Epimedium extract is a popular aphrodisiac supplement and herbal sexual performance enhancer
Species of Epimedium are herbaceous perennials, growing from an underground rhizome. Their growth habits are somewhat variable. Some have solitary stems, others have a “tufted” habit, with multiple stems growing close together. There may be several leaves to a stem or the leaves may be solitary, produced from the base of the plant. Individual leaves are generally compound, often with three leaflets, but also with more. Leaflets usually have spiny margins. The leaves may be annual, making the plantdeciduous, or longer lasting, so that the plant is evergreen. The inflorescence is an open raceme or panicle, the number of flowers varying by species.
Individual flowers have parts in fours. There are four smaller outer sepals, usually greenish and shed when the flower opens. Moving inwards, these are followed by four larger petal-like inner sepals, often brightly coloured. Inside the sepals are four true petals. These may be small and flat, but often have a complex shape including a nectar-producing “spur” that may be longer than the sepals. There are four stamens.
Medicinal Uses :
Many species of Epimedium are alleged to have aphrodisiac qualities. According to legend, this property was discovered by a Chinese goat herder who noticed sexual activity in his flock after they ate the weed. It is sold as a health supplement; usually in raw herb, tablet, or capsule form and sometimes blended with other supplements. The over-exploitation of wild populations of Epimedium for use in traditional Chinese medicine is having potentially serious consequences for the long-term survival of several species, none of which are widely cultivated for medicinal purposes.
The “active ingredient” in Epimedium is icariin, which can be found in standardized extracts from 5% up to 60% potent. Strengths above that are usually reserved for lab use.
Animal studies indicate that Icariin also stimulates osteoblast activity in bone tissue, leading to the development and marketing of medicinal products based on Epimedium extracts for treatment of osteoporosis.
- Combat mental and physical fatigue;
- Induce vasodilation and improve circulation;
- Lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients;
- Improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) through its action as a PDE5 inhibitor;
- Improve the use of free testosterone in the blood;
- Increase libido;
- Alleviate symptoms of depression and stimulate improved cognitive function;
- Protect against neurological degeneration.
|Appearance||Yellow to Light Brown fine powder||Yellow||Complies|
|Taste||Extremely Bitter||Extremely Bitter||Complies|
|Drying Preparation||Freeze Drying||Pass||Complies|
|Active Ingredients||Icariin : 80 %||80.5%||HPLC|
|Mesh size||90 % through 120 mesh||95 % through 120 mesh||Complies|
|Moisture||Not more than 5 %||4 %||Chapter 23|
|Total Plate Count||Less than 1000||110||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|Yeast and mould||Less than 100||23||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|Salmonella||Absent||Not detected||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|Coliform||Absent||Not detected||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|S Aures||Absent||Not detected||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|Pseudomonas aureus||Absent||Not detected||BP2002 British Pharmacopoeia|
|Heavy Metals||Release Specifications||Results||Standard|
|Arsenic (As)||Less than 1 mg/kg||Less than 1 mg/kg||AOAC 986. 15 Sec D|
|Lead (Pb)||Less than 1 mg/kg||Less than 1 mg/kg||AOAC 986. 15 Sec D|
|Cadmium (Cd)||Less than 0.2 mg/kg||Less than 0.2 mg/kg||AOAC 986. 15 Sec D|
|Mercury (Hg)||Less than 0.05 mg/kg||Less than 0.5 mg/kg||AOAC 986. 15 Sec D|
|Ash||4 % to 6 %||5 %||Method of Analysis for Nutrition Labelling (1993) Chapter 12|
|Shelf life||24 months||In original packing conditions|
|Storage||In cool dry place at below 15° C.|