It is recorded in The Chinese Pharmacopoeia that Epimedium has the functions of tonifying kidney Yang, strengthening muscles and bones, and eliminating wind and dampness. With the continuous development of TCM pharmacology, people’s research on the pharmacological effects of epimedium gradually goes deep into the cellular, subcellular and genetic levels, and some new USES are found, which are mainly summarized in the following aspects.

Inhibit osteoclasts and promote the growth of osteoblasts

Previous studies have shown that the total flavone of Epimedium can promote the proliferation and differentiation of rat osteoblasts cultured in vitro and promote the formation of mineralized nodules.Icariin and its substitutes (Icariin I and icariin) have certain inhibitory effects on the production of IL-8 and TNF- mRNA, and promote the production of osteoblast growth factors, thus promoting the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts.The total flavone of Epimedium can stimulate the proliferation of rat osteoblasts, improve the activity of alkaline phosphatase, and enhance the expression of OPG mRNA.Icariin can inhibit the apoptosis of osteoblasts, promote bone formation and reduce bone absorption.Mature osteoblasts can secrete a large number of cytokines, which can be used to prevent the maturation, differentiation and fusion of osteoclasts and promote the apoptosis of osteoclasts, so as to achieve the purpose of treating osteoporosis.Icariin can reduce the concentration of calcium ions in osteoclasts and cause actin loopback, which leads to the reduction of intracellular superoxide anion free radicals, thus reducing the area of resorption lacunae and inhibiting bone resorption in osteoclasts.Glycosides can inhibit the expression of il-6 and TNF- mRNA, promote the expression of TGF – 1mRNA, and thus treat osteoporosis.

ok of The Ancient Medicine of Abel, 1500 BC.The Ayurvedic texts describe the aphrodisiac effects of the herb.In ancient Egypt, fenugreek was used to relieve labor pains and other types of abdominal pain.


edative, anti – depression

Previous studies have found that the total flavone of epimedium can lead to the down-regulation of the -adrenergic receptor density in the brain of rats, which is consistent with the effect of antidepressants.Hai-bo zhong using behavioral models such as tail suspension test and forced swimming test study of epimedium extract in mice behavior, brain monoamine oxidase A (MAO – A), monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) activity and the liver and MAO MAO – A – B activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level and the effect of using reserpine antagonism model at the same time to explore possible antidepressant effect of epimedium extract, suggests epimedium extract has certain antidepressant effect, and concluded that epimedium extract may be by inhibiting MA0 activity, reduce the single amine neurotransmitter metabolism, improve the level of brain neurotransmitters,To achieve the purpose of anti-depression;Moreover, by reversing the increase of MDA level in the animal models of depression and reducing the degree of free radical damage to nerve tissue, the depression and despair behaviors were improved, and it was speculated that the improvement was achieved by regulating the sensitivity of post-synaptic monoamine neurotransmitter receptors to achieve the purpose of antidepressant.

Enhance immune function

Thymus and spleen as central and important peripheral immune organs play an important role in the regulation of immune function.Previous studies have found that icariin has immune activation effect on thymus, and can promote the expression of IL-3 mrna, IL-6MRNA75] and IL-2 mrna in mouse spleen cells.Icariin can enhance the phagocytic function of macrophages in the abdominal cavity of mice and restore the phagocytic function to the normal level in mice damaged by cyclophosphamide or ionizing radiation.Fulmar can significantly promote the phagocytosis and erythrocyte immune adhesion function in immune-impaired mice, and reduce CIC in vivo.ICA can enhance the function of Mouse T cells and has a certain selective regulation effect on the immune system.ICA inhibits T lymphocyte subsets Ts cells, thus enhancing humoral immunity.Epimedium can promote the proliferation and transformation of B lymphocytes, thus improving the level of antibody production.Herba epimedium can promote the proliferation and transformation of B lymphocytes, and herba epimedium total flavone can improve the level of antibody production in mice with hydrocortisone and hydroxyurea immunosuppression, so as to improve the humoral immune function of the body.Icariin and its intestinal metabolites (Icariin I and Icariin) have specific regulatory effects on the production of various inflammatory cytokines secreted by thP-1 cells in human histiocytoma, and the exact mechanism remains to be further explored.The total flavone extract of Epimedium can increase the level of serum hemolysin antibody production in sheep red blood cell (SRBC) immunized mice.Therefore, Epimedium can enhance the immune function of the body, affecting immune organs (thymus and spleen), macrophages, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, cytokines and humoral immunity.



