Dr MB’s HGW – Icariin 20%
30:1 Extract giving an equivalent of 16,200mg per capsule
This is considered as one of the most potent Goat Weed in the world
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the herb commonly called horny goat weed in the West is known as Yin-Yang-Huo. TCM practitioners have used the leaves of the horny goat weed plant as an aphrodisiac to help enhance sexual health and also to treat various problems such as kidney or bone disease for centuries.
According to an article published by Acupuncture Today, “In Traditional Chinese Medicine, epimedium (horny goat weed) is believed to tonify the kidney by strengthening kidney yang, dispelling wind and eliminating dampness.” Western medicine describes horny goat weed’s mechanisms of actions as: restoring circulation, supporting hormonal balance, and helping to fight various effects of ageing by fighting oxidative stress (free radical damage).
What Is Horny Goat Weed?
Horny goat weed is a herb known as a “natural aphrodisiac,” as it has been shown in some studies to have positive effects on hormone production and libido. The plant that produces horny goat weed is the species called Epimedium, a member of the Berberidaceae plant family that mostly grows in China, other parts of Asia, and in the Mediterranean. Epimedium contains the active ingredient called “Icariin”, which is responsible for most of it’s health-promoting effects.
If you’re thinking that horny goat weed has a strange name, then you’re on to something. The story behind the name is that it originated when farmers noticed that goats and sheep who ate epimedium herbs became more excited around animals of the opposite sex. However, anecdotal evidence, along with certain studies, suggests it has some of the following benefits:
- Helps to increase increase testosterone production
- Helps to increase estrogen levels, particularly in post-menopausal women
- Improving libido
- Boosting circulation
- Helps to treat conditions like impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED) or vaginal dryness
- Normalising cortisol levels
- Helps to increase lean muscle mass
- Preventing bone loss
1. Considered a Natural Aphrodisiac
Horny goat weed may be able to help normalise cortisol levels and reduce some of the negative effects of stress on the body, which can include lowered sex drive, mental fatigue and various problems with hormonal balance or sexual performance. By helping to normalise testosterone and estrogen levels, it may be useful for combatting symptoms like low energy, involuntary ejaculation and vaginal dryness.
Icariin is also a vasodilator, helping to increase blood flow, and has some anti-inflammatory abilities. Another effect that research suggests icariin may have is inhibiting an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which has effects on neurotransmitter synapses and various neuromuscular functions. Use of icariin has been associated with positive changes in body composition — such as increased muscle mass, strength and bone growth — which can enhance performance, energy and even confidence.
2. Helps Treat Erectile Dysfunction
As mentioned above, one suspected mechanism of action of horny goat weed when it comes to treating ED is helping to increase circulation in blood vessels connecting the penis — thus, operating as an erectogenic and improving erectile function.
After sexual stimulation, nitric oxide (NO) is released in order to dilate the blood vessels of the corpus cavernosum (tissue that forms the penis) in order to produce an erection. While this is happening a compound called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) accumulates, which can be broken down by the substance PDE5. Because icariin has the ability to stop PDE5 from doing this, it boosts nitric oxide’s effects even more, helping to sustain an erection.
In one study, when icariin was administered as a daily supplement, it significantly improved penile functional outcomes compared to the control group. In the group treated with icariin, increased nitric oxide levels and smooth muscle effects were observed that led to reduced ED symptoms caused by nerve damage.
3. Increase Testosterone Levels
Icariin has been shown to have natural testosterone-mimicking properties, one reason it helps to improve sexual desire, strength and even athletic performance. In one study a group was given icariin extract, researchers found that icariin improved the overall condition of reproductive organs and increased the circulating levels of testosterone compared to those that were not given the extract.
4. Helps Balance Hormones During or After Menopause
In TCM, Yin Yang Huo is considered to help promote “yin” energy, restoring energy levels and balance. With it’s “spicy, sweet and warm” properties, it’s helpful for people who are feeling fatigued or “yin deficient,” especially those going through hormonal changes such as menopause.
Because prenylflavonoids act as phytoestrogens, they have been shown in some studies to help increase estrogen levels and reduce symptoms of menopause in females. Thus, horny goat weed can be considered an estrogenic which contains many different prenylflavonoid compounds that have been associated with decreased symptoms of menopause, such as low libido and bone loss, with the strongest being icariin.
5. Help Increase Muscle Strength
In some studies icariin has had positive effects on lean muscle production. Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine states “ICA (icariin) may have neurotrophic effects in addition to known phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibiting effects.”
Neurotrophins are types of proteins that help with development, growth and function of neurons. It’s suspected that icariin helps the body secrete proteins that allow cells to grow and contribute to tissue repair.
It’s not uncommon for those looking to “bulk up” and put on muscle mass, such as athletes and body builders, to use icariin as an active ingredient in supplements. Its use has also been linked with improved recovery following exercise and better athletic performance. Although it isn’t considered to be a stimulant and doesn’t work the same way that something like caffeine does, some find that taking supplements containing icariin can help improve their strength, stamina and endurance.
6. Help Improve Bone Health
Research done by the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Tokyo found evidence that horny goat weed has positive effects on restoring bone density and therefore may help prevent symptoms related to osteoporosis, such as fractures or decreased bone density of the spine. Findings from a study done at the university showed that “icariin is a strong candidate for an osteogenic compound for use in bone tissue engineering.” The researchers observed significant new bone formation in candidates treated with icariin after four weeks, and further increases in bone thickness after six weeks.
Similar research conducted at the Institute of Orthopaedics Center of Lanzhou General Hospital in China showed evidence that icariin can help “prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density and bone formation, decreasing bone resorption and improving microstructure of bone.” Other studies have found that taking horny goat weed extract for 24 months helped to stop bone loss of the spine and hips in post-menopausal women.