Top 5 Health Benefits Of Horny Goat Weed For Men’s Sexual Dysfunction

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Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Jun 28, 2017 | Last Updated: Apr 1, 2019

Health Benefits Of Horny Goat Weed

If you were to ask me the Question, “How does Epimedium Extract help Men with Erectile Dysfunction?

I would answer it with One Simple Word “Icariin.”

Icariin is just one of the several active compounds in Epimedium that has excellent properties to help you with your Sexual Sufferings!

The Functionality of Epimedium Extract in Treating Sexual Dysfunction

One of the keys to how and why this herb, which is more commonly known as Horny Goat Weed, functions is the aforementioned naturally occurring compound Icariin. This effective compound can deliver results in two principal ways that are effective for both men and women.

These two ways by which Icariin functions is how it works with Nitric Oxide Signaling and testosterone enhancement and utilization. But before we begin our discussion regarding the action of Icariin in the male sexual dysfunctions, we will take a brief look at what is Horny Goat Weed that has been bestowed with a large amount of this compound.

What is Horny Goat Weed?

It is a herb that’s been used commonly for its aphrodisiac properties. It has been touted as a testosterone booster and derives its name from the goats that acted a bit frisky after consuming the parts of this plant while grazing in the fields.

Perhaps this is what gave the ancient, wise men an ilk of the power this plant held. The energetic and playful behavior of the goats that had eaten Horny Goat Weed was indeed an indication of the medicinal properties of this plant that could help men to counter weakness and other obstacles encountered during their sexual journey.

Over the last few decades scientists, successfully isolated a prenylated flavonoid compound called Icariin from the extract of Horny Goat Weed. Later research revealed the remarkable role played by this compound in the medicinal effects produced by Horny Goat Weed on the men’s sexual abilities.

Horny Goat Weed Info

Read on to know how Icariin can be your perfect aid for treating erectile dysfunctions and other sexual problems.

Nitric Oxide Signaling

The compound Icariin has a rejuvenating and up-regulation effect on the nitric oxide signaling meaning it can, with long term use, enhance your body’s natural production of nitric oxide.

Nitric Oxide is a naturally occurring tiny gas molecule that is produced by your body by means of the Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase process (or ENOS for short) [1].
Nitric Oxide is required by your body to perform a variety of functions including circulation and regulation of blood pressure. When nitric oxide is increased, your ability to get a good hard erection also increases as more blood can flow to your penis ensuring an erection that lasts longer [2].

However, one of the principle actions of Icariin is not only that of up-regulation of Nitric Oxide with long term use, but of blocking an enzyme that breaks down the very molecules that you need for a lasting sexual performance. This rather evil, erection-destroying enzyme is the phosphodiesterase type 5 enzyme (or PDE 5 for short).

By blocking the PDE 5 enzyme, Nitric Oxide Levels are increased further thus improving the circulation and blood flow all across your body.

Rather interestingly, this is exactly how many of the Erectile Dysfunction medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra work [3].

Enhances Your Testosterone Utilization

I am sure that you are all familiar with the male sex hormone, testosterone, and its role in sexual functions in men. Testosterone, of course, helps men to achieve strong and hard erections and is responsible for our sex drive, (yes, girls you too!).

Unfortunately, just simply having a sufficient amount of this hormone circulating in your body is not enough to achieve the desired goal of harder erections and increased sex drive.

Your body has to have enough of free unbound testosterone and not just high amounts of total testosterone. It is the free and unbound testosterone that builds muscle, increases stamina, and improves vitality and mood while boosting your sex drive and the quality of your erections [4].

Another word for free testosterone is bioavailable testosterone. It is increasing this bioavailable testosterone that enhances the sex drive and erection quality. Horny Goat Weed manages to improve the effect of bioavailable testosterone not by actually increasing the total testosterone levels or free testosterone, but by means of mimicking the effect of the male sex hormone [5].

Epimedium Extract as a Nootropic

Nootropic Agent

The testosterone mimicking effect and enhancement of nitric oxide levels are not the only ways by which this rather useful herb helps with sexual dysfunction in men. It has a rather handy nootropic effect, which gives a helping hand to your sex life.

Neurologically speaking, it helps to raise your levels of cholinergic neurotransmitters that are responsible for being in a state of sexual arousal [6]. Epimedium Extract achieves this by inhibiting the Acetylcholinesteraseenzyme (Or AChE for short).

By inhibiting the Acetylcholinesterase enzyme, the levels of Acetylcholine are increased for a longer duration. This is good for you because the higher Acetylcholine levels support and enhance your sexual arousal.

Icariin as a Neuroprotective Agent

Icariin possesses neuroprotective properties. It has been found to work through the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant markers in the body. [7] [8]

It can also attenuate the cognitive decline occurring due to advancing age. These functions of Icariin play a role in the management of erectile dysfunction.

An inability of the nerves to pass signals from the brain to the blood vessels and muscles in the penile region is a common factor leading to this sexual problem. Icariin, by reversing this damage, ensures an optimum functioning of the nerves. This allows for an appropriate action of the penis during sexual activity and thus, results in a hard erection.
Additionally, Icariin also protects the neurons against the damage caused due to Lipopolysaccharide resulting in the improved cognitive biomarkers like glutathione and superoxide dismutase in the body. These effects of Icariin further enhance its neuroprotective effect and help to reverse erectile dysfunction.

Regulates Estrogenicity

Estrogens are basically the female hormones that are needed for the proper functioning of the female reproductive system. However, this hormone is also produced in the body of men, albeit in much smaller amounts. A higher secretion of this hormone can hamper men’s sexual functions and even lead to impotence by reducing the sperm count.

The effect of Icariin on the hormonal levels in men and women is perhaps what Nature could not replicate in any other plant. While on one side, it supports the secretion of estrogens in women; on the other side, it decreases its secretion in men

The derivatives of Icariin’s, DesmethylIcaritin and Icaritin, produce an estrogenic activity in the breast cancer cells in women. [9]

Regulates Estrogenicity

However, this effect of Icariin is conspicuous by its absence in men. Another clinical research has revealed that the administration of the extract of Horny Goat Weed does not produce any estrogenicity. [10]

The possible explanation for the dissimilar effects of Horny Goat Weed in men and women related to estrogenicity lies in Icariin and its related structures that possess both estrogenic as well as antiestrogenic activities. So, the ultimate result is context-dependent.

This unique action of Icariin has been of immense benefit for men. It controls the estrogen levels in them and thus, prevents the female hormone from making the male hormone, testosterone, less effective.

It keeps the available amount of testosterone in the body intact for it to be used during a sexual performance by protecting it against estrogens. This can help men to regain their lost sexual functions and allow them to get an erection.

These benefits of Icariin have been proven during scientific research. Time and again, this herb has proved its versatility in enhancing the health of men and improving their ability to get an erection. It offers a safe and effective natural treatment for the men suffering from erectile dysfunctions.

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