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Icariin is a plant extract supplement also known as Horny Goat Weed. It is primarily used to promote sexual vitality and to supports healthy androgen levels for both men and women. It is may also be beneficial for the circulatory system, at the recommended serving size.


Background of Icariin

Important Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts


Icariin is a plant found primarily in China also known as Horny Goat Weed and has a long history of use in traditional medicine for sexual health. Benefits include supporting a healthy libido, offering support to bones and cartilage, and supporting a healthy metabolism. LiftMode Icariin extracts are 90 or 98% pure and come with a 1/32nd teaspoon measuring scoop (0.15cc), which contains approximately 50mg of the pure compound. Recommended use is around 50 - 150 mg, depending on weight and desired strength.  


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Icariin Reviews



I've been taking the 90% Icariin for 5 days on and 2 days off for a month and have noticed my erections are much more responsive, just thinking about my wife and I'm primed and ready, where before taking Icariin I was only spontaneously aroused when we were cuddling in bed. 



This product will give you a powerful rush of energy. A clean, crisp, mental sharpness than helps you concentrate. Highly recommended. And as always, shipping is very fast. 



II got this product in order to boost my energy before workouts. For that purpose, it works extremely well! About 30 minutes to an hour after taking the icariin, I feel a definite surge of energy and I get much more into my workout than I do on a normal day. I also spar sometimes at my gym and I feel like I pack a lot more power in my punches after taking this.



At a Quick Glance


Also Known As

Horny Goat Weed
Herba Epimdii
Fairy Wings
Rowdy Lamb Herb


How it Works

PDE5 Inhibitor
Promotes NO2 Signalling


Is Used For

Aphrodisiac Effects
Energy Booster
Improving Mood


Medical Disclaimer

Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.





Benefits and Effects on Humans

Based on Available Scientific Research and Anecdotal Evidence



Used For: Efficacy
Aphrodisiac Effects ★★★★★
Improving Energy Levels ★★★
Enhancing Mood ★★★
Pre-Workout ★★★



How to Use

Recommended Serving Size and Application


Serving Size

A recent study by researchers at the US National Library of Medicine has found that for the best effects, Icariin dosage should be no higher than 10 mg/ kg. We recommend a serving size no greater than 50-200mg, once to four times daily.


  1. ‘Toss-and-wash’ method:
    1. Measure the correct serving size of Icariin with a measuring scoop or scale.
    2. Pour this onto a credit card, spoon, or piece of paper.
    3. Toss the powder into the back of your mouth.
    4. Wash it down with a glass of water.
    5. Horny Goat Weed Tea:
      1. Measure the correct serving size of Icariin with a measuring scoop or scale.
      2. Pour into a glass of hot water or tea.
      3. Stir until fully dissolved and drink.
      4. If necessary, wash the glass out with more water and swallow any residual undissolved powder.


Evidence-Based Research




1. Summary


Icariin, or Horny Goat Weed extract, is a natural flavonoid occurring in plants of the Epimedium genus, best known for supporting sexual health and a healthy libido. This type of plant has a very long history of use in Asia, where it is used in a variety of remedies and tonics for longevity, vitality, and sexual health. The scientific name for Horny Goat Weed is Epimedium, but it can also be referred to as Barrenwort, Bishop’s Hat, fairy wings, or Yin Yang Huo. Most Horny Goat Weed supplements contain extracts from the Epimedium grandiflorum species.

Icariin-containing plants are found predominately in China and are woody, small and evergreen with characteristic flowers. Several studies have been done on Horny Goat Weed, and the active component has been found to have several beneficial actions in humans, and these include supporting sexual vitality, providing antioxidant protection, helping to support a healthy circulatory system, along with supporting healthy bones and boosting androgens (sex hormones).[2] This is why so many people talk about Horny Goat Weed as a top aphrodisiac supplement.

The use of plants from the Epimedium genus has a long history in China: there is over a thousand years of their recorded use for traditional medicinal purposes. In China, plants from the Epimedium genus have the name Yin Yang Hou. The plants enjoy deep shade, and are able to compete with tree roots making them good shade plants.[3] Traditionally, the leaves are used to create powdered extracts but the plants also boast flowers of white, yellow and violet. Today, extracts of these plants are sold as dietary supplements in the West.


horny goat weed flower


2. Types of Icariin


Horny Goat Weed supplements are sold by a variety of vendors, some more reputable than others. As a result, there is some variation with regards to the strength of these extracts. One very common form of Horny Goat Weed extract is called Icariin 60. People often ask the question, ‘what is Icariin 60?’.

Icariin 60 refers to a 60% extract, where 60% of the supplement is the pure active compound. You can find extracts that are both weaker (Icariin 40%) and stronger (Icariin 80% or greater). LiftMode Icariin is 90% – 98% pure, and is one of the purest forms of Yin Yang Huo available today. We recommend using a high purity supplement to avoid the use of fillers and to save you money.



