What Is Horny Goat Weed and What Are its Uses?

The active ingredient of horny goat weed, also known as epimedium plant, is icariin and it has been reported to benefit patients with erectile dysfunction. Horny goat weed is available to consumers in several formulations, such as capsules, tablets, tea and loose powder.

horny goat weed

Icariin, which is essentially a phytoestrogen, is believed to block the activity of certain enzymes in the body, in a similar fashion to the drugs that are used in erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment. Fundamentally, icariin promotes the efficient transmission of Nitrous Oxide, a significant cellular signaling molecule, which, in its own turn, increases the levels of testosterone hormone in the free form. In addition to phytoestrogen icariin mentioned above, horny goat weed is also said to contain flavonoids that have enhanced antioxidant properties.

Where Horny Goat Weed Is Found

Epimedium is the botanical name of horny goat weed. It is also known as yin yang huo, randy beef grass, rowdy lamb herb, barrenwort, and the brain tonic of the immortals. The plant is native to parts of Japan, Korea and China. Nowadays, horny goat weed is widely cultivated as a decorative and medical plant in many areas of the world. Horny goat weed has been used in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries. According to the legend, its name originated from a flock of goats becoming sexually stimulated after eating the plant, as observed by a goat herder.

Top 9 benefits of horny goat weed

Horny goat weed has proven beneficial as an element in treatment of certain conditions apart from ED, as well as a natural enhancer of some biological functions.

In the list below, the experts of Canadian Health&Care Mall canadahealthcaremall.com curated top nine benefits of the herb:

1. Aphrodisiac

As its name implies, horny goat has long been considered as a potent aphrodisiac. Its main component icariin works by increasing the nitric oxide levels boosting the blood flow to the genitals, thus enhancing libido. Atherosclerosis

Along with other herbs like green tea or garlic, horny goat weed can be used to decrease the symptoms of atherosclerosis. This disease is characterized by the hardening of the arteries due to deposits of calcium and cholesterol on their walls.

2. Asthma

A recent Chinese study has indicated that horny goat weed can be beneficial in easing airway inflammation by lessening the activities of certain proteins responsible for the production of leukocytes in the lungs’ inflammatory areas, thus assisting with controlling the asthmatic conditions.

3. Hay Fever

Along with herbs like ginger or licorice, horny goat weed is used by traditional naturopaths to relieve hay fever. This ailment is triggered by exposure to substances like pollens causing allergic reactions. The condition is an outcome of inflammation which is supposed to be activated by a weakened immune system.

4. Memory Enhancer

Some studies have demonstrated that the use of icariin has been beneficial in increasing of blood flow to the brain resulting in improved memory and learning ability. This effect is largely attributed to the herb’s antioxidant properties and its effect on the circulatory system.

5. Osteoporosis

Icariin was shown to promote the growth of the osteocyte cells contributing to bone remodeling, thereby signifying that horny goat weed could be used as a drug to treat osteoporosis.

6. Women’s Sexual Health

While the positive effects of icariin on men’s sex health is well known, the administration of icariin can also enhance the sexual performance of women, mostly due to the production of nitrous oxide that increases the blood flow to female genitalia.

7. Menopausal Symptoms in Women

Icariin has been found to promote balanced estradiol and estrogen levels in women, delivering a positive effect for menopausal women.

8. Increased Athletic Performance

Icariin has a major presence in the world of sports nutrition. Horny goat weed supplements are often used by athletes who want to increase their endurance, muscle strength and stamina. Icariin can increase free circulating testosterone and nitric oxide production. Performance athletes, such as cyclists, runners, football players, etc., as well as endurance athletes, such as bodybuilders, use horny goat weed supplements to enhance lean muscle mass, performance, endurance, and to accelerate recovery after training sessions.

9. Horny Goat Weed in ED Treatment

Icariin has been shown, to a certain degree, to inhibit the activity of the PDE5 that is known to block the dilation of the blood vessels in the male genital areas. This enables blood to fill the arteries and the respective cylinders in the penis, which helps to create an erection. The popular prescription drug sildenafil (also known as Viagra) functions in the same way.

A research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine examined the effects of icariin on rats. Scholars found that those rats treated with icariin demonstrated improved erectile function. A separate study looked at rats with injured nerve cells. The scientists reported that icariin might show promising effects in treating ED caused by nerve injury. A recent study found that icariin is effective in inhibiting PDE5 in humans, in test tubes. It was determined, though, that sildenafil might be 80 times as potent as icariin.

Dosing

Top 9 benefits of horny goat weed Horny goat weed has proven beneficial as an element in treatment of certain conditions apart from ED, as well as a natural enhancer of some biological functions. In the list below, the experts of Canadian Health&Care Mall curated top nine benefits of the herb: 1. Aphrodisiac As its name implies, horny goat has long been considered as a potent aphrodisiac. Its main component icariin works by increasing the nitric oxide levels boosting the blood flow to the genitals, thus enhancing libido. Atherosclerosis Along with other herbs like green tea or garlic, horny goat weed can be used to decrease the symptoms of atherosclerosis. This disease is characterized by the hardening of the arteries due to deposits of calcium and cholesterol on their walls.

