Epimedium Extract icariin other names: 

Barrenwort, Épimède, Épimède à Grandes Fleurs, Épimède du Japon, Epimedium, Epimedium acuminatum, Epimedium brevicornum, Epimedium grandiflorum, Epimedium Grandiflorum Radix, Epimedium koreanum, Epimedium macranthum, Epimedium pubescens, Epimedium sagittatum, Epimedium violaceum, Epimedium wushanese, Herba Epimedii, Herbe Cornée de Chèvre, Hierba de Cabra en Celo, Japanese Epimedium, Xian Ling Pi, Yin Yang Huo

Horny goat weed is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine. As many as 15 horny goat weed species are known as “yin yang Huo” in Chinese medicine.

Horny goat weed is commonly used by mouth for sexual performance problems, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and low sexual desire. It is also used for weak back and knees, joint pain, arthritis, mental and physical fatigue, and memory loss along with many other conditions. However, there is limited scientific research to support any of these uses.

What is Icariin?

Icariin is an active flavonoid component of the Epimedium plant species commonly known as Horny Goat Weed. Extracts from these plants have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for enhancing libido and male sexual function

Due to its widespread distribution and movement in the body including the brain, icariin exhibits far-ranging biological activities such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, neuroprotection, anti-tumor activity, as well as promoting overall health in the heart, bones, and a variety of other organs

The Health Benefits of Icariin

  • Improves Erectile Dysfunction and Increases Sex Drive
  • Reduces Dementia and Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Icariin is Neuroprotective and Promotes Neurogenesis
  • Icariin Lowers Stress and Acts as an Antidepressant
  • Stimulate Bone Growth and Repair
  • Promote Heart Health
  • Stimulate Blood Vessel Formation
  • Icariin Exhibits Anti-Cancer Effects
  • Icariin is Anti-inflammatory and Immunoprotective
  • Icariin May Combat Fatigue
  • Protects DNA and Delays Aging
  • It May Help with Acne
  • It May Help with Premature Ejaculation
  • It May Fight Jetlag

Uses & Effectiveness

Osteoporosis. Taking a specific extract of horny goat weed for 24 months in combination with calcium supplements decreases bone loss of the spine and hip in women who have passed menopause better than taking calcium alone. Chemicals in the extract act somewhat like the hormone estrogen.

Postmenopausal conditions. Taking horny goat weed water extract for 6 months can decrease cholesterol and increase estrogen levels in postmenopausal women.


The appropriate dose of horny goat weed depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for horny goat weed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist physician or other healthcare professional before using.

My Experience With Horny Goat Weed

Icariin is one of my favorite supplements and I take it for the PDE5 inhibiting properties.  It reliably increases blood flow throughout the body and is great for increasing tolerance to carbs.

It improves cognitive performance for me and is an anti-inflammatory.