By Reviewed by Published on October 8, 2018 Updated on January 3, 2020
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Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed is a plant endemic to China, and a few other parts of Asia and a few places the Mediterranean regions. It has been found to contain properties that may be useful for aiding and preventing cardiovascular diseases, depression, cancer, weak immune systems, premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, inflammation, osteoporosis, female hormonal disorder and much more.

Also, it has been found to be beneficial in relieving stress, improving learning and memory, and enhance mood state. If you are looking to gain any of these benefits through supplementation with horny goat weed, read below for a detailed information on everything you need to know about the herb and find out if it is for you.

What is Horny Goat Weed?

Horny goat weed is a medicinal herb. It is a plant native to the soils of China and other regions in Southeast Asia. It also grows in certain regions in the Mediterranean. horny goat weed

Horny goat weed comes in different varieties. In fact, there are about 50 species of this herb. Some of these species are being cultivated in the west for the last 100 to 150 years.[1]Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Chillemi, E., Di Giannantonio, M., Schifano, F., & Cellek, S. (2014, June 15). Sexual Enhancement Products for Sale Online: Raising Awareness of the Psychoactive Effects of Yohimbine, Maca, Horny Goat Weed, and Ginkgo biloba. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2014/841798

There are also older hybrids of the herb that grow in Japan. These ones extend the boundaries of the herb in terms of cultivations.

Additionally, horny goat weed only thrives in areas wherein the native conditions are very closely replicated. Otherwise, the herb can be difficult to cultivate.

Also known as epimedium, horny goat weed goes by the following names:

  • Barrenwort
  • Wild horny goat weed
  • Bishop’s hat
  • Fairy wings
  • Yin yang huo (Chinese name)

The term “horny goat weed” is a layman term that roots from goats and sheep who had friskier behaviors after consuming the herb.

Horny goat weed is a genus of a flowering plant that belongs to the family Berberidaceae.[2]The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (n. d.). Berberidaceae. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/plant/Berberidaceae The growth habits of this herb are variable; some grow with solitary stems, as others grow with multiple stems close together.

The leaves of this herb also grow in different manners. Some leaves may be solitary, growing from the base of the plant. Others often grow individually with three leaflets. These leaves also often have spiny margins.

Horny goat weed also grows out flowers. These flowers have different parts: outer sepals, inner sepals, petals, and a nectar-producing spur. The flower of the herb also has four stamens.

Horny goat weed is a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This herb is especially believed to aid in erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and pain management, among others.[3]Lim, P. H. C. (2017, April). Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. Translational Andrology and Urology. doi: 10.21037/tau.2017.04.04

Horny goat weed is also popular for being an aphrodisiac. The herb may also have the ability to boost testosterone levels.[4]Lim, P. H. C. (2017, April). Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. Translational Andrology and Urology. doi: 10.21037/tau.2017.04.04

Horny Goat Weed Leaves

Horny goat weed played a multifaceted role in Traditional Asian Medicine. This herb is a medicinal staple in Southeast Asian countries over the last 1,000 years.

Horny goat weed is especially sought after for its leaves. These leaves were often referred to as “yin yang huo.”

Horny goat weed leaves usually grow in the Southern Central and Northern Coastal China. Some varieties also grow in the regions of Korea.

Horny goat weed is also found in other parts of the world, although the quality tends to vary.

The leaves of this herb are also considered yang tonics. Yang tonics are medicinal herbs that deliver “warm” energy into the body.

What are the Components of Horny Goat Weed (Composition)?

Also called epimedium, Horny goat weed is a genus from the family Berberidaceae. As a supplement, this herb is standardized for its Icariin content.[5]Fang, J. & Zhang, Y. (2017, October 12). Icariin, an Anti-atherosclerotic Drug from Chinese Medicinal Herb Horny Goat Weed. Frontiers in Pharmacology. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00734

Icariin is the active component present in horny goat weed. It is a prenylated diglycoside flavonoid responsible for the beneficial effects of the herb, especially in sexual health.[6]Chauhan, N. S., Sharma, V., Dixit, V. K., & Thakur, M. (2014, August 18). A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2014/868062

In terms of structure, the following compounds are also found in horny goat weed:

  • Icariin
  • Quercetin
  • Irarioside A and B
  • Anhydroicaritin and Desmethylanhydroicaritin
  • Sagittatoside B
  • Diphylloside A and B

How Horny Goat Weed Works

Horny goat weed is an herb very popular in traditional medicine. This herb is among the most sought-after medicinal herbs, due to its positive health benefits. Horny goat weed is believed to aid the body in many ways, long before research-based studies backed these claims.

Recent studies show that the health benefits of horny goat weed may all be due to its icariin content. Icariin is a major bioactive compound found in the herb.

Icariin possesses potent cardiovascular protective functions. It also has multiple atheroprotective functions.[7]Fang, J. & Zhang, Y. (2017, October 12). Icariin, an Anti-atherosclerotic Drug from Chinese Medicinal Herb Horny Goat Weed. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 734. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00734 Meaning, this compound may keep the body from developing atherosclerosis, a condition that may increase the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Icariin is also studied for its anti-oxidative and anti-neuroinflammatory effects. The compound also has anti-apoptotic effects.[8]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30342950 For these reasons, horny goat weed links to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, among many others.

The mechanism of the herb is quite extensive. For one, icariin may inhibit the expression of the amyloid precursor protein. This mechanism may mitigate the development of inflammation. The same mechanism may also prevent cerebral ischemia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurocognitive disorders.[9]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30342950

Icariin also has mechanisms that prevent neurotoxicity. This, in the long run, may help improve memory and learning.[10]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30342950

Another mechanism of icariin is its ability to attenuate DNA damage and correct endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction is a condition that precedes atherosclerosis.[11]Hadi, H. A. R., Carr, C. S., & Suwaidi, J. A. (2005, September). Endothelial Dysfunction: Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Therapy, and Outcome. Vascular Health and Risk Management. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993955/

Moreover, the icariin found in horny goat weed may also impose cardiovascular and neuroprotective, and lipid-modulatory effects. All these, combined, contribute to the ability of horny goat weed to be atheroprotective.[12]Fang, J. & Zhang, Y. (2017, October 12). Icariin, an Anti-atherosclerotic Drug from Chinese Medicinal Herb Horny Goat Weed. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 734. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00734

To sum it up, it is well-argued that the health benefits of horny goat weed are due to its potent icariin content.

Health Benefits of Horny Goat Weed  Extract

Horny goat weed is a traditional medicinal herb that is believed to impose a number of different health benefits. Also called epimedium, the benefits of this herb are all touted to be due to its icariin content.

At this moment, there are several studies conducted to examine the actual mechanisms of horny goat weed and its effects on health.

Early research suggested that the icariin in the herb may impose the following horny goat weed benefits:

  • Sexual health support
  • Bone health support
  • Neuroprotective properties
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Anti-HIV activities
  • Soothing post-menopausal symptoms
  • Reversal of DNA damage
  • Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Others

This section will further elaborate and examine the mechanisms of horny goat weed along with their effects on certain health aspects.

Horny Goat Weed and Hormones

Horny goat weed and hormones are two subjects that are often related. Many believe that the herb may impose positive effects on the hormonal functions of the body.

Horny goat weed is an herb that may possess erectogenic and estrogenic effects.[13]Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Chillemi, E., Di Giannantonio, M., Schifano, F., & Cellek, S. (2014, June 15). Sexual Enhancement Products for Sale Online: Raising Awareness of the Psychoactive Effects of Yohimbine, Maca, Horny Goat Weed, and Ginkgo biloba. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2014/841798 For this reason, this medicinal herb, also called epimedium, may benefit the hormonal functions of the body.

