Can an Ancient Chinese Fungus Remedy Really Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

written by Carissa Andrews - Sep 30, 2019

Photo Credit: by Emilio Coya, María Ortiz, Julio Sánchez,
Photo Credit: by Emilio Coya, María Ortiz, Julio Sánchez,

Searching for a cure that will provide relief from erectile dysfunction is nothing new. However, ED sufferers around the world are wondering if an ancient cure may be made current again as a remedy for erectile dysfunction. In this modern age, the ancient treatment is going by a new name: in some places, you’ll hear it referred to as “sexy pavement lichen.”

If that name sounds weird, it’s because it is. We’ll explain more about this lichen trend below (though the explanation doesn’t make it much better!), but the short version is that you shouldn’t go cleaning out your medicine cabinet just yet.

Can an ancient Chinese fungus remedy really help with erectile dysfunction? In this article, we will explore the ancient Chinese fungus remedy and its supposed health and sexual wellness benefits--or lack thereof due to the dangers it hides. We will also consider the possibility that this ancient remedy could actually do more harm than help with erectile dysfunction. But don’t lose hope: we’ll also get into some recent ED research and the tried-and-true treatment plans that you can rely on. Read on to learn more.

Sexy pavement lichen: an ancient Chinese fungus remedy for ED?

If you’ve never heard of this uncommon remedy for erectile dysfunction, you’re probably quite confused about what sexy pavement lichen could possibly be. Essentially, there is a species of lichen (as in, the mold or algae-like substance that typically grows in damp, dark places) that has some side uses other than its environmental purpose.

Xanthoparmelia scabrosa is a fungus that can grow in commonplace areas such as sidewalks and rocks, but it was nicknamed “sexy pavement lichen” when people realized this same plant matter was promoted by some alternative groups as a natural alternative to Viagra. So, what did they do? Started eating or licking it right off the pavement! Men began licking this lichen for its purported Viagra-like powers, seeking a natural remedy for impotence. It is being marketed and sold as an ancient Chinese remedy for impotence, but this is not accurate.

Health concerns with eating sexy pavement lichen

Some properties of the fungus do offer a similar effect to Viagra. However, eating lichen off the pavement is obviously not ideal because this fungus from a non-sterile source can be toxic or harmful to your health. An article in The Guardian adds, “Lichen found on footpaths can also be tainted by inner-city pollutants such as dog urine and excrement, car exhaust, arsenic, mercury and lead.”

The article also shares, “The lichen in question is a species that only grows in New Zealand and the Pacific, most often in urban areas, and there are hundreds of products selling it in pill and powder form on the Chinese online marketplace Alibaba, retailing for anywhere between US$12-300 per kilogram.” These phony medications are not safe or trustworthy, and testing shows that customers aren’t getting what they think they’re paying for.

An expert opinion, cited in an article in The Sun, adds another layer of danger to the lichen-licking trend. Dr Peter de Lange, a botanist, is quoted: “‘About the only thing that people would get from using that is a healthy dose of cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead. Basically, anything that you would find in asphalt, roadsides, pavements. So it would actually do the exact opposite.’ He added that in urban areas, it contains high levels of copper, lead and zinc.” And that’s to say nothing of lichen planus!

Rather than a natural alternative to Viagra, consuming this Xanthoparmelia scabrosa fungus could spell disaster. If you’re suffering from ED and think you might need medication, the proper first step would be to consult a medical professional. Once you have a valid prescription for Viagra or a similar drug, it’s worth investing in the real thing or opting for a suitable generic from a reputable pharmacy to preserve your peace of mind.

Plus, in addition to the risks associated with eating lichen, you likely won’t even experience the effects you were hoping for from eating Xanthoparmelia scabrosa. All in all, sexy pavement lichen is probably better off avoided altogether. It may be free to lick off the pavement, and it may be natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you or better than spending money. There are better, safer ways to treat ED and they don’t have to break the bank.

What about Himalayan Viagra? Another natural alternative to Viagra?

Xanthoparmelia scabrosa isn’t the only fungus making waves in the ED world. Ophiocordyceps sinensis is another fungus with purported health benefits. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive funguses out there--prices can be as high as $50,000 per pound!--and is highly sought after in certain circles.

Other names for Ophiocordyceps sinensis include yartsa gunbu, yarsagumba, and Himalayan Viagra. Some even call it “caterpillar fungus” because it grows from ghost moth larvae. It is found in many countries of Asia, especially in India, China, and Nepal, most notably around the Himalayas, hence its nickname as Himalayan Viagra.

An article about Himalayan Viagra in the Pharmacy Times states, “Himalayan Viagra has been used for at least 1000 years as an aphrodisiac or as a treatment for hyposexuality. An article published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine noted that the caterpillar fungus can also treat night sweats, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, asthenia, arrhythmias, and other heart, respiratory, renal, and liver diseases. The review of the mysterious fungus stated that it holds more than 30 bioactivities, such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities.”

