Sexual weakness or dysfunction among men has become a common thing in Ghana and several businesses and individuals have been advertising several solutions and products that they claim can improve sexual potency especially among men.
Sexual dysfunction is any physical problem that prevents a person or his/her sexual partner from getting adequate sexual satisfaction.
Various causative factors account for sexual dysfunction among men. Notable among them are low testosterone (primary sex hormone) levels, hypertensive medications, antidepressants, stroke, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, psychological factors among others.
In Ghana, male sexual dysfunction is a common problem affecting men of all reproductive ages and it is a topical issue for discussion among men.
These sexual dysfunctions among men may include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation or low libido or inhibited sexual desire.
In seeking for remedies for these problems, some men use any advertised aphrodisiac drugs, preparations or concoctions, some of which have serious side effects for bodily organs leading to chronic conditions and fatalities.
An aphrodisiac is a substance that has the tendency to increase or boost sexual desire, sexual attraction, sexual pleasure or sexual behaviour.
The name aphrodisiac originated from the Greek word, aphrodisiakon pertaining to aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty.
It is trite knowledge among many human generations over the years that food, drinks and behaviours are capable of making a sexual activity more attainable and pleasurable.
Accordingly, most aphrodisiac substances come in the form of plants, foods, spices, drinks and synthetic chemicals.
It is therefore known that substances such as ambrien, bufotenin, yohimbine, horny goat weed, alcohol, ginseng and many others contain some chemical properties that enhance sexual activity.
From a historical and scientific perspective, however, the alleged results or effects of some of the so-called aphrodisiac substances are mere beliefs by users that the substances would be effective sexual enhancers.
In scientific clinical trials, this is referred to as placebo effect. Within the context of this article, I will just define a placebo as a medicine or substance that has no therapeutic or arousal effects on sexual dysfunction, but it is promoted and marketed as an antidote to sexual weaknesses.
Much as aphrodisiac products provide remedies to sexual dysfunctions of all kinds, aphrodisiac substance use or abuse of their use come with risks because most of the products have not been tested scientifically and they originate from different environments cross-culturally.
Usually, untested or unverified folk medications and self-prescribed medications can be harmful because the side effects are not fully known.
Some of these sexual enhancers trigger underlying health conditions such as asthma, hypertension and others that can cause sudden death.
Despite these life-threatening risks, aphrodisiac substances are indiscriminately advertised in both the traditional and social media as though there was no regulator of food and drugs in the country.
Public Health Act
In Ghana, Section 81 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) mandates the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) among other things to provide and enforce standards for the sale of food, herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, drugs, medical devices, and household chemical substances.
Regarding the indiscriminate advertisement and sale of aphrodisiac products in the country, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is seemingly overwhelmed because it cannot be everywhere at a time.
Consequently, both social and traditional media have been advertising various sexual enhancers and they claim those advertisements have been approved by the FDA.
Perhaps the advertisers claim so just to deceive the public that the advert is in compliance with Section 114 (1) of the Public Health Act. It states, “A person shall not advertise a drug, a herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance to the general public as a treatment, preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state, unless the advertisement has been approved by the authority.”
Conceivably, the impetus for this dastardly act is the reality that the advertisers are reliably aware that the FDA will never verify the authenticity of the adverts put out there.
It is sad that media reports show every year that men are dying from the use of aphrodisiac products meant to enhance their sexual performance and to please their partners.
On May 6, 2022 for example, Ghanaweb reported the death of a 40-year-old man called Albert in a hotel in Pokuase.
It alleged that this man died after he had sexual intercourse with his partner in the hotel using an aphrodisiac because a search done on the body of the deceased led to the discovery of an aphrodisiac drug called Dragon Spray in his pocket.
This underscores the fact that the use of non-prescribed aphrodisiac can be harmful to health leading to fatal consequences especially among persons with underlying health conditions.
Fortunately, many cases of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the mental or physical problems that cause the dysfunction (s).
Advisedly, therefore, men with any of the sexual dysfunctions should seek for prescribed medical remedy from the hospital or from a qualified and registered medical or herbal practitioner.
Perhaps, let me caution that there are two ways to be fooled. One of the ways is to believe what is false and the other is to refuse to accept what is true.
As such, do not be fooled by aphrodisiac vendors who offer you a harmful placebo for a therapeutic product. It is good to prolong your life on earth because God does not want us to die prematurely.
In Ecclesiastes 9:4, Bible says, “Anyone who is among the living has hope because even a living dog is better than a dead lion.”
Credit: Philip Afeti Korto – Health Service Administrator