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Is horny goat weed extract really a sexual stimulant?

Apr 12, 2018


Epimedium is known as “Horny Goat Weed” because when goats eat it, they copulate. It is considered by Oriental people to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Up to date, over 60 species of Epimedium have been reported, but only five of these are recorded in the Chinese Pharmacopeia, namely, Epimedium bravicornum Maxim., Epimedium sagittatum Maxim., Epimedium koreanum Nakai, Epimedium pubescens Maxim. and Epimedium wushanense T.S. Ying.

Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) Dosing
The appropriate dose of horny goat weed depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for horny goat weed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Horny goat weed extract (Epimedium extract Epimedium extract) is often sold as a male sexual stimulant in gas station restrooms. The little foil packages claim to enhance male performance in exchange for three quarters inserted simultaneously into a wall-mounted vending machine.

What exactly is horny goat weed extract, and is there scientific possibility that it improves sexual performance?

What is horny goat weed?

Horny goat weed extract is a natural product of the plants in the Epimedium genus, with a history of use in Eastern medicine to relieve fatigue and weakness in the back and knees. The Epimedium genus contains a number of leafy green plants primarily used for groundcover. Within the sixty plus plants in the genus, Epimedium grandiflorum and Epimedium sagittatum are the two members most commonly associated with horny goat weed.

The raw leaves can be chewed or eaten, but the plant is typically sold as an extraction in powder or in pill form. Since horny goat weed extract's status is a natural product containing a variety of molecules, the substance cannot be patented. One molecule, however, is the decidedly active ingredient in the mixture.

How does the extract act on the body?

Icariin is the main active molecule in horny goat weed extract. Icariin inhibits the activity of the protein phosphodiesterase type 5 — this initially sounds insignificant, but the action plays a major role in increasing male sexual stimulation.

PDE5 is a protein lying in the smooth muscle cells of the penis, waiting to break down cyclic GMP. When the action of PDE5 is inhibited, erections become more likely. This is the same biological process used by the pharmaceutical sildenafil, better known as Viagra, to attain erections. Sildenafil, however, is more potent when it comes to inhibiting the action of PDE5.

Icariin also increases the amount of nitric oxide produced in cells that line the interior of blood vessels. The presence of nitric oxide in the blood vessels decreases the resistance blood meets as the fluid moves through the circulatory system, making erections easier to obtain.

Icariin, the active ingredient in horny goat weed extract, can aid in producing erections in the same manner as a prescription pharmaceutical. But how much icariin is in your dose horny goat weed extract?

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