Though there could be some benefits to this Himalayan Viagra, its scientific backing is unclear. Again, it’s probably best to stick with the status quo here and opt only for reputable, extensively studied drugs.

Reuters published an article about how climate change has affected this hunt for cordyceps in certain remote regions of China. While the cultivation of this fungus was big business for some residents of these regions, the warming temperatures and melting glaciers have resulted in a dwindling crop and much lower financial numbers at stake.

Latest research on erectile dysfunction and ED treatment options

The latest research on erectile dysfunction suggests that there may be a link between ED and a person’s risk of heart disease. A recent CNN article titled Erectile dysfunction may predict strokes and heart attacks states, “ED may well predict your risk for a future stroke or heart attack. That’s the takeaway from a meta-analysis of studies on more than 150,000 men published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Compared to men without symptoms of impotence, the analysis found men with ED have a 59% higher risk of coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis, a 34% higher risk of stroke and a 33% higher risk of dying from any cause.”

It makes sense, from a scientific standpoint. The CNN article explains, “There’s a good reason why this particular male organ is a good predictor of future circulatory problems. It serves as a sort of ‘canary in the coal mine.’ ‘The penile artery that delivers the blood flow to the penis is a much smaller diameter, and it’s the smaller blood vessels which show the first signs of disease … They are unable to dilate and deliver sufficient blood flow.’”

In other words, ED is something to take seriously and bring to your doctor. It’s not just an indicator of a lack of pleasurable experiences in the bedroom, or the sign of an ended sex life that you have to just accept with resignation. Instead, ED could be an indicator of a more serious underlying health issue and could portent further problems ahead. It’s best to make sure you get your ED treated and brought to a doctor’s attention.

Many people turn to cheap or natural alternatives to ED medications because they seek something they can source for themselves or don’t want to be hit with the high prices of standard prescription drugs for ED. High drug prices are an issue worldwide, especially in the USA, but there are other ways to secure the medications you need at a price you can afford. Sourcing shady substances off the Internet isn’t the only way to save some cash!

For one, it’s important to first consider the possible causes of your impotence. Turning to drugs to cure your ED isn’t necessarily the right answer right away for everyone. There may be other causes for your ED, possibly with psychological or nutritional roots, and there may be treatment plans to put in place before considering more drastic options (or licking lichen!). Doctors may recommend a lifestyle intervention, diet changes, vitamins and supplements, quitting smoking, losing weight or exercising, quitting porn, and more.

If you are suffering from poor sexual performance or the inability to get or keep an erection, you should consult with your doctor about how you are feeling, discuss your symptoms, voice your concerns, and share the details of your situation in such a way that the doctor fully understands and can make sound suggestions based on your specific needs. There may be a variety of ways you can treat your ED and gain back a more fulfilling sex life.

For example, the cause of your ED might even be iron deficiency. Check out our article titled Anemia? Fatigue? Sexual Dysfunction? It Could Be Iron Deficiency to learn more about the connection between your iron levels and your sexual performance. With all the possible explanations out there, there’s no reason to lose hope if you’re struggling with ED.

Go generic for erectile dysfunction medications

Need ED medications without shelling out extra cash? One of the best money-saving tips out there when it comes to cutting your medical costs is to go generic, for your ED medications and for others as well. Generic Viagra is readily available now that the original Viagra patent has expired, so acquiring ED medications shouldn’t be a challenge if it’s what your doctor prescribes to you.

Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before you move forward on any changes to your recommended health care regimen. However, he or she will be able to advise you on what the generic alternatives are, whether they are safe to use in your case, and other ways to save money on medications. Remember, your doctor is there to help you, so ask for advice when you need it. ED may not be the most comfortable topic to discuss, but consider your quality of life and remember that your doctor hears about these things every day.

Wondering where you can get low-price, high-quality ED drugs? You’re in the right place. We offer a wide variety of erectile dysfunction drugs including Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Viagra, and more. Ordering prescription ED drugs from an online Canadian pharmacy may be a novel concept to you, but for millions of happy customers around the world, it has been the key that unlocked a more convenient and cost-effective way to secure the medications they needed.

If you’ve been visiting the pharmacy for your medications ever since you’ve needed medications, it may take a little getting used to if you order your drugs online instead of entering a brick-and-mortar pharmacy, but give it a try and you’re likely to see why so many people have opted to go this route instead. Not only does it save you time and a trip to the pharmacy, it couldn’t be more convenient, and you might even save some money along the way. You simply place your order after submitted your valid prescription and then, before you know it, your shipment will arrive to your door.

If you want to learn more about ordering ED drugs online, check out our article titled Can You Really Save by Buying Viagra, Cialis, & Levitra from a Canadian Pharmacy? And don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions, concerns, or requests. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time ordering from an online Canadian pharmacy, we’re happy to help.



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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.