Drink's Claim: Pop in the Name of Love
Liquid Love is an electric-blue herbal aphrodisiac that enhances intimacy, energy, awareness and concentration, according to The Love Factor Inc., the Dallas company marketing the new beverage.
Drink’s Claim: Pop in the Name of Love
By Dawn Wotapka
Dawn Wotapka is a freelance writer.
September 16, 2003
THE PRODUCT AND WHAT IT’S MARKETED FOR: Liquid Love is an electric-blue herbal aphrodisiac that enhances intimacy, energy, awareness and concentration, according to The Love Factor Inc., the Dallas company marketing the new beverage.
“We look at our product as a metaphor for intimacy,” said John Polk, with the company’s marketing department. “Just the act of popping the bottle and pouring it into the champagne glass, it sort of sets the mood.”
Resembling a miniature champagne bottle, 6.8 ounces cost about $4.99. It is available only at www.the lovefactor.com or by calling the company, though a nationwide launch in nightclubs, convenience stores and gift stores is planned. The product is guaranteed for 30 days after purchase.
WHAT’S KNOWN: The fizzy drink resulted after “hundreds of hours of research into the ancient lore and wisdom of sensuality, energy and healing,” the company says.
A brochure suggests drinking up to four highly chilled bottles daily. (That’s about $20 before tax.) It tastes like ultra-sweet Sprite with a slightly metallic aftertaste.
Or “you can drink one or two before that special time to get the immediate results,” Polk said.
It contains as much sugar as a candy bar and 83 percent of the recommended daily vitamin B12 intake. What makes this German-made drink unique, according to the company, is its herbal ingredients. They include: damiana, a wild herb long labeled an aphrodisiac and considered an antidepressant, according to the Physicians’ Desk Reference for Herbal Medicine; and muira puama, used to halt diarrhea and treat sexual disorders. Both are common ingredients in penis- and breast-enlargement pills.
Also used is: schizandra, known as “magnolia vine,” which reportedly increases men’s sexual stamina; ginseng, used to relieve stress and boost energy; and guarana, which contains caffeine-like compounds and is considered a stimulant and aphrodisiac.
The Love Factor points out that some doctors dispute its herbal claims. Because the tonic is not considered a medicine, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate its ingredients, production or promises. (This is pointed out on the label.)
Children, pregnant women, people with high blood pressure or those sensitive to caffeine should not consume Liquid Love. The Love Factor also recommends that anyone taking medication consult his or her doctor before imbibing.
BOTTOM LINE: Many of its ingredients are common in similar products, pointed out Dr. Ira Sharlip, a spokesman for the American Urological Association and a sexual medicine expert.
“Do you know how many hundreds of products have been advertised to do the same thing over the years? They keep getting reinvented,” he said. “When you have hundreds of products that basically have the same ingredients, it just tells you they don’t work.”
Sharlip pointed out that no double blind placebo-controlled studies - the scientific standard for experiments - were performed.
“I can’t say that the products don’t work,” he said. “The company cannot say that the product does work because the company doesn’t know that. To that extent, I think that this kind of advertising is misleading.”
However, he added that the chances of Liquid Love living up to its ambitious advertising are “pretty remote.”
The Love Factor says the product “works a lot on the individual basis,” but concurs there is no scientific proof to back that up. Its only studies include dispensing Liquid Love for free and relying on anecdotal evidence.
“They say it works and they like the taste of it and everything,” said Shea Eddins, a company spokeswoman.
“We don’t make any claims,” Polk added. “There’s not a lot of clinical studies because herbal supplements don’t have a lot of clinical studies done. The pharmaceutical industry, they have to do clinical studies.”
OTHER OPTIONS: “For the couples who have no problems with sexual function, there isn’t anything that you can take to enhance it even further, because it’s already 100 percent,” Sharlip said. Polk pointed out that the drink is more romantic than “popping an herbal pill.”
If there are problems affecting sexual performance, Viagra is the best- known option. However, the blue pill now has competition. Levitra recently earned FDA approval. Later this year, Cialis could be approved. A nasal spray and cream are also in the works. Sharlip cautioned these don’t work for everyone: “You can’t make a Superman out of a normal man.”
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