Fri | Sep 20, 2019

Have you tried horny goat weed?

Published:Wednesday | August 28, 2019 | 12:28 AM

Behind the funny name of horny goat weed stands a time-tested aphrodisiac that increases libido in men and women, and improves erectile function in men. Known also as Epimedium or Yin Yang Huo, horny goat weed was first described in ancient classical Chinese medicinal texts. An important traditional remedy in China for centuries, it is used for low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, pain, and other conditions. Today, horny goat weed is gaining popularity around the world.

Used by practitioners for over 2,000 years, horny goat weed is several species of epimedium, a leafy plant which grows in the wild, most abundantly at higher altitudes. The leaves of the plant contain a variety of flavonoids, polysaccharides, sterols and an alkaloid called magnaflorine. And while the exact way that horny goat weed works remains unknown, the plant has long been employed to restore sexual desire, boost erectile function, allay fatigue and alleviate menopausal discomfort.

Horny goat weed has also been studied as a treatment for other conditions, like osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries. One study found that a compound in the herb blocks the effects of an enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis.

Consult your doctor

If you take any medicines or supplements regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using horny goat weed. It could interact with drugs like blood thinners, aspirin, birth control pills, antidepressants, treatments for immune disorders and thyroid problems, and medicines that lower blood pressure or cholesterol.

Using horny goat weed with nitroglycerin can be extremely dangerous. Similar to its use with pharmaceutical erectile dysfunction medicines, mixing nitroglycerin with horny goat weed can even be fatal due to the potential for severe drops in blood pressure. Given the possible risks, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children should not take horny goat weed.