F Lampiao. The role of Mondia whitei in reproduction: a review of current evidence. The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine. 2008 Volume 8 Number 1.
Various plants have been used in folk medicines of different cultures to treat male infertility problems. Some have been identified pharmacologically, allowing for understanding of their mechanisms of action but most of these plants have not been scientifically investigated in order to test and substantiate their claimed properties1, 2. One such plant is
Aphrodisiacs can be classified by their mode of action into three types: those that increase (1) libido (i.e., sexual desire), (2) potency (i.e., effectiveness of erection), or (3) sexual pleasure. This review seeks to shade more light on the functions of
Mondia whitei and libido
Libido increasing aphrodisiacs act at the level of the central nervous system by altering specific neurotransmitter or specific sex hormone concentrations. They can be effective in both sexes, although most act through an increase in testosterone concentration and are therefore male-specific6. Studies have reported that chronic treatment of rats with
and increase in potency
The mode of action of aphrodisiacs in this class is generally through induction of vasodilatation, to allow for erection to occur. A good example of a synthetic drug in this category is Sildenafil (Viagra) manufactured by Pfizer. It is an oral drug for men with erectile dysfunction which produces satisfactory erections and improves sexual satisfaction7. Sildenafil appears to be effective for various conditions that cause impotence, such as diabetes, spinal cord injuries and drug effect8. It works by competitively inhibiting type-V cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific phosphodiesterase enzyme (PDE) 9. Inhibition of this iso-enzyme increases stores of cGMP, the second messenger of nitric oxide and a mediator of vasodilatation to the penis, which relaxes corpus cavernosal smooth muscle cells and increases blood flow into cavernosal spaces. This leads to increased intracavernosal pressure, which is a necessity in producing erection. However, Sildenafil may produce potentially hazardous cardiovascular effects for certain patients, such as those with coronary ischemia or congestive heart failure, or patients taking multidrug antihypertensive regimens or drugs that might prolong the half-life of Sildenafil10.
and sperm function
The potency of
There is enough scientific evidence supporting the use of