Horny Goat Weed: How Can It Treat Erectile Dysfunction

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Introduction

Horny Goat Weed is a supplement that is used as a remedy for erectile dysfunction, among other things. Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition affecting many men around the world. It can be defined as the inability to get or sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

While most men might have experienced such a situation in their lives, if it happens more often than it should, then it could be ED. As reports show, ED becomes more common as men age. Wherein, 30 per cent of men aged 70 or older have ED.

About Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that is sold over the counter. Few other names it is known by are Epimedium and Yin Yang Huo. It contains a substance called icariin which blocks a protein associated with ED known as PDE5, therefore helping remedy ED.

ED occurs when the body is unable to naturally suppress PDE5. Remember, it is said to act like “Natural Viagra”.

It is even said to reduce blood clotting and lead to blood thinning, and hence, should not be used before surgery or a similar medical procedure. Horny Goat Weed is even said to help with:

  • Low libido in men and women
  • Hay fever
  • Fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Symptoms associated with menopause
  • Weak bones

Availability and Dosage of Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed can be found in much healthy food and drug stores in the form of capsules, tablets, powder, or tea form. The plant is native to some parts of China, Japan, and Korea.

It should be treated like any other medication or supplement and the following points should be kept in mind to safely consume it:

  • Consult a doctor to work out the appropriate dosage for you based on your medical history and needs
  • Age, gender, and health should be taken into consideration when deciding the appropriate dosage
  • It is recommended to take 5 grams thrice a day by the University of Michigan for ED
  • Do not use it in place of traditional or prescription medicines
  • High doses may result in side effects like breathing difficulties and vomiting
  • Results of it vary from person to person
  • You need to continue taking the supplement for at least a month to see the result
  • Look for a product that has the seal of approval of a third party, namely US Pharmacopeia or NSF International

While a seal of approval does not guarantee the safety or the effectiveness of the product, it ensures that the product was manufactured in a safe condition, following set guidelines.

It is important to remember that horny goat weed can have side effects and it should not be taken along with certain prescription medicines or medical conditions, all of which will be discussed later in this article.

It still is not a well-researched supplement and therefore, it is very important to consult a doctor before using it. You must also follow relevant directions on product labels before using them.

Does Horny Goat Weed work?

Horny Goat Weed is said to work in the same way as Viagra. Icariin, an active ingredient present in Horny Goat Weed blocks the activity of PDE5 and lets blood fill the arteries and three cylinders in the penis, therefore, creating an erection.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that rats that were treated with purified extract of horny goat weed showed improved erectile function.

While the effects of it are limited on humans, and it is not as effective as Viagra (Viagra is 80 times more potent when compared to Horny Goat Weed), it is said to help remedy ED to some extent.

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Side Effects of Horny Goat Weed

Like any other medication, it has side effects too. Moreover, it should be avoided by certain individuals whose condition might be worsened by its use, like:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • People with bleeding disorders
  • People with heart diseases
  • One with hormone-sensitive cancer
  • People with thyroid disease
  • People about to go through surgery

Some side effects of horny goat weed may include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Mood changes, like irritability and aggression
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Spasms
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fainting

This does not cover all the side effects. The side effects depend on person to person and also on the usage of other prescribed medications. It is best to consult a doctor before consuming this supplement.

Moreover, taking extremely high doses of it can lead to kidney and liver problems. It is best to watch for symptoms for two months after starting its usage since symptoms take around that much time to develop.

Interaction with other Medications

It may put you at greater risk when taken with specific medications. Some of these medications include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Medication that slows blood clotting
  • Medication that may cause irregular heartbeat
  • Ibuprofen and over-the-counter painkillers
  • Medication that treats high blood pressure
  • Aromatase Inhibitors, like anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole
  • Belimumab
  • The medication changed by the liver like Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates
  • Beta-blockers

Again, since there have not been enough studies on horny goat weed, all medication interactions with it have not been covered. It is best to consult a doctor before starting its dosage to ensure your current medication will not react to the usage of horny goat weed.

Conclusion

Horny Goat Weed is not a well-researched supplement, and it can be dangerous when too much of it is consumed. Since it is an over-the-counter herb, there is no prescribed dosage for it. The dosage depends on a person’s age, health status, and gender. It cannot be assured that it is safe and effective unless more research is done on it, but it does seem to show some benefits for people who consume it.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration does not monitor the quality, purity, or safety of the herbs and it is best to consult a doctor and to be super cautious of ongoing medications and medical conditions when consuming them.
It is best to start with a small dose of horny goat weed and to notice for symptoms two months post-consumption, after which one can transition to larger doses as prescribed by the doctors.

Lastly, be sure to purchase it from a reliable source to ensure the quality of the product, and always look for a seal of approval when buying the product.

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