At a closer look, horny goat weed contains compounds that may aid better blood flow and improve sexual functions. Among these are phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are chemicals that may have the ability to mimic the function of the female hormone estrogen.[14]Patisaul, H. B., & Jefferson, W. (2010, March 27). The pros and cons of phytoestrogens. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2010.03.003

Another compound found in horny goat weed that may aid hormonal function in the body is icariin. The icariin content of the herb may also have the ability to mimic endogenous hormones and androgen hormones.[15]Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Chillemi, E., Di Giannantonio, M., Schifano, F., & Cellek, S. (2014, June 15). Sexual Enhancement Products for Sale Online: Raising Awareness of the Psychoactive Effects of Yohimbine, Maca, Horny Goat Weed, and Ginkgo biloba. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2014/841798

In fact, an animal study confirmed the possible effects of horny goat weed on hormones. In the said study, the erectogenic and neurotrophic abilities of icariin (the active compound) are put to test.[16]Shindel, A. W., Xin, Z.-C., Lin, G., Fandel, T. M., Huang, Y.-C., Banie, L., … Lue, T. F. (2010, April). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141584

The study demonstrated that the icariin content of the herb improved the neurite length on nerve-injured subjects.[17]Shindel, A. W., Xin, Z.-C., Lin, G., Fandel, T. M., Huang, Y.-C., Banie, L., … Lue, T. F. (2010, April). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141584

Horny Goat Weed for Weight Gain and Muscle Building

horny goat weed for weight lossHorny goat weed is yet another natural herb that is currently sought-after by many bodybuilders. The reason behind this may be because of the ability of the herb to aid in weight gain and muscle building.

Horny goat weed, as is, may not work alone as a bodybuilding supplement. However, its positive effects on muscle gain may be due to the ability of the herb to stimulate the hormones in the body.

As we all know, testosterone plays a key role in muscle building. This hormone has androgenic-anabolic properties, which may stimulate protein synthesis.[18]Vingren, J. L., Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Anderson, J. M., Volek, J. S., & Maresh, C. M. (2010, December 1). Testosterone physiology in resistance exercise and training: the up-stream regulatory elements. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058750

Additionally, testosterone is a hormone that has anti-catabolic effects. For this reason, the higher the levels of testosterone present in the body, the better it is at muscle hypertrophy promotion.[19]Vingren, J. L., Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Anderson, J. M., Volek, J. S., & Maresh, C. M. (2010, December 1). Testosterone physiology in resistance exercise and training: the up-stream regulatory elements. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058750

Icariin is the active ingredient found in horny goat weed. This compound may have the ability to aid in testosterone production, especially in men.

In a study conducted on animals, icariin showed positive impacts on male reproductive functions. In further detail, 200mg/kg of the active compound increased testosterone production. Moreover, icariin also affected spermatogenesis in positive ways.[20]Chen, M., Hao, J., Yang, Q., & Li, G. (2014, July 3). Effects of icariin on reproductive functions in male rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271987

Horny goat weed may yet again impose benefits on muscle building due to the neurotrophic effects of icariin. Neurotrophins are protein compounds that may aid in the formation of body tissues and muscles. In the long run, this may help in muscle gain and development.[21]Huang, E. J., & Reichardt, L. F. (2001). Neurotrophins: roles in neuronal development and function. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758233/

Horny Goat Weed for Energy and Stamina

Everyone suffers from fatigue. May it be physical or mental fatigue, not one person is an exception.

Horny goat weed is an herb packed with many health benefits that may also help when it comes to exhaustion. Otherwise known as epimedium, this medicinal herb is also sought after for its possible effects on reducing physical fatigue and boosting energy levels.[22]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

In an animal study, the bioactive component of the herb was put to test. The subjects are treated with different dosages of icariin for four weeks.[23]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

In the said study, the anti-fatigue properties of icariin were evaluated through a weight-loaded forced swimming test. As a result, the icariin-treated groups showed significant advantages over the placebo group.[24]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

Data from the same study also showed that icariin may prolong the exhaustive swimming time of the subjects. This was also accompanied by an increase in blood glucose and glycogen levels. A decrease in blood lactic acid and blood urea nitrogen were also noted. And as a result, these all suggest that icariin itself may possess anti-fatigue properties.[25]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

Horny Goat Weed for Stress

Stress is a part of our daily lives. It is inevitable, but once it becomes chronic, then it becomes a problem.

Horny goat weed is an herb that may help soothe stress. Its active compound, icariin, may play a key role in both relieving the symptoms of stress and depression.[26]Xiao, H., Wignall, N., & Brown, E. S. (2016, March). An open-label pilot study of icariin for co-morbid bipolar and alcohol use disorder. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26809351

One study examined the role of icariin in patients with bipolar disorder and/or depression. The subjects took  300mg/day of icariin for eight weeks under a flexible dosing strategy. A significant decrease in the symptoms of depression is noted by the end of the trial.[27]Xiao, H., Wignall, N., & Brown, E. S. (2016, March). An open-label pilot study of icariin for co-morbid bipolar and alcohol use disorder. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26809351

Additionally, icariin may have the mechanisms to balance the level of stress hormones. An animal study tested the pharmacological effects of the bioactive compound in terms of neurological and anti-depressant activities.[28]Pan, Y., Zhang, W. Y., Xia, X., & Kong, L. D. (2006, December). Effects of icariin on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis action and cytokine levels in stressed Sprague-Dawley rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17142971

In the said study, icariin demonstrated effects on the HPA axis and cytokine levels in conditions like chronic mild stress. In simpler terms, the bioactive compound may reverse the abnormal levels of serum and other hormones that contribute to stress.[29]Pan, Y., Zhang, W. Y., Xia, X., & Kong, L. D. (2006, December). Effects of icariin on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis action and cytokine levels in stressed Sprague-Dawley rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17142971

Another animal study examined the effect of icariin on chronic mild stress. In the study, the compound attenuated existing neuroendocrinological alterations. This mechanism may impose a positive potential as an antidepressant.[30]Pan, Y., Kong, L. D., Li, Y. C., Xia, X., Kung, H. F., & Jiang, F.-X. (2007, May). Icariin from Epimedium brevicornum attenuates chronic mild stress-induced behavioral and neuroendocrinological alterations in male Wistar rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17509675

Horny Goat Weed for Depression

Depression is a mental illness that affects more or less 300 million people worldwide.[31]Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression The signs and symptoms of this condition are often difficult to determine, and if left untreated, depression may lead to suicide.

There are several treatments for depression, and horny goat weed may have positive impacts on the condition. In fact, horny goat weed for depression has recently been subjected to clinical trials.

Icariin is a bioactive compound found in the herb and it may have antidepressant mechanisms. These mechanisms may aid in soothing the symptoms of depression.[32]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30342950

At a closer look, icariin may have the ability to reverse the effects of corticosterone-induced depression. Additionally, this bioactive compound decreased the immobility time in the depressed subjects, noting its potential as a biomarker that may reverse the pathological process of depression.[33]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3034295

Horny goat weed may also combat the symptoms of depression due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Its glucocorticoid receptor imposes the said effects by inducing estrogen-like activities which may relieve the development of clinical depression.[34]Shen, R., & Wang, J.-H. (2018, June 5). The effect of icariin on immunity and its potential application. American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 7(3), 50-56. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055068

A recent study also showed the potential of icariin as a preventive and therapeutic agent for the nervous system. These effects may mitigate pro-inflammatory responses and prevent neurotoxicity. As a result, these pharmacological mechanisms may work as prevention or therapy for disorders that affect the nervous system.[35]Jin, J., Wang, H., Hua, X., Chen, D., Huang, C., & Chen, Z. (2019, January 5). An outline for the pharmacological effect of icariin in the nervous system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3034295

Horny Goat Weed as an Anxiety Remedy

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses. In the U.S. alone, over 40 million adults suffer from the condition.[36]Anxiety And Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

Anxiety is a disorder that is treatable, and yet not everyone gets proper treatment. In fact, only 36.9% of people diagnosed with anxiety receive treatment.[37]Anxiety And Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

Anxiety is a disorder that may develop from the following risk factors:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Personality
  • Certain life events

Horny goat weed is a natural herb that may help relieve anxiety. This traditional Chinese Medicine staple may have the pharmacological activities to soothe the symptoms of the disorder.

