Horny Goat Weed and What It Can Offer You

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It is not common for children and teens to acquire nail fungal infections, but they do get infected too. Such infections are caused by dermatophytes, the fungi that give you ringworm and athlete’s foot. The infected nails slowly become discolored, brittle, and thickened. Nail fungal infection is also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium. Candida is a type of yeast that may also give you a nail fungal infection, usually on the fingers.

How does the infection look?

The infection often starts at the tip of the nail and spreads quite slowly. Because of the infection, the nail becomes white and over time may become yellow or brown. It also becomes thicker and debris caused by dead skin forms underneath the nail. The nail may become loose when the infection has been occurring for a long time.

Nail infections that are caused by Candida are of a different kind. Most often, they occur on the hand and the skin around the infected nail becomes inflamed. Bacterial infections only affect the skin around the nails, causing the skin to become red, swollen, and painful.

What increases the risk of infection?

Some medical conditions that weaken the immune system like diabetes may increase the risk of infection. Fungi are likely to spread more in a warm and humid environment. Walking barefoot in public places like pools and changing rooms may also make you more susceptible to the infection.

How is it diagnosed?

Nail fungal infections appear like other conditions. Since the most aggressive nail fungus treatment is taking antifungal pills, a diagnosis is often required to determine the microorganism that caused the infection. The doctor may require a nail clipping or sample which will be examined under a microscope. The nail sample may also be sent to a lab for fungal culture.

How is a nail fungal infection treated?

Some of the commonly used drugs to treat nail fungal infections include itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Lamisil). This treatment may take three months. Topical nail fungal medications may also be prescribed by the doctor, and there are cases when a combination treatment is recommended.

1All about the Horny Goat Weed

The horny goat weed (Epimedium) is a plant that is popularly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has the nickname “natural viagra,” and people commonly use the plant to enhance sexual performance and arousal. According to legend, the flowering plant got its name from a goat herder’s observation that the herd he tended became more sexually active after they grazed on horny goat weeds that grew freely on the fields.

It is also called by several names, including barrenwort, fairy wings, yin yang huo, bishop’s hat, and lamb herb. Epimedium pertains to a genus composed of 52 species of herbaceous plants. The most popular species used for medicinal purposes are the following: E. sagittatum, E. koreanum, and E. brevicornum.

The horny goat weed possesses chemical compounds called phytoestrogens. These are plant-based substances whose effects are like those of the estrogen that the body produces. This is why people often suggest this influences the body’s hormones and bone health.

As an Antifungal or Antimicrobial

A survey was done on studies of the horny goat weed that showed its antibacterial and antiviral properties through its flavonoid content that inhibited the growth of poliovirus and enterovirus. These also showed their inhibitory impact on the following pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus pyogenes var. Albus, Micrococcus catarrhalis, Diplococcus pharyngis communis, and Haemophilus influenzae.

Epimedium also contains Icariin as a major component, which has shown inhibitory effects against the following microorganisms: Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Hansenula sp, Staphylococcus aureus, and Penicillium sp.

Other Health Benefits

A few studies have been conducted on the health benefits of horny goat weed. The main benefits have been determined through in vitro or test tube studies or animal studies. The major benefits that have been commonly studied are erectile dysfunction and bone disorders.

Helps with erectile dysfunction

Some anecdotal evidence has shown that the horny goat weed may help males who suffer from specific types of sexual dysfunction. The plant contains the substance icariin which can block a protein known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) which is linked to erectile dysfunction. PDE5 restricts the flow of blood to the penis which is needed for an erection. Erectile dysfunction happens when not enough blood flows to the penis. Researchers found out that icariin works in the same way as viagra which is by blocking the impact of PDE5. The supplement may improve the blood flow to the penis sufficiently which enables it to achieve an erection.

Helps with pregnancy

A 2020 published study in the journal Medicine looked into the potential health benefits of horny goat weed as an infertility treatment. Based on the study, horny goat weed may enhance endometrial thickness in women who suffer from a thin endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. An endometrium of less than 7mm makes it hard to develop an embryo in the uterus.

Helps with menopause

Several studies have proven that the active components of horny goat weed enable a balance between women’s estrogen and estradiol levels. Icariin is one of the prenyl flavonoid compounds found in the plant that functions as a natural phytoestrogen, which is often associated with reduced undesirable symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness and low libido.

Supports bone health

Icariin is truly the wonder ingredient of the horny goat weed that brought it its numerous health benefits. The Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Tokyo revealed that the plant has positive effects when it comes to improving bone density. Findings from several animal studies exhibited icariin as a strong candidate for an osteogenic compound that is often used in bone tissue engineering. Researchers discovered that there was the substantial new bone formation in rats after being administered icariin for four weeks.

Another study done in China by the Institute of Orthopedics Center of Lanzhou General Hospital revealed the same results. Evidence was gathered on icariin’s ability to prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone formation and bone density, enhancing the bone structure, and reducing bone resorption.

When you take too much of this plant it may raise your blood pressure levels. So take extra precautions.

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