Given the name - it will come as no surprise to learn that horny goat weed is best known as an aphrodisiac. According to folklore, it got its name after a Chinese goat herder noticed his flock became more amorous after feasting on this weed.
What is Horny Goat Weed?
Horny goat weed comprises several species of flowering leafy plant which grows at high altitudes. The leaves contain a variety of health-giving active ingredients such as flavonoids (antioxidant-rich pigments) and alkaloids.
You can buy horny goat weed in powders, capsules and tinctures. Remember to store it away from direct sunlight.
Why do I need Horny Goat Weed?
Practitioners of traditional medicine will tell you that horny goat weed will boost your sexual power. Some efforts have been made to put this to the test. In a study from the University of Milan, Italy, horny goat weed was found to contain Icariin - an active compound that blocks an enzyme in the body that restricts blood flow to the penis. The easier it is for blood to flow to the penis the easy it is to achieve and maintain an erection. These findings from Italy suggest horny goat week acts similarly to popular drugs such as Viagra which inhibit the action of Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) enzyme.
Horny Goat Weed may also work by increasing the body’s levels of nitric oxide (a blood-vessel-dilating chemical) which allows more blood to flow to the penis to improve erections.
Can too much Horny Goat Weed be harmful?
Most people tolerate horny goat weed well but it can cause stomach upsets and a dry mouth. As a treatment for impotence it is thought to have less side-effects than well-known pharmaceutical products.
Very high doses have been linked to respiratory failure.
Horny goat weed can interact with blood thinners and blood pressure pills - so consult your doctor before taking supplements if you are on these medications.