Science Behind the Ingredients
Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium sagittatum)
Epimedium species (aka horny goat weed) have been utilized for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years. Icariin (ICA) is the active moiety of Epimedium species.
Clinical evidence: Sexual dysfunction: Limited clinical data are available on the effects of epimedium on erectile dysfunction. A small double-blind clinical trial was reported assessing an epimedium herbal complex supplement in 25 healthy men and 13 men who had used sildenafil (Viagra). The men were administered with the herbal complex for a minimum of 45 days. Daily use of the epimedium preparation was found to enhance sexual satisfaction to a greater extent than sildenafil (Ma et al. 2011).
Oral treatment with icariin (> 98.6 % purity) for 4 weeks potentially improves erectile function. This effect is correlated with an increase in PSM and the expression of certain NOS in the CC of castrated rats. These results suggest that icariin may have a therapeutic effect on erectile dysfunction.
l-Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that is the substrate for nitric oxide production by vascular endothelial and immune cells.
Consumption of amino acids L-arginine (L-Arg) and L-citrulline (L-Cit) are purported
to increase nitric oxide (NO) production and improve physical performance.
Supplements containing AAs, such as L-Arg that supposedly increase NO production,
have gained attention among researchers for their potential ergogenic benefits
Bloomer, R.J.; Williams, S.A.; Canale, R.E.; Farney, T.M.; Kabir, M.M. Acute effect of nitric oxide supplement on blood nitrate/nitrite and hemodynamic variables in resistance trained men. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2010, 24, 2587–2592. [Cross Ref] [PubMed]
Cowhage (Mucuna pruriens)
Mucuna pruriens (Fabaceae) is an established herbal drug used for the management of male infertility, nervous disorders, and also as an aphrodisiac. It has been shown that its seeds are potentially of substantial medicinal importance. The ancient Indian medical system, Ayurveda, traditionally used M. pruriens, even to treat such things as Parkinson's disease. M. pruriens has been shown to have anti-parkinson and neuroprotective effects, which may be related to its antioxidant activity. In addition, antioxidant activity of M. pruriens has been also demonstrated in vitro by its ability to scavenge DPPH radicals and reactive oxygen species. In this review the medicinal properties of M. pruriens are summarized, taking in consideration the studies that have used the seeds extracts and the leaves extracts.
Oat Straw (Avena sativa)
Green oat (Avena sativa) extracts contain several groups of potentially psychoactive phytochemicals. Previous research has demonstrated improvements in cognitive function following a single dose of these extracts, but not following chronic supplementation. Additionally, whilst green oat extracts contain phytochemicals that may improve mood or protect against stress.
In a double-blind, randomised clinical study, it was demonstrated that Avena sativa extracts chronic supplementation can benefit cognitive function and modulate the physiological response to a stressor.
Acute and Chronic Effects of Green Oat (Avena sativa) Extract on Cognitive Function and Mood during a Laboratory Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Humans - PMC (nih.gov)
Cnidium (Cnidium monnieri)
Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss., an annual plant of the Umbelliferae species is one of the most widely used traditional herbal medicines and its fruits have been used to treat a variety of diseases in China, Vietnam, and Japan. To date, 350 compounds have been isolated and identified from Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss., including the main active constituent, coumarins. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that osthole and other coumarin compounds possess wide range of pharmacological properties for the treatment of female genitals, male impotence, frigidity, skin-related diseases, and exhibit strong antipruritic, anti-allergic, antidermatophytic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-osteoporotic effects.
Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss. has been used for a long time according to the traditional experiences and documentation in order to treat male sexual disorders.
Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss. fruit extract increased the ability to mount and intromit in rats, and scientifically support the traditional use of Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss. in treatment of male sexual disorders.
Astragalus Root Extract (Astragalus membranaceus)
- membranaceus has long been utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine, going back more than 2,000 years (Gong et al., 2018). It is used for many common health problems as well as to improve overall health. Aside from its use as a tonic, there have been several studies conducted both in vitro and in vivo, with the goal of improving its pharmaceutical and clinical applications. This medicinal root contains many compounds with health and protective properties, e.g., immune stimulants, adaptogens, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents that can prevent and cure diseases (Cui et al., 2018, Liu et al., 2018, Shan et al., 2019).
Panax Ginseng Root (Panax ginseng)
Ginseng is often referred to as the King of all herbs, and is found to be a promising agent to improve general well-being. Ginseng has also been reputed as an aphrodisiac, and is used to treat sexual dysfunction as well as to enhance sexual behavior in traditional Chinese medical practices. Data from animal studies have shown a positive correlation among ginseng, libido, and copulatory performances, and these effects have been confirmed in case-control studies in human. In addition, ginseng is found to improve the sperm quality and count of healthy individuals as well as patients with treatment-related infertility. These actions are mostly attributed to ginsenosides, the major pharmacological active components of ginseng. This review compiles the current knowledge about the multifaceted effects of ginseng on male reproductive function, and also focuses on its mechanisms of action that may represent novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of male reproductive diseases or disorders.
Maca Root (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant of the brassica (mustard) family. Preparations from maca root have been reported to improve sexual function.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant that belongs to the brassica (mustard) family. Maca has been used for centuries in the Andes to enhance fertility in humans and animals [12,13]. Preparations from the maca root have been reported to improve sexual function in healthy populations . Although maca is a plant extract and not a drug, it is one of the most commonly cited "natural drugs" on the Internet for the improvement of sexual desire. The hypothesis that maca may be effective in improving sexual function is supported by several lines of evidence. Animal experiments suggest that maca has spermatogenic and fertility-enhancing activities, which are likely due to the phytosterols or phytoestrogens present in the maca . Several in vivo studies have shown that maca may improve sexual behaviour and enhance androgen-like effects in rats [15,16]. Recent clinical trials have also suggested significant effects of maca for increasing sperm count and mobility and improving sexual function in humans [17,18]. The potential bioactive ingredients in maca include macaridine, macamides, macaene, gluosinolates, maca alkaloid, and maca nutrients . However, these data are insufficient for determining whether maca is clinically effective. Currently, no systematic review of this subject is available. The aims of this systematic review are to summarise and critically assess the evidence from randomised clinical trials (RCTs) for or against the effectiveness of maca in the improvement of sexual function, including sexual desire and sexual responses.
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)
Bio-enhancers have captured the attention of researchers in recent years because of a growing need to support better assimilation of certain foods and supplements. A bio-enhancer is an agent, typically herbal, that can enhance the bio-availability and bio-efficacy of another compound that it is taken with. Ginger acts powerfully on the intestinal tract’s mucous membrane lining. The role of ginger is to regulate intestinal function to facilitate absorption. In one study, ginger boosted bio-availability/bio-enhancing activity by 30–75%. When piperine from black pepper and long pepper were combined with ginger, bio-availability was boosted by 10–85% depending on what it was ingested with.
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
In the view of safety concerns, many natural nutrients with the ability to influence the bioavailability are in the pursuit. In the scenario, scientists identified the unique property of black pepper to improve the absorption and metabolism of nutrients when they are administered together. Black pepper extract has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins (β-carotene), water-soluble vitamins (vitamin-C), selenoamino acid, coenzyme Q10, resveratrol and Curcumin (Fernández-Lázaro et al., 2020) . The property has been linked to its influence on xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes (biotransformation) and thermogenic effect. It was found that piperine was the key component behind the bioavailability enhancing the character of black pepper extract (Vladimir et al., 1999).