Health/Fitness :: Health

It’s True: An Herbal Sexual Stimulant That Actually WORKS

by Steve Weinstein
Contributor
Tuesday Aug 31, 2010
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My mother says she is uncomfortable with all of those male-potency drug ads, ubiquitous during the beloved network news shows. She’s not the only one who finds ads referring to performance during the sexual act icky. I’m old enough to remember when "feminine hygiene" products were controversial. There was an even a time when ads for tampons were frowned upon -- just about the opposite of a sexy product.

But urologists, sex therapists, psychologists and every other specialist who has dealt with impotence agree that these ads have had the salutary effect of bringing this all-too-common ailment out into the open. Male impotence had long been one of those casual ailments that were thought to be unfortunate but an inevitable side effect of aging or disease, certain states of mind or mental problems, or resulting from other prescription drugs (not to mention alcohol); or a temporary condition that could be cured by the creating the right mood (or with the right sexual partner).

Whatever you think about the subject, if it happens to you -- and it happens to nearly all men at some point in their lives -- it’s not a minor complaint, like a runny nose. That’s why Viagra, when it came on the market in 1998, became as much of a cultural touchstone for men as the Pill for women. The now-iconic purple diamond revolutionized men’s sex lives. Even Bob Dole was publicly acknowledging getting his freak on!

After the worldwide phenomenal success of Viagra, longer-lasting Levitra and Ciallis entered the field. Unfortunately, they proved to have some unfortunate side effects, some specific to only some men, but others nearly universal. Headaches are not uncommon, as is slight indigestion, hypotension (low blood pressure) and flushing.

Specific conditions may be localized to only a few men. For myself, I find my heart racing when I use them and a low-level nervousness. I also have more trouble sleeping, which could be a side effect of increased sex drive. For those who are HIV-positive, they can seriously interact with protease inhibitors. And by now we all know that poppers are big no-nos with these drugs.


The All-Natural, Herbal Way

Then there are those who have an aversion to prescription drugs. One of those people is Don Hanvey.

Hanvey had worked for 25 years in the commercial TV industry until 1992, when he was diagnosed with a liver condition. As often happens, the cure was proving worse than the disease; his prescription meds were only making him feel worse and compounding his symptoms.

He turned to homeopathic medicine. Acupuncture and herbal cures did the trick. His liver healed in three weeks, and he became obsessed by the power of natural cures. He began traveling to amass anecdotes about how local cultures approached illness.

He ended up working for a Central American lab that made some natural-herb products. There, he learned how to manufacture herbal remedies while taking course work.

Once again, his personal life influenced his approach to non-Western cures. He noticed that, as his wife, her friends, and his friends’ wives entered menopause, their sexual desire went from strong to weak to nil. "When I saw people having these problems, I wanted women to get their desire back."

The result of that research was Passion Eve, a female sexual stimulant. From there, he approached the male side. What he came up with was a revolutionary product, Mancaps.

Enter Mancaps

Now, there are many "natural" male stimulants on the market. I admit I haven’t tried many of them. In the past, I relied on Viagra, Cialis and Levitra to get me "over the hump," as it were. And generally, they worked quite well, although I did find that they didn’t stimulate the thinking part of my libido, but were concentrated on my private parts.

This was generally not a problem, but if I was feeling performance anxiety for any reason, they sometimes wouldn’t work -- even if I was popping them like Tic-Tacs. They might take effect several hours later, but that didn’t do me much good -- in fact, it could prove embarrassing.

I had been dismissive of those pills sold in porn shops or in single packages in delis as placebos, snake oil whose main effect would be making you think they were working. So when I received a sample of Mancaps, I approached it with a good deal of skepticism.

The first time I took one, I took it about a day before planned sexual activity. I found that it was not only more effective than Viagra, but that the erections were more prolonged, more pronounced, much more spontaneous and way more longer lasting. In fact, Mancaps was working its magic even better the second and even third day after I took it.

So, being the dedicated research scientist that I am, I tried it several other times, under various conditions. I found that nothing could stop this thick blue-and-white cap. Even after orgasm, it was remaining effective.

Skepticism pushed aside, I asked the usual question: What the hell is in this stuff?!?

Mancaps is a combination of four herbs: "little horney devil" from Malaysia, which books blood flow to the penis; rhodiola rosea from Siberia to build sexual energy; nootropil from Europe to increase quantity and quality of orgams; and eurycoma longifolia root to increase blood flow and libido.

