The increased consumption of local herbal aphrodisiacs to enhance sexual activity has been linked to the prevalent rate of liver and kidney failure among adults in Nigeria and other developing countries.
This finding was made known at the Akure Humboldt Kolleg 2017 International Conference with the theme: Functional foods and Nutriceuticals: Translating the Knowledge of Food Bioactive Compounds to Effective Healthcare in Developing Worlds”.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Health Implications of recent increase in the use of local herbal aphrodisiacs’, Professor Musbau Akanji, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna represented by Professor Toyin Yakubu described aphrodisiacs as substances derived from plant and animal parts to enhance sexual ability and increase vitality adding that they function by producing direct chemical alteration of the neurons thus affecting sexual arousal and function. Akanji disclosed that 80 percent of people globally consume aphrodisiacs and that even though public issues and concerns surrounding their safety are recognized, knowledge of their adverse effects are limited. He said while the aphrodisiacs are locally and readily available, research findings have shown them to have dangerous side effects resulting most times to fatal cases of kidney and liver failure.
The Don cited examples of common plants used as aphrodisiacs which include pepper grass, nutmeg, date palm, basil leaves and duck penis which is of animal origin among a host of others.
Akanji noted that the recent increased intake of herbal aphrodisiacs by people in the treatment of sexual dysfunction shows the limits of orthodox medicine.
He therefore urged government and regulatory bodies to be proactive and put safety measures and standardized regulatory policies in place to protect the health of users.
Earlier in his welcome address, Professor Ganiyu Oboh, convener of the conference, said that it had become necessary to further sensitize the research community especially in the developing countries on the need to further explore the health promoting benefits of several food sources which have rich ethno medicinal value.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola said that the need to create awareness of health promoting benefits of functional foods cannot be overemphasized in developing countries especially in this part of the world that is enriched with vast food sources of both plant and animal origin with medicinal properties. He said the conference which brings together biochemists, microbiologists, crop scientists, nutritionists as well as entrepreneurs and intergovernmental agencies among others will proffer solutions to health care delivery challenges, be of added value to the academic, and stimulate the government to evolve policies and develop an official framework that will promote product standardization, packaging and commercialization.