From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised the alarm over rising intake of unregistered herbal aphrodisiac, bitters and other relevant products among Nigerians.
The said that careful examination of situations could confirm that stories of people dying in hotels and homes in the cause of sexual activities could be as a result of these products that are, most often, taken to drive sexual satisfaction.
The Agency stressed that most of the unregistered herbal aphrodisiac either contains ingredients/substances that are harmful to the body, or are misused by the manufacturers in terms of quantity and dosage.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, at a press conference in Abuja, on Friday, displayed some of the aphrodisiac products that were recently confiscated at various markets and other locations across the country, some of which, she said, can lead to death of the user in five minutes because of the ingredients used in preparing the product.
She said: “recently the Agency received series of report on the use of herbal preparation popularly known as ‘Kurkura’ particularly in the South West and Northern axis of the country, and thereafter swung into action, carried out intelligence and enforcement action.
She explained that “Kurkura” is an illicit product illegally consumed for the sole aim of getting intoxicated, adding that the substance, when abused can be harmful to the body organs such as the brain, kidney and liver.
She added that the substance can also cause irrational thinking, altered state of mind, which if taken by a driver can lead to road traffic accident with the attendant fatality consequences, or can lead to criminal behaviours such as rape, kidnapping and murder.
The NAFDAC boss said the Agency officials have commenced a nationwide crackdown of all illegal manufacturers and distributors of these herbal preparations with a view to bringing perpetrators to book and minimize the usage of the substance.
She said: “findings from various operations carried out revealed a dangerous trend in the use of such substances laced with high concentration of tobacco and sometimes cannabis by our populace cutting across all genders and age groups particularly artisans, drivers, okada riders etc.
“The ‘Kurkura’ herbal preparations discovered in circulations included; Five Minutes Power Herbs Medicine, Haonu Laha Herbal Mixture, Gamzaki Tradomedical Herbal Ventures, Barakallahu Multipurpose Herbal Mixture, Sabon Karfi Herbal Mixture.
“Similarly, in our recent operation, we impounded dangerous herbal aphrodisiac at some Islamic herbal medicines shops in Zaria, Kaduna State, notably, Gagare Man Power, Minister For Man Power, Almenjou For Lazy Men in Bed, among several others.”
She confirmed that the illegal factories involved in the production of such unauthorized products have been shut down and the owner arrested.
She explained: “We discovered the usage of Hyergra 200 (Sildenafil Citrate tablet), Amafranil tablets (Clomipramine tablet 25mg) and Cannon Extra (Paracetamol 500mg+Caffeine 30mg) in the production room, and the owner admitted that he dissolves the Hyergra 200, Cannon Extra and the Amafranil in a drum and mixes the content with boiled Kanafari, Garlic, Dundu, Marke, Hankufa, sweetner and Sodium Benzoate to make up the Man Power preparation. Yet the label on the preparation read 100 per cent Herbal.
“The effect of such preparation on person with heart challenges can only be imagined.
The makers of these products were arrested and later granted bail while the investigation is ongoing,” she added.
Similarly, the NAFDAC boss raised concerns about an alcoholic bitters called Japata which, she confirmed, was duly registered by NAFDAC, but was later laced with marijuana or cannabis compared to the registered product that had only ethanol.
She said: “Through intelligence, we shut down the company. This product when tested in the laboratory, caused the death of mice within five minutes because the alcoholic content was doubled compared with the registered product.
“Meanwhile, the retained samples, kept at the point of registration, did not cause any injury to the animals. The product laced with cannabis was said to cause altered state of mind and psychological problems to the user.”