July 19, 2004, Updated September 13, 2012

The list of ingredients in Sheagree includes magnolia flowers, nut seeds, persimmon, lychee, oregano, turmeric, saffron and fenugreek – a favorite among the Yemenite community in Israel to which they attribute virility powers.”I’ll have what she’s having” is a classic line in the most famous scene of the film When Harry Met Sally. It takes place when Meg Ryan (Sally) is demonstrating to Billy Crystal (Harry) in a diner how a woman fakes an orgasm. An opened-mouth female diner watches Sally’s verbal and physical gyrations with envy, and recites her line when the waitress arrives to take her order.

Funny as it was, now it may be possible for women to order ecstasy on demand thanks to an Israeli discovery called Sheagree. The team behind the natural herbal sexual stimulant claims that it’s the female equivalent of the globally successful male stimulant, Viagra. And Israeli consumers evidently think so too, as the Sheagree website and toll-free number have been inundated with queries ever since the introduction of the product last month.

Ronny Hahn, the head of New Concept, the company which is manufacturing Sheagree, is a bundle of energy spending all his waking hours touting the product, lecturing to health organization, meeting with researchers and acting as SheAgra’s main cheerleader.

“Numerous independent and objective studies found that large proportions of women face lack of satisfaction in this very critical intimate aspect of their lives,” Hahn told ISRAEL21c. “Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Sheagree, both during extensive clinical trials and since the product came onto the market just 6 weeks ago, SheAgra seems like the product women have been waiting for.”

Sheagree was developed after 10 years of research by a team headed by Dr. Avner Shemer, senior dermatologist at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. Shemer is a member of American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the European Academy of Dermatology.

“The product is fully certified by Israel’s Ministry of Health, and is a natural-based food supplement which can be sold over the counter. Sheagree is not a drug and therefore needs no doctor’s prescription,” explained Hahn.

Sheagree “elevates natural sexual desire, and that’s why it works differently for each woman,” said Shemer. “There are some women who have never before reached an orgasm, and who will now succeed with the help of this capsule. Some will experience strong and extended sexual ecstasy, and on others there will be no effect at all,” he said.

The list of ingredients in Sheagree includes magnolia flowers, nut seeds, persimmon, lychee, oregano, turmeric, saffron and fenugreek – a favorite among the Yemenite community in Israel to which they attribute virility powers. “Beyond that I prefer to be discrete, and certainly not to give the amounts,” Shemer said.

Making sure that observant Jews can also take advantage of the pill, Hahn proudly announced that he had obtained a kosher certification for Sheagree, which is produced in Netanya at the Solgar plant.

“The capsule originally contained starch, which raised complications for its kosher status. So we threw them out and ordered all new capsules which are 100% kosher,” he said.

The background of Sheagree’s development is a common one for many scientific discoveries – it was the result of something else. Hahn explained that Sheagree was developed inadvertently while Shemer was doing research on food supplements. Shemer said he was not looking for solutions to the loss of desire, but wanted to compound a nutritional additive. However, in the course of his research, Shemer discovered the secret ingredient that arouses women.

“In the beginning, the team noticed that man and woman who used a certain food supplement have reported on a light increase in their sexual desire,” said Hahn.

“This food supplement was tested in comparison to a placebo to validate its affect. In order to find a formula with a stronger affect on the sexual desire, the dominant ingredients were examined. These ingredients were taken from different plants that were used by traditional medicine to ‘strength the body’. The target was to find the right ratio between the ingredients and by adding other plants and roots to achieve the best result.”

After years of experimentation, the team found a formula which causes sexual desire but has minimal or no side affects, said Hahn, and Sheagree was born. The pill works on the physical blood circulation to the woman clitoris, and efficacy studies performed by Shemer and his team have shown that women have reported an increase in their sexual sensations within an hour from taking the pill. The only side effects for the Sheagree pill, according to the company are little blushing at the cheeks.

The Sheagree website recommends that women swallow the capsule with a little bit of red wine on an empty stomach. About half an hour later, it is advisable to proceed to the bedroom.

Since the 1998 launch of Viagra as a treatment for male sexual dysfunction, at least 10 pharmaceutical companies have undertaken development of a similar drug for women, according to market research firm Decision Resources. But SheAgra is the first to appear on the market.

According to Hahn, Shemer and his staff are about to finalize a controlled clinical research both on man and woman who have been treated with the food supplement in double blind placebo control study.

Hahn and Shemer were introduced by a mutual friend, and Hahn immediately saw the business possibilities in Shemer’s research. “Since then, we’ve become the best of friends, and you’ll often see us having breakfast on the beach in Netanya at 6 a.m. discussing business and life,” said Hahn.

Hahn is a veteran Israeli businessman and entrepreneur who, among other achievements, formed the first Israeli charter airline – Maof – in the 1960s. Following the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority, he was asked by Shimon Peres to join the board of the Jericho Casino – which he managed during its popular heyday in the 90s. But he says his current project with Sheagree is his “big baby” and tops them all.

“We have signed up a direct sales force of over 1200 independent – agents who are all profitably buying and selling the product. By working to a simple system of direct sales through mutli level-marketing, we ensure the fastest exposure of the public to the product while guaranteeing maximum profits for all our agents,” he said.

Israeli media reported last month that the huge American chain Wal-Mart had placed a trial order for 50,000 units of Sheagree. Hahn told ISRAEL21c that the order has been held up due to legal issues with Pfizer – the makers of Viagra – over the name Sheagree. But he was optimistic that the issue will be resolved, and that American women would soon be walking around with the same smile on their faces that are showing up on Israeli women with increased frequency.

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