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Health

Lebanon has its own natural version of Viagra

shirsh zallough
Shirsh zallough is derived from the root of a small mountain shrub.  
August 12, 1998
Web posted at: 5:57 p.m. EDT (2157 GMT)

(CNN) -- When the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for men suffering from impotence this spring, it was the hottest drug around. But in Lebanon, men say they find the answer to their sexual problems in the mountains rather than in a little blue pill.

The hills are where one of nature's versions of Viagra, a wild root called shirsh zallouh, grows.

It comes from a small shrub with thin leaves and tiny white or yellow flowers. It is sold in bottles; one dose equals 10 to 12 drops.

Beirut pharmacist Pierre Malitschev cuts up the root and transforms it into the local wonder drug.

Pharmacist
Pierre Malitschev extracts the natural potency herb from the shrub's roots  

"I am making an extract of this root by a very special and scientific way by a hot extraction and distillation," Malitschev said.

Pharmacists and villagers claim it is a potent and effective brew, with no side effects and only one slight problem.

"The taste is a little rough," Malitschev said. "It's good to put it in milk or fruit juice and it should be acceptable."

While shirsh zallouh has been used for generations in Lebanon, word of the root's potency is just now spreading worldwide.

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