Lost Your Libido? Try Horny Goat Weed

Never underestimate the power of horny goat weed

Low libido? You can try out the soft green heart-shaped leaf of the horny goat weed instead of the common anti-impotence pills, for a new study has revealed that it could also rekindle your sexual desire.

Researchers in Italy have based their findings on an experiment involving four plants used as natural aphrodisiacs in traditional cultures.

The active compound of common anti-impotence pills, sildenafil, works by inhibiting an enzyme, phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5). Because PDE5 helps control blood flow to the penis, inhibiting PDE5 promotes male erection.

Lost Your Libido? Try Horny Goat Weed

 Epimedium Brevicornum P. E. (Horny Goat Weed )

In their study, the researchers tested the four plants in vitro to see how efficient they were inhibiting PDE5. Just one – Epimedium brevicornum, known as horny goat weed – had an effect, the New Scientist reported. Sildenafil, however, is 80 times more effective at inhibiting PDE5 than icariin. So, the researchers extracted icariin from the plants, and produced six modified versions of it, which they tested on PDE5 also.

“The most efficient of these, compound 5, works as well as Viagra,” Mario Dell’Agli of Milan University said.

A drug made from compound 5 could also cause fewer side effects than Viagra, according to them. In addition to PDE5, sildenafil affects other phosphodiesterases, including some that are essential to sight and heart function. As a result, people having heart problems are not advised to take the drug and patients who do take the drug sometimes suffer disturbances to their eyesight.

Lost Your Libido? Try Horny Goat Weed

Epimedium Brevicornum P. E. (Horny Goat Weed )

Preliminary tests suggest that compound 5 does not affect other phosphodiesterases, meaning it may not have the same side effects as the common anti-impotence pills. Compound 5 will now have to go through lengthy clinical trials before it can be approved as a drug. It could be 10 years before it reaches the market.

“If people eat horny goat weed, I think it can be beneficial as it contains icariin,” Dell’Agli said.

Horny goat weed is found in the wild in China, Asia and Europe.

Via The Times

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