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The Many Benefits of Horny Goat Weed
October 25, 2022 04:23 PM
Herbal remedies have been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries, and horny goat weed is no exception. This plant has a long history of traditional use in Chinese herbalism, where it is known as yin yang huo. Yin yang huo was thought to "tonify life's gate" - a term used to refer to the "vital energy" in men. Epimedium, the scientific name for horny goat weed, was also used to treat a number of other conditions such as fatigue, memory loss, and pain relief.*
Horny goat weed is still used for many of the same purposes today. NOW® Horny Goat Weed Extract is combined with maca, another herb known for its tonifying properties. This blend can help support libido and vitality in both men and women.* In addition to its traditional uses, horny goat weed has also been shown to provide relief from pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Horny goat weed may even help to improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease.*
How Does It Work?
Horny goat weed gets its name from an unlikely source - goats! According to legend, a shepherd noticed his flock became especially frisky after eating this plant. While there isn't any scientific evidence to support this claim, horny goat weed does contain compounds that may support sexual function. Icariin is the most well-known compound in horny goat weed. This compound has been shown to improve blood flow and relax smooth muscle tissue.*
In addition to its effects on sexual function, horny goat weed may also help to relieve pain. One study showed that icariin was able to reduce inflammation and pain in rats with osteoarthritis.* Another study found that a different compound in horny goat weed, fabranolide, was able to reduce pain and stiffness in rats with rheumatoid arthritis.* The anti-inflammatory properties of horny goat weed may also be beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease. One study showed that icariin was able to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function in mice with Alzheimer's disease.*
If you're looking for an herbal remedy with a long history of traditional use, look no further than horny goat weed. This plant has a wide range of potential benefits including improved sexual function, increased libido, improved cognitive function, and pain relief. Horny goat weed is available in supplement form or can be consumed as a tea. However you choose to take it, horny goat weed may be just what you need to feel your best!*
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.