What is Horny Goat Weed and Does it Increase Your Testosterone?



In addition to having the greatest name of any herb, horny goat weed has been shown to have interesting effects on the sexual health of humans, particularly in men. Some scientific horny goat weed reviews report a link between horny goat weed and testosterone.

If you’re wondering, what is horny goat weed? Then you’ve found the right article. We’re going to go into detail about horny goat weed benefits, side effects, and other important information so you can decide for yourself whether or not this substance is one that you’d like to include in your stack.

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What is horny goat weed?

Barrenwort flower close up

Horny goat weed is a popular aphrodisiac. It is a part of the Epimedium family of herbs and is known for helping increase sexual energy and fertility in men.

Horny goat weed is also sometimes referred to as Icariin. Icariin is one of the active ingredients found in horny goat weed, and as the principal cause of its benefits, some prefer to simply refer to the whole plant as such.

Much like many other aphrodisiacs, people have associated horny goat weed and testosterone due to the fact that it boosts sexual function. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about horny goat weed and its effects so you can know for sure whether or not it actually boosts testosterone.

How did it get its name?

Horny goat weed is aptly named.

The weed was first discovered on a farm. The farmer noticed that his goats would become a lot more sexually active when they would chew on a particular herb located at a certain place on the farm.

Upon observing this, the farmer tapped into the potential of utilizing the herb as an aphrodisiac not just for goats but for humans – and thus the name horny goat weed was born.

What are the active ingredients?

As we mentioned above, one of the main active ingredients in horny goat weed is known as Icariin. There are more than 60 species of horny goat weed (Epimedium family of plants) that have been identified, but only 5 of them are recorded in the Chinese Pharmacopeia. These are the plants most often used to make Icariin supplements, and include:

  • Epimedium wushanense
  • Epimedium brevicornum
  • Epimedium sagittatum
  • Epimedium koreanum
  • Epimedium pubescens
  • Epimedium acuminatum

Icariin is a flavonoid compound – a certain class of nutrients and phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, in addition to other things. Icariin is believed to be the main active compound and is largely responsible for the aphrodisiac effect of this plant.

There is also some indication that Icariin can help to boost testosterone levels, though this is more likely if the substance is taken at a much higher dose than you could easily acquire by using horny goat weed alone.

One of the ways that Icariin works is by working as a PDE5 inhibitor. Many of the drugs that are currently prescribed to help manage erectile dysfunction also make use of PDE5 inhibitors, and this suggests that horny goat weed could be a viable alternative. More on this below.

What are the potential benefits of taking horny goat weed?

There are a number of benefits that one might experience if they begin taking horny goat weed. Not all of these relate to sexual health, either – horny goat weed, much like other herbs, has a wide range of benefits that can help the average individual improve their general health.

Boosts Libido

Horny goat weed has long been used as a natural aphrodisiac, and people are still using it for this purpose today. Horny goat weed has a number of influences on our hormonal systems, and using it can help boost your sex drive.

One of the things that it can do is help to regulate the amount of cortisol present in the body. Cortisol is referred to as the stress hormone, and high levels of it can contribute to decreased sexual function and motivation.

Horny goat weed has also been shown to help balance out levels of testosterone and estrogen.

Fights Erectile Dysfunction

As we mentioned before, Icariin works as a PDE5 inhibitor, much like other drugs that are used to help fight erectile dysfunction. These drugs work because they increase the efficacy of nitric oxide, a compound that is produced in the body to help regulate and promote blood flow.

When a person becomes sexually aroused, the body releases nitric oxide to help dilate the blood vessels in the penis. This is what causes an erection. If you have problems producing or responding to nitric oxide, this could contribute to problems getting or maintaining an erection.

By increasing the efficacy and amount of nitric oxide available to the body, icariin helps to enhance blood flow throughout the body – and to the genitals. Healthy blood flow is required for a man to maintain an erection, and thus horny goat weed can facilitate this by boosting blood flow.

Boosts Testosterone

Body builder on one knee bowing

It’s possible that horny goat weed may actually boost testosterone levels, though current evidence mainly suggests that it works better as a hormonal regulator: if your levels are low, it could help restore them to a healthy baseline.

However, some animal studies have proven that taking doses of icariin extract can increase the amount of free testosterone available to the body. While this does not necessarily indicate that horny goat weed boosts T levels in people, its other effects can certainly mimic elevated testosterone production.

