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Ravi K Puri

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Natural Aphrodisiacs: Myth or Reality
by Ravi K Puri  Raman Puri, MD 

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Publisher:  Quest Publishers, LLC ISBN-10:  0615301428 Type: 


ISBN-13:  9780615301426

The book deals with the various natural aphrodisiacs which are being sold on the Internet or natural food stores. It desribes the origin, descrption of herbs, myth, clinical research, additional benefits, toxicity, dosage and interaction with food,herbs and medications.


         The Internet created a new wave in the world of business. Marketing has become easier and simpler. Everything sells on the Internet through supplicate email advertisement. One can buy almost everything from basic consumer products to life saving prescriptions. With the merits of Internet, we have some demerits as well. False advertisements lead to exploitation of the innocent people. Some of the products are nothing but scam and consumers are being exploited. Nevertheless, more than 80% of the emails are unsolicited. These are pertaining to health products, weight reduction, anti-aging and aphrodisiacs or commonly known as sex booster’s formulations. Among these, aphrodisiacs are the hottest products. Sales of “natural sexual enhancers” are booming and rising to nearly $400 million in 2006 (Pritchard 2007). Majorities of these formulations do not have any scientific evidence and leads to quackery. Despite the lack of scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness, the aphrodisiacs industry is flourishing to this day. Marketers do much of their business by mail order on the Internet and make millions of dollars a year in the USA.

           These products are not only expensive but also lack scientific evidences for their pharmacological actions and toxic effects. There is no control by the FDA since these are sold under food supplements. Nevertheless, there is no comprehensive quality control or standardization parameters exist for their testing. A single preparation can carry more than five herbals and each herbal further comprises of more than fifty ingredients. Hence, standardization of these formulations is a cumbersome phenomenon. Before consuming these products, the consumers should be aware of the products, their constituents, toxicity and interaction with the drugs they are already taking. They should first consult their physicians or an educated herbalist or pharmacist before making their choice to consume these products wisely, carefully and safely. If they are taking any prescription medication, they should consult their physician before ingesting these formulations. There may be a possibility to prescribe a different medication that won’t interfere with your sex life.

           A survey of the literature on aphrodisiac reveals that there are some texts* available on this topic. Most of the information is on their folkloric or traditional uses. However, very limited data on aphrodisiacs are available regarding the chemistry, toxicity, side effects and contraindication with modern medicines. These facts are very pertinent to separate truth from the myth. So, it was thought, desirable to undertake the present text. Every effort has been made not to put the old wine in a new bottle. The purpose of writing this text is to enlighten the readers for the merits and demerits of natural aphrodisiacs that are vigorously sold on the Internet or over the counter in health and retail stores. Consumers should know the ingredients of “seduction in a bottle” or love potion. A comprehensive description of these aphrodisiacs, comprising their active constituents, clinical studies, dosage, availability, side effects including chemistry and the interaction with the modern medicine is given in this text. The information comprising the text will help the consumers to make the right decision. The book has not been written only for the consumers of natural aphrodisiacs but also for the physicians, pharmacists, scientists and graduate students of health sciences who are interested to explore further the field of aphrodisiacs
I am honored to be asked to write the Foreward to this book. With more individuals taking for their health, and herbal remedies now available, as a practicing physician I found this an informative and extensive survey of the latest research conducted on Aphrodisiac herbals. The text is a fascinating reviews for those consumers who wish to utilise natural aphrodisiac formulations. It emphasizes differentiation of myth from reality by elucidating the origin, history of use, myth and romances versus the chemistry, pharmacology, risk and possible interactions. The quotations at the beginning of each chapter were enticing and the excellent hand drawings of the individual plants clearly depicting the morphological characteristics would prove helpful in the identification and verification of the plants. clearly depicting the morphological characteristics would prove helpful in the identification and verification of the plants.
The authors have painstakingly expressed the various possible merits and potential side effects in a fair and balanced discussion of the natural aphrodisiac products available. After reading this book, I not only felt well informed myself, but felt that I could give an informed opinion to anyone making inquiries about potential aphrodisiacs. The graphics in the chapter are well designed and the tabular form about the volatile oils presented an information in a readily accessible format perfect for quick reference. I would expect other practicing physicians and pharmacists to find this text particularly helpful in advising patients to wish to incorporate natural products into their daily health routine.

FOREWORD - Tony Almond, M.D
Mangolia Critical care
and Internal Medicine
Columbia, MO 65201

The widespread use of effectivite prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction has helped advance society's acceptance of talking about sexual dysfucntion for both men and women. As the authors elegantly describe, sexual dysfunction and attempts at treating it have been around for as long as sexuality itself. It's no surprise that history is full of myths about aphrodisiacs. Despite all the advances we have made in medicine, the myth of the aphrodisiac is as powerful as ever. However, sexual dysfunction is very often a complex problem requiring careful, thoughtful and educated treatement. Rarely is there quick "natural" fix. Consumers need to do their homework before buying into the claims of companies selling natural aphrodisiacs. This book is an excellent resource for those seeking to educate themselves about the history, effectiveness, safety and future of natural aphrodisiacs. Nevertheless, the information contained within the text is also important and valuable for both sides of the patient physician equation in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.

REVIEW - Siobhan Hyland McGaughey, MD
Urology Associates of Central Missouri
Columbia, MO 65201

The authors have expressed very clearly the various merits and demerits of natural aphrodisiac products on the market. Discussion on the future prospects of plants used as aphrodisiacs is excellent information for the phytochemists who are interested to pursue research in this field. Delineation of research limitations in the area of existing natural aphrodisiacs and their standardizations is consistent with the rising interest of global consumers in green environment. A special effort in creating the drawings of the natural products for enabling readers to identify the natural products is phenomenal. I recommend this book to the lovers of natural products without any hesitation. I hope that manufacturers, scholars and consumers of natural aphrodisiac products will take advantage of this document in the years to come.

REVIEW - Usha Chowdary, Ph.D
Professor, Human Environmental Studies
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

The latest research on herbal aphrodisiacs cited by the authors is very impressive. The appropriate quotations at the beginning of each chapter are very fascinating. It is a comprehensive compendium on natural aphrodisiacs comprising their origin, myth, chemistry, pharmacology, risk and romance. Hand drawings of the plants are excellent and depict their morphological characteristics that can be helpful in identifying them... The book is actually a ready reckoner for physicians, pharmacist or herbalist for guiding the patients who are incorporating natural products in their daily regime.

REVIEW - K.C. Varma, Ph.D
Emeritus Professor & Chief Editor
Indian Journal of Natural Products, India

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