Its active ingredient, icariin, may have the ability to inhibit neurotoxicity. This may prevent the development of anxiety in an indirect manner.[38]Li, L., Tsai, H.-J., Li, L., & Wang, X.-M. (2010). Icariin inhibits the increased inward calcium currents induced by amyloid-beta(25-35) peptide in CA1 pyramidal neurons of neonatal rat hippocampal slice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20128049

An animal study also examined the effects of icariin on psychosocial stress and levels of corticosterone. The said study pointed out that the active ingredient may attenuate the negative effects of stress and even execute anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety potentials.[39]Li, B., Duan, X., Xu, C., Wu, J., Liu, B., Du, Y., … Dong, J. (2014, April). Icariin attenuates glucocorticoid insensitivity mediated by repeated psychosocial stress on an ovalbumin-induced murine model of asthma. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24462390

Horny Goat Weed and Circulation

Horny goat weed and circulation are subjects that are almost inseparable. This is due to the fact that many believe that the herb has aphrodisiac effects.

A lot of people who use the herb also believe that it may impose different benefits in terms of sexual health. Among these benefits are positive impacts on sexual functionality, virility, and blood circulation.

When it comes to improving blood circulation, horny goat weed may exhibit applaudable benefits. For one, the herb may have erectogenic and neurotrophic abilities.

In a rodent study, rats with cavernous nerve injury receive icariin treatment for four weeks. Icariin, as mentioned, is the bioactive compound of horny goat weed.[40]Shindel, A. W., Xin, Z.-C., Lin, G., Fandel, T. M., Huang, Y.-C., Banie, L., … Lue, T. F. (2010, April). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141584

By the end of the trial, immunohistochemistry in the penile tissues of the subject revealed a significant change in terms of neurite length. In simpler terms, the results showed positive neurotrophic effects.[41]Shindel, A. W., Xin, Z.-C., Lin, G., Fandel, T. M., Huang, Y.-C., Banie, L., … Lue, T. F. (2010, April). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141584

Horny Goat Weed and Blood Pressure

horny goat weed for heart healthHorny goat weed is an herb that also goes by the name Yin Yang Huo. Yin Yang Huo is a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Known for its wide array of health benefits, the herb is touted to affect circulation in positive ways. This is due to its icariin content, the bioactive compound found in horny goat weed.

Horny goat weed and high blood pressure are two correlated factors that are currently subjected for research. The herb may or may not have the mechanisms to benefit patients suffering from hypertension.

An evidence-based e-book stated the possible interactions of horny goat weed with certain health conditions. It also noted that the herb may have the ability to lower cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure.[42]Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Guide – E-Book. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=WB8PDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA414&dq=horny+goat+weed&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFyLa1w8_lAhUb7WEKHbWmBToQ6AEIUDAG#v=onepage&q=horny%20goat%20weed&f=false

Horny Goat Weed and the Immune System

Being healthy is beyond just keeping the body in tip-top shape. It is also about getting the body’s immune system intact.

The immune system comprises the biological capabilities of the body. When it is down, the body is at risk of developing complications and illnesses.

Horny goat weed may impose health benefits in more ways than one. Among these benefits include positive impacts on the immune system.

Horny goat weed, or epimedium to others, possesses mechanisms that are anti-inflammatory and immunological. These effects are due to its bioactive component called icariin.[43]Shen, R., & Wang, J.-H. (2018, June 5). The effect of icariin on immunity and its potential application. American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 7(3), 50-56. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055068

Horny goat weed may also play multifaceted roles in the body’s immune system. For one, it may modulate the immune system itself. This means that the herb may have the ability to stimulate and suppress whatever is causing an imbalance.[44]Shen, R., & Wang, J.-H. (2018, June 5). The effect of icariin on immunity and its potential application. American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 7(3), 50-56. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055068

The herb may also have the ability to inhibit certain viruses. A laboratory study tested the ability of the herb to inhibit a virus that may cause genital herpes.[45]Zheng, M. S. (1989, June). An experimental study of the anti-HSV-II action of 500 herbal drugs. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2550706

The same lab test also noted that epimedium has anti-HSV-II mechanisms which result in virus inhibition.[46]Zheng, M. S. (1989, June). An experimental study of the anti-HSV-II action of 500 herbal drugs. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2550706 Indirectly, these mechanisms of the herb may strengthen the immune system.

Additionally, the icariin content of horny goat weed may increase a type of protein that pinpoints disease-causing microorganisms. This effect of the herb was examined in a rodent study.[47]Li, L., Peng, L., Miao, J., Qiu, Y., Zhou, Y., Gao, X., … Ma, Z. (2011, November). Icariin induces the expression of toll-like receptor 9 in ana-1 murine macrophages. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538629

In simpler terms, this type of protein may further activate the immune system. It may also encourage the immune system to fight and prevent the development of infections.[48]Li, L., Peng, L., Miao, J., Qiu, Y., Zhou, Y., Gao, X., … Ma, Z. (2011, November). Icariin induces the expression of toll-like receptor 9 in ana-1 murine macrophages. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538629

Another study conducted on rodents showed the possible relationship of horny goat weed and better immunity. The study noted that the icariin content of the herb may be beneficial in treating Th1 diseases.[49]Rhew, K. Y., & Han, Y. (2012, September). Immunoadjuvant activity of icariin that induces Th1-type antibody in mice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23054726

Th1 diseases, in other words, are illnesses that involve inflammation.

Horny Goat Weed for Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Osteoporosis affects about 200 million women worldwide. Most of these women are over the age of 50.[50]International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.). Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics

While it is normal for bone health to deteriorate as we age, there are ways to delay it. Osteoporosis doesn’t have to end up as a mandatory health condition for the elderly, especially women.

Horny goat weed is a traditional Chinese Medicine herb that is sought-after for its wide array of health benefits. This herb also happens to have positive effects on bone health.

There are a few published studies that examined the effects of horny goat weed on bone tissue and bone mineral density. These studies also focused on highlighting the impacts of the herb on preventing and treating degenerative bone conditions, like osteoporosis,

One animal study evaluated the possible antiosteoporotic activities of icariin, the active ingredient found in horny goat weed. A group of ovariectomized rats was used as the subjects are divided into five groups. Each group received different treatment, including icariin.[51]Nian, H., Ma, M.-H., Nian, S. S., & Xu, L. L. (2009, April). Antiosteoporotic activity of icariin in ovariectomized rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19269147

By the end of the trial, the icariin group showed correction in the decreased serum concentration of calcium. The treatment also showed a protective effect on bone formation.[52]Nian, H., Ma, M.-H., Nian, S. S., & Xu, L. L. (2009, April). Antiosteoporotic activity of icariin in ovariectomized rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19269147

Based on research, icariin may contribute to better bone health by enhancing bone growth and building capabilities of the body. It may also help prevent bone loss and breakdown.

A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial tested this effect of icariin. 85 postmenopausal women participated in the 24-month trial period. By the end of the study, 74 of these have prevented bone loss.[53]Zhang, G., Qin, L., & Shi, Y. (2007, July). Epimedium-derived phytoestrogen flavonoids exert beneficial effect on preventing bone loss in late postmenopausal women: a 24-month randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17419678

This effect may be due to the flavonoid content of icariin that had estrogen-like mechanisms. The study also noted that the icariin administration didn’t have any drastic side effects on the uterine lining.[54]Zhang, G., Qin, L., & Shi, Y. (2007, July). Epimedium-derived phytoestrogen flavonoids exert beneficial effect on preventing bone loss in late postmenopausal women: a 24-month randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17419678

Horny Goat Weed and Athletic Performance

Horny goat weed is an herb that is sought-after by athletes. Many of them believe that the herb may help them improve their strength and stamina in terms of athletic performance.

Horny goat weed supplementation in athletes is not a new thing. Many of them have been using this to support their athletic performance and capabilities for years.

The correlation between the herb and athletic performance is something a little unclear. This is due to the limited studies that back the effects of the herb.

However, the athletic benefits of the herb may be due to the effects of icariin on nitric oxide. Icariin is the bioactive compound present in horny goat weed, while nitric oxide is a vasodilator.

