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General characteristics

General characteristics

The penis is the external male sexual organ. Its biological functions are to allow urine to pass from the body and to allow the passage of sperm from the male into the female in order for reproduction to take place. It is also an organ of pleasure!

The penis can be divided into three sections; the root, the shaft or body and the glans or head. The root attaches the penis via muscles and tendons firmly to the area known as the perineum; the shaft is made up of 3 cylindrical tubes of erectile tissue (surrounded by connective tissue and covered with skin) that have a rich blood supply and become stiffened on arousal, causing the penis to become erect; the glans is the top or head of the penis housing the opening of the urethra through which both sperm and urine pass. The glans is also important for sensitivity and sexual arousal and is covered with a protective foreskin (unless circumcision has been carried out). The foreskin is laden with nerves endings designed to enhance the whole sexual experience and to provide protection to the delicate skin of the glans and the urethral opening. In infancy the foreskin is firmly attached to the glans and cannot be retracted initially. As the child grows the foreskin gradually becomes retractable. An oily secretion called smegma is produced in the region between the foreskin and the glans in order to lubricate the area making the retraction of the foreskin during erection a smooth experience.

Besides impotence and erectile dysfunction other conditions affecting the penis include phimosis (where the foreskin remains unretractable into adulthood and may cause painful erections), balanitis (inflammation of the glans due to infection or injury), priapism (painful erections that last for several hours, not relieved by orgasm and due to congestion of venous blood in the penis that doesn't drain out properly), Peyronies disease (hard plaque patches form on the penis and can distort the shape of the erect penis), paraphimosis (the foreskin becomes stuck behind the head of the penis and is unable to retract), jock itch ( a yeast/fungal infection) and the very rare penile cancer. Certain other health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, anxiety and sexually transmitted infections such as genital warts, gardnerella, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and genital herpes can also affect the health and performance of the penis.

Healing objectives include ridding the body of any infection that may be causing inflammation or other symptoms, maintaining a strong immune system, ensuring good heart health and proper blood circulation (of both arteries and veins) to and from the penis, maintaining good general hygiene and sexual hygiene and to soothe any unpleasant symptoms whilst healing takes place.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Antioxidants will help to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and protect from circulation problems. Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E are rich in antioxidants.

Avoid refined carbohydrates, processed fats and oils and foods high in sugar as these will all impair circulation, nervous system health and the immune system.

Foods encouraging blood flow to and from the penis include watermelon, dark chocolate, cherries and most other berries, bananas (high in potassium which helps relax blood vessel walls and improve blood flow), garlic, walnuts, pistachios and almonds.

Culinary herbs and spices include ginger, chilli, nutmeg, turmeric, garlic all encouragehealthy blood flow to the penis and help keep it oxygenated and in good working order.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is also vital for tissue repair.

Fibre is important in transporting toxins out of the body and helps keep blood fats in balance, good sources include wholegrains and fruits such as apples and pears.

L-arginine relaxes the muscles around blood vessels, allowing for greater blood flow. Organic chicken is a good source as well as shellfish and other seafoods.

Omega 3 present in raw vegetable oils, oily fish and nuts and seeds help to keep blood vessels healthy and encourage good blood flow through the vessels.

Smoking and stimulants such as cocaine cause a decrease in blood flow around the body, including the penis.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs enhancing blood circulation and toning both arteries and veins include ginkgo, hawthorn berries and flowers, chilli, ginger, oats and nettle.

A penis soak can be used to treat conditions such as torn or inflammed foreskin. Make a tea with a teaspoonful each of the dried herbs of yarrow, echinacea root, a pinch of goldenseal powder, comfrey root, marshmallow root and a few drops of lavender oil. Stand the tea for 10 minutes until cool, strain off the liquid and dip the penis in the herbal tea for a few minutes several times throughout the day.

For infections make a penis soak from the following dried herbs - myrrh, goldenseal, echinacea root and a few drops of tea tree and sandalwood essential oils. Make as described above.

See also circulation for more ideas.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Regular erections are known to increase the general health and strength of the penis as the increased blood flow involved in erection keeps the whole organ well oxygenated. Erections are very common during sleep.

Long distance cycling on hard narrow seats can impair the blood and nerve flow to the penis and can cause temporary problems such as numbness and inability to achieve or maintain a good erection. Experts suggest using a soft padded seat instead.

It sounds strange but regularly flossing your teeth can help to keep your penis in good health. Studies have shown that bacteria in plaque can flood the blood stream and cause inflammation of the blood vessels. Men with more tooth plaque are more likely to suffer from penile dysfunction and erection difficulties.

Some aphrodisiac preparations (including 'natural' herbal ones) and sexual stimulants such as Viagra can cause priapism (a painful unwanted erection lasting several hours) as they encourage a greater flow of blood to the penis which may not flow out of the penis properly. Long term erections can lead to functional problems with the penis and result in erectile dysfunction. Be careful of using pure stimulants for achieving erections - focus on whole body health instead.

Applying an ice pack to the penis or engaging in gentle exercise can help to encourage the blood to drain from the penis during an episode of priapism.

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