Horny goat weed has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine .
Oh MH et al. Screening of Korean herbal medicines used to improve cognitive function for anti-cholinesterase activity. Phytomedicine. 11.6 (2004):544-8.
A study tested the estrogenic activity of 32 herbs used for menopause. Epimedium brevicornum, was one of the highest estrogenic activity.
No drug interactions have been reported.
This plant is perhaps most well-known for treating symptoms of erectile dysfunction and has also been taken for its aphrodisiac effects for several centuries. It's rich in anti-oxidants, and some animal trials have shown that it can increase testosterone levels and lower cortisol. However, side effects can include irregular heartbeat, and because there are very few human clinical trials, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor and a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner before adding it to your diet.
First, choose a shady area to grow your horny goat weed plant. It's a natural ground cover, so a spot under existing plants or trees is usually best. Using peat moss and composted material if possible, amend your gardening soil to create about 10 inches of rich growing medium.
Once your space is ready, move your starter plants into shallow holes you've dug into the ground that are spaced about 8 inches apart and press the roots into the hole before adding a light layer of soil into the hole. If you wish to directly sow seeds, be sure to do so after the last threat of frost in your area has passed.
What Is Horny Goat Weed?
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Horny goat weed (Epimedium sutchuenense, USDA zones 4-8) has long been used in Eastern medicine for its countless benefits in treating a number of conditions, including fatigue, nerve pain, osteoporosis and erectile dysfunction. In addition to its many medicinal uses, horny goat weed can also make a great addition to a home garden. As a natural ground cover that prefers shade, horny goat weed can help retain moisture in your soil, and it is easy to grow in nearly any climate. It's the striking flowers that give this plant another of its common names – bishop's hat.
How to Grow Epimedium
Horny goat weed is a medicinal herb with many landscape benefits. As a perennial plant, it bears green heart-shaped leaves that can turn gold or reddish in color in the spring and fall seasons.
These plants produce cup-shaped flowers in the spring and early summer, the colors of which are exquisite shades of lavender-mauve. Horny goat weed is a cold-hardy plant that appreciates soil that is well-drained and a growing habitat that is partially covered by shade.
Another study by the Institute of Orthopaedics Centre of Lanzhou General Hospital in China reported similar results. They found evidence that icariin can prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density and bone formation, decreasing bone resorption and improving the microstructure of bone.
Horny Goat Weed Benefits
Enjoying over 2,000 years of use and a colourful folk history, Horny Goat Weed does what it says on the tin! In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it has been used for centuries to enhance libido and to treat various other ailments such as bone or kidney disease.
TCM practitioners consider this herb to have a strong “yang” quality that can increase blood circulation, tonify the kidneys, dispel wind and eliminate dampness.
Firstly, icariin has been found to have the ability to boost the successful transmission of Nitric Oxide, the primary chemical transmitter for the successful and ample delivery of blood to the penis tissue. Secondly it increases the natural circulation of free form testosterone around the body, not only boosting libido – testosterone is crucial to the health of the prostate and plays a dominant role in the production of healthy sperm.
Male Sexual Health