3. Benefits and Effects in Humans


3.1. Aphrodisiac Effects

This supplement’s best-known benefit is its ability to act as an aphrodisiac for both men and women. This is an interesting benefit because it appears to have slightly different effects for men than for women. In men, some studies have pointed to a potential increase in testosterone levels. This does not appear to happen in women. Nevertheless, Icariin is able to improve sexual vitality in both genders, making it an interesting aphrodisiac supplement.[4]

The Icariin molecule is a flavonoid – a plant secondary metabolite – with the characteristic 15-carbon skeleton, two phenyl rings, and a heterocyclic ring structure. Its effects in the mammalian body include acting as a PDE5 inhibitor.[5] This allows continued function of cyclic GMP in the smooth muscles, allowing increased capillary blood flow to smooth muscle cells around the body (genitals, heart, and lungs). Horny Goat Weed’s best-known effect, therefore, is its support of healthy sexual vitality (especially for men).[6]

This supplement has been used in multiple reviews exploring supplements that have the potential to improve sexual vitality, and is an ongoing topic of research. In one of the most recent studies of this type, researchers make the following claim:

“… studies have shown that Epimedium may restore low levels of both testosterone and thyroid hormone, bringing low levels back to their normal levels which may account for some of its benefits in improving sexual libido. Other benefits to Epimedium involve increased muscle mass.”(Lim, 2017).[7]

In a recent study at the Shantou University Medical College, in China, researchers found that Horny Goat Weed had testosterone-mimetic properties, which is the hormone involved in sexual arousal and vitality:

“(1) Icariin improved the condition of reproductive organs and increased the circulating levels of testosterone. (2) [Horny Goat Weed] treatment also improved the steady-state serum BGP and might have promoted bone formation. At the same time, it decreased the serum levels of StrACP and might have reduced the bone resorption. (3) Icarrin suppressed the extent of apoptosis of penile cavernosal smooth muscle cells.” (Yang and Zhang, 2006)[8]


3.2. Supports a Healthy Circulatory System

Some research has pointed to this supplement’s ability to improve the activity of an enzyme called Nitric Oxide Synthase, which produces nitric oxide in the body.1 The effect of nitric oxide is to increase the size of blood vessels, allowing for greater blood flow through the body. Overall, nitric oxide is a vital compound to promote healthy circulation through the body and is also important for sexual vitality.[9]

Recently, important information has come to light regarding Yin Yang Huo’s potential to be used as a supplement for supporting a healthy circulatory system. Specifically, it appears to work as an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant – helping to destroy harmful ‘free-radicals’ and toxins that build up in the blood stream. Furthermore, researchers have pointed to this supplement’s ability to help protect DNA from damage, to support healthy endothelium function and smooth muscle function, and to activate lipid (fat) metabolism.[10] All in all, these effects help to maintain and support a healthy blood flow and blood circulation system.

Another use of Horny Goat Weed extract is to maintain healthy levels of lipids (fats) in the blood. Hyperlipidaemia characteristically involves abnormally elevated levels of lipids (fats) in the blood and is commonly found in people suffering from obesity. It has been shown to help your body to maintain a healthy blood-lipid profile. The results of a recent study into its effects:

indicate that Icariin is a novel PPARα agonist, activates lipid metabolism gene expressions in liver, which could be a basis for its lipid-lowering effects and its beneficial effects… .”[11]


3.3. Supports Healthy Bones and Cartilage

A new study has shown that derivatives of this supplement could potentially be used as a compound for cartilage tissue engineering [12] because it has been shown to up-regulate expression of genes responsible for chondroid tissue formation, and also to improve the restoration of osteochondral defects. This could allow Icariin to be used as an alternative to other growth factors and indicates that it improves bone and cartilage tissue.

Horny Goat Weed extract benefits also include supporting healthy bone structure. A study has recently been published that supports the traditional Chinese use of the plant as a support for healthy bones. It has been shown to produce anabolic effects in bone, which means that it may help your body to build strong bones. This study shows further research by the same researchers who previously showed that Icariin could increase bone mineral density and help to stimulate osteoblastic cell proliferation.[13]


3.4. Horny Goat Weed for Women

Many people online are wondering about Horny Goat Weed for women, and whether or not it can be used to improve vitality for females as well as males. Horny Goat Weed’s effects appear to work for both men and women, due to its ability to increase androgen levels (sex hormones) in men, and to improve libido without altering hormones in women. However, Icariin does have some effects that are more beneficial to men, in terms of its PED5 inhibitor properties. Overall, Horny Goat Weed extract can be recommended to both men and women who are looking for a powerful aphrodisiac supplement.


aphrodisiac benefits of icariin


4. Icariin Combinations


4.1. With Maca

When wondering about how to take this supplement, many people recommend combining with Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Maca is a vegetable, belonging to the broccoli family. It has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac in Peru and in villages throughout the Andes.[14]

There is some evidence that Maca and Icariin may have a synergistic relationship when taken together, which is why so many people wonder about this supplement stack today. Unfortunately, there is significant difficulty in obtaining sustainable sources of Maca, which makes the supplement difficult to produce on a larger scale, and also makes it expensive for the consumer.



