Posted on Aug 14, 2019, 5 p.m.
Some men are turning into lichen lickers in attempts to combat erectile dysfunction by licking fungus said to have viagra like powers, but doctors are sounding alarms and warnings of not to lick the Sexy Pavement Lichen.
Lichen found growing in forests, on roads, and on pavement can contain high levels of toxic chemicals. According to lichenologist Dr. Allison Knight, “This lichen contains a chemical somewhat analogous to Viagra - and somewhat toxic. I always say in my talks that I don't recommend going out and licking the footpath."
This lichen has been dubbed The Sexy Pavement Fungus, and can be found on pavement and roads around the world, but it is most abundant in New Zealand where it often causes cars to skid in wet weather.
It is also being sold online ground up into capsule form and marketed as an ancient Chinese remedy. However, experts warn that scientific evidence of its efficacy minimal, and consuming them could be dangerous.
“About the only thing that people would get from using that is a healthy dose of cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead. Basically, anything that you would find in asphalt, roadsides, pavements. So it would actually do the exact opposite,” says botanist Dr Peter de Lange.
Australian lichen experts conducted an analysis of one of the products sold online by the US FDA reporting that 80% of it was Viagra and the other 20% was grass clippings.
According to Dr. Knight on top of being very difficult to remove from pavement the organism only grows a few millimeters a year, which is why she is surprised by how much of the lichen is being sold online.
Most often health specialists will treat impotence by targeting its underlying health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. Sometimes making simple healthy lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising more, and reducing stress are recommended. PDE-5 inhibitors such as Viagra, Spendra, Levitra, or Cialis may also be recommended to help treat erectile dysfunction. If the problem is psychological sometimes a sex therapist can help men combat ED.
Erection problems are common once a man is over the age of 40. Men will occasionally fail to achieve or maintain an erection which can be due to tiredness, anxiety, alcohol, drugs, or stress. If problems with erections are only happening occasionally it is generally nothing to worry about, but if it happens often, it may be caused by physical or emotional problems. Should it keep occurring it may be time to see a doctor who can help you find the best way to treat erectile dysfunction.
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