HORNY GOAT WEED

OTHER NAME(S):

Barrenwort, Épimède, Épimède à Grandes Fleurs, Épimède du Japon, Epimedium, Epimedium acuminatum, Epimedium brevicornum, Epimedium grandiflorum, Epimedium Grandiflorum Radix, Epimedium koreanum, Epimedium macranthum, Epimedium pubescens, Epimedium sagittatum, Epimedium violaceum, Epimedium wushanese, Herba Epimedii, Herbe Cornée de Chèvre, Hierba de Cabra en Celo, Japanese Epimedium, Xian Ling Pi, Yin Yang Huo.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Horny goat weed is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine. As many as 15 horny goat weed species are known as "yin yang huo" in Chinese medicine.

Horny goat weed is commonly used by mouth for sexual performance problems, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and low sexual desire. It is also used for weak back and knees, joint pain, arthritis, mental and physical fatigue, and memory loss along with many other conditions. But there is limited scientific research to support any of these uses.

How does it work?

Horny goat weed contains chemicals which might help increase blood flow and improve sexual function. It also contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act somewhat like the female hormone estrogen. This might reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Osteoporosis. Taking a specific extract of horny goat weed for 24 months in combination with calcium supplements decreases bone loss of the spine and hip in women who have passed menopause better than taking calcium alone. Chemicals in the extract act somewhat like the hormone estrogen.
  • Postmenopausal conditions.Taking horny goat weed water extract for 6 months can decrease cholesterol and increase estrogen levels in postmenopausal women.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Ejaculation problems.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED).
  • Fatigue.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Joint pain.
  • Liver disease.
  • Memory loss.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate horny goat weed for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Horny goat weed extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, appropriately. A specific extract of horny goat weed containing phytoestrogens has been taken by mouth safely for up to 2 years. Also, a different extract of horny goat weed containing icariin has been taken by mouth safely for up to 6 months.

However, some types of horny goat weed are POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used for a long period of time or in high doses. Long-term use of these other forms of horny goat weed might cause dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, thirst, and nosebleed. Taking large amounts of horny goat weed might cause spasms and severe breathing problems.

A heart rhythm problem has also been reported in one man who took horny goat weed in a commercial product used for sexual enhancement. A specific multi-ingredient commercial product (Enzyte, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals) that contains horny goat weed might cause abnormal heart beats. These changes might increase the chance of having a heart rhythm problems. A case of liver toxicity has been reported in a man who took this same product (Enzyte, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals). However, since this product contains multiple ingredients, it is not clear if these effects are caused by horny goat weed or other ingredients. In the case of liver toxicity, it's possible that the side effect was an abnormal reaction that would be unlikely to occur in other patients.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Horny goat weed is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is a concern that it might harm the developing fetus. Avoid using it. Not enough it known about the safety of using horny goat weed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using.

Bleeding disorders: Horny goat weed might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, taking horny goat weed might make bleeding disorders worse.

Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Horny goat weed acts like estrogen and can increase estrogen levels in some women. Horny goat weed might make estrogen-sensitive conditions, such as breast and uterine cancer, worse.

Low blood pressure: Horny goat weed might lower blood pressure. In people who already have low blood pressure, using horny goat weed might drop blood pressure too low and increase the risk of fainting.

Surgery: Horny goat weed might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Stop taking horny goat weed at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with HORNY GOAT WEED

    Horny goat weed seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking horny goat weed along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.<br/><br/> Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with HORNY GOAT WEED

    Horny goat weed might slow blood clotting. Taking horny goat weed along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.<br/><br/> Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of horny goat weed depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for horny goat weed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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