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Why do people take horny goat weed (epimedium)?

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Some men take horny goat weed in the belief that it’s a natural alternative to drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED). Although still preliminary, there’s new evidence to support the idea. A 2008 lab study found that a compound in the herb blocks the effects of an enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis. Epimedium, the suspected active component of horny goat weed, appears to act as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, similar to some drugs used for ED. 

Horny goat weed has also been studied as a treatment for other conditions, like osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries. The results from studies conducted abroad show promise, however better clinical studies are still needed.

From: Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Agli, M. , 2008. Journal of Natural Products

Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site: “About Herbs: Epimedium.”

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site: “Epimedium.” 

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: “Horny Goat Weed.”

News release, . Journal of Natural Products

U.S.Library of Medicine: "Honey Goat Weed."

Cho, J.-H., Jung, J.-Y., Lee, B.-J., Lee, K., Park, J.-W., and Bu, Y.   : A Promising Herbal Medicine for Neuroplasticity. 2017 Epimedii Herba

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 25, 2019

SOURCES:

Agli, M. , 2008. Journal of Natural Products

Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site: “About Herbs: Epimedium.”

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site: “Epimedium.” 

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: “Horny Goat Weed.”

News release, . Journal of Natural Products

U.S.Library of Medicine: "Honey Goat Weed."

Cho, J.-H., Jung, J.-Y., Lee, B.-J., Lee, K., Park, J.-W., and Bu, Y.   : A Promising Herbal Medicine for Neuroplasticity. 2017 Epimedii Herba

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 25, 2019

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