Horny Goat Weed has been gaining some traction as a natural health supplement, particularly for male sexual health, with the potential to treat common problems such as erectile dysfunction, ejaculation problems, and other male sexual problems. There has also been discussion that Horny Goat Weed can be used as a treatment for women with postmenopausal symptoms such as osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and decreased estrogen levels.
Research is ongoing into the effectiveness of Epimedium for treating these conditions, as well as other health problems. This article will cover some of the reviews and scientific studies regarding Epimedium’s potential health benefits.
Reviews and Studies
According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, in which rats were used as a test subject for erectile function after a nerve injury, there were promising results that showed improved functional outcomes for the test group after a low-dose treatment of purified ICA, which is believed to be the active ingredient in Horny Goat Weed which is useful for treating erectile conditions. Another study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, also found some promising results. The researchers concluded that icariin (ICA) is effective in preventing the formation of PDE5, a substance known to block the development of erections, but only in a lab test environment. These results are promising, but there are not yet any large-scale studies on humans which confirm these preliminary findings.
When it comes to Horny Goat Weed and its effectiveness in treating female health conditions, there are also some preliminary findings which are promising but not conclusive. This study, from the Journal of Phytomedicine, showed that a particular strain of Epimedium related to Horny Goat Weed had “potential activity against osteoporosis, and flavonoids such as icariin might be the active constituents stimulating osteoblasts”. A similar study, from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, had findings which gave support to the claims that traditional Chinese medicinal products such as Horny Goat Weed were effective in treating hormonal issues in women related to estrogen deficiency. Finally, another study from a Chinese research team published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that phytoestrogen flavonoids which were derived from Epimedium had an “a beneficial effect on preventing bone loss in late postmenopausal women without resulting in a detectable hyperplasia effect on the endometrium.” The conclusion that can be drawn from these studies is that there is a potential benefit for postmenopausal women, or women with other disorders related to estrogen production, to benefit from the use of Horny Goat Weed.
It should be noted that all of the above studies are of a preliminary nature, and there are yet to be any large-scale, double-blind studies on the potential health benefits of Horny Goat Weed on the human subject. Furthermore, the above studies were usually testing a purified form of a specific component of Horny Goat Weed, or a particular strain of the plant, so these results might not be applicable to the supplement at large or suggest its effectiveness in all cases. Further research is still required to conclusively prove the benefits of this natural health supplement, although the findings so far seem to show some promise for both Men’s and Women’s health problems.