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Horny Goat Weed

 
Horny Goat Weed

A Chinese herb and historical aphrodisiac for both sexes that also goes by the significantly less awesome name Epimedium.

Also called Rowdy Lamb Herb, it got it's well deserved names after Chinese herders, no doubt very bored, observed their goats and sheep being quite a bit friskier after feeding on it.

Some people might not categorize Horny Goat Weed as a Nootropic, but I do because the sex drive is the strongest motivator we have. In the 11th chapter of one of the best selling books of all time, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states:NapoleonHill750
Think-and-Grow-Rich350"Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches."

Anything that revitalizes our sexual energy will drive us to work harder, pursue our goals with fervor, reach new levels of intensity in our focus, drive us beyond our comfort zones and push us to tap deep reserves of creativity. In this regard I consider Horny Goat Weed a Nootropic.

Powdered Horny Goat WeedHorny Goat Weed is well worth the attention of people who take a little more conservative approach to their Biohacking. It's a historical Nootropic that's been used to positive effect for thousands of years by large populations. Chinese traders estimate that over 100 tons of the raw ingredient are sold every year from markets in Bozhou, China.

It's been studied internationally and is regarded as an exceptionally safe tool for overall sexual enhancement.
To quote a 2011 Chinese paper:
"Modern pharmacology studies and clinical practice demonstrated that Epimedium and its active compounds possess wide pharmacological actions, especially in strengthening yang, hormone regulation, anti-osteoporosis, immunological function modulation, anti-oxidation and anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anti-depressant activities."

Horny goat weed increases the male-female gender specific hormones in their respective sexes.

Testosterone

testosterone350Many things in the modern man's lifestyle lower his testosterone.
Refined or processed carbohydrates, a diet which regularly contains breads, pastas, baked goods, and other grains will elevate insulin levels. In the long term this causes diabetes and in the short term it lowers testosterone.
Meat, unfortunately the meat industry pumps a lot of weird hormones and chemicals into the meat we consume that takes a serious toll our internal chemistry, robbing us of testosterone. A good reason to exclusively consume grass-fed hormone-free meat and dairy.
Drinking alcohol, especially beer, the hops in beer are estrogenic to the extent that they have been researched as an option for helping middle aged women with hot flashes.
Xenoestrogens and low quality water, very common chemicals like BPAs, used almost universally in plastic packaging, disrupt the endocrine system and lower testosterone. Additionally, a variety of alien estrogenic chemicals are common in municipal water supplies. This can be partially avoided by getting a good water filtration system, but inevitably you are going to consume normal tap water while bathing or outside of your home.
Stress, the consist companion in a man's life, chronically high cortisol levels push down testosterone.
Lack of exercise, one of the most consist ways to augment testosterone is consistent exercise, so missing sessions in the gym can take a toll on your health in more ways than one.
Use of technology, indirectly, which is conducive to a sedentary lifestyle
It combats these negative influences by increasing testosterone levels in the short term and long term through mechanisms of action which keep the complex hormone system in balance.

Estrogen

Estrogen350Two chemicals in it, Icaritin and Desmethylicaritin, work a little bit differently in women to boost the levels of the female hormone. A couple things that disrupt Estrogen levels in women:
Dieting, extreme eating regimens that aim to lower body fat will disrupt
Excessive exercise, will disrupt the feminine hormonal system.
Birth control, going on The Pill interferes with a lot of factors in female biology. If you don't want to make babies check out this guide to herbal birth control, there's actally a whole lot of low impact natural options that if used intelligently are as effective as the highly disruptive pharmacuitical solutions.
Menopause, between ages 40-50 women, women experience a host of unpleasant symptoms as a result of falling estrogen; hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness and loss of libido.

Nootropic Mechanism of Action

This herb utilizes multiple mechanisms of action. It owes it's libido exciting effects to it's active ingredient, Icariin, a prenylated flavonoid that can cross the blood-brain barrier, where it has a Neuroprotective effect. It has been studied extensively with over 60 research results on Pubmed, involving human stubjects.

