spot-the-fake-icon
FUNNIES
Fun Facts
Move aside Fake drugs: Have you heard of these wacky ED cures1?
Fun-fact
2500 BC: THE YIN AND YANG OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Ancient Chinese philosophers believed that a man’s yin and yang (contrary forces that interconnect – such as hot and cold) were out of balance by age 60, and without enough life-giving yin, he was bound to run dry on sexual energy. Around 2500 BC, a textbook of traditional Chinese medicine listed a potion of 22 ingredients that was used to help the emperor bed 1,200 women.Potions aside, acupuncture (a treatment that uses needles to balance streams of energy in the body) was also used as part of traditional Chinese medicine to treat erectile dysfunction – and it is still being used in both China and America today.
Fun-fact
1600 BC: IMPOTENCE IN ANCIENT EGYPT
Around 1600 BC, the Egyptians believed that impotence was the result of a natural disorder or an evil spell. And they had many remedies to ward off the ED curse – including grinding up baby crocodile hearts to rub on the penis.In fact, one Egyptian treatment, white and blue lotus flowers, is being rediscovered. Egyptians probably used lotus flowers as an aphrodisiac and perhaps as a remedy for impotence. Today, we know that the active ingredient, apomorphine, can be used to treat ED.
Fun-fact
1000 BC: TREATING ED IN ANCIENT MAYAN CIVILIZATION
Take a look at ancient Mayan art, and you may find depictions of Mayan priests standing with their “jaguar god.” Each priest has flowers emerging from his headpiece that look awfully similar to the ED-fighting Egyptian lotus flowers. The flowers appear to belong to the same genus, Nymphaea.Although these plants were used in the ancient world as part of religious ceremonies, researches hypothesize that the Mayans may have also used their properties to treat erectile dysfunction.
Fun-fact
THE DARK AGES: BLAME IT ON THE DEVIL?
In the 13th century, the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas believed that demons were the most likely cause of erectile dysfunction. A few hundred years later, in a medieval textbook for witch hunters called Malleus Maleficarum (the “hammer of witches”), men with impotence problems were urged to track down the women who had bewitched their penises and persuade them, with violence if necessary, to restore their erections. Far from a remedy for impotence, the resulting persecutions were a blot on history (and you can blame that on ignorance, not the devil).
Fun-fact
1600-1900: FROM A WOMAN’S HAND TO THE HANDS OF SCIENCE
During the 1600s, the general view on erectile dysfunction was that if a woman's touch couldn’t cure a flaccid penis, nothing else would. However, by the end of the century, scientists had discovered that it was actually the blood-supplying arteries that lead to an erection.
Researchers got to work, and by 1873 the first surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction had arrived. An Italian doctor successfully treated ED by blocking veins that drained blood away from a penile erection.
Fun-fact
EARLY 20TH CENTURY: WEIRD SCIENCE
During the early 20th century, science on erectile dysfunction veered off the tracks. In 1918, a Russian doctor came up with the idea of transplanting monkey testicle tissue into humans (seriously). This started a series of ill-conceived experimental surgeries to treat ED by implanting strips of testicles taken from human cadavers, goats, boars, and deer into men with impotence. Then, in 1935, researchers in the Netherlands were able to identify the male hormone testosterone, and modern ED treatment began to take off.
Fun-fact
1960’S: THE RISE OF THE PENILE IMPLANT
The earliest penile implants were based on the observation that many animals had actual penile bones. But attempts to implant bone or cartilage into the human penis failed because the grafts were quickly absorbed. Instead, doctors began using synthetic implants in the 1960s. The first implants were hard and caused pain. In the early 1970s these were replaced with implants that could be pumped full of air. This option is still popular as an ED treatment but does involve the risks of surgery.
Fun-fact
1970’S: PENISES GET PUMPED UP
In the 1970s, a Pentecostal minister with a tire repair business on the side figured out how to attach a tire pump to a cylinder, create negative pressure, place the cylinder over his penis, and pump up an erection. From such beginnings came the FDA-approved vacuum penis pump system for erectile dysfunction, which many men still use today. If you’re not a slave to spontaneity, you may be able to pump up an erection that lasts about 30 minutes and forgo erectile dysfunction drugs.
Fun-fact
1980’S: INTRODUCING PENIS INJECTIONS
This medical advance occurred accidentally (which goes to show that good things can come from bad beginnings). A French surgeon unintentionally injected the drug papaverine, used to open up blood vessels, into someone’s penis, and it caused an instant erection, the beginnings of intracavernosal injection ED therapy.In 1983, a British researcher actually injected his own penis at a medical meeting to prove how effective this treatment could be for erectile dysfunction.
Fun-fact
1990’S-PRESENT: THE BIRTH OF PDE5 INHIBITORS
In 1994, another accident occurred. Researchers found that sildenafil, a drug being studied to treat angina, also caused erections. In 1998, the FDA approved this medication to treat impotence, and it was soon followed by other oral ED drugs.If you are among the 30 million men with ED today, it’s a good thing you were born in this century.

Reference: 1. Everyday Health: Erectile Dysfunction (2014). Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/erectile-dysfunction-pictures/wackiest-erectile-dysfunction-cures-of-all-time.aspx. (Accessed: 20 March 2020)

BACK