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Horny Goats Weed In The Press


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Daily Mail - Chinese herbal remedy 'horny goatsweed' could be nature's Viagra

A Chinese herbal remedy called horny goats weed could provide an alternative to Viagra for impotent men, according to researchers. Experiments with an extract from the herb could lead to new drugs with fewer side effects, they claimed. The herb has long held a reputation as a natural aphrodisiac.

The lab experiments, which did not look at whether the plant actually increases desire, could lead to new drugs to help men get erections, said Mario Dell'Agli, a researcher at the University of Milan, who led the study.

'This could be the natural Viagra,' said Mr Dell'Agli. 'We have synthesised a new molecule that one day may be able to replace Viagra.'

Viagra combats erectile dysfunction by inhibiting an enzyme that restricts blood flow to the area. But side effects can range from headaches to blindness.

The Italian team studied a number of plants reputed to boost sexual performance. After homing in on horny goatsweed, they modified a compound in the plant called icariin and found it blocked the erection-inhibiting enzyme as well as Viagra did. Because the compound targets the enzyme more precisely, it may have fewer side effects than Viagra.


Daily Mail - Horny goats weed 'could rival Viagra'

A Chinese plant known as horny goats weed could be an alternative to Viagra in tackling impotence, research suggests. A compound made from epimedium brevicornum - also known as horny goats weed and Bishop's Hat - could also have fewer side effects than the drug, scientists from the University of Milan found.

Mario Dell'Agli, the lead researcher, said that experiments showed that icariin, a compound found inside the horny goats weed, blocks PDE5, an enzyme which limits blood flow to the penis and therefore prevents erections.

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, also works by inhibiting PDE5. It is thought to be 80 times more effective than icariin. However, Mr Dell'Agli said that by producing a modified version of the horny goats weed molecule, a compound that "works as well as Viagra" can be produced.

Mr Dell'Agli and his colleagues tested four plants which are regarded as natural aphrodisiacs in their traditional cultures. Only horny goatsweed was found to have an effect.

"This could be the natural Viagra," said Mr Dell'Agli. "We have synthesised a new molecule that one day may be able to replace Viagra."

In addition, a new drug could have fewer downsides than Viagra, Mr Dell'Agli said. People with heart problems are unable to take Viagra because it also affects enzymes crucial to heart function. Tests suggest the horny goats weed alternative does not have the same side-effect.

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