Hanvey claims that what makes his product unique is that these products work in synch on the mind as much as on the body. "The biggest sex organ is in the brain," he claims. "Desire, libido and arousal. That’s where I started. I realized if i could stimulate you, that’s the secret."

The libido, of course, is the psychological term for sexual desire, and we have long known it originated in the mind. I’ve often thought that sex was mostly mental, with the physical supplementing it. So it makes a certain amount of sense. But what’s to keep any other manufacturer from copying out the formula?

"You can basically knock off anybody’s product, and I’m sure somebody’s going to try it," Hanvey admits. "It’s the way we do it, the way we product it that makes it unique."


Are Mancaps Safe?

So far, Mancaps have been marketed very quietly. Hanvey is pretty much a one-man band operating out of Los Angeles. The products are available to order at his website, but for now, only a very few L.A. outlets carry them.

One of them is Capital Drugs, the pharmacy superstore that is familiar to anyone who lives in or has visited West Hollywood. Rick Correy, the general manager, told me that, in a little over a month that Mancaps have been available there, word of mouth has made them his top such herbal stimulant.

"Living in a town like Los Angeles, everyone wants to perform at his best, so people are looking for alternatives," Correy explains. "They’re definitely recommended, not only by me, but by the staff, who’ve tried them."

Correy, who likes the product so much he plans to move to Northern California where he hopes to roll out the product north to Vancouver, has taken Mancaps when he wasn’t planning on having sex just to see what would happen. "I got spontaneous erections," he enthuses. "I’d wake up hard. That hasn’t happened since I was 18." (Personal note: Yes, this happens. Wear a towel in the gym locker room. A big towel.)

Hanvey relates a story about a customer he met at the Power Zone in L.A. The man, about 40, told him that using Mancaps is like having "dick on demand."

Whenever a product is as effective (miraculous, really) as this one, questions inevitably arise about what is really in them. This is a legitimate question. The federal Food and Drug Administration is continually cracking down on dietary supplements to treat erectile dysfunction and has issued a warning, that "these products may contain prescription drugs or other undisclosed ingredients that can be harmful."

Thanks largely to the Internet, the number of these products is increasing, with the FDA usually two steps behind. The FDA has found Viagra in several of these. You can read the FDA’s warning and a list of the proscribed products in this "buyer beware" statement.

My main problem with associating Viagra or some other proscribed drug with Mancaps is twofold. First, I have none of the side effects I get with Viagra, including flushing or redness, sleeplessness, increased heartbeat and nervousness. (Mancaps contain no stimulants like cafeine, ginseng or gingko.) Second, Mancaps works so much better than Viagra, so how could they contain Viagra?

Another problem that some might see with a product like Mancaps is that, by creating such a wide time frame to have sex, it encourages unsafe sex practices. To this, I can only say that men love to have sex and will have sex. If anything, it helps promote safe sex by enabling a continued erection during that awkward pause while putting the condom on; one of the most common reasons why people eschew condoms is that they lose their erections while fiddling with them.


Marketing Mancaps

For now, Hanvey’s biggest problem is deciding what to do next. For reasons that should be obvious to anyone on this site, he decided early on to roll it out to the gay community. Living in Hollywood and with a gay son and several gay friends, he felt comfortable marketing it there and knew he’d find a receptive audience.

He is considering various options for funding. But for now, he is more than satisfied with word of mouth. He has also introduced a liquid form in a small bottle that contains one serving. Mixing Mancaps with glycerine and orange flavor, the whole bottle is drunk at once. Under the assumption that a liquid will penetrate the body much more quickly, this is being marketed as working within about 20 minutes. (For myself, I found the product worked much the same and on the same schedule as the capsule, but everyone’s metabolism is different.)

Of course, with this as with any product, the consumer should approach with caution. If you have a prior medical condition, you should probably consult with a physician before trying. Even though there have been no signs of counter-indications so far, if you’re on serious medication, you probably shouldn’t be taking this. Also, just as with Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, it is really not a good idea to take more than one over a 24-hour period.

I’m also wondering about whether the body can build up a tolerance. The product was tested in Europe and Central America, but I’m not sure it was over a long enough time to see whether they lose effectiveness if used heavily and continuously. This is probably something that will only become apparent after the drugs has been on the market for a while.

For now, however, I can only reiterate my own personal experience which has been quite, well, satisfying. If you do try it, leave a comment after this article. I hope you have as much with it as I have!


Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2010-08-31 23:10:58

    This is awesome Steve. Thanks. Rick Correy


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-01 01:26:50

    Any of the nitrate concerns, like with Viagra, etc.? Price?


