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Health Benefits and Uses of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)

Although it may have a funny name, horny goat weed actually provides some serious health benefits. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to regulate hormones, as well as address other health issues such as bronchitis, high blood pressure, and more.

Health Benefits of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)

Below are some of the many uses for horny goat weed.

Promotes Graceful Aging

It’s no secret that many cosmetics and drugs promise miraculous anti-aging results, capturing customers by targeting their fear of aging gracefully. And though a conclusive remedy that fights aging is yet to be revealed, researchers have observed horny goat weed’s ability to reset age-related metabolites such as nucleotides, carnosine, and amino acids to younger levels. Its antioxidant properties protects the body against free radical damage and aging.

Bone Health

It is also believed that there are compounds found in horny goat weed that may actually prevent bone deterioration. A study published in a 2007 issue in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research showed that a combination of horny goat weed and calcium taken daily can significantly improve bone health. This study was practice on 100 postmenopausal women, who tend to be more susceptible to bone deterioration.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Perhaps as you could guess from its name, horny goat weed is useful for treating sexual difficulties, particularly erectile dysfunction. One study in Urology published in 2006 showed that horny goat weed used on rats helped elicit an erection. The suspected culprit for this is the nitric oxide found in the plan with stimulates blood flow. Horny goat weed is also believed to help improve libido and sex drive in both women and men.

Stimulates Libido in Women

Although horny goat weed has been mainly popularized for men, it may provide an excellent alternative for decreasing sexual dysfunction and stimulating libido in women. Epimedium also provides potent female sexual-boosting properties.

Balances Hormones

Horny goat weed naturally balances hormone function and may also reduce the occurrences of dangerous side effects connected with many hormone therapies. The herb is also helpful for women undergoing hormonal fluctuations during menopause or PMS.

Osteoarthritis

Related to its bone benefits, horny goat weed is also able to protect against osteoarthritis, which affects many people as they age. A 2013 preliminary study found in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology was done on rabbits. In this study, scientists discovered that icariin, which is a compound found in horny goat weed, can suppress inflammation related to osteoarthritis.

Treats Menopausal Symptoms

Studies have shown that horny goat weed may encourage balanced estradiol and estrogen levels in women, easing menopausal symptoms. Epimedium extract was compared against a common menopausal treatment, which revealed that the natural plant chemicals like icariin, proved to be more effective than a conventional menopause drug.

Heart Health

Horny goat weed can also prevent blood clotting and improve blood flow. This means that the plant may be able to reduce high blood pressure and improve overall health of the heart.

Secondary Benefits:

  • Treat joint pain
  • Relieve fatigue and numbness
  • Treat Spermatorrhea
  • Memory problems
  • Improve the endocrine system
  • Improve the immune system

How to Use Horny Goat Weed

The leaves of horny goat weed may be edible, but they are known to be extremely bitter and are frequently sold in capsule form because of this. Some herbal stores will sell it in a form that is appropriate to make medicinal tea. The leaves sold in stores will have been cooked, then soaked and re-boiled prior to packaging to remove the excessive bitterness.

To prepare a tea of the horny goat weed, mix 2 tablespoons of the fresh leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried leaves per one cup of hot water. Let this steep for 5 to 10 minutes, and then strain with a strainer. Honey may be added if desired. Horny goat weed tea is consumed best on an empty stomach.

A Few Words of Caution

According to the NIH, horny goat weed is safe when taken orally in appropriate doses. However, it should not be consumed by pregnant women, those that have recently had or will be having surgery, or those with low blood pressure. Because it can affect the body’s hormones, those with hormone complications should not use horny goat weed. If you decide to try horny goat weed for some of its medicinal benefits, be cautious of the species Epimedium koreanum, as it may interfere with natural muscle coordination. Like anything else, do not use horny goat weed is excess.

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2 Response Comments

  • Sahadev  September 10, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Where horny goat weed plant or rhizomes or seeds available ?

    Reply
    • Sasha  September 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Not sure where you can get the seeds or live plant to purchase, sorry about that!

      Reply

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