Huffpost Weird News
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Myra Chanin Headshot

Viagra, Boo! Yarsagumbu, Yeah!

Posted: Updated:

Chinese men have got to be the most dysfunctional -- make that sexually harried -- males alive, at least from an erectile standpoint; understandable in the glory days when Mandarins of means had more concubines on the premises than even Cuba's legendary Superman could easily service. The Chinese always preferred natural to chemically manufactured remedies for this problem. They may simply be unwilling to take a chance on getting a woody that lasts for more than four hours with no western docs around the palace. Remember, the treatment for many ailments in China still consists of inserting long twirling needles into your extremities.

The Chinese peculiar take on sexual stimulants has made many a species close to extinct, including happy Chinese upper class women who were crippled for centuries because their husbands/lords/masters found reeking-with-gangrene toes-tucked-under-bound-feet rubbing against their manhood a turn-on. Chinese demands for natural aphrodisiacs have also contributed to the endangered species status of the white rhinoceros -- whose diminishing number of ground up horns are still in demand for treating penile flaccidity -- and the near extinction of giant Pacific clams whose abductor muscles resemble female sex organs. 'Nuff said.

Fortunately there's a new natural remedy that requires the natural demise of another species called Yarsagumbu, aka Himalayan Viagra. The host creature is a mummified bat moth caterpillar which is invaded by a mushroom fungus in the high Himalayan pastures of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet. The fungus buries itself in the insect's body and works its way out through the insect's head; drains the energy from the its body and kills it. The dead caterpillars are collected by local villagers in early spring, before the monsoon sweeps them away or poachers arrive.

Not only does this fungus supposedly give its adherents a massive dose of vigor, but it's given the Chinese economy a vigorous lift with prices for the top grade fetching $11,500 a pound. It has also turned peaceful Nepalese into murderers. A court in Nepal found six men guilty of murdering seven rivals in a fight over this fungus. So what else is new? Near every natural aphrodisiac you'll find an endangered species. Let's hope in this case it isn't the Nepalese.

In any case, it's available in New York for $800+ an ounce. Sounds like Bargain City to me. Incidentally, this fungus was relatively unknown to the West until 1993 when it was given credit for the success of the Chinese women's record-setting track team, along with turtle blood. Bet on the Chinese in the coming Olympics. No western athlete will want to win that badly.