All we know about the magical herbs from the lands of the Far East, which are regaining our vital forces and help the body to fight off any disease. While many of these miraculous plants really help in many ways, the effect of other blurs in mythology and traditional medicine. One of the most popular Chinese herb Epimedium is known in European latitudes as mischievous goat or horny goat.
In traditional medicine Epimedium has established its place, but modern science still poses many questions to all its claimed attributes.
What is Epimedium?
Epimedium is not a particular plant, the whole genus of flowering plants, which includes over 50 different species. Most species are common in China and other countries in East Asia. Some of Epimedium species are deciduous plants, while others are evergreen, but all are perennial.
Individual species differ in the stem and colors, and not all contain active ingredients that are due to the potential health benefits of Epimedium. It is estimated that about 15 species Epimedium can be used for medical purposes.
The most valuable part of the plant are the leaves, since it was there that contains the active substance icarin. Ikariinat kind flavonoid and flavonol glycoside exactly. As substance is a derivative of plant sterol kampferol. Ikariinat are found in most species of Epimedium, but found also in some types of berberine. Icarin not contained in other types of foods or herbs.
Other active ingredients are flavonoids in Epimedium epimedin A, B and C, kampferol, sagitazin A, B, and C, as well as several types of lignans. The concentration of quercetin is also high.
Nowadays, a large number of hybrid varieties of Epimedium. Some hybrids are meant cultivation, while others are used for decorative purposes. Today’s commercial Epimedium is entirely hybrid and is quite different from natural species that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some of the more ancient species are widely used in Japan, but with entirely decorative purpose.
Mechanism of action of Epimedium
Most experts say that almost all the positive effects of Epimedium is due to the active substance icarin that works through several mechanisms in the body.
First, ikariinat inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which affects cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the blood vessels that supply the male sexual organ with blood. The mechanism of action is the same as “Viagra”.
Ikariinat affects levels of bioactive nitrogen oxide, and according to some scientists mimic the effect of testosterone on the body. As a matter ikariinat has more antioxidant and neuroprotective effects, and effects on cytokine nuclear factor kappa-B, but most of these effects are confirmed in in vitro studies, but not in direct research on patients.
Several studies have concluded that ikariinat is very sensitive in gastric environment and is vulnerable to enzymes, as only 12% is absorbed in a strong enzyme activity. It has been found that the absorption is increased during fasting more fluids or in combination with compounds that inhibit the activity of the enzyme lactase.
The half-life in the body of icarin oral varies between 9 and 11 hours, suggesting that should be taken at least two times a day at intervals of 12 hours.
Epimedium in traditional Chinese medicine
The first legends of action of Epimedium as an aphrodisiac appear by the ancient Chinese times. It is claimed that it goatherds and shepherds have noticed increased sexual activity of horned cattle, when he ate with wild Epimedium. Since then, Epimedium is used as a sexual stimulant.
In traditional medicine Epimedium has been a popular means of improving renal function, was used to strengthen the kidneys and disposal of excess fluids from the body. The herb has been used as a means of regulating frequent urination, reduce muscle spasms and back pain.
Chinese healers recommend not accepted Epimedium at high temperatures or when the body is subjected to intense physical stress because of dehydration properties.
Potential and proven benefits in people
Studies on postmenopausal women concluded that the combination of Epimedium (60 mg icarin) and soy isoflavones slow dramatically bone loss;
Desmetilikaritin which is a metabolite of icarin, leads to increased estrogen in postmenopausal women. It was also alleged that Epimedium increases estradiol and lowers cholesterol, but other studies have not established a drastic change in estrogen levels;
Epimedium is a scientifically proven aphrodisiac, the positive effect on erection is due to two mechanisms – the stimulation of bioactive nitric oxide inhibition of the enzyme PDE5, its effect is similar to that of “Viagra”. It was found that the effective dose of 68-kg male was 110 mg icarin daily, daily use for an extended period of time showed a strong effect. Possible abuse of a higher dose be counterproductive;
In vitro studies have demonstrated the strong antioxidant properties of Epimedium. They are due to the icarin, which possesses antioxidant activity and self-protects DNA from oxidative stress and other components in Epimedium, such as quercetin;
Epimedium extract has potential properties for lowering high blood pressure.
Possible side effects
It is believed that in the short term Epimedium is completely safe. In the long term, however, the herb can show some side effects such as dehydration and nausea.
Individuals may experience side effects, especially if used over the recommended dose. Such side effects can be low blood pressure, palpitations, drowsiness, difficulty achieving erection and cramps.
Epimedium slows blood clotting and can cause a severe haemorrhage. Bleeding may be increased by combining with other similar supplements such as fish oil. Epimedium is possible to cause euphoria and hyperactivity in people over age 60.
