Many men suffer from erectile dysfunction, or ED, and many resort to medications like Viagra, which have many potential side effects or even to surgical procedures to correct the problem. However, for many men, erectile difficulties can be treated naturally, without resorting to aggressive methods.
One herb that has helped many men with impotence resume normal sexual performance is epimedium, commonly known as "horny goat weed".
What is Epimedium?
It is a natural herb native to China. The leaves of the plant have been used for centuries to treat many ailments. Over the years, it has been taken to relieve the pain of arthritis, fight physical fatigue and memory loss and even to treat heart disease and high blood pressure.
Studies are mixed on exactly how the herb works for many of the things it has been used for, however it is fairly clear that epimedium's chemicals increase blood flow. This is why it is a natural choice for relieving ED symptoms.
Viagra and other ED medications work by increasing blood flow to the penis. Both Viagra and epimedium cause blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow, helping a man achieve an erection more easily.
In some men, epimedium may also increase psychological arousal. This increased desire also helps some men to more easily achieve or maintain an erection.
One study conducted in 2008 found that a compound in epimedium blocks the enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis, which is what causes ED in the first place. The study showed that epimedium might essentially reverse the blood flow problem that causes impotence.
As with many other herbs and natural treatments, studies are not as frequent as drug studies. However, the study mentioned above did seem to confirm what traditional Chinese medicine has said for years, so it's likely that it will lead to more studies on the use of epimedium for ED.
Though it works in the same manner, horny goat weed will almost certainly have fewer side effects than ED prescription medications. For this reason, it's a good idea to try this remedy before resorting to drugs. Though Viagra and drugs like it are stronger, epimedium is often strong enough. In some people, it does cause nausea and dry mouth, especially when you first begin taking it.
Epimedium generally comes in two forms. The first is a dried tea leaf, which can be steeped for drinking. In this form, the herb is usually labeled as epimedium. The herb also comes in supplement capsules, and is usually labeled "horny goat weed" in this form.
Both forms can be found at natural medicine and herb stores. The package should contain dosing information. Between 6 and 15 grams per day is a normal dose. Start with a low dose and work up to 15 grams if the low dose isn't effective enough. Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking epimedium if you are taking an prescription drugs, to prevent interactions.
ED is a fairly common problem, especially as men age, and many men rush to their doctors for drug treatments, only to suffer from lots of side effects. However, for many men, such aggressive treatment is not needed, especially when there are so many natural methods, like epimedium available.
Have you tried horny goat weed for impotence? Tell us about your experiences and we will (anonymously) post your results for our visitors to read.