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Horny Goat Weed Uses For Libido & Athletic Performance
Apr 17, 2018

Horny Goat Weed Uses for Libido & Athletic Performance

 

Horny goat weed uses are often rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In TCM, horny goat weed is referred to as yin yang huo and has been known for thousands of years.

 

The supplement known as horny goat weed is made from up to 15 different species from the Epimedium genus. Although the genus contains over 60 different plant species, only a portion are thought to possess medicinal properties.

 

In its traditional capacity horny goat weed is used to treat disorders stemming from yang deficiency – the balancing contrast to yin. Such disorders include lower back pain, impotence, low libido and poor circulation.

 

In the United States, horny goat weed is primarily used for sexual dysfunction. Advocates claim the supplement increases both sexual function and libido. Epimedium spp. is also favored by weight lifters, bodybuilders and other strength-training athletes because it is believed to stimulate the synthesis of nitric oxide.

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Horny Goat Weed Uses

 

One of the most popular uses of Horny Goat Weed is as a natural remedy for ED.

 

In a man who is sexually healthy, the brain triggers the synthesis and release of nitric oxide (NO) when he experiences sexual arousal.

Nitric oxide induces vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels), which supports good circulation and relaxes the corpus cavernosum of the penis. This process is necessary for the penis to be flooded with blood, causing it to become erect.

 

Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) often use horny goat weed in the hopes it will help alleviate symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Advocates claim that horny goat weed helps them develop and maintain erections and helps reduce premature ejaculation.

 

However, there is no clinical evidence to support these assertions. Nevertheless, many take horny goat weed in the hopes of promoting healthier sex lives by increasing libido and helping alleviate symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

 

Research Evidence

 

Although there is no clinical evidence to support the use of horny goat weed for sexual dysfunction, some of the constituents of Epimedium have been connected with sexual performance. In particular, horny goat weed contains a flavonoid called icariin.

 

This plant nutrient is a PDE5 inhibitor, which is also characteristic of other popular sexual enhancement drugs. PDE5 is a substance that stops blood flow from reaching the corpus cavernosum of the penis, thus preventing it from becoming erect. Other sexual enhancement drugs on the market contain a synthetic PDE5 inhibitor.

 

Advocates claim that icariin exhibits superior PDE5-inhibiting effects compared to synthetic alternatives. Icariin from Horny Goat Weed is also associated with the more efficient use of circulating testosterone.

 

Testosterone is crucial for proper male sexual function and is closely connected with the strength of a man’s libido. Efficient testosterone use can also support enhanced sperm production and increased tactile sensitivity.

 

Horny Goat Weed for Athletic Performance

 

Horny Goat Weed is also used by bodybuilders and athletes who want to improve their fitness and muscle building ability.

Icariin is thought to increase nitric oxide (NO) production in the body.

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NO causes the linings of the blood vessels and capillaries to relax and expand. This expansion may result in increased blood flow with little or no increase in blood pressure.

 

Finally, increased blood flow delivers more nutrients, proteins and hormones to the muscles, which helps support muscle growth and healing.

 

Strength athletes often use Epimedium supplements to promote increased muscle size and strength, as well as decreasing recovery time after strenuous workouts.

 

Additional Horny Goat Weed Uses

 

There is generally not enough scientific evidence to support the wide array of medicinal horny goat weed uses. Nevertheless, research is ongoing. Many contemporary uses are rooted in TCM and anecdotal reports.

 

Horny goat weed is used for a number of purposes, which include:

  • Treatment for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis;

  • Alleviating general joint pain;

  • Reducing bone degeneration (especially in the spine and hips) in postmenopausal women;

  • Treatment for liver disease and heart disease;

  • Lowering elevated blood pressure;

  • Reducing mental and physical fatigue;

  • Alleviating symptoms of bronchitis;

  • Preventing memory loss;

  • Combating viral infections.

 

Is Horny Goat Weed Safe to Use?

 

When used properly, horny goat weed is not commonly associated with severe side effects. However, the supplement should not be used to excess. Within TCM, excessive supplementation of horny goat weed is thought to damage the body’s yin, which can lead to a host of side effects, including dizziness.

 

Some of the properties of Epimedium spp. make it ill-suited for some groups of individuals. For instance, due to a lack of robust evidence, pregnant and nursing women should not use horny goat weed.

 

Horny goat weed has been observed to exhibit antiplatelet effects, meaning blood may not clot as quickly as normal. Consequently, anyone scheduled for surgery, as well as those suffering from bleeding or clotting disorders, should avoid supplementation.

 

Finally, horny goat weed may impact hormone levels; individuals with hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast and uterine cancer, should not supplement with horny goat weed. In all cases, be sure to speak with your doctor before using horny goat weed to make sure the supplement is right for you.