September 10

Horny Goat Weed and Testosterone

(Article Medically Reviewed By Dr. Zach Hyde)

The name “Horny Goat Weed” is sure to result in a few giggles regardless of the maturity of the audience.

An aphrodisiac that has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, this little plant has quite the reputation.

However, does it really deserve it?

In this article, we’ll take a look at what this naughtily-named weed does for your weiner and for your testosterone levels.

Horny Goat Weed - Ancient Chinese Secret

It’s True: Horny Goat Weed Has Serious Boner Benefits 

A rough translation of the Chinese name for this herb is “the plant for the man that likes sex too much, just like a goat.”

This makes it sort of hard to argue that ancient healers were hunting down and grinding up the plant because they liked the taste.

Nope – they knew right off the bat that “Epimedium,” as it’s called by more boring researchers, packed a serious hormonal punch. 

But why does it work? 

The answer is an ingredient known as icariin.

This chemical compound has been shown to have a strong inhibitory effect on the PDE-5 enzyme, which – among other things – plays a big role in muscle contraction and relaxation.

If you’ve ever tasted the forbidden pharmaceutical fruits of Cialis or Viagra, you might know that these products are designed as PDE-5 blockers as well. 

The problem is that those drugs are synthetic and thus carry all the side effects and problems associated with pharmaceuticals.

Icariin, on the other hand, is about as natural as it gets.

Horny Goat Weed & Testosterone (Icariin Benefits)

So, what does it do? 

  • Icariin has been shown to have beneficial effects on both erectile health and libido. 
  • Icariin helps stimulate nitric oxide synthase, which can increase blood flow to all parts of the body (including the penis). 
  • It protects against atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of the blood vessels over time. 
  • Icariin can mimic testosterone, aiding in the body’s production of free testosterone. 
  • It is a powerful antioxidant, which allows it to repair cellular damage and stave off a variety of debilitating conditions.

These are just some of the many benefits associated with Horny Goat Weed.

Of course, just glancing at them, it should be obvious how this plant has made it onto the supplement list for many men.

However, before we get into how to introduce icariin to your diet, let’s see what science has to say about its use. 

The Research Behind Horny Goat Weed and Icariin

If something out of Eastern Medicine shows any promise, you can rest assured that Western Medicine is going to put it through the wringer before signing off on any of those benefits.

Horny Goat Weed has been no different.

Fortunately, it has performed amazingly well in both peer-reviewed research scenarios and less formal testing.

Here are some of the most important results:

One 2006 study performed on rats whose reproductive systems had been inhibited found that 80 mg of icariin administered daily was enough to triple the average testosterone levels.

This was done without any significant changes in luteinizing hormone (LH) or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, which normally accompany testosterone increases.

The researchers eventually determined that icariin does not stimulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicle bridge like many other T boosters but instead mimics testosterone inside the testicles. 

Another study, this time performed in-vitro, confirmed icariin to be one of very few natural PDE-5 inhibitors.

Because it was able to boost nitric oxide production and inhibit its breakdown, it acted in much the same way synthetic drugs like Viagra and Cialis did to increase erectile potential.

In fact, this study was part of the evidence used to rescind part of Viagra’s patent, as the makers of the drug, Pfizer, were then claiming that their pill was the only thing in the world that could inhibit PDE-5. 

Another in-vitro study from 2010 determined that icariin increased both nerve growth and blood flow in the pelvic region.

The rats that were treated saw significant development of the penile tissues as well as greater neurite length throughout the pelvic ganglia.

Again, this was largely attributed to the chemical’s phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibiting effects.

Even just looking at these three studies, you can start to put together a “three-step process” by which icariin can greatly benefit male sexual health.

First, you have the inhibition of the PDE-5 enzyme.

Second, you have an increase in nitric oxide levels.

Third, you have increased blood flow to the pelvic region.

All of these work together to ensure your penile tissues are given the best chance to perform.

Add the fact that this magic little plant actually mimics testosterone inside your testes, and you have a real recipe for sexual success. 

Horny Goat Weed - Ancient Chinese Medicine Capsules

Icariin’s Many Other Benefits

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on how a herbal supplement can benefit your sexual performance.

However, I think it’s worth noting just how potent Horny Goat Weed is.

To do that, I want to spend a few minutes going over its many other health benefits.

After all, your sexual health is just one component of what keeps you young, active, and thriving.

You should be aware of the other ways this incredible herb can nurture your non-bedroom lifestyle. 

Other Proven Benefits of Icariin

  • Helps maintain Bone Mineral Density 
  • Aids in cardiovascular health
  • Mimics androgens to promote hormone balance
  • Antioxidant content helps protect your DNA from mutation
  • Helps lower cortisol and balance emotions
  • Aids in nerve regeneration
  • Supports healthy blood pressure and resists arterial damage. 

It’s also worth noting that while horny goat weed is considered to be most beneficial for men, it has been used by women to great success over the years.

Obviously, the other benefits listed above are just as important to women as they are for men. However, icariin also contains phytoestrogens which can greatly benefit post-menopausal women.

Don’t worry though.

These have been shown to have no effect on the estrogen levels of men who take the supplement. 

Horny Goat Weed Dosage For Men

The recommended dosage of non-capsule Horny Goat Weed supplements is about 2-4 grams a day, or a little more than half a teaspoon.

It’s highly recommended that you find a non-GMO source that maintains high-quality production methods. Though, it may cost a bit more than the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.

Here’s the brand I’ve been using since 2009.

Though some people like to take it right before intercourse, others find it more effective to dose it at the same time each day. 

I personally get the best results when I dose up first thing in the morning, especially when I take the herb with a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil.

Why?

Because you need to consume fat in order to increase absorption of the fat soluble alkaloids in goat weed.

I also believe that Icariin is better absorbed by the body in the presence of fat based on personal experience.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll dose up, but I highly recommend testing goat weed both with and without fat to see how you respond in each case.


About the author 

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is an independent health researcher, fitness coach, author, and owner of several websites that teach men how maintain erections and boost testosterone levels naturally, without using steroids, drugs, or artificial hormones.

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