Study: Viagra can be used to make flowers stand up straighter - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Viagra can be used to make flowers stand up straighter

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(KLTV) -

The next time you want to make your flowers last a little longer, consider dropping a bit of Viagra into the vase.

According to the British Medical Journal, researchers in Israel and Australia have found that the little blue pill is not only effective at treating male impotence, but also can be used to double the shelf live of cut flowers.

Having already tested the drug on strawberries, legumes, roses, carnations, broccoli and other perishable items, the researchers turned to cut flowers. They found that as little as one milligram of Viagra dissolved in a solution was enough to make two vases of cut flowers stay fresh almost a week longer than normal.

A group led by Professor Yaacov Leshem, a plant researcher at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, also discovered that Viagra has almost the same effect on plant ripening as it does on a man's sexual organ. 

Viagra is a relatively expensive solution to extending the life of flowers. However, nitric oxide, which is very inexpensive and easy to obtain, is an alternative to the little blue pill in treating cut flowers. Viagra is easier to apply to cut flowers, so now the challenge is to develop methods for large scale treatment of produce to increase shelf life.

The main ingredient in Viagra, manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil citrate works by enhancing signaling through the nitric oxide pathway in the male genitalia.

Men take a dose of 50 milligrams to treat impotence. Each pill costs roughly $5, according to Men's Health.

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