That said, the icariin content of horny goat weed may influence nitric oxide levels in the body. This influence may result in an enhanced endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression.[55]Xu, H. B., & Huang, Z. Q. (2007, July). Icariin enhances endothelial nitric-oxide synthase expression on human endothelial cells in vitro. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17499557  In simpler terms, icariin may boost nitric oxide which may impact athletic strength and endurance.

Horny goat weed may also affect athletic performance in indirect ways. For example, the herb is sought after for its possible effects on reducing fatigue. It is also touted to have the ability to boost energy levels.[56]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

An animal study also showed the effects of icariin on fatigue. In the said study, icariin was administered to the subjects in different dosages. The trial ran for four weeks.[57]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

After four weeks, data from the study showed the effects of icariin on fatigue and exhaustion. The results were positive, therefore concluding that icariin may prolong and enhance endurance.[58]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html

In the long run, these factors may impose a positive impact on athletic performance and endurance.

Horny Goat Weed for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder accompanied by extreme fatigue that doesn’t go away with rest. It is a condition wherein the tiredness can’t be explained by any underlying health conditions.

Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome affects one to eight in every 1,000 Americans. This population consists of young adults aged 18 and above.[59]Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, October). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-a-to-z

Horny goat weed is a medicinal herb praised for its many health benefits. Its active content, icariin, affects several aspects of health in different ways.

Icariin may not be the direct cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but it can play a role in decreasing symptoms. This effect of the active compound on the condition may be due to its mechanisms that soothe fatigue and exhaustion.[60]Wen, C. C., Chen, H. M., & Yang, N. S. (2012, June 19). Developing Phytocompounds from Medicinal Plants as Immunomodulators. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394591-4.00004-0

Additionally, the herb may have positive impacts on boosting energy levels.[61]Wang, B., Yan, F., & Cai, L. (n.d.). Anti-fatigue properties of icariin from Epimedium brevicornum. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/antifatigue-properties-of-icariin-from-epimedium-brevicornum.html This factor may also contribute in reducing fatigue on patients who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Using Horny Goat Weed for Mental Clarity

Horny goat weed may also impose positive benefits for brain health. Its active content, icariin, exhibited anti-amyloid activities in a number of animal studies.

One of these studies pointed out that the active ingredient may have protective effects on learning and memory.[62]Nie, J., Luo, Y., Huang, X. N., Gong, Q. H., Wu, Q., & Shi, J.-S. (2010, January 25). Icariin inhibits beta-amyloid peptide segment 25-35 induced expression of beta-secretase in rat hippocampus. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19782061 Another study also demonstrated the protective effects of icariin against cognitive deficits.[63]Li, W. X., Deng, Y. Y., Li, F., Liu, B., Liu, H. Y., Shi, J. S., & Gong, Q.-H. (2015, September 11). Icariin, a major constituent of flavonoids from Epimedium brevicornum, protects against cognitive deficits induced by chronic brain hypoperfusion via its anti-amyloidogenic effect in rats. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2015.09.001

Another rodent study showed that icariin may have a mechanism to decrease toxicity occurring in the adrenal embryonic cells in rats which may inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease.[64]Zeng, K. W., Ko, H., Yang, H. O., & Wang, X. M. (2010, November). Icariin attenuates β-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity by inhibition of tau protein hyperphosphorylation in PC12 cells. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708632 This effect of icariin may be due to its ability to activate a pathway that plays a critical role in cell survival.[65]Zhang, Wang, Zhe, Sheng, Peng, Weijun, … Shuai. (2015, January 29). Icariin Prevents Amyloid Beta-Induced Apoptosis via the PI3K/Akt Pathway in PC-12 Cells. doi: 10.1155/2015/235265

Icariin may also impose positive effects in improving dementia. An animal study exists to prove this point.

In the said study, aluminum-intoxicated rats were subjected to icariin administration. By the end of the trial, it has been shown that oxidative damage is reduced in the hippocampus. This effect is due to icariin increasing the levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that combats oxidative stress and damage.[66]Luo, Y., Nie, J., Gong, Q. H., Lu, Y.-F., Wu, Q., & Shi, J. S. (2007, August). Protective effects of icariin against learning and memory deficits induced by aluminium in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1760055

Icariin may also promote mental clarity by suppressing neuroinflammation. This mechanism of the compound works by activating microglia, a type of cell in the nervous system that plays a vital role in neuroinflammatory responses.[67]Zeng, K. W., Fu, H., Liu, G. X., & Wang, X. M. (2010, June). Icariin attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced microglial activation and resultant death of neurons by inhibiting TAK1/IKK/NF-kappaB and JNK/p38 MAPK pathways. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2034705

Horny Goat Weed for Memory and Cognition

Horny goat weed may also impose positive effects when it comes to memory and cognition. As discussed above, icariin exhibits possible anti-amyloid activities that contribute to better brain function.[68]Li, W. X., Deng, Y. Y., Li, F., Liu, B., Liu, H. Y., Shi, J. S., & Gong, Q. H. (2015, November). Icariin, a major constituent of flavonoids from Epimedium brevicornum, protects against cognitive deficits induced by chronic brain hypoperfusion via its anti-amyloidogenic effect in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26364923

A rodent study examined the protective effects of icariin when it comes to memory and learning. In the said study, rats are exposed to aluminum which induced spatial learning and memory deficits.[69]Luo, Y., Nie, J., Gong, Q. H., Lu, Y.-F., Wu, Q., & Shi, J. S. (2007, August). Protective effects of icariin against learning and memory deficits induced by aluminium in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1760055

The study went on for three months wherein 60mg and 120mg of icariin were administered. By the end of the three-month period, the results noted an increase in antioxidant capacity in the rat hippocampus. The lipid peroxidation is also decreased. Combined, these mechanisms improved the spatial learning and memory of the subjects.[70]Luo, Y., Nie, J., Gong, Q. H., Lu, Y.-F., Wu, Q., & Shi, J. S. (2007, August). Protective effects of icariin against learning and memory deficits induced by aluminium in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1760055

Icariin also happens to possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. It also has an anti-amyloid mechanism. These mechanisms may all serve as therapeutic options in soothing cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.[71]Cui, Z., Sheng, Z., Yan, X., Cao, Z., & Tang, K. (2016, January 15). In Silico Insight into Potential Anti-Alzheimer’s Disease Mechanisms of Icariin. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(1), 113. doi: 10.3390/ijms17010113

Another study aimed to examine the effects of icariin on improving cognitive deficits. An oral administration of icariin twice a day for a period of 23 days aimed to test its effects on cognitive deficits and neuronal damage.[72]Li, W. X., Deng, Y. Y., Li, F., Liu, B., Liu, H. Y., Shi, J. S., & Gong, Q. H. (2015, November). Icariin, a major constituent of flavonoids from Epimedium brevicornum, protects against cognitive deficits induced by chronic brain hypoperfusion via its anti-amyloidogenic effect in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26364923

By the end of the trial, the results noted that icariin may impose neuroprotective properties by decreasing the levels of fragments that negatively affect the hippocampus.[73]Li, W. X., Deng, Y. Y., Li, F., Liu, B., Liu, H. Y., Shi, J. S., & Gong, Q. H. (2015, November). Icariin, a major constituent of flavonoids from Epimedium brevicornum, protects against cognitive deficits induced by chronic brain hypoperfusion via its anti-amyloidogenic effect in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26364923

Horny Goat Weed and Acne

Acne is a skin condition caused by clogged hair follicles. Once the hair follicles become clogged, it may develop the appearance of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Acne is a common skin condition that is treatable but can be a major cause of embarrassment.

Horny goat weed is a natural herb that may help soothe skin conditions like acne. The bioactive component of the herb, icariin, may have a mechanism to ease the symptoms of acne.

