Malaysia Hopes For Biotech Push With Herbal Viagra

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From Reuters
By Clarence Fernandez

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's answer to Viagra is a traditional herb the country has picked to spearhead its push into biotechnology, but now it faces the challenge of convincing the world the remedy is both potent and safe.

Surging interest in the herb, "tongkat ali", has spawned dozens of products, from pills to beverages, that play up its reputed aphrodisiac properties, and could even threaten the sway overseas of ginseng, a more-widely established remedy in Asia.

Generations of aging Malaysian men have sworn by the rejuvenation effects of "tongkat ali", scouring the countryside for it so eagerly that it has almost vanished from all but the deepest rainforest, and now has the status of a protected plant.

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Tango’s Take

While the FDA denies the existence of aphrodisiacs, it appears that there is something to this, though the name sounds more like a lascivious celebrity acronym: Tongkat ali? Come on, admit it. It’s as if Tomkat had a threesome with Mohammed Ali. The plant is said to be multi-purpose: useful for amorous adventures as well as combating everything from cancer to malaria to malaise. The bottom line: We’re all for aphrodisiacs, but not the depletion of rainforests. And besides, erotic aids needn’t be quite that recherché. Check out our article The Taste of Love, chock full of recipes for things like chocolate-almond truffles, guaranteed to whip both of you into a frenzy.

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