Identification and Analysis of Adulterants in Aphrodisiac Herbal Medicines Sold by Private Herbal Clinics, Pharmacies and Herbal Drug Shops in Kampala, Uganda
High performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), column chromatography and Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR) analytical methods were used for the identification and analysis of phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors in 50 randomly selected aphrodisiac herbal samples. Results showed that 27 samples were found to contain one or two or all three synthetic PDE-5 inhibitors representing 54% of the analyzed samples. The FTIR spectral characteristics obtained from the isolated compounds were found to be in conformity with the FTIR spectral characteristics obtained from sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil reference standards respectively. The results indicate that patients who use these herbal sexual enhancers with the notion that they are safe and natural, are likely to be exposed to serious health risks related to safety and quality of the herbal products. There is therefore need for additional effort to effectively regulate the herbal medicines in order to protect the consumers from emerging threat of adulteration.