Not recommended intake of high doses of Epimedium in users with high estrogen.
Not recommended intake of Epimedium by pregnant women because it is considered that there are high chances of the fetus or induce strong contractions.
It should be noted that definitely is not recommended intake of Epimedium to certain medications. Should avoid concomitant use of drugs to lower or raise blood pressure, and medications that slow blood clotting.
Epimedium should not be combined with other potent inhibitors of PDE5 as “Viagra”.
The dosage of the herb depends on whether the selected powder or extract. In powders recommended doses are higher and the range between 6 and 12 grams per day.
If the extract is used, the user must be in line with the concentration of icarin, which may vary between 10 and 60%.
Recommended doses icarin health objectives are to 100 mg daily and for sporting purposes to 200 mg daily. If, at the higher dose was shown blood pressure lowering, then reduce the dosage. Using 75 mg daily icarin is considered tolerated dosage in all organisms.
How can you find Epimedium?
Epimedium is distributed as a food additive and organic food.
As organic food Epimedium can be found only in powder form, usually manufacturers offer not extract and whole herb powder. This means that the concentration of icarin is lower.
Epimedium can be found in the form of herbal tea and tincture, but such proposals are rare on the market.
The most common form of Epimedium is an herbal extract in capsules or tablets. Depending on the manufacturer and type vary extracts.
Traditionally, commercially available extracts containing icarin between 10 and 60%. More highly concentrated extracts are mainly used for medical purposes.
Epimedium is a common ingredient in many complex formulas. Most often it is used in sexual stimulants, testosterone stimulitori or specialized formulas to increase muscle mass.
In the past, Epimedium has been used more often and in some classic pre-workout boosters because of “inflated” properties of the herb. Nowadays, the most commonly found with natural sexual stimulators.
Epimedium is a herb that is openly advertised as a sexual stimulant. In this respect, the herb has proven its effectiveness, even in severe cases with health problems.
In many other respects, however, Epimedium brings his divisive and controversial. Despite these naughty goat is used extensively for health and sport, is often marketed as a supplement to increase testosterone and stimulate anabolic processes.
Despite the contentious issues in any case we can not conclude that the intake of Epimedium for sport is completely meaningless, because the herb has potential merit, we can not throw away lightly. Yet more quality and rigorous research will give us all the answers.
The types of problems related to sexual health in men include disorders associated with sex drive or low libido, erection, ejaculation and orgasm. There are certain medical conditions that can lead to one or more of these disorders.
The definition of low libido in men is reduced or absent desire for sex. This disorder affects approximately 5% to 15% of men worldwide. The presence of sexual desire requires two conditions – normal levels of testosterone – the male hormone levels and sexual attraction to partner.
Risk factors associated with low libido in men are:
- Age, because over time the concentration of testosterone decreases
- Alcohol consumption,
- Poor quality food,
- Taking drugs
- Conditions requiring administration of drugs that decrease levels of testosterone, such as depression, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer.
The following are among the reasons for low libido in men. They can add more stress, fatigue, systemic diseases, hormonal problems such as hyperthyroidism.
Low libido in men is characterized by reluctance to sexual intercourse, and if you still initiate such, it can be a problem with achieving an erection. If the first case of erectile dysfunction have not been preceded by other sexual symptoms and have adequate nocturnal erections, the reason probably is a psychological basis.
One of the most popular herbal supplement used as an adaptogen in sport is the herb ginseng (Panax ginseng). Called the root of youth and Chinese ginseng, this herb has been known since ancient times and has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to restoring and strengthening effect. Ginsenosides, unique compounds of the Panax species, are under basic and clinical research to investigate their potential for use in medicine. Much research has been done on Ginseng with varying results. A study showed taking Siberian Ginseng daily can increase the number of white blood cells including activity of the T cells as well as the cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells that eliminate invading cells and those that have been virally infected. A double blind-study with 93 volunteers with herpes simplex virus 2 (which can lead to genital herpes) found that there was a reduction (of 50%) in the number of outbreaks. Those that did occur were less severe and did not last as long. Ginseng is known to contain phytoestrogens. The whole complex of active compounds and their mechanism of action is still under investigation by the fact that approximately 20% of the extract of ginseng is composed of similar composition glycoside compounds.
What is the effect of ginseng as a sporting herbal supplement?
Ginseng is characterized by a very wide range of actions, but the most important sport is considered its effect on the nervous system and adaptation mechanisms. Unlike psychomotor stimulants ginseng does not hold the central nervous system in long excited state and so there is much more mild. Therefore, following the period of stimulation does not cause side effects and does not exhaust the natural reserves of the organism. Another significant difference in the mechanism of action of ginseng is that the effect of its application occurs slowly and require prolonged use. That is why when administered as adaptogenic and tonic in sport is important to respect the fact that he needed a longer period of intake and its effect largely depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.
