Horny Goat Weed Benefits

Horny Goat Weed
Latin Name

Epimedium sagittatum

Also Known As

Barrenwort, Herba Epimedii, Horny Goat Weed, Japanese Epimedium, Xian Ling Pi, Yin Yang Huo

Origin

Western, and Eastern Asia and the Mediterranean

Parts Used

Leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Enjoying over 2,000 years of use and a colourful folk history, Horny Goat Weed does what it says on the tin! In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it has been used for centuries to enhance libido and to treat various other ailments such as bone or kidney disease.

TCM practitioners consider this herb to have a strong “yang” quality that can increase blood circulation, tonify the kidneys, dispel wind and eliminate dampness.

Horny Goat Weed Benefits

Male Sexual Health

Behind its comical name, Horny Goat Weed stands as a time tested aphrodisiac that increases libido and improves erectile function. This is thought to be due, in part, to the flavonoid “icariin”, which is also responsible for the best known health benefits associated with this herb.

Firstly, icariin has been found to have the ability to boost the successful transmission of Nitric Oxide, the primary chemical transmitter for the successful and ample delivery of blood to the penis tissue. Secondly it increases the natural circulation of free form testosterone around the body, not only boosting libido – testosterone is crucial to the health of the prostate and plays a dominant role in the production of healthy sperm.

Female Sexual Health

With the increased blood circulation improving blood flow to the genital area of women too, this herb is excellent for stimulating female libido and decreasing sexual dysfunction. Whilst improved blood flow is a key element in sexual desire, Horny Goat Weed also provides alkaloids and plant sterols that have similar actions to testosterone. Although considered a male hormone, testosterone is produced by both men and women and plays an important role in human sexuality.

Menopause

Several studies have found that the active constituents of Horny Goat Weed balance oestrogen and estradiol levels in women. Icariin is one of these prenylflavonoid compounds which acts as a natural phytoestrogen, associated with decreased symptoms of menopause, including low libido and vaginal dryness.

Bone Health

It seems that icariin is the wonder molecule responsible for many of this plant’s health benefits.  Research done by the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Tokyo found that Horny Goat Weed has positive effects on restoring bone density, with findings from animal studies showing that icariin is a strong candidate for an osteogenic compound for use in bone tissue engineering. The researchers observed significant new bone formation in rats treated with icariin after 4 weeks, with further increases after 6 weeks.

Another study by the Institute of Orthopaedics Centre of Lanzhou General Hospital in China reported similar results. They found evidence that icariin can prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density and bone formation, decreasing bone resorption and improving the microstructure of bone. 

 

Typical Use
Horny Goat Weed Herbal Tincture Take 3ml -10ml per day, Spread over the day   Horny Goat Weed Cut Leaf Herb 1-2 desertspoons per cup of hot water up to 3 or 4 times a day. Taken as Tea Or as recommended by a herbal practitioner.
Folklore and History

The Chinese refer to the herb as Yin Yang Huo, meaning "licentious goat plant." Legend has it that Horny Goat Weed aquired its name after a Chinese goat herder noticed his goats became extremely frisky at certain times. At first he was flummoxed by this strange behaviour, but after some extensive study he realised they became overly sexually excited after grazing upon certain plants. The patch of pasture in question was comprised of 25 species of herbaceous plants in the family "Berberidaceae" and the secret was revealed of the mysterious behaviour of his horny goats!

Thus, this plant has been used for over 2,000 years by TCM practioners to restore sexual fire, boost erectile function, alleviate fatigue, stress and many other maladies.

 

Horny Goat Weed
Constituents

Flavanoids, icariin, lignans, Fats, saponins, and essential oil, with trace amounts of epimedins, epimedosides, icariin, magnflorin, and quercetin.

Precautions
Horny Goat weed can combined in the traditional way of Chinese medicine with a Yin herb . Can raise blood pressure in excessive amounts.