Epimedium extract with icariin for  erectile dysfunction, side effects, benefits and use for impotence treatment, dosage and safety, 500 mg capsules dose
Does it influence blood pressure, cortisol, heart rhythm, testosterone, estrogen levels, menopause, nitric oxide?
March 27 2014

Commonly known as Horny Goat Weed, this herb is used in the United States mainly for its aphrodisiac properties and libido enhancement in men and women. It is sometimes combined in natural aphrodisiac products with other herbs used for sexual enhancement including avena sativa, catuaba, eurycoma, yohimbe, tribulus terrestris, mucuna pruriens, muira puama, maca, ginsent, ginkgo biloba, and others. Herbal Epimedium species have been used widely in Traditional Chinese Medicine for sexual enhancement, immunity improvement, anti-cancer and anti-aging treatment. Flavonoids and polysaccharides are the major active components.

Botanical name
The botanical name for horny goat weed is Epimedium sagittatum. There are many varieties of plants, including grandiflorum. Epimedium herb Yinyanghuo, one of the popular Chinese materia medica, is a multiple species colony of Epimedium genus belonging to Berberidaceae. There are five species that have been officially adopted in Chinese Pharmacopoeia under the same crude drug name Yinyanghuo comprising E. brevicornu, E. koreanum, E. sagittatum, E. pubescens, and E. wushanense. In addition, non-official species like E. acuminatum, E. miryanthum and E. leptorrhizum are also mixed and used.

Traditional uses and benefits, information
Herba Epimedii, the dried aerial parts of Epimedium brevicornum, sagittatum, E. pubescens, E. wushanense T. S. Ying, and E. koreanum Nakai, has been widely used in Chinese medicine for centuries for nourishing the kidney and reinforcing Yang.

Composition of the plant
Epimedium herb has flavonoids such as icariin, epimedin A, epimedin B, epimedin C and baohuoside Iicariin, along with prenylated flavonol glycosides sagittasine A-C, acylated flavonol glycosides such as kaempferol, together with flavonolignans, 2-phenoxychromones, a lignan, and aromatic acid derivatives. Some of these compounds, particularly icariin, promote endothelial nitric oxide-dependent relaxation of blood vessels and hence can be of help for the treatment of erectile function and impotence.

Products in stores, where to buy
There are dozens of epimedium extract herb products available for sale that you can buy without a prescription and you can find them in many vitamin stores, some pharmacies, and certainly on the internet. Many over the counter products have combinations of small or large doses of epimedium or the extract, concentrate, along with eurycoma or tongkat ali, yohimbe, tribulus, ashwagandha, ginko biloba, and maca.










Buy Epimedium extract Horny goat weed plant standardized 20% icariin - 500 mg capsules by Physician Formula supplement company. This product is developed by a physician and is of high quality.

Other pill products over the counter, these are sold online, at GNC, on Amazon, or in a number of health food stores, Vitamin World, Whole Foods - in powder, capsule or tablet form:
Horny Goat Weed (whole plant) (Standardized 10% icariin) 250 mg each tablet
Epimedium extract 500 mg with 10 percent icariin, and another company sells a product with 600 mg
There are products standardized to 10, 20, 30, 40 percent icariin and some suppliers even have a 98% extract.
Tincture and teas are also sold in many outlets.

Benefit
Epimedium species have been used by Chinese doctors for many centuries, but the use of this herb in the West is mostly for sexual enhancement.

How long does it take to work? Experiences
Unlike prescription medications, epimedium leaf extract does not work in an hour or two. It normally takes several days for the sexual benefits to be noticed although some people can feel the effects within a day or two. Many who have experimented or experienced with it say it takes about 3 days on average for the full benefits.

Human studies
As of 2014, we could only find one human study with epimedium herb.

Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1995.
 In present study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of Epimedium Sagittatum on patients of hemodialysis maintenance. 22 cases of regular hemodialytic patients were treated with this herb in the form of decoction. 12 patients with hemodialysis were served as controls. It was found that Epimedium plant had sexual potentiation effect and improved the quality of life in the patients of chronic renal failure with regular hemodialysis. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) activity of peripheral blood monocytes stimulated by PHA was increased significantly in the patients treated with the herbal preparation. It is suggested that this Chinese medicine had therapeutic effect on sexual disorder and immunologic inadequacy in the patients of chronic renal failure undergoing hemodialysis.

Drug interactions
It is possible that epimedium could interact with prescription stimulant drugs, anti-depressants Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, heart medications, blood pressure medications, and erectile dysfunction meds such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. Caution is advised when mixing herbal remedies with prescription medications.

Animal studies

Osteoporosis
Prevention of bone loss by aqueous extract of Epimedii sagittatum in an ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis.
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2006; Department of Pharmacy, Yueyang Hospital of Chinese Integrative Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Our findings assessed on the basis of biochemical test, bone mineral density and histomorphometric parameters show that aqueous extract of Epimedii sagittatum has a definite antiosteoporotic effect and can prevent the ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats.

In vitro studies
An in vitro study means that the evaluation was done in a lab not using any animals or humans.

Effect on cartilage
Effect of five species of Epimedium on growth of cartilage and proliferation of cartilage cell in vitro
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2006.
To observe the effect of Epimedium brevicornum plant, E. sagittatum, E. koreanum, E, wushanense and E. elongntum on the growth of cartilage and proliferation of cartilage cell in vitro. E. brevicornum and E. sagittatum can improve the growth of cartilage and proliferation of cartilage cell in vitro. The other three Epimedium species did not have the same effect.

Osteoporosis and bone health
Effects of rat serum containing total flavonoid extract of Epimedium sagittatum on development of osteoblasts
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008; Department of Pharmacy, Lanzhou General Hospital, PLA, Lanzhou, China.
To investigate the effects of total flavonoid extract of Epimedium sagittatum on the proliferation and differentiation of newborn rat calvarial osteoblasts. Flavonoids from this herb have anti-osteoporosis properties. The flavonoid icariin may be largely responsible for these benefits.

Epimedium species
There are a number of epimedium species including the following:

Epimedium brevicornu has flavonoids, breviflavone A and B. Breviflavone B is a novel flavonoid with potent and specific estrogen receptor (ER) bioactivity. Its positional isomer, breviflavone A, is not ER active. Two new types of minor flavonoids, breviflavone A and B, were isolated and identified from Epimedium brevicornu. Breviflavone B is a novel flavonoid with potent and specific estrogen receptor (ER) bioactivity. Its positional isomer, breviflavone A, is not ER active.
E. koreanum
E. pubescens
E. sagittatum
E. wushanese

Less commonly used species include
Epimedium alpinum
E. acuminatum
E. myrianthum
E. leptorrhizum