Protect the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular system

Previous studies have shown that the total flavone of Epimedii can significantly antagonize the arrhythmia induced by barium chloride and aconitine in rats and that induced by adrenaline in guinea pigs.The membrane potential of mitochondria and survival rate of cardiomyocytes were improved by icariin pretreatment.Epimedium glycoside after pretreatment, can restrain oxygen, hydrogen peroxide oxidative damage caused by vascular endothelial cells, reduce the LDH activity, and inhibit MDA production, enhance the vitality of superoxide dismutase (sod), inhibit endothelial cell apoptosis, can reduce cell apoptosis of hydrogen peroxide to manipulate gene expression of caspase – 3.Short-term culture of icariin in umbilical vein endothelial cells (5min) can significantly improve the activity of NO, and long-term culture can significantly up-regulate the expression of NO synthase mRNA and protein, thus effectively inhibiting the onset of coronary heart disease and acute myocardial infarction.Icariin significantly upregulated the mRNA levels of cardiac transcription factors GATA4 and Nkx2.5, as well as the expression of cardiovascular specific genes A-MHC, MLC-2V and 8-AR.This indicates that total flavone or icariin can improve cerebral hypoxia and cerebral ischemia, increase cerebral blood flow, dilate blood vessels, and also have a certain effect on hemorheology.

Bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral

According to the report, epimedium glycoside of han Nicholson’s yeast, e. coli, staphylococcus aureus, bacillus subtilis, penicillium and aspergillus Niger 6 kinds of common food contamination of bacteria have a strong inhibitory effect, and epimedium glycoside respectively by 80 ℃, 100 ℃ and 121 ℃ high temperature treatment after 15 min, still has strong bacteriostasis, compared with the sample of without heat treatment, no significant change.The total flavone of Epimedium can significantly inhibit malondialdehyde content in inflammatory exudate, inhibit lipid peroxidation, and improve the activity of catalase, which is an important reason for its immune-suppressing inflammation.The total flavone of Epimedium can inhibit the activity of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), and it is correlated with its concentration.

Anti-oxidation, anti-aging

Aging is a complex process, its mechanism is multifaceted.By reducing the production of free radicals, increasing the elimination of free radicals, reducing protein decomposition, promoting cell proliferation, restoring immune function, and resisting apoptosis, Epimedium exerts its anti-aging effect.The total flavone of epimedium can significantly up-regulate the expression of certain phosphorylated proteins in lymphocytes during senescence, while the expression of these proteins is significantly deficient in senescence.The anti-aging mechanism of Epimedium is related to its protective effect on oxidative damage of mitochondrial DNA in aged rats.


Previous studies have found that icariin has a significant anti-tumor effect, which can promote early apoptosis of solid tumor cells and lead to tumor tissue necrosis.Icariin induced differentiation and inhibited proliferation of leukemia cells in vitro and in vivo, and combined with ATRA had significant synergistic effect.Icariin inhibits adhesion, movement and invasion of human gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901, and increases the activity of intracellular protein kinase A, thus playing A role in reversing its malignant phenotype.Therefore, the total flavone of Epimedium can induce the apoptosis and differentiation of tumor cells, and inhibit the proliferation, invasion and metastasis of tumor cells.


Epimedium extract (3)
Epimedium extract (3)

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