Alternative medications and organic food and supplements are the new normal. More and more people are moving away from chemical or artificial drugs and dishes and are embracing green options.

For men with erectile dysfunction (ED), there is good news. Watermelon, due to its high content of citrulline, has been declared as the natural Viagra in research conducted by Bhimu Patil, director of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University. Basically, an amino acid, citrulline, works very much like Viagra and dilates blood vessels, a prerequisite for a healthy and hard erection. In effect, after being consumed, citrulline in watermelon gets converted into the amino acid, arginine, which is a precursor for nitric oxide (NO). NO widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow to the penis, thus helping in better erections.

Some interesting facts about watermelon –

  • Contrary to the belief that the citrulline in watermelon is found in its rind, scientists have now discovered that more citrulline is stored in the edible part of this popular summer fruit.
  • Watermelon rind is also very rich in citrulline content; hence adding some rind in the juice maker is a good idea.
  • Citrulline levels in red watermelons are somewhat lower than the orange or yellow varieties.
  • No such difference exists between seeded and seedless varieties of the fruit.
  • Citrulline supplements are also available in the market, which are believed to increase citrulline levels, but the safety or effectiveness of the supplements are not evaluated by the FDA.
  • Since watermelon has high water content, the maximum concentration of citrulline will be found in the concentrated juice of the fruit. Hence, the smart thing for men with ED is to try watermelon juice to get a natural Viagra-like effect.

In spite of these facts, it would be too ambitious to expect an immediate or ensured effect of this remedy. The research on this area is still in a rudimentary state, and the studies carried out to date have been primarily conducted on animals. Hence, it will take some more time to get conclusive proof about watermelon’s effect on erectile dysfunction (ED) and sex life.

That said, some of the studies carried out on men with mild ED to see the effect of watermelon, showed promising results. It was observed that men who were given watermelon or citrulline supplements showed more improvement in their erections than those who were given a placebo. Many who took watermelon also got back to their normal hardness levels as well.

One good thing about watermelons is that the fruit is largely safe and has no severe side effects. Anyone willing to check its Viagra-like effects can safely eat the fruit or its juice without any worry of getting any negative ramifications.

Another study was conducted on rats afflicted with ED resulting from low blood flow to the penis (arteriogenic erectile dysfunction). It also showed that citrulline water supplements helped the rats improve their erection more than the ones that were given placebo or went through surgery of the blood vessels. The study findings also established that the rats were free of any side effects, including weight gain. This helped the researchers conclude that citrulline has the potential to improve blood flow, hence effectively improving arteriogenic erectile dysfunction, a common cause of erectile problems in men.

Another research conducted in 2017, which studied the impact of citrulline and arginine on the erectile function of humans, showed that men with arteriogenic erectile dysfunction have lower levels of one or both the amino acids. This indicates that enhancing the levels of either or both might help in treating erectile problems in men.

That said, it is essential to understand that watermelon might not be as potential a cure as Viagra. Also, it might not show any useful results or increase sex drive in men who failed to be benefited from Viagra or in those afflicted with some chronic disease or are experiencing severe relationship issues.

Moreover, the amount of watermelon needed to have a Viagra-like effect on erectile dysfunction (ED) is not yet known. More research and study on the fruit’s effect on erections is necessary. Also, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet recognized citrulline as a cure for ED. More research is also needed here before such recognitions are made possible.

Since watermelon is devoid of severe side effects, men who are looking for natural alternatives of Viagra can opt for it as a therapy for erection issues and attain better sexual health. However, it is best to consult a doctor before starting on the course. Often, a combined approach of natural and medical remedies can result in significant positive outcomes in treating disorders.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP