What Is Herbal Viagra Anyway?

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Well, it really could be anything. (Photo: Getty Images)

Most of us heard about herbal Viagra for the first time in mid-October when former basketball player Lamar Odom was found unconscious on the floor of a Nevada brothel. On Wednesday morning, his estranged wife Khloé Kardashian told The Howard Stern Show, “From my understanding, it’s what they had there at the brothel.”

But what exactly is herbal Viagra?

“Nobody knows what it is, and that’s because herbal Viagra is not an ingredient,” Philip Werthman, MD, urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, Calif., tells Yahoo Health. “It’s a nickname for anything anyone wants to slap a label on that says herbal Viagra. That’s the problem, and that’s where the danger lies.”

Related: Could Drinking Red Wine Lead to Better Sex?

Dr. Werthman continues that anything marketed as a natural supplement for enhancing sexual performance has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “This isn’t an FDA product where there’s a compound that’s been tested by a company where production has been regulated, supervised, and controlled,” he explains.

He also points out the copyright infringement associated with a product named herbal Viagra. “Viagra is a trade name for sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction medicine,” says Dr. Werthman. “So a company selling herbal Viagra is already stealing a trademark.”

Related: Patriots Star Chandler Jones Hospitalized for Synthetic Marijuana — But What Is That?

As for a man who may be suffering from this common form of sexual dysfunction, Dr. Werthman strongly advises seeking medical attention. “It’s so easy to go to a doctor — a urologist, a family practitioner, or a clinic — and get a real prescription,” he states.

In conclusion, he shares his general rule of thumb: “Whether something is herbal or comes from a pharmaceutical company, anything that is strong enough to have an effect is strong enough to have a side effect,” he says. “In Odom’s case, it was a problem waiting to happen that has happened.”

Read This Next: Lamar Odom Stopped Talking After He Woke Up From Coma

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