This is a representational image of a satanic leaf-tailed gecko. Reuters

The Philippine government has issued a warning Friday against using geckos as a remedy for both AIDS and impotence.

The folk cure is becoming increasingly common the island nation, making the Health Department worry that people are seeking out lizards instead of medicine.

The use of geckos as treatments has no scientific basis and could be dangerous because patients might not seek proper treatment for their diseases, a Health Department statement said.

For diseases like asthma, there are now very effective treatments that are easily available and at affordable prices that can provide relief from asthma. With regular treatment, asthmatics can successfully control asthmatic symptoms and live a comfortable, healthy life, the DOH said.

Although illegal, the lizard-smuggling business is booming in the Philippines. An 11-ounce gecko can be sold for more than 50,000 pesos ($1,160) on the black market.Gecko are an endangered species, but some are being born in captivity for resale purposes.

Using geckos as medicine is not uncommon in Southern Asia, but it has no basis in science and can even make illnesses worse.

This is likely to aggravate their overall health and put them at greater risk, the statement read.

Gecko cures are prepared by drying the dead lizard and grinding it into a powder.