Chewing sticks called miswak are popular among Africans for keeping the teeth clean and general oral hygiene due to their anti-microbial function. Reports have suggested that miswak which are fashioned from herb, performed better than fluoride-based and conventional toothpastes in preventing tooth decay. However, one local chewing stick, Massularia accuminata chewing stick. It is called pako ijebu in Yoruba, and atu uhie in Igbo) is said to influence sexual arousal and performance
Studies have shown that Massularia accuminata leads to improved sexual arousal, while also preventing tooth decay. One of the studies which was published in the journal Evidence Based Complement Alternative Medicine, found that that the aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem at the doses of 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight could be used as a stimulator of sexual behaviour in male rats. “The aphrodisiac effect of the plant extract may be due to the presence of alkaloids, saponins and/or flavonoids through a multitude of central and peripheral means. Work is in progress on the isolation and characterization of the aphrodisiac principle(s) in the plant extract, the actual mechanism of action as well as the toxicity risks of the crude extract and bioactive agent(s),” the researchers noted.
Another study by Nigerian researchers demonstrated that three local chewing sticks, including Massularia acuminate, performed better than fluoride-based and conventional toothpastes in preventing tooth decay. The other two local chewing sticks are: Fagara zanthoxyloides (candlewood or Senegal prickly ash/orin ata in Yoruba), and Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf). The researchers also revealed that Massularia accuminata, increased testosterone and libido.
The study titled “A Study of the Anticaries Activity of Three Common Chewing Sticks and Two Brands of Toothpaste in South West Nigeria” was published in British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. The researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, include: Odeleye Olubola Florence; Okunye Olufemi Lionel; Kesi Christopher; and Abatan Temitope Olubunmi.
The researchers evaluated three common chewing sticks and two brands of toothpaste in southwest Nigeria for the ability to control caries-causing bacteria. They found that the three local chewing sticks were better than conventional toothpastes.
Some other scholars have disputed the claim that Massularia accuminata has high sexual stimulation ability as widely said, though the critics agreed that the plant had some portion of testosterone.