Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) vs. Sildenafil: Which One is More Effective in Treating Erectile Dysfunction

What is erectile dysfunction? Erectile dysfunction or (ED) is a sexual disorder connected with the man’s inability to achieve the erection necessary to conduct full sexual intercourse. This condition is considered to be a disorder if it takes place regularly. If it is an isolated case there is no problem as any man can experience such condition sometimes due to various reasons such as tiredness, stress or bad health state.

Men can experience ED at any age. Today the age of ED has become much younger and a lot of cases of ED are reported in men of 40 years old. According to the statistical data in the USA 5% of cases accrue to 40-year old men and 15-25% of cases – to elderly patients over 65 years.

How Erection and Erectile Dysfunction Occur

When the man feels sexually excited a certain chemical cGMP is produced inside his body. This substance is responsible for the relaxation of plain muscles and widening of the vessel walls. In its turn, larger blood flow comes into the penis providing stronger erection. Such erection lasts until the coitus and sexual excitement is finished

Under the condition of erectile disorder the action of cGMP is hindered by the PDE5 enzyme. Thus, no natural process of erection takes place as blood vessels cannot be relaxed and widened as well as no large blood flow is provided in the penis.

What is Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) and How it Works

What is Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed)

Epimedium is a trade name of Horny Goat Weed, the plant that may be an alternative to Viagra as some scientists believe. Epimedium is not a drug, but a food supplement. The followers of the natural medicine consider it to be as effective as Sildenafil and with fewer side effects.

Epimedium is said to contain Icariin, the natural element that works just any other PDE5 inhibitor does. It inhibits PDE5, relaxes blood vessel walls and facilitates stronger and longer erection. As Horny Goat Weed is not a drug it is sold without a prescription and is available in various pharmaceutical forms: coated pills, capsules, powder and tea.

Some side effects may be experienced in case if the supplement is taken for over several months. They include dizziness, nasal bleeding and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

The Effect of Sildenafil Citrate

Sildenafil Citrate

Sildenafil Citrate or Sildenafil is Viagra’s active ingredient that refers to the group of PDE5 inhibitors. it acts just like Epimedium however numerous researches have shown that its ability to inhibit PDE5 and influence blood vessels is 80 times more effective than that of Icariin.

The weak point of Sildenafil comparing to Icariin is quite serious side effects and contraindications Sildenafil is famous for. Sildenafil effects not only PDE5, but also other enzymes that are responsible for the good work of cardiovascular and ocular system. That’s why some patients may suffer from cardio – vascular disorders and vision dysfunctions.

A the same time according to some tests Epimedium does not negatively influence other enzymes so the natural remedy may not cause such undesired side effects as Viagra may.

The Efficiency of Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) and Sildenafil Assessed by Scientists

Researchers believe that Epimedium can be very useful for patients suffering from ED as it contain Icariin, the natural substance acting just like PDE5 inhibitors. However, they also admit that despite multiple testes conducted some natural elements of Epimedium should be gone through other clinical investigations. Though Icariin is recognized to be a natural analogue of Sildenafil it may have lower efficiency as its synthetic counterpart has.

Some investigations were conducted in order to compare the effectiveness of both remedies. The results were quite disappointing for Epimedium as it turned out that its effectiveness of inhibiting PDE5 and increasing the cGMP level in the human body may be tenfold lower than that of Sildenafil. However, one should remember that we don’t compare these remedies directly as Epimedium is tested in the form of extract, the mixture containing all the substances of the plant and Sildenafil is a pure chemical substance without any supplements.

To sum it up, we will make some conclusions on the basis of all the above-mentioned information. So,

  • Icariin is not similar to Sildenafil from the structural point of view.
  • Sildenafil is much more powerful (more than 80 times) in inhibiting PDE5 than Icariin.
  • To be as effective as Sildenafil Epimedium extract should be taken in very high concentrations which is impossible from the physiological point of view. Even in that case the effect may be lower.

Thus, the major conclusion of this article is that Horny Goat Weed can hardy compete with Sildenafil and replace the PDE5 inhibitor in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Though Epimedium is characterized by the similar action and can be used during the ED treatment its power is not enough to become a separate ED therapy.