The soft green heart-shaped leaf of the horny goat weed could hold the key to a new drug for treating erectile dysfunction. Researchers say the Viagra alternative could be as effective as the famous blue pill, but have fewer side-effects.Don't get your hopes up right away. A drug based on this plant could be decades away.
Mario Dell'Agli of the University of Milan, Italy, and colleagues tested four plants which are used as natural aphrodisiacs in traditional cultures to establish their potential as alternatives to Viagra.
Viagra's active compound, sildenafil, works by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5). Because PDE5 helps control blood flow to the penis, inhibiting PDE5 promotes male erection.
Dell'Agli and his colleagues tested the four plants in vitro to see how efficient they were at inhibiting PDE5. Just one - Epimedium brevicornum, also known as horny goat weed and Bishop's Hat - had an effect. This confirmed previous studies showing that icariin, a compound found inside the horny goat weed, is a PDE5 inhibitor.
However, if you want to grow your own an appropriately named book, Secrets of Plant Propagation, could be rather useful. According to Amazon (I haven't checked) Bishop's Hat is covered on page 90. And if you want to grow marijuana Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible could be helpful. I have to warn you though. Marijuana is illegal and the penalties for growing it are severe including lots of jail time and loss of any property remotely connected to growing it. However, not to worry. We have legions of criminals willing to supply it to you. And you can get it from either domestic growers or smugglers. So how does an old fart get connected with these criminals? Ask a kid because marijuana is easier for a kid to get than beer. No doubt a lovely way to bring the generations together.
Cross Posted at Classical Values