Learn | 05.30.2023

Does Horny Goat Weed Really Work?

Discussing this common herbal supplement and its possible benefits for sexual enhancement.

Low libido got you down? Erectile dysfunction ruining the moment? These common sexual conditions affect millions of people worldwide.

While there are certain habits like eating healthy and exercising that can improve sexual performance, there’s always room for an extra boost via supplements. And no, we’re not talking about Viagra. Horny goat weed is a herbal supplement that’s gaining popularity for its possible benefits for both male and female sexual performance.

While it’s mostly marketed towards males to improve erectile dysfunction and boost libido, women can also take it to improve sexual satisfaction. But does horny goat weed really work? Read on to learn more.

What Is Horny Goat Weed?

What a name for a plant, am I right? Well, its scientific name is Epimedium, and it’s also referred to as the following:

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

Horny goat weed is a herb native to Asia, hailing from countries like China, Korea, and Japan. In fact, this herb is a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, known to promote increased sexual performance, among many other benefits.

This herb grows naturally in Asia, recognized by its distinct shape and colors, with leaves resembling a heart with a green middle and bright red splotches with a vibrant rim. Horny goat weed is most commonly used as an aphrodisiac to enhance sexual pleasure and boost libido, ideally for men.

That’s not to say women can’t use it too. In terms of male sexual enhancement, horny goat weed is known to increase blood flow to the genitals, which helps in maintaining an erection and feeling stimulation on the genitals’ nerve endings. It can also improve women’s libido and sexual pleasure.

In most cases, you’ll find horny goat weed at your local pharmacy or drug store, offered as an over-the-counter herbal supplement in the following forms:

  • Capsules
  • Powders
  • Tablets
  • Teas

How Does Horny Goat Weed Work?

When we ingest horny goat weed, it undergoes a unique process by interacting with special compounds from the herb known as icariins. These chemicals can limit the performance of specific enzymes within the body, like phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5).

Interestingly, the common sexual enhancement drug Viagra is known to promote the same process. As we inhibit PDE5, our bodies and muscles are more inclined to relax while increasing blood flow and stimulation to the genitals. However, horny goat weed doesn’t work for everyone.

There are various factors at play when determining which individuals are likely to not experience their desired outcome with horny goat weed. The main factor is other medications at play, which could decrease the effectiveness of horny goat weed or, worse, provide unwanted side effects.

It’s worth noting that everyone is different, and we all react to certain herbs and substances differently. It’s encouraged to start low and go slow when experimenting with horny goat weed to ensure you avoid the possible risks (which we discuss below).

So, Does Horny Goat Weed Really Work?

At the moment, there’s limited but some proven research that shows the effectiveness of horny goat weed for sexual enhancement. Furthermore, most anecdotal reports state that it’s very effective in inhibiting the enzyme within the male human body that blocks erections. So, in short, yes, horny goat weed does work.

As mentioned, some people might not experience the same benefits. Whether that’s because of an underlying condition, medication, or body composition, some individuals simply won’t experience the enhanced sexual performance that horny goat weed is known for. It’s worth noting that Viagra, the common pill men take to improve erectile dysfunction, is nearly 80% more effective than horny goat weed.

Horny Goat Weed Dosage

As mentioned, research on horny goat weed is still limited, so there isn’t a perfect dose for all. However, most starting doses for this herbal supplement are generally between 500 to 1,000mg per serving.

Like with any new supplement, start low and go slow. Horny goat weed is pretty notorious for having side effects when taken with certain medications. Even if you’re not taking anything, some people simply don’t obtain their desired result when taking horny goat weed. It varies from person to person.

If you’re looking for a specific dose for your unique situation, it’s advised to speak with a doctor or healthcare professional for a more accurate dose.

Benefits Of Horny Goat Weed

Did you know that horny goat weed has other benefits besides making you, well, horny? See below for a list of benefits often associated with horny goat weed (for all genders):

  • May reduce joint pain and fatigue
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce high blood pressure
  • May help with the hardening of arteries
  • Shows promise for menopause symptoms
  • May help with osteoporosis
  • Is easily accessible

Possible Risks

Like any medication, drug, or herbal supplement, there are always possible risks to consider. That’s why it’s crucial to start low and go slow, gradually increasing your dose to avoid these possible risks and obtain your desired effect.

See the possible risks of horny goat weed below:

  • Sweating
  • Feeling hot
  • Rash
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nosebleeds

It’s worth noting that these side effects are more common when taking horny goat weed with medications or if the individual has prior conditions or diseases.

Some health conditions are more at risk of experiencing side effects, including the following:

  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Hormone-sensitive conditions
  • Liver or kidney diseases
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Basic allergies or sensitivities

As mentioned, it’s always a good choice to consult with a doctor or healthcare professional when considering taking horny goat weed, especially for individuals taking certain medications or with certain conditions and diseases.

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