One research studied the possible role of icariin in treating acne. The said research pointed out that the condition is due to a gram-positive bacterium that encourages the development of acne vulgaris. This bacterium allows the biofilm formation and decreases any antimicrobial susceptibility.[74]Coenye, T., Brackman, G., Rigole, P., De Witte, E., Honraet, K., Rossel, B., & Nelis, H. J. (2012, March 15). Eradication of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms by plant extracts and putative identification of icariin, resveratrol and salidroside as active compounds. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22305279

Out of over 119 plant extracts tested, icariin had the most potent antibiofilm activity against propionibacterium acnes. Propionibacterium acnes is a type of bacterium that causes acne.[75]Coenye, T., Brackman, G., Rigole, P., De Witte, E., Honraet, K., Rossel, B., & Nelis, H. J. (2012, March 15). Eradication of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms by plant extracts and putative identification of icariin, resveratrol and salidroside as active compounds. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22305279

Horny Goat Weed for Sexual Health

Horny goat weed is an herb that goes way, way back as an aphrodisiac. Many believed that the herb possesses mechanisms that benefit health, especially in terms of sexuality.
horny goat weed for libido
In fact, the term “horny goat weed” was coined after farmers noticed that their goats and other animals started getting frisky after consuming epimedium.

The positive effects of horny goat weed on sexual health are all due to its icariin content. As mentioned, icariin is the bioactive compound present in the herb. This compound has several mechanisms that impose positive benefits on several aspects of health.

Horny Goat Weed and Sexual Virility

Among the most popular benefits of supplementing with horny goat weed is sexual health enhancement. A number of men believe that the herb adds up positive effects on their virility and sexuality. It may also have the mechanisms to boost libido and improve sexual performance.

From a scientific point of view, these benefits are all due to the mechanisms of icariin. Icariin has the ability to inhibit phosphodiesterase type 5 or PDE5. PDE5 is an enzyme that has the ability to breakdown cyclic guanosine monophosphate of cGMP.[76]Xin, Z. C., Kim, E. K., Lin, C. S., Liu, W. J., Tian, L., Yuan, Y. M., & Fu, J. (2003, March). Effects of icariin on cGMP-specific PDE5 and cAMP-specific PDE4 activities. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12646997

In a simpler context, potent doses of icariin may inhibit mechanisms that contribute to the development of sexual dysfunctions. Icariin supplementation may serve as an effective oral agent for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.[77]Xin, Z. C., Kim, E. K., Lin, C. S., Liu, W. J., Tian, L., Yuan, Y. M., & Fu, J. (2003, March). Effects of icariin on cGMP-specific PDE5 and cAMP-specific PDE4 activities. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12646997

An animal study examined the effects of icariin on improving reproductive function. The study has found that the inhibition of PDE5 may result in the stimulation of the cGMP pathway which may benefit the reproductive function.

This mechanism is due to the increase of cGMP and nitric oxide levels. This increase, especially on nitric oxide, may lead to muscle relaxation and the widening of blood vessels. Combined, these all contribute to better blood flow to the penis, making it possible for an effective erection.[78]Shindel, A. W., Xin, Z.-C., Lin, G., Fandel, T. M., Huang, Y.-C., Banie, L., … Lue, T. F. (2010, April). Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141584

Icariin also showed to increase pelvic nerve length in a significant manner.[79]Liu, T., Xin, H., Li, W. R., Zhou, F., Li, G. Y., Gong, Y. Q., … Xin, Z. C. (2011, October). Effects of icariin on improving erectile function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21967314 This mechanism of icariin may enhance the flow of penile rehabilitation.

Research shows that a significant level of testosterone relates to an increase in sex drive and sexual desire. This is especially applicable in aging men and women.

Icariin itself may have the ability to boost testosterone levels. In a rodent study, the active component exhibited its ability to increase the free testosterone levels of the subjects.[80]Chen, M., Hao, J., Yang, Q., & Li, G. (2014, July 3). Effects of icariin on reproductive functions in male rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995929

Icariin also improved erectile function in the animals subjected in a study. The active component was administered to aged rats.[81]Makarova, M. N., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Tesakova, S. V., Makarov, V. G., & Tikhonov, V. P. (2007, December 3). Effect of lipid-based suspension of Epimedium koreanum Nakai extract on sexual behavior in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890032

By the end of the trial, it concluded that icariin administration increased ejaculation and decreased the latent period of ejaculation. In simpler terms, these mechanisms contributed to an overall improved erectile function.[82]Makarova, M. N., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Tesakova, S. V., Makarov, V. G., & Tikhonov, V. P. (2007, December 3). Effect of lipid-based suspension of Epimedium koreanum Nakai extract on sexual behavior in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890032

Another animal study also showed the correlation between penile blood flow and icariin. The animal study pointed out that icariin intromission may promote better blood flow throughout the body.[83]Liu, T., Xin, H., Li, W. R., Zhou, F., Li, G. Y., Gong, Y. Q., … Xin, Z. C. (2011, October). Effects of icariin on improving erectile function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21967314

Horny Goat Weed and Libido

As discussed, horny goat weed is a natural herb that may bring wonders to sexual health. Another benefit associated with the herb involves libido and sex drive.

Many believe that horny goat weed may serve as a natural aphrodisiac. Although most of the mechanisms of this herb remain unknown, a couple of studies exist to explain the relation of the herb in terms of sexual function.

Horny goat weed may help increase libido. In a study among 22 chronic kidney disease patients, the herb showed positive benefits.[84]Liao, H. J., Chen, X. M., & Li, W. G. (1995, April). Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7647539

In detail, the herb imposed sexual potentiation effects. These effects encouraged an overall better libido. It also imposed therapeutic effects that may help treat sexual disorders.[85]Liao, H. J., Chen, X. M., & Li, W. G. (1995, April). Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7647539

Horny goat weed may boost libido in an indirect manner due to its positive effects on testosterone levels. As mentioned, low testosterone levels are often associated with a decreased sex drive.[86]Davis, S. R., & Tran, J. (2001). Testosterone influences libido and well being in women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11137039

The herb may help boost testosterone levels as examined in a rodent study. The active content of horny goat weed, icariin, stimulated the condition of reproductive organs, resulting in an increase of testosterone and other serum levels that contribute to sexuality.[87]Zhang, Z. B., & Yang, Q. T. (2006, September). The testosterone mimetic properties of icariin. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16751992

Benefits of Horny Goat Weed For Men

Among the most popular uses of horny goat weed is to aid men’s health. The herb generally helps in terms of sexuality, fertility, and even immunity.

For men, horny goat weed may aid in improving sexual performance. It is an herb touted to be effective in treating male sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction.

Many believe that horny goat weed intake helps in increasing overall blood flow which may benefit erections and sexual virility

These mechanisms are all due to the active component found in the herb called icariin. Icariin is a subject of several animal and human studies that aim to examine and pinpoint the exact health benefits of horny goat weed.

Although at this point, there are no published long-term studies on human that demonstrate the exact mechanism of the herb on human sexual health and erectile dysfunction. However, animal studies conducted note that the herb may have a big potential in improving sexual health, among others.

Horny Goat Weed for Sperm Count and Fertility

Infertility is a common problem among couples. At least one in every six couples seek professional and medical advice when it comes to conception.[88]Irvine, D. S. (1998, April). Epidemiology and aetiology of male infertility. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9663768/

Horny goat weed is an herb linked to improving sexual health, especially in men. And when it comes to sperm count and fertility, the herb may bring favorable results.

Low testosterone levels are often associated with low sperm count. In fact, having unstable or low test serum levels may drastically affect fertility.[89]Lenau, H., Gorewoda, I., & Niermann, H. (1980). Relationship between sperm count, serum gonadotropins and testosterone levels in normo-, oligo- and azoospermia. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6772497

On top of those benefits, horny goat weed may also stimulate the nitrergic nerves which allows for increased blood flow. Additionally, the icariin content of the herb has the ability to enhance smooth muscle proliferation and increase nitric oxide synthesis in the penile area.[90]Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Chillemi, E., Di Giannantonio, M., Schifano, F., & Cellek, S. (2014). Sexual enhancement products for sale online: raising awareness of the psychoactive effects of yohimbine, maca, horny goat weed, and Ginkgo biloba. doi: 10.1155/2014/841798

During traditional times, this herb was among the most-used remedy for impotence and low fertility.