Except as a tonic, ginseng has anti-inflammatory effect, positive impact on carbohydrate metabolism, cardiovascular system, gonadal function, improves eyesight. Preparations on the basis of ginseng used in athletes improve tissue respiration, gas exchange, decreased heart rate, blood pressure normalized. Ginseng helps to overcome stress in its various aspects and fight biochemical effects in the body. In stressful situations Ginseng provides the body with extra strength and psychic charge.
In Chinese medicine are established seven main effect of the use of herbal supplement ginseng:
- Increases vitality and eliminates fatigue
- Strengthens the cardiovascular system and regulates blood pressure
- Normal activity of the nervous system
- Improves the functioning of the endocrine glands
- Improves lung function and tissue respiration
- Normalizing the function of the gastrointestinal tract and increases appetite
- Neutralizes toxins in the body
Directions for use and dosage of ginseng as a sporting herbal supplement
As an herbal supplement ginseng can be in various forms:
- dry root
- tea and others.
Therefore intake as a food additive must comply with the concentration of active substances and to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. Typically ginseng like other adaptogens is administered for a period of 1 month, and then makes the month off.
Contraindications to the use of herbal supplement ginseng
General contraindications to taking ginseng:
Taking other medicines with a stimulating action
Acute inflammatory processes
Tendency to bleeding
Male strength directly depends on the amount of testosterone in the blood. According to the norm, he made a few milligrams a day, this amount is sufficient to maintain the vital activity of the whole organism.
Testosterone is responsible for secondary sex characteristics – growth of hair on the face and body, low timbre and the libido, erection, sexual behavior and sperm.
This hormone regulates the development of even the so-called. beautiful muscles by stimulating them in the production of proteins.
Without testosterone normal operation of the cardiovascular, nervous, circulatory and excretory system of man is unthinkable.
Directly from testosterone depend efficiency, creativity, memory, mood and even nature.
Over 30 years the level of testosterone decreases by 1-2% for each subsequent year. As a result, 50-55, the men remain only half the amount that they had in their youth.
Some experts believe that the less testosterone is and the faster decreases, the more years of life remaining, ie there is a direct link between the amount of testosterone and hypertension, diabetes, is chemic heart disease and other diseases. Not all scholars, however, agree with this statement.
Reducing potency excited much more men than for example high blood pressure. And it is the fear of impotence causes men to seek professional help.
But they are not sent immediately to the doctor’s office, statistics show. During the first five years they seek self way out: take various widely advertised drugs and supplements, seek popular information from friends and from the Internet. Unfortunately lost time adds more health problems and in consequence they have to be treated.
Therefore, experts advise women in spotting the first alarming symptoms in their men to insist on consultation with a urologist. The problem is not only about the quality of intimate life. Erection problems talking about the poor condition of the blood vessels.
Erectile dysfunction is an indicator of the existence of problems in the cardiovascular system. Is not excluded and diabetes, which often can take place in a hidden form. So best urologist will immediately appoint analysis for the study of hormones and blood sugar and consult a cardiologist.
The main causes of infertility in men are:
• Infections transmitted through sexual contact
• Solder or scar inflammatory wound
• Congenital abnormalities or injuries to genitals
• Lay infectious diseases (mumps).
Why amount of testosterone decreases with age
In blood appears specific proteins, which binds sex hormones, and this leads to a decrease in testosterone. Are developing state, which in medical terms is called “age hypogonadism” (ie. Male menopause).
The natural decrease in testosterone can be stopped, but this requires a lot of effort: do not smoke, drink or gain weight. There must be a lot of sport and movement.
Age hypogonadism may be accompanied (as well as menopause in women) with a sudden burst of hot flashes to the face, neck, upper body, and also with irritability, fatigue, insomnia, depression, pain in the heart, reduced sexual desire and sexual pleasure.
Reduction of testosterone can signal fat layered in the waist, increase in mammary glands and hair growth on the face.
Men’s health is determined by national health strategies as one of the main factors for national security. In many data causes of infertility in young people are few, but the main ones are endocrine and infectious diseases of the genitals (eg chronic prostatitis).
What is the treatment
The good thing is that there are treatment – with hormonal therapy (eg testosterone). It can be a tablet, injection, gel or patch.
In most cases, four Testosterone injections per year are enough to maintain his level to normal. This contributes to the weakening of the man (without dieting it can be downloaded around 6 kg). If the waist is reduced by 1 cm, the risk of attack is reduced by 3%!
Testosterone normalizes blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. It helps to normalize the indicators cholesterol and blood sugar. And it goes without saying that with his help increase libido, improves sexual life – the man feels filled with new strength and desire for life.