Aside from Tinder, there aren’t a lot of places you expect to find surprise genitalia. And yet, it seems to find its way into our menus, medicine cabinets, and cosmetic bags.
You’ve probably heard that some cultures have culinary or medicinal traditions that involve animal genitalia. It’s not a common practice, though; in many cases, it’s illegal. But you might be surprised to learn that several items on this list are not animals—they’re human.
Human cells can be used in cell cultures to research and produce certain medical treatments and cosmetic products. The use of foreskin-derived cells in products is a controversial and sensitive topic, and many individuals and organizations object to it for ethical, religious, or other reasons. Still, it’s legal in many countries. Thankfully, it’s usually subject to some pretty strict ethical regulations.
Buckle up and get ready for ten things you didn’t know were made from genitalia.
Related: 10 Bizarrely Edible Organs
10 Homeopathic Kidney Medicine
Did you know that in Beijing, you can purchase dog testicles on a stick right from a street vendor? And supposedly, they’ll work wonders for your kidney.
Traditional Chinese medicine has a long and rich history. In the world of homeopathy, dried dog testes and penises have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including kidney disease.
The belief behind this practice is that the essence of the dog’s reproductive system can be transferred to the patient, promoting kidney health and vitality. According to a study done by Peter Lim and recorded in the National Library of Medicine, “dried dog testis and penis (Canis familiaris) is believed to tonify the kidneys and strengthen the yang II.”
But why use dog testes and penises?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, these ingredients are believed to be rich in Qi, or life force energy, which can help restore balance and harmony to the body. Additionally, dogs are thought to have a strong connection to the kidney meridian, which plays a crucial role in regulating your water and electrolyte balance.
While using dried a dog’s testes and penis in homeopathic kidney medicine may seem unusual to some, it is important to remember that different cultures have unique approaches to healing and wellness. As always, check in with a qualified healthcare professional before embarking on any new treatment plan.
9 Rocky Mountain Oysters
Ready to dig into a hot plate of Rocky Mountain oysters? You’ve got guts (and I know a bull out there who’s missing something else right now). For those who don’t know, Rocky Mountain oysters are deep-fried bull testicles. Yes, you read that right.
They can also be made from sheep testicles, and they’re usually breaded before being tossed in the fryer. It is a popular delicacy in some parts of the United States, particularly in Western states like Colorado, Texas, or Wyoming.
Now, if you can get past the initial shock factor, some folks say they taste like chicken. And others liken them to calamari or even clams. It’s all about the preparation. If they’re done right, they can be quite the delicacy (supposedly). But let’s be real; it takes a certain type of person to order bull testicles for dinner along with your burger and fries.
But hey, we’re not here to judge. As the saying goes, “When in Rome,” or in this case, the Rockies!
8 Yak Penis
While this dish sounds more like a Harlequin novel than a menu item, “Dragon in the Flame of Desire” is made from yak penis. And it costs a pretty penny too.
Now, I know what you’re thinking—yak penis? But hear me out. In traditional Chinese medicine, the yak penis is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and is said to increase male potency and fertility. The name “Dragon in the Flame of Desire” is derived from the belief that consuming this potion will ignite a fiery passion within the consumer, much like the mythical dragon.
The idea behind this remedy is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, which emphasizes the balance of the body’s energies or “chi.” It is believed that consuming yak penis will help balance the yin and yang energies in the body, leading to improved sexual health and vitality.
Of course, as with any traditional remedy, it’s important to note that little scientific evidence supports the supposed benefits of “Dragon in the Flame of Desire.” While there may be some anecdotal evidence, there’s no scientific journal claiming that consuming yak penis will improve your sexual health or function.
7 Tiger Penis Soup
If Tony the Tiger were here right now, he would not be great.
Tiger penis soup is believed to have originated in ancient China and has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including impotence and sexual dysfunction. The belief was that by consuming the penis of a powerful and virile animal like a tiger, you could reap the, uh, benefits.
Again, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, and tiger penis soup is widely regarded as a placebo at best and a harmful practice at worst. The use of tiger penis soup in China may be an interesting historical footnote, but it’s definitely not a viable or ethical form of medicine.
The consumption of tiger penis soup in China is not only controversial but also illegal due to the declining tiger population. So please leave those tigers alone.
6 Skin Grafts
Have you heard about the innovative method of treating burn victims using fibroblast cells derived from infant foreskin?
Yes, you read that correctly: Infant foreskin.
While it may sound strange, these fibroblast cells have been shown to have remarkable healing properties when used in skin grafts for burn victims.
The idea behind this treatment is based on the fact that fibroblast cells are responsible for producing collagen, which is essential for wound healing. And using these cells, doctors can produce a more effective skin graft that can help repair damaged tissue and promote healing.
