An ointment made from curry powder could boost the sex drive of men and spell the end of embarrassing erection problems.
The new cream developed by scientists contains curcumin – a chemical found in turmeric that gives curry its yellowish look.
According to The Daily Mail, tests show the fragrant flavouring boosts blood flow to the genitals once the ointment has been rubbed on the stomach.
The findings back-up previous research, which found the effects of curcumin on male libido lasted longer than some prescription drugs.
The new ointment, developed by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, seeps through the skin and dilates blood vessels supplying a man's groin area.
But eating plates of curry is highly unlikely to have the same effect, as much of the love-boosting spice gets destroyed in the stomach.
One in ten men suffers erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives and some studies suggest more than a third of those over 40 are affected.
Although drugs like Viagra have revolutionised treatment, around 30 per cent of men who take them see no improvement.
How the ointment was researched
To make the new curcumin-based ointment, a team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine processed large quantities of the flavouring into millions of tiny nanoparticles.
Each particle was 100 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair – allowing them to seep through skin and into tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, under the skin.
They mixed the particles with water to make a thin paste and rubbed it on rats' tummies regularly for two weeks.
Tests showed the animals had better erections and increased blood flow, according to results published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Scientists predict the curry cure could help millions of men who have type 2 diabetes – a major cause of impotence.
Curcumin also boosts brain health
Dr David Goldmeier, sexual medicine expert at Imperial College London, said curcumin is an antioxidant and could prevent narrowed arteries – a major factor in impotence.
But he said more tests are needed to show it works just as well in men. 'It's an interesting study.
'But eating a Mediterranean diet and doing regular cardio exercise can also prevent the clogged arteries which cause erectile problems.'
Earlier this year, medics at the University of California, Los Angeles found regular intake of curcumin also boosted memory and mood.
Other studies show it can slash the risk of bone-crumbling osteoporosis and even provide better pain relief for sports injuries than pills like paracetamol or ibuprofen.
'Better than prescription drugs'
Scientists have known for years that curcumin is good for the circulation, and that it can be used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Studies published by the University of Cairo in 2014 compared the effects of curcumin with those of sildefanil, the active ingredient in Viagra, and tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis.
Testing on rats with erectile problems caused by diabetes found curcumin was effective for longer, and that both drugs were more effective when combined with it.
The studies said using curcumin alone or combining it with the drugs showed 'high efficacy and more prolonged duration of action in enhancing erectile function.'
Viagra can be bought without prescription
Viagra can now be bought over the counter, too, after was allowed to be sold without prescription and supermarkets and pharmacists stocked up on the blue pills.
Asda revealed last month it was selling Viagra for as little as £3.75 per pill.
While the product, which is made by Pfizer, can be bought without prescription, customers cannot simply pick it up off the shelf, no questions asked.
They still have to go to either a specialist pharmacy, or the pharmacy counter in a supermarket, and give some details about their medical history.
The tablets are available only to over-18s who will be required to answer a series of questions from the pharmacist about the symptoms they are suffering, their general health, and any other medication that they are taking.
As well as the famous blue pill, aspirin, a gel containing nitroglycerin, electric shock therapy and yoga have all been touted as possible treatments for erectile dysfunction.