Horny Goat Weed

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Horny goat weed (Epimedium brevicornum) is also known as Yin Yan Huo and has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat disorders such as dementia, fatigue, ED and arthralgia [31]. It is derived from a leafy plant that is native to Asia and the Mediterranean.

According to Chinese folk legend, horny goat weed's use for ED started after a Chinese goat herder noticed increased sexual activity in his flock after they ingested horny goat weed.

In one study testing the oestrogenic activity of 32 herbs, horny goat weed was one of the herbs to have greatest oestrogenic activity, suggesting a potential use in menopausal patients [32].

Animal studies have suggested that horny goat weed may elicit a penile erection in the rat. In that study, researchers administered different doses of horny goat weed extract (30, 100, 300, 1000, 3000, 6500, and 10,000 |g/0.1 mL of extract with 0.1 mL saline) intracavernosally to rats and measured their intracavernosal pressure (ICP) [33]. They found no effect on ICP with 30 and 100 |g/0.1 mL, but found a significant rise in ICP, with the greatest peak at 99.7 + / - 0.3 mmHg after application of 6500 |g/0.1 mL (resting 7.8 + / — 1.0 mmHg) [33]. The authors suggested that horny goat weed might work by increasing NO levels and thereby relaxing smooth muscle.

As yet, there is insufficient evidence for its safe use in men with ED. Reports have also shown that horny goat weed can cause tachyarrhythmia and hypomania [34].

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