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What Does Horny Goat Weed Do? 7 Benefits

purple barrenwort (epimedium) flourishing in the garden

Horny Goat Weed is a common name for a plant with the scientific name Epimedium. It is also known by many other colloquial names such as barrenwort, bishop’s hat, fairy rings, or in Chinese traditional medicine, yin yang huo. In Chinese Traditional Medicine, it has long been claimed that Horny Goat Weed has a number of health benefits as a treatment for disorders and as a supplement.

Horny Goat Weed, or Epimedium, has recently become a popular natural supplement for a variety of men’s and women’s health conditions, as well as other health problems associated with aging. According to research, it has a number of potential mechanisms of action which may make it effective in treating various disorders and deficiencies if taken in the proper dosage.

Although research is still ongoing and much of the evidence for Epimedium’s effectiveness are anecdotal, here are some of the potential health benefits of supplementing with Horny Goat Weed:

1. A Remedy for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction in men is commonly caused by an enzyme named protein phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which when it develops interferes with blood flow that leads to the creation of an erection. Icariin, which is the active ingredient in Horny Goat Weed, prevents the formation of the PDE5 enzyme and allows the erection to form naturally, similar to the effect of drugs such as Viagra. Treatment of male sexual disorders may be the most popular and well-researched use for Horny Goat Weed and would explain how the herb acquired its common name.

2. Estrogenic Effects for Women and Postmenopausal Treatment

Recent research has shown potential for Epimedium as a treatment for women with hormonal deficiencies, particularly those caused by postmenopausal syndromes. There is also some evidence that it can be used to combat bone loss in women after menopause and support a healthy skeletal structure.

3. Sexual Stimulant for Men and Women

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Horny Goat Weed has properties as a sexual stimulant for both men and women. This may be related to its other health benefits when it comes to male erectile function and female hormone regulation.

4. Soothes Sore Joints

Again according to Chinese Traditional Medicine, Horny Goat Weed is an effective agent when used to combat joint pain especially due to aging. This claim is recently being supported by the mainstream use of the supplement and by studies on animal models.

5. Anti-Aging Treatment

Horny Goat Weed has powerful antioxidant properties which can prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. Because of these properties, the supplement can be effective in resetting age-related metabolites such as carnosine, nucleotides, and amino acids to baselines normally associated with younger individuals.

6. Osteoporosis and Hardening of Arteries

Although the results are preliminary, there are claims that regular supplementing with Epimedium can help with health problems such as Osteoporosis and hardening of arteries, although it has been noted that further research is needed to confirm whether this is the case.

7. Cancer Prevention

Scientists are beginning to research traditional herbal medicine such as Epimedium at the cellular level, and early findings suggest that there may be some anti-cancer effects with sufficient dosage levels.

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