As with any medications, it is important for patients to consult with their healthcare provider before taking horny goat weed. An adequate and safe dosage must be based on an individual's medical history and current needs.

There have not been sufficient clinical trials on the effectiveness of horny goat weed supplements for a unified recommended dosage to be determined. However, most commercial manufacturers of the supplements produce capsules containing from 500 to 750 milligrams of horny goat weed and recommend a dosage from 1,000 to 1,800 mg per day, depending on body mass.

On the other hand, the researchers at the University of Michigan recommend taking 5 grams of horny goat weed 3 times per day for the treatment of ED and atherosclerosis. For the treatment of hay fever, they recommended to simmer 500 mg of herb in 250 milliliters of water for some 10-15 minutes and drink the infusion three times per day.

Warnings and Precautions

Side Effects of Horny Goat Weed

The side effects for horny goat weed are minor even when the is taken for a few months’ time. There might be dizziness, nosebleeds, mood changes, low blood pressure and faster heartbeat, upset stomach, as well as dry mouth. Large doses consumed at once can result in spasms and respiratory failure.

Special Warnings

According to the experts at Canadian Health&Care Mall, horny goat weed may come with some risks. They emphasize that patients with hormone-sensitive cancer or heart disease should talk to their doctor in advance of taking the herb.

A heart arrhythmia has been reported in a patient who took horny goat weed in a commercial product used for sexual performance enhancement. The experts of Canadian Health and Care Mall also warn that a specific commercial product (Enzyte) containing horny goat weed, among other components, might cause irregular heartbeat when recorded by an electrocardiogram. This might increase the risk of developing a heart arrhythmia. However, since that specific product contains numerous ingredients, it was not clear whether these effects were caused by horny goat weed or other components.

Some existing medical conditions may place patients at greater risk when they consume horny goat weed. These include:

  • heart disease
  • hormone-sensitive forms of cancer, such as ovarian cancer or breast cancer
  • lung disease
  • immune disorders
  • thyroid disease
  • bipolar disorder
  • low blood pressure

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Horny goat weed might be unsafe when taken during pregnancy. There are concerns that it may harm the developing fetus. Not enough expertise has been accumulated about the safety of horny goat weed during the period of breast-feeding.

Bleeding disorders

Horny goat weed has been shown to slow blood clotting and may increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, horny goat weed could worsen the bleeding disorder condition.

Hormone sensitive conditions and cancers

Horny goat weed functions like phytoestrogen and might enhance estrogen levels in some female patients. Horney goat weed might thus worsen estrogen-sensitive conditions, such as uterine cancer or breast cancer.

Low blood pressure

Horny goat weed may lower blood pressure. In patients with hypotension, applying horny goat weed may drop blood pressure to critically low levels and escalate the risk of fainting.

Surgery

Since horny goat weed slows the process of blood clotting, it may boost the risk of bleeding over the course of the surgery.

Allergy

Horny goat weed might cause an allergy in some patients if they already have allergies to plants in the Berberidaceae family. Some symptoms include sweating, rash, or feeling hot.

Drug Interactions

Medications for high blood pressure might interact with horny goat weed since horny goat weed appears to decrease blood pressure. Consuming horny goat weed in parallel with antihypertensive drugs might cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Some drugs in this category include enalapril, captopril, valsartan, losartan, amlodipine, diltiazem, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, and many others.

Drugs meant for slowing of blood clotting (anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications) might interact with horny goat weed. Since horny goat weed appears to slow blood clotting, consuming horny goat weed in parallel with drugs that also slow clotting may boost the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications in this category include aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, enoxaparin, clopidogrel, naproxen, dalteparin, warfarin, heparin, and others.

If you are taking any drugs or supplementations on the regular basis, talk to your doctor before you start taking horny goat weed. It could also interact with drugs such oral contraceptives, antidepressants, treatments for thyroid problems and immune disorders, statins, aromatase inhibitors, steroid drugs, etc.

Reviews

I take two 500 mg capsules every morning with my multi vitamins. It is a great product. It has improved my sex life. It actually does everything it says it will do.

Phil, 65

I was initially very skeptical but it really does improve drive and ability to achieve and keep the erection. Sam, 55

Horny goat weed enhances physical and mental energy in general. It also Increases physical strength and appears to act metabolically. Since there are different formulations of the plant, it is hard to know how it will work or what you are getting in the first place. Finding a good source is essential. Before finding a great working formulation at Canadian Health&Care Mall, I was actually going to try growing the plant myself and experimenting with what it.

Bob, 62

This works for some men and it won't help others. I don't have erectile dysfunction, but have taken horny goat weed and it makes my sex drive like it was in my 20s. I am 54.

Keith, 54

I have been taking horny goat weed to enhance my sexual desire for over 7 months. I may wake up with an erection if I take my capsules too late in the evening. Best if you take it at early lunch at latest. This supplement works great for me.

Steven, 52

I have been taking horny goat weed for 2 months now. I have seen major improvement in my memory, energy levels, and sexual desire. I would recommend other women trying it before going to prescription drugs.

Jane, 34

Just started taking horny goat weed a couple of days ago. Some may say that is too soon to tell anything, but the first night I took my capsules, I felt better than I have in a long time, full of energy. I purchased mine at Canadian Health and Care Mall.

Patricia, 51