The medicinal qualities of certain plants and herbs are well known, and these types of natural remedies been used to heal people for thousands of years. However, there is one much less well-known type of fungus with an unusual but potentially very important power.
The fungus, which appears to only grow on Hawaiian lava flows that are between 600 and 1,000 years old, can apparently induce spontaneous orgasms in women when they smell it.
The fungus, an unnamed Dictyophora species, was described by medical scientsists John C Holliday and Noah Soule in 2001.
They published their findings in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, and said the bright orange fungus has a reputation as a "potent female aphrodisiac when smelled."
Interested to find out whether it lived up to its reputation, the two conducted a test on volunteers.
As the journal says: "Indeed, nearly half of the female test subjects experienced spontaneous orgasms while smelling this mushroom."
The two hypothesised that the hormone-like compounds presents in the fungus's spores may be similar to the human neurotransmitters released during sexual encounters.
The mushroom's "fetid" smell didn't seem to have the same effect on the male test subjects, however.
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