Horny Goat Weed – no, it’s not actually for goats 😉

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is simply to provide information. There are no specific recommendations on who or when you should use it or dosage. If you think this may help you, please contact me at sandy@steppingstoneswellnessinc.com or talk to your naturopath or medical doctor. Herbs, while generally safe, do have some contraindications when it comes to some medications or medical conditions so always check with your health care practitioner.

Horny goat weed is an adaptogenic herb which improves testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in post-menopausal women. The major component in horny goat weed is a flavonoid called Icariin which is also present in Cialis and Viagara.

Used extensively in China and Japan for over 2000 years as a sex enhancer, it boosts libido, improves erectile function and helps mitigate menopausal discomfort. It is most commonly used as an aphrodisiac. The testosterone-like effect stimulates activity in both men and women by increasing sperm production, stimulating sensory nerve endings and increasing overall sexual desire.

Horny goat weed increases blood flow to the genitals which increases performance and may help women reach orgasm. It also helps modulate levels of cortisol and testosterone which may help improve the mood. It is high in phytoestrogen flavonoids which help improve performance and mood. Icariin inhibits PDE-5 enzyme resulting in increased nitric oxide, which improves oxygen levels and blood flow.

Icariin works on smooth muscle tissue, which surrounds the heart. When the heart muscles are under strain, surrounding systems are also often affected. Used mostly for osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction, it is also used to treat other conditions such as hypertension, bronchitis and coronary heart disease.

Secondary benefits of horny goat weed include relieving fatigue of body and mind, joint pain, numbness, memory problems, painful or cold low back and/or knees, irregular menses, spermatorrhea (premature ejaculation) and impotence as well as demonstrating an anti-aging effect and improvement of the immune and endocrine systems.

Cautions regarding this herb include being careful of dosage. Too much could result in a rapid heart rate, breathing problems and spasms. If you are taking medications for the following conditions, please consult your doctor prior to taking this herb:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood thinners
  • Heart disease
  • Hormone sensitive cancer such as prostate or breast cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Estrogen supplementation
  • Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medication.

There are a number of libido-enhancing products on the market. Horny goat weed has stood the test of time and is, for the most part, a very safe herb when used correctly.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact me at sandy@steppingstoneswellnessinc.com.

Wishing you a fabulous week!

Sandy O’Shea, CNP
Holistic Nutritionist

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