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-01 10:33:40

    Steve here. Amyl obviously is something that should be used cautiously with any drug, legal, herbal or otherwise. But as far as I can see, there is no interaction as there is with Viagra. But for heaven’s sake, don’t hoover up the Rush with this or anything else? Moderation.


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-01 13:19:17

    When I first tried Mancaps I loved them so much that I not only got more, but thought that since there were only four ingredients that maybe I could make them myself. However, every herbalist and herbal supplement manufacturer I contacted said there is NO WAY those four ingredients could work as fast and last as long as Mancaps do, especially off of one capsule. Herbal remedies do not work like prescription meds. It takes time for them to naturally work with your body. Bottom line is everyone should take these with EXTREME caution. One person I spoke with said that there are unapproved ED medications floating around the black market that have been found in other "herbal" supplements. While there might not be Viagra in them, there is a very good chance that SOMETHING else is in them the manufacturers do not want you to know about. I would not mix them with poppers or any other drug for that matter. Like they say, "if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t."


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-01 13:37:11

    I picked up a couple of single Mancaps and a bottle of the liquid. The capsules worked really well, but the liquid (which to my tastes is really more than a single dose and difficult to take as directed on the label) had the major side effects I’ve experienced with Viagra. The "liquid experience" does make me question if the ingredients are all natural.


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-02 10:25:26

    The FDA has been recalling products because they were found to contain Aminotadalafil and /or sulfoaildenafil which "look" chemically similar to the active ingredient in Viagra. Joe www.Supplement-Geek.com


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-08 12:11:58

    I met Don Hanvey at Capitol Drugs a few weeks ago and told him that I’d bought Dragon and Horny Goat Weed there and they’d done absolutely NOTHING for me. So he gave me a sample and all I can say is OHMYGAWD. It worked for me in a big, big way. I came back a few days later to buy some and they were sold out of Mancaps. One of the employees told me that they can’t keep it in stock and that no one wants the other stuff they carry anymore. Even the pharmacists there are taking Mancaps. So, I don’t know about everyone who’s bagging on it. It works for me and my friends and apparently a lot of others as well. As much as I love Capitol, sometimes it’s easier to just buy it online, though.


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-08 13:59:16

    I never said they did not work...it is quite the opposite. They work REALLY well. But, from my research, there is no proof that those four herbs could produce such powerful effects so quickly that last as long as they do without an additional substance, most likely a chemical one (i.e. NOT herbal). "How" they make them would not make a difference (what do they have a magic wand???). This was from three independent sources. The point of my comment was to warn guys who use Mancaps to be very careful with them or any other "herbal" supplement. This is especially true if you are taking other prescription drugs, supplements or things like poppers/Amyl or other nitrates/nitrites. If the pharmacists at Capital Drugs like them so much, perhaps they can find a lab that will test them. I know if I was selling a product like this, I would test them to avoid any liability.


  • Anonymous, 2010-09-09 12:00:18

    I never said they did not work...it is quite the opposite. They work REALLY well. But, from my research, there is no proof that those four herbs could produce such powerful effects so quickly that last as long as they do without an additional substance, most likely a chemical one (i.e. NOT herbal). "How" they make them would not make a difference (what do they have a magic wand???). This was from three independent sources. The point of my comment was to warn guys who use Mancaps to be very careful with them or any other "herbal" supplement. This is especially true if you are taking other prescription drugs, supplements or things like poppers/Amyl or other nitrates/nitrites. If the pharmacists at Capital Drugs like them so much, perhaps they can find a lab that will test them. I know if I was selling a product like this, I would test them to avoid any liability.


  • Anonymous, 2013-11-02 10:04:03

    Point 1: Many, many herbs are poisonous. Ever hear of poison hemlock? Try eating a salad consisting of potato and tomato leaves and poison ivy. Point 2: A lack of ill effects at the time of ingestion means nothing. Liver failure from alcoholism and emphysema and lung cancer from smoking develop over a period of decades, right? Point 3: Just because an unregulated product CLAIMS to be made of four specific things, doesn’t mean that it actually has those things or that nothing else is in it. Even aspirin has more than aspirin in it. Something has to hold the pill together, and the pill has to be large enough to be handled, so most pills are mostly filler. Point 4: I just looked for info on these ingredient at Google Scholar. Per the US National Institutes of Health, 15% of Smilax myosofolia product samples contained levels of lead and mercury in excess of safety standards.


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