But why infant foreskin, you may ask? Well, it turns out that the cells in the foreskin are more potent and more effective at producing collagen than those found in adult skin. See, infant skin is still developing and has a greater capacity for healing.
Of course, the use of baby foreskin in medical treatments is pretty controversial. However, it’s important to note that the cells used in this treatment are obtained from consenting parents who have chosen to have their child undergo circumcision. Treatments with these cells significantly benefit burn victims, helping them heal more quickly and with fewer complications.
5 SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex
Okay, if we’re being honest here, using human foreskin cells to help burn victims seems noble. But what about tossing it in your everyday cosmetics?
Yes, you read that correctly. SkinMedica’s popular skincare product, TNS Recovery Complex, contains a growth complex derived from human foreskin cells. But before you gasp in horror or disbelief, let’s examine why this controversial ingredient was included in the first place.
As we learned with the skin grafts, foreskin cells used in the TNS Recovery Complex contain growth factors are believed to promote skin rejuvenation and repair. These growth factors are thought to stimulate collagen production, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture and tone.
But let’s be clear: while there is some evidence to suggest that growth factors can improve skin health, there is no conclusive scientific proof that using foreskin cells in skincare products is effective. Moreover, the use of human foreskin cells raises ethical concerns and objections from some groups who argue that it is unethical and exploitative to use human tissue in this way.
Now, there’s a good chance you read that wrong. No, we’re not talking about the creamy yellow cheese that goes into queso dip. Although, that sounds a lot more appealing than what this really is.
The Vavelta treatment uses those same fibroblast cells derived from baby foreskin to rejuvenate the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Except this time, you literally put them inside your skin.
The idea behind Vavelta is that by injecting fibroblast cells derived from human foreskin into the skin, the cells will stimulate the production of collagen and other proteins, leading to a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. And I thought Botox was a weird thing to inject into your face.
Anyway, the cells are obtained through a process called tissue culture, which involves growing cells in a lab. This means that the cells used in Vavelta are not directly taken from a living person, and there is no risk of infection or disease transmission.
Of course, as with any medical treatment, it’s important to note that Vavelta is not a magic cure-all and may not be suitable for everyone. Check in with a licensed healthcare professional before undergoing any kind of treatment, including Vavelta. While the use of foreskin cells may seem unconventional, Vavelta is just one example of the innovative and cutting-edge treatments available.
3 BioEffect EGF Serum
This serum contains a plant-based version of a growth factor naturally found in human foreskin cells, known as epidermal growth factor (EGF). It is certainly an unusual ingredient, but there’s a reason for it. EGF is a powerful regenerative ingredient, helping stimulate cell growth and repair in the skin.
While originally derived from human foreskin cells, modern technology has enabled scientists to produce a plant-based version of EGF that offers the same benefits without the ethical concerns. This plant-based EGF is included in BioEffect EGF Serum, which is claimed to help improve skin texture, reduce wrinkles, and increase skin hydration.
Supposedly, when applied to the skin, EGF can help to stimulate the body’s natural repair processes, leading to healthier and more youthful-looking skin.
2 Vulva Vaginal Scent Perfume
Forget pumpkin spice. You know what every girl wants to smell like? A dirty vagina. At least, that’s the stance one perfume company is taking.
VULVA Original claims to capture the oh-so-intimate scent of femininity, combining vaginal scent, body odor, and a touch of perfume notes. Because nothing says alluring like an intense vaginal aroma.
But wait, there’s more! It’s marketed as an aphrodisiac for the new generation because, apparently, smelling like a vulva is the key to igniting sexual desire and well-being in this day and age.
Don’t worry; the company states that it’s all subject to strict international controls. It’s supposedly made with a little “help” from female volunteers.
1 Vag Yogurt
Well, look at you, Martha Stewart! Making homemade yogurt like it’s no big deal. But what if you took your grandma’s old yogurt recipe and added a special ingredient… your vaginal secretions?
According to the Stay at Home Mum, you can literally make yogurt from vaginal secretions. Does this sound more like an episode of Criminal Minds? Yes. But Cecilia Westbrook, an MD/Ph.D. student from Wisconsin, swears by this unconventional method of making yogurt.
Apparently, the bacteria found in the vagina are the same strains used to ferment yogurt. But just because it’s there doesn’t mean it belongs in your yogurt. Before you start thinking about trying this at home, remember that using vaginal secretions to make yogurt is not a scientifically proven method, and there are potential health risks involved. It’s possible to introduce harmful bacteria or infections into the yogurt.
Don’t worry—if you don’t feel comfortable consuming your own vaginal secretions for breakfast, there are plenty of other ways to get the probiotic benefits of yogurt. Try store-bought yogurt or taking probiotic supplements!