6Laboratory of Drug Discovery and Molecular Engineering, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, 1 Shizishan, Nanhu, Wuhan, CHINA.


Introduction: Male sexual dysfunctions are conditions of impaired sexual activity due to decreased sexual desire, impaired erection, or ejaculatory problems. These issues can hurt men’s quality of life by causing suffering, frustration, and sexual intimacy avoidance. Although many agents are available to treat such conditions, they are associated with relevant sideeffects that could hamper the treatment, pointing to the need for novel agents to fill the gap of patients unable to have a satisfactory result. Methods: This review was performed by searching terms such as “medicinal plants” “Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K.Jansen or Spilanthes acmella auct. non (L.) Murr.”, together with “male sexual dysfunctions”, “hypoactive sexual desire disorder”, “erectile dysfunction”, and “premature ejaculation” on literature indexers such as PubMed, Scopus, and ISI Web of Science. Relevant literature from the articles’ references was also assessed. Results and Discussion: We reviewed a primer about male sexual dysfunctions (MSD); then, we describe some medicinal plants already used against MSD. Finally, some biological activities of Acmella oleracea are described, emphasizing its potential against MSD. Despite the importance of this medicinal plant for several activities, studies assessing its use for MSD are still lacking, even with convincing preliminary results reported. Overall, some plants have more robust scientific evidence, with randomized, placebo-controlled trials performed. Interestingly, although many plants’ activities are reported, very few studies assess their action mechanism, which is critical to understanding the more indicated occasions.