Epimedium is a genus of 60 or more species of herbaceous flowering plants in the Barberry family, Berberidaceae. The large majority are endemic to southern China, with further outposts in Europe, and central, southern and eastern Asia.
Epimedium species are hardy perennials. The majority have four-petal "spider-like" flowers that bloom in spring. This plant has bright red stems with green heart shaped leaves which are slightly hairy on the bottom. They grow to a maximum of 6 to 9 in (15 to 23 cm) and in the spring produce light purple colored flowers. Many Epimedium species are believed to be aphrodisiacs, particularly horny goat weed.
Rowdy Lamb Herb, Barrenwort, Bishop’s Hat, Fairy Wings, Horny Goat Weed, Yin Yang Huo (Chinese)
Uses:Many species of Epimedium have aphrodisiac qualities associated with content of icariin. 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, extract, tablet, or capsule form and sometimes blended with other supplements.
The leaves and roots of the plant have been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. There are indications from recent studies published in the May 2011 issue of “European Journal of Pharmacology” that the icardiin extracted from Epimedium grandiflorum has anti-cancer effects and inhibits the growth of breast cancer in the laboratory.
Horny Goat's Weed is said to have the ability to increase sexual desire and has been used for centuries to treat impotency, sexual dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
It is also believed that flavonoids extracted from Epimedium species have the ability to inhibit aldosterone, the hormone that promotes the reabsorbtion of sodium ions and increases blood pressure, and thereby improve heart function. Maybe even reverse any changes in the shape, size and function of the heart after congestive heart failure.
Extracts: Follow directions on bottle.
Capsule: Follow instructions on label.
Interaction with medications is always a concern, check with your doctor first.With any herb, there is the risk of an allergic reaction. Small children and pregnant women should use additional caution when considering the use of herbal remedies.