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The Benefits of Horny Goat Weed Women Should Consider

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There are so many herbal supplements to consider for supporting women’s health, but one wins the prize for most original name. Horny goat weed is the tongue-in-cheek nickname given to a leafy plant whose scientific name is epimedium (or yin yang huo in the Chinese). In fact, the name was given as sort of a joke: legend has it that it a Chinese goat herder noticed heightened sexual activity in his goats after they ate the plant. The nickname has stuck.

Horny goat weed has been used for over 2000 years to boost libido in both men and women, but it is frequently discussed in conversations about men’s health, particularly because of its use in treating erectile dysfunction. One reason behind this is that studies have shown that horny goat weed may enhance the production of bioactive nitric oxide, a chemical that mimics testosterone.

Still more studies have examined how icariin (the active component of horny goat weed) interacted with rats with erectile function caused by nerve functions. That research indicated that horny goat weed “may have beneficial effects on erectile function” for those with nerve injuries.

However, all of the focus on horny goat weed and men doesn’t mean that horny goat weed lacks benefits for women. In fact, it’s. The horny goat weed women take may affect everything from their sexual health to their bone health. So if you’ve been wondering if you should try horny goat weed, women, listen up. Here’s what the studies have to say.

Horny Goat Weed and Estrogen

Horny goat weed does not just affect testosterone. It also may affect estrogen. A clinical trial has shown that “an extract of horny goat weed could increase estrogen levels and improve lipid profiles in postmenopausal women without any significant side effects.”

Estrogenic botanicals like horny goat weed, including soy, red clover, kudzu, hops, licorice, rhubarb, chasteberry, flaxseed and alfalfa, may also have additional breast cancer preventive effects “linked to hormonal, chemical, inflammatory, and/or epigenetic pathways.”

Horny Goat Weed and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, or “porous bone” is a condition that especially affects aging women. This is brought on in part by menopause, and the subsequent drop in estrogen. Extracts of epimedium have “long been used for bone health” and can “exert beneficial effects on bone health in estrogen-deficient and other osteoporosis animal models.” Recent clinical trials also support the use of epimedium, or horny goat weed, in support of bone health.

Other studies have shown that epimedium can prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Horny Goat Weed and Aging

One use of horny goat weed women (and men) may be interested in is its potential anti-aging effects. One study of the effects of horny goat weed on aging looked at the effect of epimedium on age-related metabolites in aging rats; these metabolites include unsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, nucleotides, carnosine, ergothioneine and amino acids. Each metabolite showed “age related changes” that “were reset to a younger level” after administration.

Conclusions

Overall, a literature review concluded that “modern pharmacology studies and clinical practice demonstrated that Epimedium and its active compounds possess wide pharmacological actions, especially in strengthening yang, hormone regulation, anti-osteoporosis, immunological function modulation, anti-oxidation and anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anti-depressant activities.”

There are many ways to enjoy horny goat weed. It can be made into a delicious herbal tea, either homemade or in store-bought tea bags.

Some prefer capsules or tablets, or even tinctures. Many of these come in forms specifically for targeting women’s libido, or supporting ideal estrogen levels.

Have you noticed horny goat weed affecting your sex drive, hormone levels, or bone health? Tell us about it in the comments!

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