Horny Goat Weed
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Horny Goat Weed Usage

Written by FoundHealth.

What Is Horny Goat Weed Used for Today?

Horny goat weed is currently marketed as a sexual stimulant for both men and women, and also as a treatment for menopausal symptoms . However, there is no meaningful scientific evidence to support these proposed uses. Statements on multiple websites claim that it increases testosterone levels, inhibits acetylcholinesterase (a chemical important in the function of the nervous system), and has been shown to act as an aphrodisiac in mice. However, the references cited on these sites do not support these statements. What limited scientific is available is at best is far too preliminary to prove anything at all. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 According to test-tube studies and preliminary human trials, a different species in the same family, Epimedium brevicornum, may have estrogenic activity. 9 However, even if this were to apply to horny goat weed as well, it wouldn’t indicate effectiveness for menopausal symptoms. Many herbs with estrogenic effects in the test tube do not appear to help menopausal symptoms (Interestingly, the one herb that most reliably appears to affect menopausal symptoms, black cohosh , does nothave estrogenic effects in the test tube.)

A study of yet another distinct species, Epimedium koreanum, seems to be the source of the widespread claim that horny goat weed affects acetylcholinesterase. 10 In fact, only double-blind , placebo-controlled studies can begin to prove a treatment effective, and none have been performed on horny goat weed taken by itself. The only study of this type tested a combination of horny goat weed, maca , Lepidium meyenii, Mucuna pruriens, and Polypodium vulgare. 11 It supposedly found benefit, but its design and reporting were markedly inadequate, and the results are unreliable.

References

  1. Wang S, Zheng Z, Weng Y, Yu Y, Zhang D, Fan W, Dai R, Hu Z. Angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis activity of Chinese medicinal herbal extracts. Life Sci. 74(20):2467-78.
  2. Chen KM, Ge BF, Ma HP, et al. The serum of rats administered flavonoid extract from Epimedium sagittatum but not the extract itself enhances the development of rat calvarial osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Pharmazie. 2004;59:61-64.
  3. Lin CC, Ng LT, Hsu FF, et al. Cytotoxic effects of Coptis chinensis and Epimedium sagittatum extracts and their major constituents (berberine, coptisine and icariin) on hepatoma and leukaemia cell growth. Clin ExpPharmacol Physiol. 2004;31:65-69.
  4. Wu H, Lien EJ, Lien LL, et al. Chemical and pharmacological investigations of Epimedium species: a survey. Prog Drug Res. 2003;60:1-57.
  5. Liao HJ, Chen XM, Li WG, et al. Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance [in Chinese]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1995;15:202-4.
  6. Chen X, Zhou M, Wang J et al. Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on soluble IL-2 receptor and IL-6 levels in patients undergoing hemodialysis [in Chinese]. Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 1995;34:102-104.
  7. Kuang AK, Chen JL, Chen MD. Effects of yang-restoring herb medicines on the levels of plasma corticosterone, testosterone and triiodothyronine [in Chinese]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1989;9:737-738, 710.
  8. Cheng QL, Chen XM, Shi SZ, et al. Effects of Epimedium sagittatum on immunopathology and extracellular matrices in rats with chronic renal insufficiency [in Chinese]. Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 1994;33:83-86.
  9. Meng FH, Li YB, Xiong ZL, et al. Osteoblastic proliferative activity of Epimedium brevicornum Maxim. Phytomedicine. 2005;12:189-193.
  10. Oh MH, Houghton PJ, Whang WK, Cho JH. Screening of Korean herbal medicines used to improve cognitive function for anti-cholinesterase activity. Phytomedicine. 11(6):544-8.
  11. Lamm S, Couzens GS. Effect of horny goat weed herbal complex supplement on sexual satisfaction in healthy men and men treated with Viagra. The Hormone Shop website. Available at: http://www.thehormoneshop.com/hornygoatweed.htm#Effect. Accessed June 30, 2005.
 
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1 Comment

Posted 7 years ago

Horny goat weed is an interesting herb but is most known for its effect it has as a male sex stimulant and works systemically very much like Viagra from Pfizer. http://www.nutrovita.com/store/horny-goat-weed.htm

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