Epimedium leaf extract is one of the essential ingredients in VigRX Plus. This herb is known as horny goat weed and for a good reason. It is used in the formulation as one of the libido enhancers. The discussion below is about epimedium, its benefits, side effects, and other bits of info.
What Is Epimedium?
Epimedium is actually a traditional Chinese medicine and has been used as such for hundreds of years. It is actually known as yin yang huo in Chinese. Note that there are actually 15 different herbal plants in China that are also known as horny goat weed. The type of epimedium used to make the VigRX Plus formula is Epimedium sagittatum.
Some people consider horny goat weed as the herb that will match or even replace Viagra. The claim of course is based on the effects of this herb, which making erections harder. Whether or not that will happen will require time and testing.
Icariin, Its Benefits, and How It Works
Medical research has shown that the main active ingredient in horny goat weed or epimedium is icariin. Icariin is actually a chemical compound and it has been classified as a type of flavonoid.
This compound is known for its neuroprotective effects as well as anti-depressant effects. Tests show that icariin shares the same action mechanisms as other pharmaceutical medicines that are used to treat impotence.
This compound acts by boosting nitric oxide levels in the body. Increasing nitric oxide levels can help with erectile function. Nitric oxide is a chemical transmitter that increases the delivery of blood to different parts of the body – including the penis and groin area.
Icariin also functions as a type of PDE-5 inhibitor, except that it is a milder version compared to other similar compounds. It reduces PDE-5 levels in the body, just like Viagra (which is why some people claim that epimedium can be used as a substitute). However, since it is a mild PDE-5 inhibitor, it produces the same effects minus the known side effects.
Uses and Benefits of Epimedium Leaf Extract
Horny goat weed is used by locals in China as a treatment for high blood pressure, helps with memory loss, bronchitis, bone loss, fatigue, osteoarthritis, joint pain, and weak backs and knees.
Modern day use of epimedium leaf extract is for the treatment of sexual problems including erectile dysfunction.
Side Effects of Horny Goat Weed
Epimedium leaf extract is considered generally safe for use. However, some variants may have side effects when used in the long term. Some of the reported side effects include nose bleeding, dry mouth, vomiting, and dizziness.
Note that the type of epimedium used to manufacture VigRX Plus is considered safe with no known side effects reported.