Zallouh (Ferulis harmonis) is a small shrub with thin leaves and tiny white or yellow flowers. Zallouh is a member of the parsley family. Also commonly known as “Shirsh Zallouh” the plant grows between 6000 and 10,000 feet around massive Mount Haramoun, which straddles the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. In that region, the plant is extravagantly profuse. At present, many thousands of tons of zallouh grow on Mount Haramoun. Conditions do not make harvesting the plant entirely safe. Due to ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East, the Israeli side of Mount Haramoun is not a safe or secure source of zallouh. On the Lebanese side, indiscriminate harvesting of the wild plant has reduced its occurence. As a result, the Lebanese government has made efforts to limit zallouh harvesting. In Syria, a nation under military rule, zallouh trade is overseen by the Syrian Army, and the harvesting of zallouh is conducted in a controlled, sustainable fashion. The root is typically harvested from August to October.
Human Clinical Studies
Zallouh has also undergone scientific clinical study. In Beirut, the Lebanese Urological Society has sponsored clinical trials which have carried this traditional root of antiquity into the medical present. The Lebanese government is keenly supportive of zallouh, and this has led to a series of human studies, conducted on a large scale. To date more than 7000 men have participated in this research.
In the studies conducted on zallouh, we see first hand a bias that is prevalent in the Middle East. Men and women in the Middle East are as sexually active and sexually interested as any people, but there is a significant taboo against any explicit acknowledgment of female sexuality in the majority of nations in that region. The human clinical studies on zallouh root have been conducted only on men. No study has ever focused on women’s sexual needs or function. So we can count solely on the historical and current verbal reports about enhancing libido and sexual pleasure in women to say that zallouh is suitable for both sexes.
Men selected as candidates for trials have uniformly experienced some measure of erectile dysfunction. In one six month study of 315 men with a mean age of fifty-five, among the 159 who took either 500 or 1000 milligrams of freeze-dried zallouh root, 80 percent experienced improvement. On a scale of 1 to 5, the men went from an average score of 1.26 (virtually no erection) to an average of 3.11 (a firm erection). To complete the data collection on the study, the researchers conducted a study to evaluate partner's perceptions of the efficacy of Zallouh in patients with erectile dysfunction treated at Malaab Medical Center in Beirut. They presented results from twelve weeks of observation and feedback from spouses or female partners who were asked to record number of successful attempts at sexual intercourse and fill out a two-part questionnaire asking "How often did he get an erection?" and "How often did he maintain an erection?" Responses were graded on a scale of 1 to 5 ranging from never to always with zero representing no sexual activity.
The responses of the female partners of the males treated with Zallouh correlated closely with results reported by the treated subjects. There was a significant increase in number of partners reporting improved erections and increased successful attempts at sexual intercourse in the treated group (80 percent) compared to the placebo group (10 percent).
In the largest zallouh study of all, 4274 patients ages eighteen to eighty-seven participated. Of these, 2722 took zallouh root, between 2 – 8 grams daily in the form of tea. At the end of the year, 2199 patients on zallouh had completed the study, with an efficacy rate nearing 86 percent for improved erectile function. These results are spectacular, and show promise for large doses of zallouh taken over an extended period. Not all the studies were as impressive, depending on the dosage of zallouh given, and the duration of the study. The lowest efficacy rates in clinical trials hovered around 60 percent, which is still remarkably good, compared with placebo groups at about 10 percent.
Zallouh root is not currently standardized to a specific potency of any one compound. But a daily dose of anywhere from 500 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams of the freeze-dried root concentrate will put you right in the zone of maximum efficacy.
By Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter