Love drugs, of course, have occupied medical research before there has been the term "medical research".
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For hardly any medication were the rich and powerful (mostly men) throughout the ages as willing to spend substantial amounts of money as they were for drugs that were sold to them with the promise of returning virility or providing that extra prowess.
In some ways the world hasn't changed. In proportion to production costs and considering that it's a mass-market product, Viagra was, when it was introduced to the market, probably the most expensive medication around.
And rightly so. The incapacity to have a satisfying sex life is such a tremendous loss of quality of life that a good number of men would chose the latter if given the option to either loose a leg or that organ which, again rightfully, is called vital.
There are hundreds of substances, both herbal and synthetic, which can ruin a man's capability to have an erection. And there are only a few substances that actually enhance male sexual function and could treat impotence.
However, we have to be aware that male sexuality is comprised of two very distinct, and different, components: sexual plumbing (concerned with the necessities for achieving an erection), and sexual wiring (the involvement of the nervous system, including the brain).
The two functions are distinct, and in a way, they are contrary to each other. There are a good number of substances that are good for the one, and bad for the other aspect of sexuality. Cocaine, for example, can enhance sexual desire, while at the same time obstructing penile function by causing a shrinkage of the organ.
Viagra, on the other hand, is good for erections, but if one ingests more than one needs, it will weaken orgasm. The pros and cons of Viagra are meanwhile well known to many men.
Very few substances are good for both, erections and libido. Yohimbe, the bark, or yohimbine, the active ingredient, which has been extracted and is sold as pharmaceutical, facilitate erections by blocking adrenaline from abdominal and pelvic receptors, and enhance libido by increasing adrenaline effect on the brain. However, there is no question that the side effects of yohimbe and yohimbine are a serious deterrent. The adrenaline blocked from the abdominal and pelvic areas also causes heart palpitations and sleeplessness, and both these effects are not supportive of general health.
While the discovery of the use phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as Viagra for erectile function has been a definite achievement, the bigger challenge is to develop a medication that can enhance libido. The impact that such a medication could have on the behavioral patterns of young and aging men around the world is substantial. Such a medication could have the effect of a large number of men making far-reaching changes to their lifestyles in that they might become libido-driven to a far greater degree than what currently is the case.
There are basically two pathways for the enhancement of libido: a hormonal route via testosterone and a neurotransmitter route via dopamine. While the outright application of testosterone may have a clear anabolic effect, exogenous testosterone has the potential to lower both libido and fertility in men, not just to raise it. What effect it will have will depend on baseline values, set points, and dosages. A much more promising route is to support the body's own testosterone synthesis with tongkat ali or injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (which is extracted from the urine of pregnant women and therefore rather expensive).
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