The protective effects of the herb on the reproductive system were examined in an animal study. The study made use of the total flavonoids of epimedium during the trial.

By the end of the study, the results demonstrated that the flavonoids found in horny goat weed imposed protective effects in the structural and functional in the male mouse reproductive system. The components also reduced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells by combating oxidative stress.[91]Yuan, D., Wang, H., He, H., Jia, L., He, Y., Wang, T., … Zhang, C. (2014, January). Protective effects of total flavonoids from Epimedium on the male mouse reproductive system against cyclophosphamide-induced oxidative injury by up-regulating the expressions of SOD3 and GPX1. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23494828

A rodent study back in 2010 also examined the possible effects of icariin on spermatogenesis. In the said study, several doses of icariin were administered for 35 days.

There were varying results by the end of the 35-day trial. One was that the lower doses of icariin had no virtual effect on the body weight or organ coefficients of the reproductive system on the mice. On the other hand, the study noted that the higher doses contributed to increased testosterone levels.[92]Chen, M., Hao, J., Yang, Q., & Li, G. (2014, July 3). Effects of icariin on reproductive functions in male rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995929

The same study also concluded that icariin itself regulated genes that are beneficial in boosting testosterone levels. It may also have a mechanism to positively affect spermatogenesis by regulating the expression of FSHR and claudin-11 mRNA. These two are protein components that are essential for the maintenance of blood-test barriers.[93]Chen, M., Hao, J., Yang, Q., & Li, G. (2014, July 3). Effects of icariin on reproductive functions in male rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995929

In general, icariin may impose benefits on male fertility although excessive doses may damage the reproductive functions of the body.[94]Chen, M., Hao, J., Yang, Q., & Li, G. (2014, July 3). Effects of icariin on reproductive functions in male rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995929

Horny Goat Weed and Prostate

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer acquired by men. In the United States alone, approximately 175,000 men are diagnosed with the illness every year.[95]Prostate Cancer: Statistics. (n. d.). Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics

The disease also happens to be the second leading cause of death [in men] in the country. And while prostate cancer is a deadly illness, it can be prevented.

Horny goat weed is an herb mostly popular for its sexual health benefits. But what the majority of the population doesn’t know is that the herb may have potential in combating cancer.

Cell-based studies are conducted to examine the effects of icariin and its potential to beat cancer.

One extensive study looked at the mechanisms of horny goat weed against cancer cells. The said study noted that the icariin content of the herb blocked the growth of cancer cells in areas like the bones, lungs, and kidneys.[96]Tan, H. L., Chan, K. G., Pusparajah, P., Saokaew, S., Duangjai, A., Lee, L. H., & Goh, B. H. (2016, June 29). Anti-Camcer Properties of Naturally Occurring Aphrodisiacs: Icariin and Its Derivatives. Frontiers in Pharmacology. doi: 0.3389/fphar.2016.00191

The icariin derivatives of the herb also inhibited the development of cancer cells in the prostate. The study noted that the active compound worked against cancer in different ways.

Among these ways are the following:

  • For one, icariin may encourage cancer cells to execute themselves through a process called apoptosis.
  • Icariin may also deter angiogenesis. It may prevent the development of blood vessels that may support the growth of cancer cells.
  • Lastly, the mechanisms of icariin may have the ability to block the spread and further development of cancer cells. This process is called metastasis.

Horny Goat Weed and Testosterone

One out of four men aged 30 is diagnosed to have low testosterone levels. This condition is among the many drastic changes that come with aging.[97]Vann, M. (2008, March24). 1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4508669&page=1

Having low testosterone levels also relate to the following issues[98]Vann, M. (2008, March24). 1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4508669&page=1:

  • Difficulty in maintaining or putting on muscle mass
  • A significant decrease in energy
  • Low sperm quality and motility
  • Poor sexual performance and lack of sex drive

Horny goat weed is a natural medicinal herb that comes with a wide array of health benefits. These benefits include positive impacts on men’s virility and sexual health.

Among the most common research conducted on horny goat with link to its mechanisms on treating erectile dysfunction, improving spermatogenesis, and boosting testosterone levels. All of these aspects that need assistance gain benefit from the bioactive compound in horny goat weed called icariin.

Administration of oral icariin was the subject of one particular rodent study. This 2005 study found that a dosage of 1mg/kg of body weight for four weeks had the ability to benefit erectile function and increase testosterone levels.[99]Liu, W. J., Xin, Z. C.,  Xin, H, Yuan, Y. M., Tian, L., & Guo, Y. L. (2005, December). Effects of icariin on erectile function and expression of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in castrated rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16281085

Icariin may also have testosterone mimetic properties. This mechanism of the bioactive ingredient was examined in a rodent study.

48 male rats were the subject of the study, all of which were divided into four groups. Each group received icariin treatment over the course of seven days. By the end of the trial, it concluded that icariin imposed positive impacts on the health of the subjects.

Sexual health-wise, icariin suppressed the apoptosis of penile cavernosal smooth muscle cells. This allowed for the compound to impose testosterone mimetic properties. In the long run, icariin may impose therapeutic potential in treating and managing hypoandrogenism.[100]Zhang, Z. B., & Yang, Q. T. (2006). The testosterone mimetic properties of icariin [PDF file]. Retrieved from http://www.asiaandro.com/news/upload/20130912-aja2006100a.pdf

Hypoandrogenism is a medical condition wherein males lack sufficient amounts of androgen in their bodies. This may result in poor athletic and sexual performance, difficulty in maintaining muscle mass, and even low spermatogenesis and testosterone levels.

Horny Goat Weed and Erectile Dysfunction

horny goat weed for ed

About five percent of men aged 40 experience erectile dysfunction. And this number continues to grow as men age.[101]Erectile Dysfunction (ED). (n. d.). Retrieved from https://www.uwhealth.org/urology/erectile-dysfunction-ed/20537

Mild to moderate ED affects about 10 percent of the male population per decade of their lives. This sexual health condition may affect any man of any age, but it is more common among the older population.[102]Erectile Dysfunction (ED). (n. d.). Retrieved from https://www.uwhealth.org/urology/erectile-dysfunction-ed/20537

Erectile dysfunction is a condition wherein a man is unable to get and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. This condition also goes by the term impotence.[103]Erectile Dysfunction (ED). (n. d.). Retrieved from https://www.uwhealth.org/urology/erectile-dysfunction-ed/20537

Erectile dysfunction, or ED for short, can happen in occasional or frequent manners. This condition is generally caused by various factors, both involving physical and psychological aspects.[104]Yafi, F. A., Jenkins, L., Albersen, M., Corona, G., Isidori, A. M., Goldfarb, S., … Hellstrom, W. J. G. (2016, February 4). Erectile dysfunction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/

Lasting erections depend on healthy blood circulation. Factors that may cause problems to circulation may affect erectile function in drastic ways. These factors may trigger the development of erectile dysfunction.[105]Pastuszak, A. W. (2014, September). Current Diagnosis and Management of Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394737

Among many natural herbs marketed towards male virility comes horny goat weed. This herb native to the soils of Southeast Asia may help patients who suffer from ED.

Icariin is the active component found in horny goat weed. This bioactive compound may have the ability to improve erectile function.

This mechanism of the herb was examined in a rodent study. In the said study, old, diabetic, and castrated rats were treated with icariin for ten days. By the end of the ten-day period, the subjects showed an improvement in terms of ejaculation and erectile function.[106]Makarova, M. N., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Tesakova, S. V., Makarov, V. G., & Tikhonov, V. P. (2007, December 3). Effect of lipid-based suspension of Epimedium koreanum Nakai extract on sexual behavior in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890032

The same study concluded that icariin may have a mechanism to promote and improve blood flow throughout the body. This may also benefit the blood circulation in the penile area, allowing for better and longer-lasting erections.[107]Makarova, M. N., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Tesakova, S. V., Makarov, V. G., & Tikhonov, V. P. (2007, December 3). Effect of lipid-based suspension of Epimedium koreanum Nakai extract on sexual behavior in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890032

Benefits of Horny Goat Weed for Women

horny goat weed for womenHorny goat weed, without a doubt, is an herbal supplement that mostly marketed for me, and there’s a big reason behind this. The herb is generally popular for its ability to aid men in terms of sexual health, boosting testosterone levels and spermatogenesis, and even helping in muscle gain and maintenance.