Helps Manage Female Hormones

In traditional Chinese medicine, the ‘yin’ energy governs most female issues – including things like menopause and menstruation. Horny goat weed is often prescribed for individuals who have a deficiency in their feminine yin energy. This is particularly effective for people who are going through menopause.

Horny goat weed contains a lot of prenylflavonoids. These compounds act as phytoestrogens – thus boosting estrogen levels, helping women deal with menopause. This can help to combat some of the related symptoms, such as low libido or a decrease in bone health.

Boosts Muscle Strength

Icariin, the main active compound found in horny goat weed, has been indicated in some studies to help increase the growth of our muscles. Icariin is believed to help the body produce proteins that are necessary for the growth and development of healthy cells, meaning that it can promote the speed at which we build new muscle.

Because of the way that icariin can help boost muscle strength and increase recovery time, it’s not rare to find it in bodybuilding or athletic supplements.

Improves Bone Health

Icariin has been shown to help improve the health of our bones. By increasing bone density, icariin can help prevent weak bones, breaks, fractures, and symptoms of bone-related diseases like arthritis.

How does this relate to estrogen?

Horny goat weed, despite being touted for increasing testosterone, can sometimes have more of an effect on estrogen – in fact, in terms of human studies, it shows more potential as an estrogenic than as a testosterone booster.

Don’t let this scare you off, though – many of the benefits of horny goat weed can be similar to those achieved by using testosterone supplements. Testosterone goes through a process known as aromatization anyways, which causes it to turn into estrogen. Perhaps horny goat weed can boost men’s sexual health through a different process.

What are people saying about horny goat weed? (Horny goat weed reviews)

Horny goat weed is quite popular, however, not everyone has experienced positive results from it.

Sites like Reddit are one of the most reliable sources for anecdotal feedback on substances like this. Since users aren’t really gaining anything by telling their experiences, you can be certain that you’re getting an unbiased perspective and genuine horny goat weed reviews.

A lot of people haven’t had good experiences with it, but it’s possible that these people had very high expectations. As a herbal substance, horny goat weed doesn’t provide immediate and explosive effects like some pharmaceuticals.

Regardless, some users have referred to it as “100% snake oil,” or saying that it’s only “100% effective at making you nauseous.”

Not everyone feels this way, though. One user, Yamochao, reported that using horny goat weed in combination with maca “will make you too horny to be anxious,” claiming that the combination will lead to a “monster erection.” Other people who have had horny goat weed, such as user pr0digy, say that they ‘can attest that horny [goat] weed does wonders.”

This suggests that the ultimate result is up to personal body chemistry. If you’re wondering does horny goat weed work and will it work for you, well the answer is that it probably will, but to find out for sure, you’ll really just have to give it a try yourself.

Are there any side effects?

Even herbal products like horny goat weed should be taken seriously. Anything that influences the body’s hormonal systems can have some potentially serious side effects.

Fortunately, horny goat weed side effects are rare, and when taken on its own it’s relatively safe. However, some of the icariin supplements on the market are quite strong, and using extracts of herbs is a lot different than using the herbs themselves.

If you use very high doses or if you’re very sensitive to horny goat weed, you might experience some mild symptoms. These can include any of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Spasms
  • Breathing issues

The above side effects are more likely to occur after you have been using horny goat weed over a long period of time. Like any herb that you use, it’s important to cycle your usage on and off: use horny goat weed for several weeks, and then switch to a different herb for a few weeks. This is wise to do with any supplement, herbal or otherwise, so you don’t get addicted or experience side effects.

Some people have reported experiencing nose bleeds when using horny goat weed. It’s very important for anyone with a bleeding disorder, anyone recovering from surgery, or anyone taking blood thinners or blood clotting medication to avoid using horny goat weed because it can interfere with our blood clotting.

One thing to consider is that icariin is not regulated by the FDA, and thus the quality and reliability of supplements can vary depending on where you source them. Look for reputable, organic products when possible.

See also: Does Grape Seed Extract Increase Testosterone? >>

Conclusion

Horny goat weed is a very interesting (and hilariously named) substance that can provide a number of benefits for both men and women.

If you’re looking for a relatively safe substance to help you improve your workouts, your energy levels, or your sexual health, horny goat weed could be a good choice for you. It would work well in addition to a T-boosting supplement like TestoGen.

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