Herb of the Month: Horny Goat Weed

Herb of the Month: Horny Goat Weed

Cara Green

Improve your sexual health the natural way - with our herb of the month, Epimedium grandiflorum, aka Horny Goat Weed

I love it when the names of things are quite literal. Legend claims that long ago, a goat herder noticed a shocking increase in a goat herd’s sexual activity after grazing upon a patch of this herb all day-and so the name stuck, horny goat weed. But it’s not just reproducing goats that this herb is useful to! 

Epimedium grandiflorum is found primarily in China where it is called Yin-Yang-Huo. It grows in high elevations and adorns strikingly beautiful purple and white flowers when it blooms in spring. This herb can also be found in higher altitude areas of the Middle East, Mediterranean, and other regions of Asia. Nicknamed “Fairy Wings” and “Bishop’s Cap” due to the shape of its flowers, this herb is most commonly known as “Horny Goat Weed”. There are about 50 different variations of the species that horny goat weed belongs to, but it is the variation Epimedium grandiflorum, that is most commonly utilized in herbal medicine. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), horny goat weed has been used for over 2,000 years as a support for circulatory function, and to tonify the “yang” energy (yang energy is associated with sun and fire) of the kidneys, which is believed to affect libido in TCM. One of the important active constituents in this plant, “icariin”, is directly associated with circulatory function, antioxidant content, and cardiovascular function. 

This herb is most famously a favorite among folks with penises for treating erectile dysfunction. Thanks to this herb's ability to stimulate nerves and improve circulation in the blood vessels connecting to the penis, horny goat weed functions as a great erectogenic. However, horny goat weed boosts libido in all bodies, and is a good plant ally for hormone regulation when wanting to increase testosterone levels! Horny goat weed can also improve muscle strength, heart health, bone health, improve memory, combat fatigue, and boosts your overall wellness with its bountiful antioxidant content, which helps to combat free radicals and slow aging. Horny goat weed is spicy, sweet, and warm, and in TCM, is also used for treating people with chronic fatigue or who are going through hormonal shifts such as menopause. 

Horny goat weed has rightfully gained its crown title of being one of the best natural erectogenic and aphrodisiacs out there, but let’s not forget this fun herb’s other benefits of improving cardiovascular and bone health, and it's surprising antioxidant content! Give this herbal ally a try this month and feel that spark rise in you once again…

Sources:

Horny Goat Weed: Gaia Herbs®

Nature’s Aphrodisiac Horny Goat Weed; History, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions - Pharmacist Michael (sunshinentc.com)

Horny Goat Weed: A Natural Herb for Libido & Mood (globalhealing.com)

Horny Goat Weed Benefits for Libido, Plus Side Effects - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)

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