Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too?


Last Updated June 24th, 2019

What is horny goat weed?

Horny Goat Weed is known from many names such as Epimedium, barrenwort, bishop’s hat, fairy wings, yin yang huo, rowdy lamb herb, brain tonic of the immortals, and randy beef grass.  The botanical name is Epimedium Sagittatum.  It is used as a herb due to its medicinal properties.  The plant generally grows in Japan, China, and Korea.

This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant got sexually aroused after eating it.  Chinese have been using the plant as a herb from ancient time to treat many sexual disorders. The popularity has widely grown all over the world and it is being produced as supplement worldwide.  

There are several health benefits associated with it such as to treat menopausal symptoms, erectile dysfunction, joint pain, osteoarthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, bronchitis, liver disease, as well as HIV/AIDS.  It is widely popular all over the world mainly because of the aphrodisiac effect present in it.

How can horny goat weed help you?

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition when a man is unable to retain the erection for a sufficient amount of time during a sexual encounter.  There are several factors contributing to this problem including inadequate blood supply to the penis leading to this problem.

Maximum cases of erectile dysfunction are resolved with the proper supply of blood to the penis.  Horny Goat Weed does the exact same thing. It improves the circulation of the blood to the penis, which helps it to stay erect for a longer time. It enhances the functions of nitric oxide, which aids in the widening of the blood vessels and promoting sufficient blood flow to the penis.

Improves libido

Libido is the feeling of sexual desire.  There can be an alteration in the normal libido due to several factors such as chronic disease, medication side effect, as well as psychological stress.  The main reason for the change in libido may be related to the altered cortisol levels leading to hormonal imbalance, fatigue, etc.

Horny Goat Weed is helpful in normalizing the cortisol level.  It also promotes an increase in the production of hormone levels for a healthy mind and body. This leads to normalization of testosterone and estrogen levels. This subsequently causes improvement in behavior and mood.  A better mood is helpful in promoting libido.

Improves testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone produced in the body.  Testosterone can also be called sex hormone since it is very essential for the development of reproductive organs namely testes and prostate.  Testosterone is also essential for muscle mass as well as bone mass. Horny Goat Weed has a particular ingredient called icariin. Icariin is known to promote the production of nitric oxide, which promotes blood flow.  

Due to the improved blood flow, there is a surge in the testosterone levels, which enhances several other aspects of the body function. Studies have been conducted on animal subjects and have proved to be beneficial. A thorough study involving a human subject needs to be done to firmly confirm the uses of Horny Goat Weed to promote testosterone levels.

Treats menopause-related problems

Menopause is the post menstruation period which occurs in every woman after a particular age.  During the menstruation period, the ovaries are known to periodically secrete hormones required for fertility and maintain the levels of estrogen.  Whereas during the period of menopause, the ovaries stop secreting the hormones leading to the cessation of fertility, as well as lowering the estrogen levels.    

Horny Goat Weed is known to contain prenylflavonoid that is helpful to improve the levels of estrogen and provide a normal balance of hormones.  Normalization of hormone levels leads to improved wellbeing and the person is more active and cheerful.  

Improves Bone Health

The health of the bone tends to deteriorate due to several causes including lack of calcium absorption as well as other disease-causing the deterioration of bone mass.  As discussed earlier, Horny Goat Weed has an ingredient called icariin. Icariin is known to contain the osteogenic compound, which is very essential for improving the collagen matrix necessary for bone mass.  

This is helpful to improve the strength of the bone naturally, and the bone stays healthy. The supplements are utilized for treating certain issues related to the bones namely osteoporosis.  Long-term use of the supplements helps in regaining the bone mass as well as bone strength, which in turn avoids fracture and dislodgement of the bone joint.

Promotes Muscle strength

It is important to have the appropriate muscle strength to carry out daily tasks efficiently.  There are several factors associated with the appropriate muscle strength. Studies have shown that Horny Goat Weed can be helpful in promoting muscle growth and muscle bulk.  Icariin, which is present in the supplement, is known to promote the production of neurotrophins, which is a type of protein necessary to improve muscle growth.

An appropriate level of icariin can promote the secretion of these proteins and in turn, helps to promote muscle growth as well as tissue repair.  This property is very helpful to athletes and fitness freaks, who regularly need to improve muscle strength and retain the appropriate levels.

Are there any side-effects?

These supplements are generally safe and cause minimal to no side effects other than the general interactions associated with any supplement.  Some of the side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, vomiting, low blood pressure, breathing problems, nosebleed, etc.

Horny Goat Weed is known to impact the levels of hormones and hence may interact with certain medications related to hormones.  People suffering from serious illness such as liver disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc are advised to be more cautious with respect to the consumption of herbal supplements.  

People suffering from easy bruising are also advised to restrain from consuming this supplement.  It is known to promote the blood flow and may lead to excessive bleeding when a person suffers an injury as well as during surgery.

These supplements may reduce blood pressure in people who are already suffering from low blood pressure.  It is known to interact with blood pressure lowering medications. Horny Goat Weed supplemented along with blood pressure lowering medications may cause hypotension.

These supplements should also be avoided in people who are consuming anticoagulants which are also called blood thinning medications used to treat certain heart conditions.  These supplements in conjunction with an anticoagulant may lead to nose bleeds, etc. On a precautionary note, these supplements may be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  

Horny goat weed supplements

Horny Goat Weed supplements are generally found in capsule form.  It is generally the quantity of icariin present in the supplement, which is important to determine the dosage of the supplement.  The level of icariin may vary between 10% to 98% so it is quite impossible to have a standard dosage for the supplement. Since the supplement is known to cause hormonal changes, it is highly recommended to never supplement these herbs without a doctor’s consult.

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