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Horny goat weed may have health benefits for people with erectile dysfunction. It may work similarly to some prescription medications.

Image of dried barrenwort leaves also known as horny goat weed.Share on Pinterest
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When it comes to treating illness or physical health conditions, you may be curious about exploring the benefits of natural herbs and supplements. While certain medications or lifestyle changes can certainly help alleviate symptoms, you may have also heard people say that they saw similar improvements using herbs like horny goat weed.

But what conditions does horny goat weed aim to treat and is it even effective as an herbal supplement? In this article, we’ll explain how horny goat weed is thought to help people experiencing ED, as well as how it’s used, where it’s found, and more.

Horny goat weed is an over-the-counter herbal supplement that’s sold at most pharmacies and large retailers. The active ingredient is icariin, an extract of the Epimedium plant that’s reported to benefit people with erectile dysfunction (ED).

It’s sold in many different forms, including:

  • tablets
  • capsules
  • powders
  • teas

It’s also known as:

  • yin yang huo
  • barrenwort
  • rowdy lamb herb
  • randy beef grass

While research is limited, horny goat weed is believed to be a possible therapeutic for congestive heart failure and osteoporosis, according to 2010 animal study in rats. However, it’s probably most well known as a remedy for ED.

There’s no set dosage for horny goat weed other than the recommended serving size as set by the manufacturer. As a result, the amount of horny goat weed or horny goat weed extract varies – generally 500 to 1,000 milligrams (mg) per serving – depending on the brand.

If you’re unsure about what dosage is right for you, consider talking with your doctor to get their recommendations on dosage and to learn how horny goat weed might affect you.

Keep in mind, it may take time for the supplement’s benefits to be noticed, so it’s suggested that you take the supplement for around a month to start seeing results. However, results will vary from person to person, so it’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any side effect after use.

When you’re sexually stimulated, nitric oxide signals a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) that causes the smooth muscle to relax, resulting in an inflow of blood into three tube-like cylinders in the penis which then leads to an erection.

With ED, an enzyme named protein phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) interferes with the nitric oxide and cGMP that relaxes the smooth muscle in the arteries. As a result, the blood can’t move through the arteries and create an erection.

ED is defined as the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Most people who have a penis have experienced times when they were unable to sustain an erection, but that doesn’t mean they have ED. But if it happens regularly, you may have ED.

Icariin inhibits the activity of the PDE5 that’s blocking dilation of the arteries in the penis. This allows blood to fill the arteries and the three cylinders in the penis and create an erection. The prescription medication sildenafil (Viagra) works in much the same way.

As with many supplements, the claims about the effectiveness of horny goat weed are expansive. As is also true with many supplements, research on the effects of horny goat weed on humans is limited.

An animal study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine involved investigating its effects on rats. Researchers found that rats treated with purified extract of horny goat weed showed improved erectile function.

In another study from 2008, researchers found that icariin is effective in inhibiting human PDE5, the substance that blocks erections, in test tubes. It also determined that sildenafil is 80 times more potent than icariin.

Horny goat weed has a long history of use in traditional Eastern medicine. According to legend, its name came about because a goat herder noticed his flock became sexually stimulated after eating the plant.

The plant is native to parts of China, Japan, and Korea. Today, it’s widely grown as an ornamental plant in many areas of the world, including the United States.

Pros

  1. It is easily accessible in multiple forms and sold over the counter.
  2. It’s also been found to reduce the effects of fatigue and joint pain.

Cons

  1. Large amounts taken at once can result in spasms and breathing problems.
  2. It may interact negatively with certain medications.

The side effects of horny goat weed are minor when it’s taken over a few months’ time. But horny goat weed can cause:

Large amounts taken at once can result in spasms and breathing problems.

According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, horny goat weed does come with some risks.

The organization says that people with heart disease or hormone-sensitive cancer should talk with their doctor before taking the herb. The herb can lead to sweating or feeling hot, but more research needs to be done on the effects.

Some medications and medical conditions may place you at greater risk if you take horny goat weed. These include:

If you take any of these medications or have any of the conditions listed above, you should speak with your doctor before taking horny goat weed.

You should also avoid ibuprofen and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers while taking the supplement.

Horny goat weed may cause an allergic reaction in some people if they have allergies to plants in the Berberidaceae family. Some symptoms of a reaction include:

  • rash
  • sweating
  • feeling hot

Horny goat weed can be dangerous when too much is consumed. There’s no set prescription dosage because it’s an OTC herb. There’s also not much scientific data to back it up as a medically sound supplement.

Horny goat weed has other medical properties and is sometimes used to improve bone density. It may also help treat heart disease, bronchitis, and even polio.

It works by smoothing muscle tissue. Any strained tissue will get a bit of relief. This can help with joint pain and numbness.

Horny goat weed is also used to treat:

There are other options for treating ED if horny goat weed isn’t for you. Standard treatments include medications, vacuum pumps, and surgery in some cases. If you’re looking for natural alternatives for treating ED, some to consider include:

  • red ginseng
  • DHEA
  • L-arginine
  • acupuncture
  • lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking if you smoke or increasing physical activity such as exercising

Before trying any of these treatments, talk with your doctor to see what will be best for you and to rule out any illnesses that might be causing your ED.

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of ED, it may be best to reach out to your doctor if you have had trouble achieving or maintaining an erection several times over the course of a few weeks. ED is a common heath issue, especially as you age, and your doctor will be familiar with many of the current treatment methods.

However, if you aren’t ready to sit down and discuss your concerns just yet, you can explore over-the-counter herbal supplements, like horny goat weed, as long as you stay within the manufacturer’s recommended dosage.

It’s worth noting that if you begin to see side effects from the supplement — like slower blood clotting or lowered blood pressure — consider discontinuing use and talking with your doctor, as horny goat weed might be interacting poorly with other medications you may be taking.

Finally, if you have been taking an herbal supplement, like horny goat weed, and aren’t seeing improvements in your ED symptoms, your doctor can discuss exploring other supplements, lifestyle changes, or medications that may help.

Does horny goat weed make you bigger?

No, there is no evidence that horny goat weed can increase penis size. In fact, there is little proof of any supplement that can increase a person’s penis size and only minimal or temporary benefits can be seen from techniques like penis stretching. Horny goat weed has been studied as a possible treatment for ED but isn’t believed to increase length or size.

What does horny goat weed do?

Horny goat weed contains a chemical compound called icariin that can help promote blood flow and treat various cardiovascular diseases. One of the biggest health issues that icariin can treat is erectile dysfunction (ED) by counteracting the protein phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzyme that interferes with blood flow to the penis and prevents an erection. By inhibiting PDE5, the symptoms of ED can be reduced over time.

However, horny goat weed may not work for everyone, and using it can result in side effects or adverse interactions with other medications you may be taking. Before starting an herbal supplement like horny goat weed, consider talking with a medical professional for advice.

Does horny goat weed work?

There is evidence that horny goat weed can treat erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as some cardiovascular diseases. While there isn’t a large body of evidence or reliable studies to support its overall effectiveness, researchers have found that it shows promising results.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of ED, you may want to consider trying horny goat weed, especially because it’s available over the counter and doesn’t require a prescription. But if you are not finding that your symptoms improve after 2 or 3 weeks of taking the supplement, it may be best to talk with your doctor so they can help you build a more effective or targeted treatment plan.

The verdict is mixed on the effectiveness of horny goat weed. It appears to have some beneficial properties, but more research is needed to learn if it’s effective and safe for the general public.

If you’re experiencing ED, talk with your doctor before choosing any treatment options.

Find Roman ED medication online.