  1. It has both short term and long term positive affects on the complex hormonal systems of the body, it's long term or cumulative effect is due to it's role as a natural PDE-5 inhibitor, this takes 2 - 4 weeks to peak.
  2. It regulates calcium channels, essential to the delivery of 3 important neurotransmitters, glutamate, acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Additionally, according to a 2010 study "Our findings suggest that the potential neuroprotective effect of icariin on... induced neurotoxicity via the balance intracelluar calcium homeostasis."
  3. It has testosterone mimetic properties, according to Shantou University Medical College research, "Icariin improved the condition of reproductive organs and increased the circulating levels of testosterone."
  4. Finally, according to recent research, it's an acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor, meaning that it prevents a chemical process that breaks down acetylcholine in the mind. ACH is a fragile and essential neurotransmitter that we rely on at a profound level to form new memories, focus and learn.

Neural Stem Cell Activation

A 2012 Shanghai study, found it has antiaging properties as a preventative agent against cognitive decline
"Our findings suggest that icariin represents a promising candidate for the modulation of aging. Therefore, icariin administration may effectively prevent or delay the onset of age-related cognitive degeneration, and its capability to activate quiescent [neural stem cells] may potentially be one of its mechanisms."

Erectogenic

Horny goat weedHorny Goat Weed has a hard (Pun intended!) earned reputation, as an erection enhancer. While it has this effect in men of all ages, it's a particularly effective agent for dealing with erectile dysfunction. To this effect it's fast acting, according to one user:
"I took it before bed, 30-40 minutes before sex, and oh my god, I had one of the best sex ever :) I decided to take it only on the day when I'm sure I will have sex. I took it 3 times and I can confirm that the sex is much better due to extremely hard and long lasting erections. This stuff makes me more sensitive, but on the same time I can have all under control"

Sensation Enhancer

The good news is that it definitely improves the the sensation of sex and masturbation by 25%-50%. So it is an effective biohack but it's not going to be a game changer for your sex life (like a tantric practice), if you take Horny Goat Wood before having protected sex with a condom it's not going to make it feel like you are having unprotected sex. I didn't find it to be that big of a difference in sensation but it is noticeable and pleasant.

Growing it in a Garden

There's quite a bit of debate online about the dubious quantity and quality of Icariin content, along with the legitimacy of Chinese herbs that get stored for months and shipped across oceans. So for those with a green thumb and the time on their hands, it's worth considering simply growing your own Horny Goat Weed.

 

Nootropic Ingredients

Researching the recommended dosage you will run into a lot of statements like "At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses" - Not very helpful! The reason for this ambiguity is that the percentage of active ingredient, Icariin can vary greatly between different products, 20% is pretty standard, although some concentrations have up to 50%. The recommended dosage of Epimedium itself, really depends upon the Icariin concentration. When dealing with herbal supplements, especially when combining herbals it's really best to do some experimentation and self quantification. Alternatively you can also take pure Icariin in supplemental form.

Cofactors:

Maca (either in the powder or the more bioavailable gelatinized form) and Horny Goat Weed, is a favorite of Biohacker's aiming to enhance their performance in the bedroom or overcome erectile dysfunction. One herbal enhancement enthusiast on Longecity gushed:
"horny goat with maca... turns me into a porn star :) And I can confirm that you don't need to take it for let's say 3 weeks to start working. I take it only when needed and it makes miracles "
Yohimbe, another traditional Chinese with powerful effects on the libido and overall body energy. A stack of Horny Goat Weed and Yohimbe is a favorite of sex hackers and herbal enthusiasts

Side Effects:

As an energizing agent, taking too high of a dosage will cause anxiety. In rat studies, even at ultra high dosages, there was no toxicity.

Conflicts

It lowers your blood pressure, so it's not a good idea to take it with other drugs for low blood pressure.

Photos

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