Horny Goat Weed
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Horny Goat Weed is an all-natural botanical sexual enhancer. It is a botanical complex that contains Horny Goat Weed (yes that is the name of the herb),
Maca, L-Dopa and other exotic botanicals.
Effect of Horny Goat Weed Herbal Complex Supplement on Sexual Satisfaction in Healthy Men and Men Treated with Viagra
Steven Lamm, M.D. and Gerald Secor Couzens
Methods In this study, 25 healthy men (HM) and 13 men (VM) who used Viagra were assigned to initially receive daily therapy for 45 days with two capsules (808 mg x 2) of a commercially-prepared herbal complex of epimedium grandiflorum, maca pure (lepidium meyenii), mucuna pruriens, and polypodium vulgare . An additional four capsules (3232 mg) were taken one to two hours prior to sexual activity to determine its effect on sexual interest, sexual performance, and overall sexual satisfaction. After 45 days, the double-blind phase of the study began with a placebo product and active product randomly given to healthy men (HM) who had reported a positive response and taken for two weeks to four weeks. All subjects were evaluated after the first 45 days of treatment and finally after 60 days.
Results 13 of 20 HM had a positive response to the herbal mixture and 6 of the 13 VM had a positive response to the herbal mixture. In the double-blind placebo portion of the study, no HM had a positive response to placebo product; 6 of the 7 HM had a positive response to the active product.
Conclusions Daily use of the herbal complex for a minimum of 45 days resulted in an enhancement of sexual satisfaction in 60 percent of healthy male subjects and 45 percent of men using Viagra. The exact mechanism of action of the herbal mixture is unknown although it may have a testosterone-like effect.
Folk medicine has always been applied whenever a mans virility showed signs of waning. A seemingly endless succession of herbal potions, drugs, and mechanical devices have been employed over the centuries, from crushed rhinoceros horn and pulverized antelope, deer, and horse testicles, to parings of human nails. In times of desperation, a piece of bone was actually eased into the urethra to stiffen the penis.1
The mandrake plant, a member of the nightshade family, was used extensively in medieval Europe, northern Africa, and Asia as both a pain killer and a cure for ED (erectile dysfunction). It is even mentioned in the Old Testament, under the name dudaim, as the stimulant used by Jacob. Stemless, with bell-shaped flowers, the plants long and thick root, which often divides into two sections, resembles the lower male torso. It contains many alkaloids of medicinal value, making it one of the most discussed plants in medical literature, as well as the subject of myth and superstition. Alkaloids are a diverse group of nitrogen-containing substances produced by plants that have powerful effects on body function; some of the more common alkaloids include atropine, morphine, quinine, and codeine.1
And then there was food. Throughout history, edibles, especially those phallic in shape, were employed as virility boosters. Asparagus, bananas, carrots, and cucumbers stood out in this category. Some indigenous tribes in coastal areas traditionally rubbed long, slender fish against their penises in the hope that they would become similarly long and hard.1
The herbal complex product used in this study is a proprietary combination of plant parts, primarily epimedium grandiflorum, lepidium meyenii, mucuna pruriens, and polypodium vulgare. Epimedium grandiflorum has been used historically as a sexual enhancer by the Chinese for 2,000 years. The herbal product is a combination of epimedium grandiflorum and other plants which are shredded and prepared traditionally as a powder as a supplement for sexual enhancement. Because of its sexual medicine properties, this herbal product has been offered commercially in the USA in preparations of pulverized plant parts.
Today, sexual medicine is in its infancy and male sexual enhancement programs are being studied. At least 30 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their sexual lives. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study a high percentage of the dissatisfaction comes from erectile dysfunction.3 For many, dissatisfaction is related to lack of intimacy or depressed desire.4 (Compared to male dissatisfaction, female sexual dissatisfaction is reported to be at a higher level (42 percent).4 Its obvious that more research is needed in this important and little-studied area.)
Sexual medicine programs are just beginning to come into use. Because of the increased interest in this area, triggered in part by the world-wide approval of the prescription medication Viagra in 1998 and due to anecdotal reports of the beneficial prosexual effect of herbal supplements, we have undertaken to test the hypothesis that a particular herbal supplement has a prosexual effect on healthy men as well as men using Viagra by evaluating it and comparing it to placebo product in volunteers.
Here we report that the HGW herbal complex supplement did enhance sexual satisfaction, and hence these data suggest an important possible clinical application for it.
Initially, 38 male volunteers were divided into two groups (Table 1): Healthy Male (HM: n = 25; age, 25 to 65 years); and men using Viagra (VM: n = 13; age, 36 to 66 years). HM is defined as sexually active and not needing Viagra for sexual activity. However, he may be using medication for the treatment of other common ailments, including hypertension, depression, asthma, etc. HM and VM were told they were going to receive either a 45-day supply of the commercially-prepared herbal complex of epimedium grandiflorum, maca pure (lepidium meyenii), mucuna pruriens, and polypodium vulgare (Bodyonics, Hicksville, NY) or a placebo that would be taken daily at a dose of 1616 mg orally (2 capsules) with an additional 3232 mg (4 capsules) that would be taken 60 minutes prior to sexual activity with approximately 4 to 6 ounces of water. The capsules were contained in unmarked white plastic bottles.
The 13 VM (Table 2) followed a similar protocol except they took the herbal product two hours prior to a sexual encounter, followed by Viagra, as needed, one hour prior to a sexual encounter. The study participants received a study questionnaire to complete at the beginning of the study which assessed their sexual satisfaction and sexual performance levels. This 16-question questionnaire for HM and 25-question questionnaire for VM was designed by Dr. Steven Lamm and Gerald Secor Couzens, incorporating the key domains as outlined in part in the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction.5
After 45 days, 20 of the 25 HM completed the trial. 5 men did not complete this portion of the trial due to personal reasons; no side effects were reported. In the sildenafil (Viagra) phase, 13 VM completed the trial; no one reported any side effects. Study participants were asked to fill out another questionnaire assessing their impressions of the herbal complex product.
