Xanthoparmelia Scabrosa lichen information and safety by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Feb 14 2014

Medical research regarding xanthoparmelia scabrosa is difficult to find. It is a lichen found throughout the world including China, Hong Kong, Australia, and South America. Xanthoparmelia has been promoted as an aphrodisiac.
At this point I am not in a position to recommend the use of xanthoparmelia scabrosa as a sexual herb or as an erectile dysfunction remedy until more is known regarding its alleged aphrodisiac properties or potential toxicity. There is yet no scientific study that indicates this lichen has aphrodisiac properties.
   A Medline search in 2013 did not reveal any human studies with this lichen. The last annotation is the research paper published in 2003 mentioned below.

What's in xanthoparmelia lichen?
A number of chemicals are found in
xanthoparmelia scabrosa including epipolythiopiperazinediones. Xanthoparmelia in bulk powder form is a brownish color, and the taste is not bitter.

Passion Rx for men and women
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Passion Rx supports and enhances healthy:

Passion Rx is not a precise Viagra alternative in the sense that it does not work exclusively as a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor. Rather, the dozens of compounds in this herbal blend have an influence on a number of natural chemical processes in the body and brain that influence healthy sexuality. Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D, author of Natural Sex Boosters, has discovered a combination of potent herbal extracts from the Amazon jungle, India, China, Malaysia, and Africa, that support healthy desire and performance, as well as to simply enhance sexual pleasure. Passion Rx provides a natural solution for those looking for an alternative to synthetic drugs.

The potent herbal extracts in Passion Rx include acetylcarnitine, ashwagandha, catuaba, choline, cnidium monnieri, coleus forskohlii, dmae, horny goat weed, maca, mucuna pruriens, muira puama, passion flower, pfaffia paniculata, rhodiola, shilajit, tribulus terrestris, tongkat ali. Another version of Passion Rx has yohimbe. Passion Rx does not have
xanthoparmelia scabrosa product or extract.

How does Xanthoparmelia work?
I have not come across any studies that indicate how (or if) xanthoparmelia scabrosa works in helping with erections or sex organ engorgement or any other aspect of sexual enhancement.

Xanthoparmelia caution
I have only come across one study regarding xanthoparmelia scabrosa (see below) and it concerns me since there may be toxins in this lichen, but at the same time these toxins are able to kill cancer cells. So, not much can be said for sure till we have at least a couple of more studies.


Xanthoparmelia Research review
Evidence that the lichen-derived scabrosin esters target mitochondrial ATP synthase in P388D1 cells.
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2003.
Scabrosin esters (SEs), which have been recently isolated from the lichen Xanthoparmelia scabrosa, belong to the epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class of secondary metabolites characterized by possession of a reactive disulfide bond. Colony forming assays show that these toxins are active against human tumor cell lines at nanomolar concentrations. ETP toxins have been shown to inhibit a variety of enzymes via interaction with sensitive cysteine residues. Here we show that the typical scabrosin ester acetate butyrate induces early mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization accompanied by apoptotic cell death. The toxin lowers ATP in intact cells and inhibits the rate of ATP synthesis in permeabilzed cells. Comparison with the effects of the known ATP synthase inhibitor oligomycin B is consistent with ATP synthase as an early target in scabrosin ester-induced cell death.

Press release - Toxic Herb Alert - Xanthoparmelia scabrosa Esters may be Unsafe
LANSING, MI -- The herb Xanthoparmelia scabrosa, found in several male sexual enhancement products sold as Viagra alternatives targeted to health food stores and marketed on the Internet, has been shown to contain a toxic ester. Jim Lewis, president of National Nutritional Foods Association-Midwest Region (NNFA-MW) is calling on all dietary supplement suppliers and natural products retailers to investigate the products in their inventories that may contain this herb, and to seek legal advice to determine if they should continue to sell these products. "As the market for male sexual health supplements continues its popularity among consumers, it is imperative to police ourselves and ensure that safe products are offered,ˇ¨ Lewis stated.  ˇResearch on the herb Xanthoparmelia scabrosa has clearly demonstrated toxicity in specific low doses.  To prevent another ephedra fiasco, it makes sense to respond accordingly to the science when that research demonstrates possible harm or adverse reactions." According to Lewis, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) know this herb is toxic. Xanthoparmelia scabrosa has been researched since 1978, with additional discoveries on its potent cytotoxic properties first revealed in 1996.  Australian National University¦s department of chemistry and its John Curtin School of Medical Research published articles on the cytotoxic activity of the esters. It does not appear at this time that xanthoparmelia is an appropriate herb for healthy sexuality.

Information of interest and other pages on this website
List of herbs for health and medical conditions. Enhance Sex Drive with natural supplements. Zallouh is an herb from the country of Lebanon. Graviola is a tree in the Caribbean. Mangosteen is a fruit from Asia. Saw palmetto also has beta sitosterol which is a phytosterol. Pygeum is often used in combination with saw palmetto. Impotence has many causes. Curcumin is an extract from turmeric. 5-htp has a serotonin effect. Coq10 is a good supplement to take for those who are taking stating drugs. Vinpocetine may enhance vision. Nattokinase is an enzyme for thrombus dissolution. Erection improvement is possible with herbs. Ahcc is an immune extract from mushroom. Serrapeptase is an enzyme. Female libido enhancers are available. Sexual enhancement is quite easy to do with natural sexual enhancers.

Questions
Q. I'm having a problem with erectile dysfunction and am trying to find a better solution than Viagra or like products which have side effects. I have found a product called Zyrexin which seems to help a lot!! Do you know Zyrexin and if so, is your product similar or as effective. And, does Physician Formulas ship products to Canada?
   A. We are not familiar with Zyrexin, but an internet search reveals the ingredients to be xanthoparmelia scabrosa, cnidium, yohimbe, horny goat weed. These are good herbs for sexual function and are also found in Passion Rx. The one problem we see with the Zyrexin web site is they say that this product has no side effects. We find this difficult to believe since yohimbe, found in Zyrexin, can have side effects. So, we are not sure what to make of this.

Q. I just tried Zyrexin and had a bad experience. My bones were jumpy and felt uncomfortable. They also gave me a pill with Butea Suprera and saw palmetto which gave me the same feeling even with a little. How is Passion rx product different? I'm 51 and healthy, but the Zyrexin took me for a loop. If I try Passion Rx as stated (half per day, every other day, should I be OK? I do take medication for high cholesterol and Nexium for indigestion.
   A.
it is impossible to predict each person's reaction to a particular supplement. Some people are very sensitive, others can take 5 times the amount and not feel anything. if you try Passion rx with yohimbe, start with a third of a capsule just to see how you react before making dosage changes up or down, and as long as your doctor approves.

J AOAC Int. 2010. Analysis of salazinic, norstictic, and usnic acids in Xanthoparmelia chlorochroa by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The lichen species Xanthoparmelia chlorochroa is toxic when consumed by domestic sheep, cattle, and Rocky Mountain elk. Clinical signs exhibited by poisoned animals include red urine, ataxia, and muscular weakness that rapidly progresses to recumbency. Elk are unable to recover once becoming recumbent; however, most affected cattle can recover if offered suitable feed shortly following the onset of signs.