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Horny Goat Weed: What You Need to Know?

Gina Walters
Published

LAST UPDATED:

horny goat weed

Horny goat weed is a herbal supplement comprising many Epimedium species.

It is also known as Epimedium, Barrenwort, and Yin Yang Huo. 

Horny goat weed has been used to treat several health issues, including Erectile Dysfunction, joint pain, and postmenopausal symptoms. 

Horny goat weed has compounds that may enhance blood flow and sexual function. 

It also contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act similarly to the hormone estrogen

On the other hand, human research on this plant and its benefits is limited.

This article will discuss the potential benefits, disadvantages, and safety of horny goat weed.

What is horny goat weed

Horny goat weed or Epimedium is a natural herbal supplement for ED used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. 

It is derived from various species of the Epimedium plant and is considered to provide several health benefits.

Horny goat weed includes active compounds such as icariin and other flavonoids, which are thought to have various physiological effects on the body. 

It treats conditions including low libido, Erectile Dysfunction, fatigue, discomfort, and others.

While horny goat weed appears beneficial in some areas, much of the data is based on traditional use and very few scientific trials. 

Before using horny goat weed, as with any supplement or herbal therapy, consult a healthcare expert.

Horny goat weed benefits

Horny goat weed has long been utilized for several health advantages. 

While many of its potential advantages are based on traditional use and minimal scientific investigation,
several studies have yielded encouraging results. 

Improved sexual function in males, preventing plaque buildup in arteries, and improvement of postmenopausal symptoms are possible advantages of horny goat weed. 

Improved sexual function

Horny goat weed is undoubtedly most known for its claimed aphrodisiac properties. 

It is said to increase libido and sexual function in both men and women. 

Recommended read: Low Libido Causes: Know What Is Reducing Your Sex Drive?

This is due to its capacity to boost blood flow to the genital region and its possible effect on specific hormones.

According to some research, the active ingredient icariin found in horny goat weed may enhance erectile performance in males by blocking the enzyme PDE5.

Prevention of plaque buildup in arteries

The chemical of interest in horny goat weed, icariin, has been demonstrated to inhibit the development of Atherosclerosis in animals. 

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of lipids and cholesterol on the arterial walls, which can cause a blockage.

Because icariin has cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, it may help prevent this condition.

Postmenopausal symptoms improvement

Horny goat weed may help protect bone health in postmenopausal women.

Reduced estrogen levels during menopause can raise the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. 

Horny goat weed supplements may increase bone health in postmenopausal women because they contain icariin, which mimics estrogen.

Anticancer effects

According to a study, chemicals discovered in horny goat weed may have anticancer qualities and may help suppress the development of some cancer cells. 

More study, however, is required to comprehend these impacts completely.

Suggestion
Horny goat weed isn’t approved by the FDA, hence before taking horny goat weed or any other supplements consult a healthcare expert.

Horny goat weed side effects

A man suffering from headacheSource: SIphotography
Headache is a minor side effect of consuming horny goat weed

Like with any supplement,horny goat weed may produce side effects in some people.

Common side effects of horny goat weed include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Nose bleeds
  • Spasms
  • Thirst

Although uncommon, specific, more severe side effects have been observed. 

These include respiratory arrest, irregular heartbeats, low blood pressure, and fainting.

Everyone’s susceptibility to supplements varies, and although some people may have adverse side effects, others may not. 

If you experience any side effects or have any concerns about using horny goat weed, stop using it and consult a healthcare expert.

When to take horny goat weed

Horny goat weed comes in several dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, powder, and tea.

There has been no research to determine the best time of day to take it or if it should be taken on an empty stomach. 

Because research is limited, following the manufacturer’s usage instructions on the product label and consulting with a healthcare specialist is essential. 

Warning:
Horny goat weed can lead to side effects, read manufacturer’s instructions on pack before use.

Horny goat weed for men

It is considered that horny goat weed for men improves sexual function by boosting blood flow to the penis.

Horny goat weed’s icariin is thought to inhibit the enzyme PDE5.

This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) in the body. 

Icariin helps to sustain higher levels of cGMP by blocking PDE5, resulting in enhanced blood flow and relaxation of smooth muscles, notably in the penile tissue.

This method is comparable to how Erectile Dysfunction medications like Viagra work.

Horny goat weed for women

Some individuals think that horny goat weed might help women in having a better sexual performance. 

In rare cases, the supplement is also used to treat health issues that arise after menopause, such as insufficient estrogen and high cholesterol. 

Those who are expecting or nursing should avoid using horny goat weed.

Horny goat weed dosage

The dose of horny goat weed depends on several factors, including the specific product, the number of active components (such as icariin), and individual health concerns. 

Because there is no standardized dose for horny goat weed, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product label or get personalized guidance from a healthcare expert.

Horny goat weed dose is commonly quantified in milligrams (mg) of the active component icariin. 

Typical icariin dosages vary from 250 mg to 1000 mg daily, administered in split doses. 

Is horny goat weed safe

Doctor prescribing medicines over phoneSource: Dean_Drobot
Before taking any medications or supplement, a Doctor should always be consulted

Horny goat weed is usually deemed safe for short-term use as a dietary supplement when used correctly. 

For centuries, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine with no severe side effects outlined.

It has proved safe to use a particular horny goat weed extract by mouth for up to two years that contains phytoestrogens. 

However, some varieties of horny goat weed may be harmful if taken for an extended time or in excessive amounts. 

Due to a lack of safety information, pregnant or breastfeeding women should refrain from taking horny goat weed.

Other vitamins or medications may interact with horny goat weed. 

It’s essential to discuss using horny goat weed with your healthcare practitioner if you are taking any prescription medications or have any underlying medical issues.

This will help prevent any potential interactions.

However, there are other scientifically proven and FDA-approved medicines that can be used in place of horny goat weed or any other supplement.

Quick Checkout
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Conclusion

Horny goat weed is a plant supplement that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for generations. 

It includes active chemicals such as icariin and other flavonoids contributing to its possible health benefits.

Some possible advantages of horny goat weed include increased sexual function and desire and help with Erectile Dysfunction in men. 

Furthermore, it may benefit energy levels, bone health, and some inflammatory disorders. 

Preliminary research also reveals neuroprotective and anticancer properties, but further research is needed to understand these advantages fully.

Long term use of horny goat weed could cause stomach pain, dizziness, and heart rate or blood pressure changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is horny goat weed safe?

Horny goat weed or Epimedium is usually deemed safe for short-term use as a dietary supplement when used correctly. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for generations with no severe side effects reported.

What is horny goat weed used for?

People use horny goat weed to treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED), sexual issues, weak and brittle bones, menopausal health problems, and other diseases. However, no strong scientific evidence supports any of these claims.

Is horny goat weed effective?

Although the data is still preliminary, new evidence supports the theory. Epimedium, an active component of horny goat weed, appears to improve sexual performance and increase blood flow. It acts as a PDE inhibitor, similar to several ED medications

Are there any side effects of horny goat weed?

Yes, like many herbal medicines, horny goat weed can produce side effects in some people.  Dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, upset stomach, and nose bleeds are common side effects of horny goat weed.

How quickly does horny goat weed work?

The rate at which horny goat weed works varies from person to person. It may also be affected by factors such as the individual’s metabolism, overall health, dose, and supplement formulation. For some people, the benefits of horny goat weed on sexual function and desire can be felt within a few days to a week of constant use. Others, on the other hand, may have to wait many weeks before seeing any results.

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