Herba Epimedii (HEP) Osteoporosis help.
Herba Epimedii (HEP) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb used in treating Osteoporosis.
The Chinese call the herb, Yin yang huo. Its Latin name is, Epimedium sagittatum and its medical name is Herba Epimedii or HEP.
The use of the herb dates back to 400 A.D. It was often used as a tonic to relieve fatigue and for the reproductive system .
It is believed that the herb modulates of cortisol (the stress hormone)levels. An early issue of the Osteopenia3 Newsletter addressed the significance of stress and the production of cortisol as causing bone loss.(Some claim that it is the increased stress as well as our changed diets that are the main causes of increased numbers of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis in modern civilization.)
Since cortisol and stress are also connected with fatigue and depression, it is clear why Herba Epimedii (HEP) or Yin yang huo is seen as a tonic as well as means to strenghten bones.
Using the herb
The herb is called Horny goat weed in English . Some people claim that this name makes the herb VERY much more marketablein English speaking countries. I do not know anything about that. What I do know is that products sold under this name may not contain the herb we want.
Anyone buying the herb with the Horny goat weed name needs to check if the capsule contains Yin yang huo, Herba epimedii (HEP).
Herba epimedii (HEP) comes as a dried leaf and it has a punget and sweet taste.
CAUTIONS ABOUT HERBA EPIMEDII.
Several researchers have noted that commercial products sometimes omit some of the active compounds found in the herb itself. Also some include concentrations of icariin , a substance implicated in toxicity. If you buy this herb, do check the label to see if icariin is present.
Because of the potential problems with commercially prepared formulas coupled with the fact that Herb Epimedii (HEP) has been traditionally administered as a tea, many recommend that using Herb Epimedii (HEP) as a tea is the safest and best way to use the herb.
Western science studies the herb.
Western health care providers now recognize that the health care systems of China, India and Indigeneous peoples are effective and often far less expensive and invasive than typical Western practices.
Slowly there has been an integration of preparations and practices from these other medical cultures into traditional medicine.Physicians who use herbs, accupuncture and other alternative practices are said to practice Complimentary Medicine.
There has been an effort on the part of both Western medical researchers and their Asian and Latin American counterparts to apply Western scientific methods to studying the efficacy of tradtional substances.
In 1996 a study, Experimental study on antagonizing action of Herba Epimedii on side effects induced by glucocorticoids by Wu T, Cui L, Zhang Z, Chen Z, Li Q, Liao J, Huang L. concluded:
" that the water extract of Herba Epimedii (Epimedium sagittalum) works very well in preventing and curing the side effects induced by long-term use of glucocorticoids in rats, especially in antagonizing adrenocortical atrophy and osteoporosis."
In 2001 there was a study published from Liaoning, China that Reviewed the herbs effects on cardiovascular, circulatory, immune, genital and bone marrow systems. The authors, Ye LC, Chen JM., concluded that "The results provided a rational foundation for the further development and utilization of Epimedium."
In 2002 an article by Li J, Yu S, Li T, Pang S. "In vitro study of the effects of Epimedium on osteoclastic bone resorption in various oral mineralized tissues" was pubished. In this study Herba Epimedii was shown to inhibt osteoclasts in their resorbtion of bone.
"Osteoclasts were taken from the bones of new born rabbits, cultured with de-activated human tooth slices and glass slices, and treated with different concentrations of Epimedium. Epimedium-treated cells showed shrinkage of cytosol and condensation of nuclei. Some treated cells showed breakage of nuclei. Epimedium can induce osteoclast apoptosis and inhibit bone resorption. The effect of Epimedium on bone resorption is dose-dependent."
You can find scientific articles about Herba epimedii on the National Center for Biotechnology Information web site. Just enter Herba Epimedii in the search box.
You can read the full text of "The osteoprotective effect of Herba epimedii (HEP) extract in vivo and in vitro" at the Oxford Journals.org web site.
Other sources can be found at:http://supplementwatch.com/suplib/supplement.asp?DocId=2095
Where to find Hebra Epimedii (HEP)
Before purchasing this herb, do reread the Cautions given above.
Vitacost, sells Herba Epemedii in capsule form. As always their they offer a discount on their products.
Note: you must use the English name: horny goat weed when searching:
Also, I just heard from Kevin O'Neil who owns AncientWay
, a site devoted to Chinese herbs and accupuncture. (I have bought some herbs from Kevin the past and have been impressed by his knowledge, honesty and spirit of service. )
He does have Herba Epemedii AND he has it in the leaf form, so you could use it as a tea, the way that Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests. Of course it is listed under the Chinese name, Ying yang huo.
Here is a link to the product. Ying yang huo. I suggest that you tell him you are using it for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis so that you are sure to get the form that you can use for tea.
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