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January 4 2017

Icariin, a flavonol glycoside, is an interesting substance found in certain herbs, particularly horny goat weed.

Epimidium Sagittatum with icariin extract
Epimedium sagittatum contains the valuable flavonoid icariin.  In China it is especially used for supporting healthy sexual activity – thus its name, Horny Goat Weed. Epimedium sagittatum 400 mg has epimedium extract (standardized to 10% flavonoids as icariin).

Epimedium sagittatum with icariin extract

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Icariin and sexual enhancement
Icariin appears to have some properties similar to Viagra. Icariin is a cGMP-specific PDE5 inhibitor that may have potential in treating erectile dysfunction. For more information on impotence and to use other herbs such as yohimbe bark as a treatment. To test the effect of icariin on erectile function of the penis. Our test results indicate icariin increases intracavernous pressure. For more information on impotence in males.

Benefits of Icariin
In laboratory studies, icariin appears to have anti- cancer abilities. Icariin also helps protect the liver from toxicity.

Icariin and erectile function research
Effects of icariin on intracavernosal pressure and systematic arterial blood pressure of rat
Department of Urology, People’s Hospital affiliated to Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2004.

Erectogenic and Neurotrophic Effects of Icariin, a Purified Extract of Horny Goat Weed epimedium In Vitro and In Vivo.
J Sex Med. 2010. University of California Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory-Department of Urology, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Epimedium species (aka horny goat weed) have been utilized for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years. Icariin is the active moiety of Epimedium species. To evaluate the penile hemodynamic and tissue effects of icariin in cavernous nerve injured rats. We also studied the in vitro effects of icariin on cultured pelvic ganglia. Icariin may have neurotrophic effects in addition to known phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibiting effects.

Icariin and osteoporosis
Icaritin and its glycosides enhance osteoblastic, but suppress osteoclastic, differentiation and activity in vitro.
Life Sci. 2007 August. Department of Chemical Biology, Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 100083, PR China.
Icariin, a principal flavonoid glycoside in Herba Epimedii, is hypothesized to possess beneficial effects on bone mass. Icariin is metabolized to icariside II and then to icaritin in vivo. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro effects of icariin, icariside II and icaritin on both osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Our findings suggest that icaritin, which was more potent than icariin and icariside II, enhanced the differentiation and proliferation of osteoblasts, and facilitated matrix calcification; meanwhile it inhibited osteoclastic differentiation in both osteoblast-preosteoclast coculture and osteoclast progenitor cell culture, and reduced the motility and bone resorption activity of isolated osteoclasts.

Icariin side effects
Not enough human research is available with Icariin to determine its short term and long term side effects.