Horny goat weed

Horny goat weed is a herb that’s been utilized within traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It’s often taken in order to target low libido, fatigue, pain, and erectile dysfunction. It’s a great natural supplement that promotes sexual health while offering additional health benefits.

Today, it continues to play an important role in Chinese medicine and is gaining popularity around the world. It is most often used in order to target low libido and erectile dysfunction, however, it does offer a range of positive effects. Let’s examine this herb based on the research that’s been conducted thus far.

What is Horny Goat Weed?

Of course, the name this weed is what typically sparks attention. Used for over 2000 years, horny goat weed is multiple species of epimedium, a leafy plant that grows wild at higher altitudes. The leaves of this plant contain a wide variety of flavonoids, sterols, and an alkaloid known as magna florine.

Although the way in which it works is not exactly known, horny goat weed is known to restore libido, improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction, reduce fatigue, and alleviate menopausal discomfort. With that being said, researchers have found a key active ingredient in horny goat weed, known as icariin which produces aphrodisiac effects, potentially increases testosterone levels, and relaxes smooth muscle tissue.

Sold in capsule, tablet, tea, and powder form, this supplement is not only used to treat sexual health concerns, but also high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, hay fever, fatigue, symptoms of menopause, and brain injury.

How Does It Work?

Horny goat weed contains a number of flavonoids which have shown to produce estrogen-inhibiting properties. Based on the way in which it influences the hormonal system, may be part of the reason it has been used for sexual health in the past.

Other flavonoids, such as icariin, have been shown to stimulate cells that build bone. When given to rats, horny goat weed was about to protect them against osteoporosis. In terms of potential anti-cancer benefits, an extract from horny goat weed has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Since horny goat weed increases levels of nitric oxide, it relaxes smooth muscles, allowing more blood to flow into the genital area. In addition to this mechanism of action, horny goat weed is also a mild PDE-5 inhibitor. This is how the sexual stimulant Viagra works.

Horny Goat Weed and Erectile Dysfunction

When humans are sexually stimulated, nitric oxide signals a chemical known as cGMP. This causes smooth muscle to relax which is differs from skeletal muscles tissue. The result is an inflow of blood, into three-tube-like cylinders in the penis, leading to an erection.

When someone suffers from an erectile dysfunction, an enzyme known as PDE5 interferes with both nitric oxide and cGMP. In turn, blood doesn’t move through the arteries and an erection doesn’t occur. This is where horny goat weed comes into play.

Since its key active ingredient, icariin, inhibits PDE5, dilation of the arteries is no longer an issue. The result is then blood filling the arteries, followed by an erection. When men take the common drug known as Viagra, it works in a similar fashion.

In one study, icariin relaxed penile tissue based on nitric oxide levels and the inhibiting effect on PDE-5. In another study, rats were injected with horny goat weed increased penile blood pressure. There have been plenty of studies conducted on rats that verify the same findings.

Other Key Benefits of Horny Goat Weed

Currently, there’s a lack of human clinical studies based on the effects of horny goat weed. With that being said, there have been clear benefits reported by users and positive effects have been recorded throughout time. In terms of internal use, horny goat weed has many beneficial properties, including:

  • Anti-asthmatic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Tonic
  • Vasodilator
  • Hypoglycemic

When using horny goat weed, you’re able to lower your blood sugar which helps protect your body and overall health. It’s also often used to treat hypertension, chronic bronchitis, arthritis, numbness in the limbs, and more.

Horny goat weed offers properties like Rhodiola, ginseng, and Cordyceps. These all work by increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, boosting energy and reducing cortisol. There is also some evidence that horny goat weed could potentially restore low levels of testosterone and bring thyroid hormone levels back to normal.

Is Horny Goat Weed Safe?

When taking horny goat weed, please be aware of the potential risks involved. If you suffer from heart disease or a hormone-sensitive cancer, please speak with your doctor before taking this supplement. This herb can also create symptoms such as sweating, feeling hot, rashes, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

If you’re taking medications that treat high blood pressure, hormone-sensitive cancers, thyroid disease, heart disease, or an irregular heartbeat, horny goat weed could interfere. Like any new supplement, please speak with your doctor before starting your first dose.

When taking horny goat weed, always follow the instruction on the label. The majority of capsules contain 375 to 500 mg, with a minimum of 10 percent icariin. The greatest benefits are believed to be achieved through supplement that contain up to 40 percent icariin.