However, the benefits of horny goat weed don’t just end there. These health benefits also extend to the female population.

Women may also get positive effects from taking the herb. Horny goat weed and its active component icariin may impose certain mechanisms that help in several aspects of women’s health.

The herb itself may help menopausal women. Its health benefits may also extend to regulating one’s menstrual cycle and promoting better hair growth and health. Horny goat weed may also have the mechanisms to positively impose benefits on hormonal balance, among others.

Horny Goat Weed and Menopause

Menopause is a condition that all women experience when they reach their 50’s. Although it may occur earlier or later, the symptoms of menopause can cause adverse psychological and physical effects on the quality of life.[108]Peacock, K., & Ketvertis, K. M. (2019, June 4). Menopause. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507826/

Hot flashes and night sweats are among the most common symptoms of menopause. These happen due to the lack of estrogen in the body, along with estradiol and inhibin.

While oral estrogens and other hormonal medications are available to soothe the symptoms, horny goat weed may be the more natural alternative.

Icariin is a flavonoid found in horny goat weed. It also happens to be the main bioactive compound of the herb.

Icariin may have the ability to mimic the activities of certain hormones. One angle that is being looked at is its ability to act as phytoestrogens.[109]Wong, S. P., Shen, P., Lee, L., Li, J., & Yong, E. L. (2009, September 8). Pharmacokinetics of prenylflavonoids and correlations with the dynamics of estrogen action in sera following ingestion of a standardized Epimedium extract. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19464838

In one trial, 90 postmenopausal women were divided into two groups. One group received icariin treatment, while the other received placebo. The trial went on for six months.

After the six-month period, the results noted that the icariin group had an increase in the serum levels of estrogen. The trial also noted significant effects of the herb on lipid profile and cholesterol levels.[110]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

Aside from its beneficial effects on hormone levels, horny goat weed didn’t cause any significant side effects. This herb may be researched further as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy in women after menopause.[111]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

Horny Goat Weed and Menstrual Cycle

Horny goat weed may have the mechanism to balance out hormones. This may be beneficial for women and their menstrual cycles.

The herb still requires extensive research when it comes to its exact mechanisms. However, recent trials showed that the bioactive compound of the herb, icariin, may have the ability to mimic the activities of certain hormones. Among these hormones is estrogen.

The icariin content of horny goat weed may improve the serum levels of estrogen found in the body. This mechanism of the compound was noted in a trial conducted on mice.[112]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

Indirectly, the positive impacts of horny goat weed on hormones, especially estrogen, may benefit menstruation. This mechanism of the herb may help soothe premenstrual symptoms.

Horny Goat Weed and Estrogen

Estrogen is a hormone that plays a key role in the lives of women. The hormone also happens to be present in the male body, but in significantly lower amounts, making it primarily a female hormone.

Estrogen may decrease as women age. This starts to happen once a woman enters the menopausal stage.

Horny goat weed contains icariin. Icariin happens to be a flavonoid and a bioactive component that contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are compounds that may have the same mechanisms as the hormone estrogen.[113]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

For this reason, phytoestrogens may mimic the mechanisms of estrogen in the body. This is especially helpful for people who suffer from hormonal imbalances.

Horny goat weed may also increase the serum levels of estrogen. This mechanism of the herb was examined in a 2008 trial.

In the said trial, 90 postmenopausal participants are divided into groups. One group received placebo treatment, while the other received icariin in a span of six months.[114]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

By the end of the trial, the placebo group noted no changes on their hormonal serum levels while there has been an increase in the icariin group. The icariin group also reported having lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The same group also had higher estrogen levels overall.[115]Yan, F. F., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. F., & Zhao, Y. X. (2008, September). Herba Epimedii water extract elevates estrogen level and improves lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1869718

Horny Goat Weed Side Effects

Horny goat weed is a natural-growing herb that comes with a wide array of benefits. It is generally safe for consumption in otherwise healthy individuals. And while the herb itself is natural and not synthesized, it may still come with some side effects.

These possible side effects are often dependent on the quality of the supplement, the dosing, cycle intake, and individual sensitivity. Among the most commonly reported [mild] side effects are the following:

  • An increase in heart rate
  • Unexplained irritability and aggressiveness
  • Upset stomach
  • Fluctuating body temperature which often results in fever

However, not all users may experience these side effects.

Horny goat weed may also cause adverse and more serious side effects, especially if not taken properly. The herb itself may also interact with certain drugs and medications, so precaution is always advised.

Horny Goat Weed Precautions

As mentioned, even though horny goat weed is all-natural, it may still cause adverse reactions when combined with certain drugs or medications. This is one of the many reasons why it’s safer to consult with a physician first before taking any supplements.

One of the most serious side effects reported was that of a 77-year old man. He reported having experienced a case of vasculitic rashes along with severe pain and burning sensations.

This case might be due to the interaction of horny goat weed with ginkgo biloba and his lisinopril prescription.[116]Metz, D., Weston, P., & Barker, D. (2009, March 17). Case report of vasculitic rash induced by Ginkgo biloba and/or Horny Goat Weed. doi: 10.1136/bcr.07.2008.0399 Lisinopril is a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular illnesses.

Another case reported a serious side effect from taking horny goat weed. A 66 year-old man with heart condition reported experiencing tachyarrhythmia. Tachyarrhythmia is a condition wherein the heart rate goes up in abnormal speed.

The case was also reported to involve chest pain and mild manic symptoms. All these side effects started to occur two weeks into taking horny goat weed.[117]Partin, J. F. & Pushkin, Y. R. (2004, November). Tachyarrhythmia and Hypomania With Horny Goat Weed. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.45.6.536

Who Should Not Be Taking Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed is generally safe for intake in otherwise healthy individuals. It is safe to take for people who have no history of any health condition.

And while horny goat weed is an all-natural herb that is free from synthesized components, precautions should still be executed when taking the herb. To be safe, it is still best to consult a physician first before starting a cycle with horny goat weed.

The herb is generally not recommended to be taken by the following individuals

  • Pregnant women

Pregnant women are not advised to take horny goat weed during their gestation as it is unknown whether or not the supplement can impose adverse side effects to the pregnancy. It may also have effects on a developing fetus.

  • Nursing/breastfeeding women

Nursing or breastfeeding women may also not find it of best interest to take horny weed. It is unsure whether or not the supplement may impose side effects during lactation, especially on milk quality and production.

  • Patients diagnosed with estrogen-dependent cancer

While icariin, the bioactive component of horny goat weed may have apoptotic effects, it might not work against estrogen-dependent cancers. Horny goat weed may have the ability to boost serum estrogen levels which is not exactly favorable for people diagnosed with breast cancer, for example. Supplementing with the herb may even worsen the condition.

  • Patients diagnosed with hypotension or low blood pressure
    • Icariin is an active compound that may alleviate high blood pressure. People who suffer from the latter may find benefits from the herb, but the opposite may happen to people diagnosed with low blood pressure. Supplementing on horny goat weed may worsen the case of hypotension as it may impose mechanisms that may drop the blood pressure to even lower levels.

How To Take Horny Goat Weed

There are different ways to take horny goat weed. It generally depends on the form of the herb, but the most common way is through supplementation.

Among the traditional ways of taking the herb is through drinking it. Back in the day, people harvested the weed and boiled them which they later on drank as tea.