5. Safety and Toxicity


5.1. Side Effects

Side effects have been researched thoroughly and it has been found that moderate use of Horny Goat Weed extracts very rarely results in negative side-effects. However, according to WebMD, it is possible to experience dizziness, dry mouth, thirstiness and vomiting if taken at high doses or for a long period of time.[15]

Importantly, these adverse effects are very rare and are typically only noticeable at serving sizes far greater than those recommended, or when used alongside other supplements or compounds. One report found a vasculitic rash in response to a product containing both Horny Goat Weed extract and Ginko bilboa. [16] Icariin may be unsafe for pregnant women, people with bleeding disorders, low blood pressure or hormone-sensitive cancers. Please speak to your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions.


About Liftmode.com


Why Buy from Us?

Our mission is to help improve the quality of your life. We develop, test and distribute science-based, top quality pure supplements and nootropics to support your body and mind. We provide independent third-party testing for all our products, which are always shipped with a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) to ensure the highest quality and purity.

We are a multi-faceted team from around the world, with expertise in a variety of areas including biochemistry, physiology, neuroscience, microbiology, as well as business and marketing. We are well-known for our great customer service and high-quality products, attested to on Trustpilot: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/liftmode.com as well as Reddit, and have an A+ score from the BBB.



How We Research Our Content

Our content is written using meticulous research methods and claims are backed by links to scientific references, wherever possible. The author and editors of Liftmode's Research Team have strong academic backgrounds in microbiology, physiology, and biochemistry.

Content Updated On: December 5th, 2018


Scientific Support and References

[1] Shindel, A.W., Xin, Z.C., Lin, G., Fandel, T.M., Huang, Y.C., Banie, L., Breyer, B.N., Garcia, M.M., Lin, C.S., Lue, T.F. (2010). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. J Sex Med, 7(4 Pt 1):1518-28.

[2] Tiang Hang et al. Comparative Effects of Er-Xian Decoction, Epimedium Herbs, and Icariin with Estrogen on Bone and Reproductive Tissue in Ovariectomized Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 241416,

[3] Rudy, M.R. (2010). An Evaluation Report on Barrenworts for the Shade Garden. Chicagobotic.org [online] Available at: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/downloads/planteval_notes/no20_barrenworts.pdf

[4] Yan, F.-F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y.-F., & Zhao, Y.-X. (2008). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Phytotherapy Research, 22(9), 1224–1228.

[5] Ning, H., Xin, Z.C., Lin, G., Banie, L., Lue, T.F., Lin, C.S. (2006). Effects of icariin on phosphodiesterase-5 activity in vitro and cyclic guanosine monophosphate level in cavernous smooth muscle cells. Urology, 68(6):1350-4.

[6] Jiang, Z., Hu, B., Wang, J., Tang, Q., Tan, Y., Xiang, J., Liu, J. (2006). Effect of icariin on cyclic GMP levels and on the mRNA expression of cGMP-binding cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE5) in penile cavernosum. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci, 26(4):460-2.

[7] Lim, P.H.C. (2017). Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. Translational Andrology and Urology, 6(2):167-175.

[8] Zhang, Z.B., Yang, Q.T. (2006). The testosterone mimetic properties of icariin. Asian Journal of Andrology, 8(5): 601–605.

[9] Shen, W., Hintze, T.H., Wolin, M.S. (1995). Nitric Oxide. Circulation, 92:3505-3512.

[10] Fang, J., Zhang, Y. (2017). Icariin, an Anti-atherosclerotic Drug from Chinese Medicinal Herb Horny Goat Weed. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8:734.

[11] Lu, Y.F., Xu, Y.Y., Jin, F., Wu, Q., Shi, J.S., Liu, J. (2014). Icariin is a PPARα activator inducing lipid metabolic gene expression in mice. Molecules, 19(11):18179-91.

[12] Li, D., Yuan, T., Zhang, X., Xiao, Y., Wang, R., Fan, Y., Zhang, X. (2012). Icariin: a potential promoting compound for cartilage tissue engineering. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 20(12):1647-56.

[13] Mok, S. K., Chen, W. F., Lai, W. P., Leung, P. C., Wang, X. L., Yao, X. S., & Wong, M. S. (2010). Icariin protects against bone loss induced by oestrogen deficiency and activates oestrogen receptor-dependent osteoblastic functions in UMR 106 cells. British journal of pharmacology, 159(4), 939-49.

[14] Meissner, H. O., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., Mscisz, A., Kedzia, B., Lowicka, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Kapczynski, W., … Barchia, I. (2006). Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS2(3), 260-72.

[15] (2018). Horny Goat Weed. WebMd.com. [online]. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-699-horny+goat+weed.aspx

[16] Metz, D., Weston, P., & Barker, D. (2009). Case report of vasculitic rash induced by Ginkgo biloba and/or Horny Goat Weed. BMJ case reports2009 bcr07.2008.0399.