Horny elks give Asia ‘Swedish Viagra’

Antlers from Swedish reindeer, elks (moose) and deer are being marketed in Asia as a 'Swedish Viagra'. The horns are processed at a hotel in Fredrika in Västerbotten county, northern Sweden.

Horny elks give Asia 'Swedish Viagra'
Photo: Ove Källström/Norrlandia/

The antlers are sawn into pieces in Sweden before being made into pills in east Asian countries, particularly Hong Kong and Taiwan. The pills are sold for large amounts of money as ‘Swedish Viagra’, according to Helmut Haidic, the Sweden-based Austrian behind the business.

Haidic got the idea to sell the antlers after coming into contact with experts on traditional Chinese medicine during his trips round Europe. Deer horns have long been associated with sexual potency in China.

Locals in Haidic’s adopted home town of Fredrika sell him horns that they find in the forests.

“The animals horns fall off naturally every year. People who are walking in the forests come to me to hand them in.”

After Helmut Haidic sells the horns on, they are ground down to a powder before being made into pills that resemble the real Viagra.

“I’ve heard that they sell for 1,250 euros a kilo as an end product, but I don’t get anything like as much,” Haidic, whose day job is running fishing and hunting tours, told The Local.

Haidic has had a positive response to his business from people in Fredrika, where he has lived for nearly 30 years.

“They think it’s fantastic that there is a use for this material,” he said.

But an expert on sexual health said he was sceptical about the potential of the organic potency medicine.

“I wonder what substance in this would make it a potency medicine,” Olle Waller, who works at a sexual health clinic in Stockholm told SVT.