Fast forward to today horny goat weed is harvested and turned into supplements. Manufacturers take the herb and extract them into pill or capsule forms. These forms of the herb usually allow for easier intake and absorption.
Horny goat weed supplement
Below is a list of different forms of the herb:

  • Horny goat weed extract
  • Horny goat weed supplement
  • Horny goat weed powder
  • Horny goat weed tea
  • Horny goat weed vitamins
  • Horny goat weed drink
  • Horny goat weed tincture
  • Horny goat weed oil
  • Horny goat weed coffee
  • Horny goat weed pills
  • Horny goat weed capsule

Horny Goat Weed Supplements

Horny goat weed is now a rising product currently marketed in the supplement industry. It is gaining popularity especially in men, whereas the herb is touted to impose a number of health benefits that improve virility and vitality.

Compared as to how the herb was taken back in the early days, horny goat weed is now extracted and turned into different types of supplements.

Horny goat weed supplements come in different forms. It may be sold in capsule, pill, powder or drink form. There are also tea, vitamins, and coffee form of the herb that are made available in the market.

Horny Goat Weed Powder

Horny goat weed also comes in powder form. In fact, this is among the most convenient ways of taking the herb as a supplement.

Horny goat leaves are taken and dried down, and then later on ground into a fine powder form. Horny goat weed powder is often flavorless and can be mixed into drinks. Avid gym goers usually take this form of the herb along with their protein shakes wherein the powder is easily mixed into their powdered whey.

Horny goat weed powder may also be used in cooking and baking. Due to its fine form, it is easy to incorporate into dishes and even baked goods.

Horny Goat Weed Tea

Another common form of supplementing horny goat weed is through its tea form. This is among the easiest and most therapeutic ways of taking the herb.

Horny goat weed tea is made from the leaves of the herb which are dried and crushed. After the drying and crushing process, the leaves are then transferred into tea bags.

Horny goat weed tea is consumed as how any other teas are consumed. It is steeped in hot water for a couple of minutes and then consumed. Many people prefer to drink this before bedtime due to its calming and therapeutic effects.

Horny goat weed tea has a very light flavor, although if left steeped for longer periods, a slightly pungent, stronger taste might develop.

Horny Goat Weed Vitamins

Horny goat weed also comes in vitamin forms. The extract of the herb is often mixed into other multivitamins or supplements and then turned into capsules.

Horny goat weed vitamins are yet another convenient way of taking the herb. It is consumed as how any other multivitamins are consumed: drinking them along with a glass of water.

Horny Goat Weed Drink

In today’s continuously developing supplement market, drinks are among the fastest-growing products. For this reason, horny goat weed may also be found in drink forms nowadays.

Horny goat weed drink is often sold in bottles or cans. They may be sold as bottled or canned ready-to-drink tea or mixed with other energy drinks.

Horny Goat Weed Tincture

Horny goat weed is tinctured to create a concentrated liquid extract of the herb. Manufacturers of this form of the herb often use an alcohol extraction method which ensures the maximum concentration of the product. This way of extraction also keeps the active components of the herb intact.

Horny goat weed tincture is ideal for those who don’t like to take pills or drink tea. This form of taking the herb may be done by adding a couple of drops of the tincture to drinks, smoothies, soup, and water.

Horny Goat Weed Oil

Horny goat weed also comes in oil form, although it is often mixed with other essential oils.

Horny goat weed oil is generally marketed as an aphrodisiac oil, along with other soothing extracts that can be used in therapeutic massages. This oil is also made to be applied topically and shouldn’t be ingested or in any way consumed orally.

Horny Goat Weed Coffee

For those who aren’t exactly into tea, a tea alternative of the herb exists in the form of coffee. This is especially favorable for those who love coffee.

Coffee beans are usually incorporated with horny goat weed extract or powder to make its coffee form. Horny goat weed coffee is consumed the way the usual coffee is taken.

Horny Goat Weed Pill

Among the most common forms of horny goat weed supplements is the pill form. This also happens to be the most favored form of many.

How it’s made: the bioactive component of the herb, called icariin, is extracted and then manufactured into pill forms. These pills may come in different sizes and dosages.

Horny goat weed pills are generally easy to consume, making it very convenient. They are also often flavorless and odorless, so people with sensitive palettes may find this form of the herb as the right fit.

Horny Goat Weed Capsules

Horny goat weed can also be found in capsule forms. In fact, horny goat weed capsules may be the better counterpart of the pill and powder forms.

Horny goat weed capsules are also generally more concentrated compared to their pill counterparts. They are also easier to swallow as they are somewhat softer in texture. The bioavailability of this form of the herb is also higher, as capsules usually contain more concentrated extracts than the pill forms.

Moreover, horny goat weed are favored by many due to its flavorless profile. Unlike horny goat weed powders and pills, horny goat weed capsules has very little-to-no-taste.

Horny Goat Weed Dosage

Horny goat weed is an all-natural supplement that is generally safe to consume for the healthy population. However, precautions are still necessary especially when it comes to the amount of the intake.

Horny goat weed is taken in supplement form as it cannot be found in food. The exact effective dosage for horny goat weed remains unknown and may require more extensive human research.

However, according to examine.com, a bodyweight-dependent dosage between 900mg to 1,500mg appears to be the most potent.

Why You Should Insist On Horny Goat Weed Standardized to 10% Icariin Extract

Horny goat weed is a natural-growing herb that comes with a number of health benefits. Native to the soils of Southeast Asia, this herb favors several aspects of health, especially in men.

The effects of horny goat weed on sexual health are just commendable. The herb showcased the mechanisms to help improve sexual virility and vitality and several studies.

Touted to be an all-natural aphrodisiac, among the sexual health benefits that come from the herb are the following:

  • Increased serum testosterone levels
  • Increased libido or sex drive
  • Improved blood circulation and erection
  • Improved serum estrogen levels

But did you know that you should be wary of the quality of the horny goat weed supplement that you’re taking? Consumers should be well aware that not all horny goat weed supplements are created the same.

As a rule of thumb, a quality and effective horny goat weed extract are formulated with 10%-60% of standardized icariin. Some horny goat weed supplements offer up to a whopping 98% of standardized icariin, but that doesn’t make them more superior.

As a matter of fact, horny goat weed supplements that contain higher standardized icariin extract may not be as effective as the ones within the 60% range. The reason behind this is that having higher icariin concentration may compromise the stability of the formula. This may not be beneficial and may even lose its efficacy.

Where to Buy Horny Goat Weed Extract?

With the growing hype on horny goat weed, these supplements can be easily bought everywhere. However, consumers should be extra aware and cautious of fakes and counterfeits. To be safe, make sure to buy only from reputable stores.

Several supplement stores sell horny goat weed extracts. They sell the extract in different forms wherein they can be bought in their powder, capsule, pill form, and others. You may also find horny goat weed supplements at local grocery stores in their supplement and vitamin sections.

Some drug stores also sell the supplement. Horny goat weed capsules and pills are more commonly found in these stores as they are sold over-the-counter and don’t require a prescription.

You can also buy horny goat weed supplements online via reputable websites and manufacturers. This is another very convenient way of purchasing the supplement.

Additionally, purchasing online means that you may have the option to buy directly from the manufacturers. This way, you don’t only save themselves a couple of bucks, you are also sure that the product that you are buying is genuine. And the best part? These supplements will be delivered to your doorsteps simply through a click of a button.

Best Horny Goat Weed is Horny Goat Weed Standardized to 10% Icariin Extract

A variety of horny goat weed supplements are sold in the market. Some companies produce extracts that are standardized up to 98% of icariin extract. While this seems interesting, don’t be fooled by bigger numbers. They don’t mean that the quality of the product is better.

Remember that the best horny goat weed supplement is standardized to 10% icariin extract. This percentage ensures the quality and efficacy of the product.

Herbolab’s horny goat weed is standardized to 10% icariin extract, making sure that your body gets all the health benefits it needs from the herb. Remember, anything more than that will most likely compromise the efficacy and benefits of horny goat weed.

No exaggerated numbers, no marketing hype, no proprietary blends – Herbolab fully discloses everything on the label, so you know what goes into your body. On top of that, Herbolab is committed to giving you only quality and effective supplements because you deserve to achieve the best version of you yet.

References   [ + ]

Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, the founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually, he could fulfill his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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