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Epimedium

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What other names is Horny Goat Weed known by?

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.

What is Horny Goat Weed?

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 used for weak back and knees, joint pain, osteoarthritis, mental and physical fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease, bronchitis, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, polio, a blood disorder called chronic leucopenia, viral infections of the heart, bone loss after menopause, weak bones (osteoporosis), and as a tonic.

Some men use horny goat weed for sexual performance problems including erectile dysfunction (ED) and involuntary ejaculation. It is also used to arouse sexual desire.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Osteoporosis. Developing research shows that taking a specific extract of horny goat weed for 24 months seems to decrease bone loss of the spine and hip in women who have passed menopause. This particular extract, made by Tong Ji Tang Pharmacal Company in China, contains phytoestrogens (specifically containing 60 mg of icariin, 15 mg of daidzein, and 3 mg of genistein). These chemicals act somewhat like the hormone estrogen.
  • Postmenopausal conditions. Early research suggests that taking horny goat weed water extract for 6 months can decrease cholesterol and increase estradiol levels in postmenopausal women.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED).
  • Ejaculation problems.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Memory loss.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Joint pain.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate horny goat weed for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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