Why You Should Be Taking Horny Goat Weed

 

No that’s not a typo, there is actually an herbal supplement that you can pick up at your local Dollar Store or Walmart by the name of Horny Goat Weed. The herb is from the Epimedium species of flowering plants in the Berberidaceae family. It is known by many other names such as Barrenwort, Epimede or simply Epimedium, but it’s much more fun to refer to it as “Horny Goat Weed”.

The Actual Plant….

According to Chinese legend, this weed was ingested by goats and the herder observed the behavior of the animals after they consumed the plant. They come to the conclusion that the plant must contain some type of aphrodisiacs. After hundreds of years of use, the properties of this plant have been identified and better understood.

The Active Ingredient

Horny Goat Weed contains an active ingredient known as ‘icariin’. The concentration may determine the potency of each particular Epimedium species. Icariin works by relaxing smooth muscle tissue. The significance of this is that involuntary tension in the internal tissues can be relaxed, which is believed to cause the central nervous system to shift from fight or flight mode to rest and restore mode. When the change occurs, many elements tend to reverse because the body is no longer in a stressed condition. While this may not cure many health problems, many people still use the herb to help manage their conditions or obtain some type of relief.

Where is Horny Goat Weed Grown?

The plant can be found growing all over the southern part of China, but it can also be found in the Asian counties that border China as well as some neighboring European countries. The Chinese name for the herb is Yin Yang Huo or Xian Ling Pi. The plant is used exclusively in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has also become popular in the field of Western Alternative medicine for use in treating multiple conditions.

So What is Horny Goat Weed Used for?

While it may come as no big surprise, horny goat weed has been used for various sexual performance issues including erectile dysfunction, involuntary ejaculation and it can also be used to arouse sexual desire.

But that’s not all. Horny Goat Weed is often used to treat osteoporosis, hypertension, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, polio and more. It makes sense because the active ingredient works on smooth muscle tissue. This is the tissue that surrounds the heart. When the heart muscles are under stress, it is easy to see how it can cause other problems throughout the body.

Other benefits of taking horny goat weed include relieving fatigue of both the mind and body. The herb is often used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine. It has also been used to treat joint pain, numbness, memory problems, painful or cold low back and/or knee pain, and irregular menstrual cycles. The herb has been cited to producing an anti-aging effect and it can improve the immune system as well as the endocrine system.

Potency and Doses

While there are many natural concentrations of icariin found in this plant family in nature, during the process of cultivation, it is possible to regulate the dose for individual consumption. The individual dose is usually determined by height and weight as well as any present medical conditions. It is highly recommended that anyone with a medical condition to speak with their physician before taking any type of herbal treatment. Overdoses should be avoided and the potency of the herb is difficult to determine unless it is provided by a trained professional.

The leaves of the horny goat weed plant are edible, but are known to be very bitter and are typically sold in capsule form. But there are also some herbal outlets that will sell it in a prepared form that could be used to make a homemade medicine or tea. The leaves must be cooked, soaked and re-boiled before packaging to remove any excess bitter taste.

Side Effects

Horny goat weed extract is possibly safe when taken by mouth in appropriate doses. Research has shown that it is safe to take an extract of horny goat weed by mouth for up to 2 years. There are some types of horny goat weed that are unsafe to take when used for a long period of time in high doses. Long-term use of other forms of this product may cause dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, thirst, and nosebleeds. Taking large amounts of horny goat weed could cause spasms and severe breathing problems. Do not take if pregnant or breast feeding, if you have any type of bleeding disorder, low blood pressure, hormone sensitive cancers and other related conditions, or if you are having surgery soon.