How Epimedium sagittatum influences erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to maintain an erect penis for sexual intercourse.
Epimedium sagittatum, which is also known as horny goat weed, is an herb with a soft, green, colourful, heart-shaped leaf that is found in the wild in Asia (China and Japan) and Europe. It is used as a natural aphrodisiac in traditional medicine. It has received a lot of interest from the medical scientific community in recent times and has been found to contain icariin, which inhibits 5-phophodiesterase. Inhibitors of 5-phosphodiesterase improve erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Other Epimedium species include E. brevicornum, E. koreanum, E. pubescens and E. grandiflorum.
Other names for horny goat weed include: yin yang huo, Bishop's hat.
How Epimedium sagittatum influences erectile dysfunction
Epimedium sagittatum contains some active substances including more than 20 flavonoids, lignans, phenol glycosides, sesquiterpenoids and phenethylol glycosides.
The main aphrodisiac components are icariin and noricariin. These two substances have been found to be 5-phosphodiesterase inhibitors.
When a man is sexually aroused, blood flow increases to the penis such that the penile tissues are engorged. This is what gives rise to an erection. 5-phosphodiesterase activity makes the penile blood vessels narrow (vasoconstriction), which reduces blood flow to the penis and limits the strength and duration of an erection. Thus, agents that inhibit 5-phosphodiesterase cause the blood vessels to become wider (vasodilation), which increases penile blood flow and produces an erection. This is how the icariin and noricariin in Epimedium sagittatum work to improve erectile dysfunction.
Use as an aphrodisiac
Epimedium sagittatum is very popular among people who favour natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. Some clinical trials that were conducted in humans showed improvement rates of more than 90%.
Generally speaking, Tribulus supplements are safe to use for most people when they are taken in recommended doses.
The recommended daily dosage of Epimedium sagittatum (prepared as a 5% icariin flavonoid formulation) is 0.5 - 1.5 mg.
It appears to dbe safed with normal use. Extensive use has resulted in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and nosebleed. Large doses can also cause respiratory arrest.
Patients that take antihypertensive drugs, especially vasodilators should also be aware that this herb may cause hypotension.
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