Scientists from the University of Benin confirm that Burantashi – an aphrodisiac powdery herbal product – from northern Nigeria enhances men’s sexual performance but caution that prolonged use could have a negative impact on the quality of sperm produced and affect the liver.
The outcome of the study was published in the 2020 edition of the journal, Acta Scientific Pharmaceutical Sciences where the researchers had studied the impact of burantashi on the structure of the sperm in adult male Wister rats and mice.
The study buttressed the fact that although burantashi does not affect sperm concentration and motility, its continuous usage, can increase the number of abnormal sperm per ejaculate and as such may also pose a threat on fertility.
The substance is derived from the bark of the African tree Pausinystalia johimbe (Yohimbe in English). It widely reputed as a herbal aphrodisiac or sex enhancer. It is called agbo idagbon in Yoruba. It is also sprinkled on suya, a peppery beef barbecue.
It is sold by many Hausa traders all over Nigeria and attracts clients from the low to the high and mighty.
In Lagos, its hawkers loiter around shopping malls, petrol filling stations, cinemas, hotels, street corners, post offices and on the road when the traffic is heavy.
On the street, it is called Hausa Viagra or Hausa paraga as users claim it helps them to last longer in bed, relieves impotence in men and cures erectile dysfunction. Others add that it helps with weak erection and brings better sexual satisfaction. Furthermore, the loyal clients say it’s a good cure for low sperm count and its naturality reduces side effects.
Apart from its aphrodisiac properties, they also claim it treats fever, cough, exhaustion and good for energy boosting, chest pain, skin disorders and inflammations.
Some also use it as a mild stimulant to prevent drowsiness and as a general tonic, plus a remedy to increase the clarity of the voices of singers during long festivals. The claim also says it is used as a treatment to increase the resilience of hunting dogs.
CLIENTS SAY IT CURE LOW SPERM COUNTS. SCIENTISTS SAY IT DAMAGE THE SPERM
However, other studies connect its usage with infertility and sperm cell quality amongst sexually active males in Nigeria. These other researchers postulate that although burantashi may not affect the sperm cell concentration and motility at a short exposure, its prolonged use and at high doses causes extensive damage to the sperm’s structure.
Additionally, another study suggested that indiscriminate consumption of burantashi for a long duration is able to cause liver damage.
In 2014, the researchers in the Nigerian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology had examined the effects of burantashi on the liver of albino rats at varying concentrations. They found that it caused impaired liver function with increased amount used.