At this time, 13 HM subjects who admitted having a positive response to the product were randomized by the program coordinator to receive either placebo or active product (Active product n = 7; placebo product n = 6) in unmarked white plastic bottles. Neither patients nor study director knew which product patients had received. 6 VM noted enhanced sexual satisfaction from the products after 45 days and they continued taking the active product. They were not subject to the double-blind portion of the study.
The population of men for this trial came from the patients of a clinic in New York City with ages between 25 and 65. There were no documented side effects attributed to the herbal complex supplement during the trial evaluation of 60 days. 20 HM and 13 VM completed the trial.
Individual satisfaction increased from Day 1 to Day 45, the initial time period the herbal capsules were taken (Table 3b).
Perception of ones sexual desire is critical in overall sexual satisfaction.
The Viagra Trial
Individual satisfaction remained the same for 4 of the 6 respondents from Day 1 to Day 45 (Table 6b).
In order to find out how much the subject enjoyed sexual intercourse after taking the herbal complex product, we asked:
3 of the 6 subjects noted increases in enjoyment (Table 6c). 1 subject went from feeling very enjoyable to very highly enjoyable. 2 subjects noted 20% increases, going from fairly enjoyable to highly enjoyable and highly enjoyable to very highly enjoyable. 1 subject maintained his highly enjoyable feelings. 1 male went from very highly enjoyable to enjoyable, and 1 man had no sexual intercourse in that period.
Overall sexual satisfaction has a lot to do with the satisfaction a man feels his partner is experiencing (Table 6d).
Perception of ones sexual desire is critical in overall sexual satisfaction.
The Placebo Phase
After two weeks, the study director telephoned the men and asked the participants if they noted any continued positive effect with the product they had been provided. Of the 6 men who received the placebo, no one noted any positive response. Of the 7 men who received the active product, 6 men noted a continuation of the positive response, with 1 noting no effect whatsoever on sexual satisfaction.
There were no negative side effects noted.
The following three questions ask about sexual satisfaction.
Day 60 Phone participants for comments on product
The following four questions ask about sexual satisfaction.
The following question refers to sexual activity.
Sex, when not intended for procreation, is about having fun. It can have positive value, helping increase ones sense of well being and may even prolong life. Sex is a highly complex issue. Whether one is an adolescent or a senior citizen, sex requires various levels of desire, performance, and communication. We appreciate just how complicated the issue of determining actual sexual satisfaction actually is. We do know, however, that there appears to be a large portion of our population, both male and female, that is not experiencing sex commensurate with their expectation levels. Males and females have similar and dissimilar issues. Dissimilar issues include those of desire, performance, and communication. Biologic issues such as atherosclerosis, neurological difficulties, diabetes, arthritis, and hormonal factors, as well as social and religious factors, early sexual experience, trauma, and medications all contribute to the overall sexual satisfaction of men and women.1
With that in mind, we understand that one single performance medication, such as Viagra, or less powerful agents, such as the herbal complex product, will not be the solution to everyones overall sexual satisfaction. Still, anecdotal reports of an improvement in sexual satisfaction with a particular herbal complex product prompted us to investigate whether there was a beneficial prosexual effect. There are currently many OTC prosexual products available in pharmacies, health food stores, and via the Internet. We chose a specific herbal complex product supplement and the manufacturer supplied us with unmarked containers of capsules for our study.
Although the pharmacology of each of the four individual prosexual ingredients in the mixture can be found in various texts, we do not know the pharmacological action of this particular mixture. In this two phase, double-blind placebo-controlled study of oral supplementation with a herbal complex product in men, we found no toxic side effects with the two-capsule (1616 mg) daily dose or the additional four-capsule (3232 mg) dose taken prior to sexual activity as judged from medical interviews by the attending physician and questionnaire reports. The mode of action of the herbal complex product has not been clearly defined, although anecdotally it is known to enhance sexual arousal in animal and human subjects.
There were no toxic side effects observed. Statistically significant sexual satisfaction was observed for the individuals taking the herbal complex product. A significant number of healthy men (n = 13) reported that the product enhanced their overall sexual satisfaction. In reviewing patient questionnaires and in telephone interviews, what was clearly noted was that taking the herbal complex product seems to significantly increase sexual satisfaction in healthy men and in men taking Viagra. We hypothesize that the particular ingredients working in concert produce a stimulating effect on most men.
A fulfilling sex life requires a lot more than a pill or a capsule. There are any number of variables and conditions which can affect the attraction, as well as the sexual performance, of two people. Therefore, we must note that sexual satisfaction cant be judged by only one parameter. For some men, enhancing sexual satisfaction requires enhanced sexual performance, while for others it requires enhanced sexual interest. For others, its a boost in confidence which then leads to an increase in overall sexual activity and satisfaction. Still, in others, enhanced sexual satisfaction is linked with the deep and loving relationship they have established with their partner.
This particular herbal complex product appears to function on multiple levels. What percentage has a placebo effect is unknown. We know there is a placebo effect with every product and there may be one with this one as well. However, we believe that this herbal complex product goes beyond placebo and is worthy of use.
In summary, our Phase 1 study demonstrates that daily supplementation with Horny Goat Weed herbal complex product can lead to increases in overall sexual satisfaction.
1. Couzens GS, Lamm S. The Virility Solution. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1998
The authors are grateful to Bodyonics (Hicksville, NY) for supplying the herbal complex mixture Horny Goat Weed (HGW) and for supporting this study.
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