People have always tried to improve their sex life appealing to aphrodisiacs.
Walnuts too have been known to have aphrodisiac qualities ever since Roman times and have been used with this purpose by many Europeans.
The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts protect the body from cardiovascular diseases by impeding erratic heart beats, decreasing the likelihood of blood clots formation inside the arteries and improving the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.
Wealthy blood circulation is essential for getting and maintaining an erection. Walnuts are also rich in protein and high in potassium, zinc and iron (that's why oysters, too, are eaten as aphrodisiacs).
Now, a team at University of Malaya led by Prof. Kim Kah Hwi has announced they have produced an aphrodisiac alternative from walnuts.
The new Viagra alternative is called N-Hanz. The team started its research based on the historical use of the walnuts and the human trials of the walnut extract were made on 40 volunteers with erectile dysfunction, who responded positively.
"I read articles about the Romans and French having eaten walnuts for this purpose. I thought if it had been documented that long ago, then there surely has to be something there."
The walnuts were brought from China. The team says the new drug, developed after two years of research, is healthier than Viagra.
"The new pill was comparable to Viagra as well as safe, although a person would have to consume about 3.3kg of walnuts for the same effect as one tablet. It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours.
Furthermore, because it is not a drug, it is safe for those with hypertension or diabetes, or (those) who have recently had heart bypasses. Some of the volunteers had undergone bypass surgeries." said Kim.
"The active ingredient is arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric oxide known to help to enlarge blood vessels and enhance blood flow to the penis. All these foods that have aphrodisiac properties are within easy reach, including walnut, and so low libido should no more be a dilemma."
The tablet has been approved by the Malay Health Ministry.