Horny goat weed: benefits, side effects, dosages and

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Horny goat weed is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. As the nickname "natural viagra " suggests, some people use horned goat weed to enhance sexual function and arousal.

This article looks at the possible health benefits and side effects of taking horny goat grass. It also lists the recommended dosages and what to look for when purchasing this supplement.

Also know as

  • Epimedium
  • Yin yang ho
  • Dâm dương hoắc

What is horny goat weed used for?

The sexual and health benefits of horny goat weed have been claimed for thousands of years.

According to folklore, a Chinese goat herder noticed that his herd increased sexual activity after eating this plant. This led to the discovery of the aphrodisiac (sexual) properties of the plant. So if you were wondering where this herbal remedy got its name, now you know.

Horny goat weed contains chemical compounds known as phytoestrogens , plant-based substances that have the same effects as the estrogen produced by your body. This is why some people speculate that it can affect hormones and bone health.

Alternative medicine practitioners suggest that horny goat weed is useful as a complementary therapy to treat certain conditions.

This includes:

Some argue that horny goat weed can improve circulation by thinning the blood. It has also been used to relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, improve memory, and increase energy.

Several studies have examined the benefits of horned goat weed. The main research is carried out in vitro (in test tubes) or in animals. Erectile dysfunction and bone disease are two of the most common conditions that have been studied.

Summary

Horny goat weed is sometimes used in alternative medicine. This herbal supplement can improve blood circulation and help treat bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

erectile dysfunction

Qualitative research is lacking, but some evidence suggests that horny goat weed may help men with certain types of sexual dysfunction .

Horny goat weed contains a substance called icariin . Icariin can block a protein associated with erectile dysfunction called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5).

PDE5 primarily limits the increased blood flow to the penis that is required for an erection. Erectile dysfunction occurs when not enough blood flows to the penis.

The body generally keeps PDE5 levels in check. In people with erectile dysfunction, PDE5 may not be well controlled.

Scientists have discovered that icariin works in the same way as Viagra ( sildenafil ), blocking the activity of PDE5. However, the effect was weak even when tested in vitro. Compared to icariin, Viagra was 80 times more effective.

This is not to say that horny goat weed does not improve a man's erection ability. The supplement can increase blood flow enough to induce erections in people with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

Bone and joint health

Phytoestrogens are plant-derived estrogens found in horny goat weeds and other plants. They can mimic the effects of estrogen. Low levels of estrogen after menopause can cause bone loss. Some alternative medicine practitioners suggest that phytoestrogens can help treat bone loss.

Scientists tested this theory in a 2007 study.

In a study of 85 late postmenopausal women , they took a placebo (sugar pill) or a phytoestrogen supplement derived from horny goat weed. They all also took 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day.

Two years later, horny goat weed extract was introduced to help prevent bone loss. The phytoestrogen group had the best bone turnover markers (a measure of how much new bone is created to replace old bone).

Horny goat weed has not been associated with any of the negative effects that women experience when taking estrogens, such as endometrial hyperplasia (irregular thickening of the lining of the uterus). In some cases, endometrial hyperplasia can lead to uterine cancer .

Additionally, a 2018 animal study examined the effects of icariin, a substance extracted from horny goat weed. They found that icariin can help slow the destruction of cartilage in the joints that causes osteoarthritis.

Cartilage is a tissue that softens the joints and prevents bones from rubbing together. When there is not enough cartilage to absorb shock, you may experience symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint inflammation and stiffness.

Summary

Research has shown that the phytoestrogen in horny goat weed can help prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. The women in the study also did not experience any negative effects from the supplement.

Possible side effects.

Corresponding doses of horny goat are considered safe, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). High doses can be toxic to the kidneys and liver.

Talk to your doctor before using horny goat weed for any chronic medical condition. They can check to see if it will interact with any medications you take, such as blood thinners or blood pressure medications.

Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Dosage and preparation

Horny goat weed can be found in many pharmacies and health food stores. It is available in capsule, powder, tablet, or tea form.

Some doctors believe that the proper dose is 5 grams a day. However, more evidence is needed to recommend a specific dose.

Always check the label on any horny goat product you buy. Such varieties can have undesirable effects. Epimedium saggitatum and Epimedium grandiflorum are commonly used in Chinese medicine.

What to look for

Talk to your doctor before taking this herbal supplement. There are different varieties of goat horn grass. Also, not all of them are considered safe for everyone. Your dose and how safe it is for you depends on several factors. These include your age, gender, and health status.

If you decide to take this supplement, the NIH recommends looking for the supplement label on the product you purchase. This label contains important information such as the amount of active ingredients per serving. It will also list other ingredients that can affect your health.

Look for a product that is approved by a third-party quality testing organization. These organizations include the United States Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International.

A seal of approval from one of these organizations does not guarantee that a product is safe or effective. But it assures you that it was prepared correctly, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and has no harmful levels of contaminants.

Summary

Horny goat weed is a herbal supplement that some people use to treat erectile dysfunction and stimulate sexual arousal. Some studies show that it has other beneficial effects, especially on bone health.

People with certain conditions should not take this supplement. Talk to your doctor to determine if it is right for you.

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