Does Horny Goat Weed Help With ED

Does Horny Goat Weed Help With ED?

Horny Goat Weed is believed to help erectile dysfunction by containing compounds that enhance sexual function. Many men have reported improvement in erectile function after using Horny Goat Weed. So, does Horny Goat Weed help erectile dysfunction? And does it pose any risks when used? Let's explore this article.

Before exploring further, please read the disclaimer located at the end of this webpage.

Key Takeaways

  • Horny Goat Weed may support the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
  • Horny Goat Weed contains Icariin, which may inhibit enzymes related to erectile dysfunction.
  • Compounds in Horny Goat Weed may enhance blood flow and improve erectile function.
  • Horny Goat Weed may cause side effects and interact with certain medications, so caution is advised.

Does Horny Goat Weed Help With ED?

Horny Goat Weed is used as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction

Currently, Horny Goat Weed is used as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction.

It has been demonstrated that Horny Goat Weed contains substances that can increase blood flow to the penis. This is crucial for maintaining erection hardness, and insufficient blood flow can lead to erectile dysfunction [1].

This herb also contains phytoestrogens, which have a structure similar to the estrogen hormone in females [1]. These substances impact sexual desire, blood flow, and other reproductive hormones in males.

A study showed that Icariin in Horny Goat Weed improved erectile function in mice [2]. Another human study demonstrated that Icariin can inhibit phosphodiesterase-5A1 (PDE5A1) enzymes associated with erectile dysfunction, indicating high effectiveness in inhibiting PDE5A1 [3].

Therefore, Horny Goat Weed appears to be a potential solution for managing erectile dysfunction.

What Is Horny Goat Weed?

Legend has it that goats became notably frisky after eating this herb, hence its name Horny Goat Weed. Additionally known as Epimedium, it is an herb with leaves and stems used in traditional medicine as a tonic, aphrodisiac, and anti-inflammatory agent.

Horny Goat Weed is widely used to treat conditions such as angina, erectile dysfunction (ED), osteoporosis, and arthritis. Moreover, due to its constituent Icariin, it also protects cardiovascular health superbly through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-regulating effects [4].

Today, it is commonly available in tablets, powder, capsules, or tea.

What Is Erectile Function - ED?

what is erectile function

Erection occurs when a man is sexually stimulated. At that time, nerve impulses in the penis release chemicals to allow blood to flow into the erectile tissues inside. These tissues, similar to a spongy muscle, act like a pump, making the penis hard and erect. However, if blood cannot flow in fast enough or is obstructed, the penis cannot become sufficiently complex for sexual intercourse, leading to erectile dysfunction (ED).

Erectile dysfunction is a condition where men have difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection during sexual activity. This issue is common in men over 40 years old [5].

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by various factors, including:

Psychological factors: Depression, performance anxiety, other sexual disorders.

Organic factors:

  • Aging: Heart disease, high blood pressure, other associated conditions.
  • Diseases: Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, neurological disorders (multiple sclerosis), endocrine disorders (hypogonadism, thyroid disorders), injuries (pelvic fractures, spinal cord injury), dyslipidemia, stroke, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high eye pressure disease, multiple sclerosis, consequences of priapism.
  • Medications: Antidepressants, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, opioids, stimulants.
  • Medical conditions: Following prostatectomy through the urethra.
  • Psychological and organic factors can combine and cause ED. Additionally, an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking, substance abuse, and alcohol consumption, can also affect sexual health.

How Does Horny Goat Weed Work For ED?

Horny Goat Weed is considered a potential solution for erectile dysfunction due to its internal constituents.

Horny Goat Weed contains Icariin, which is known to inhibit phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzymes, helping to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to erectile tissues. This can improve the ability to achieve and maintain penile erection during sexual intercourse [2].

Furthermore, Horny Goat Weed enhances Nitric Oxide (NO) production in the body through Icariin [6]. NO plays a crucial role as a signaling molecule in the erection process, aiding in blood vessel dilation and increased blood flow to the penis, thereby effectively improving erectile function.

However, more human studies are still needed to observe the potential of Horny Goat Weed in managing ED.

How Does Erectile Function Men Talk About Horny Goat Weed?

How Does Erectile Function Men Talk About Horny Goat Weed

Currently, studies on animals and humans have shown the potential of Horny Goat Weed as a natural therapy for erectile dysfunction [1], [2], [3].

Several Horny Goat Weed products are now available on the market, and men who use them often report positive experiences. They may experience improved erectile function and enhanced vitality noticeably. Additionally, it can improve their mood and sleep quality.

However, some believe it doesn't significantly boost their energy levels.
It can be observed that Horny Goat Weed may support effectiveness in improving erectile function for some men. However, results may vary depending on each individual's physiology and health conditions.

Moreover, in studies on Icariin's ability to inhibit PDE5A1 (an enzyme related to erectile dysfunction), the effectiveness of Horny Goat Weed is shown not to match that of sildenafil (Viagra). You may already know that Viagra is a brand name for sildenafil, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men.

Horny Goat Weed Side Effects ED Men Should Be Aware

Alongside its positive effects, Horny Goat Weed may also cause some side effects that men should be aware of.

When using Horny Goat Weed, your body may experience side effects such as nosebleeds, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat, especially when taken in large doses. Some users also report changes in mood and anxiety.

For individuals with heart disease or hormone-sensitive cancers, sweating or feeling hot may occur.

One case noted a senior patient with a history of heart disease experiencing rapid abnormal heart rhythms (tachyarrhythmia) and hypomania accompanied by agitation after two weeks of using Horny Goat Weed [7].

Another case involved an elderly patient developing a rash four days after using Ginkgo biloba and Horny Goat Weed. The rash appeared as pustules, red patches, and pain in the arms and legs with signs of inflammation [7].

Furthermore, Horny Goat Weed can interact with certain medications, so caution is advised when using it:

  • High blood pressure medications
  • Anti-arrhythmic medications
  • Blood thinners
  • Ibuprofen pain relievers
  • Caffeine

It's important to avoid using it for pregnant or breastfeeding women and individuals with bleeding disorders. It may also cause allergic reactions in those sensitive to plants in the Berberidaceae family.

Read more: Does Horny Goat Weed Work For Women?

How to Take Horny Goat Weed For Sexual Benefits?

How to Take Horny Goat Weed For Sexual Benefits

As mentioned earlier, Horny Goat Weed is commonly available in tablets, powder, capsules, or tea forms.

Tablets: You can take tablets with water after meals to enhance absorption. Currently, icariin tablets and capsules are available in various doses, typically ranging from 250 to 500mg, standardized according to icariin content [7]. The recommended dosage for adults is 3–9g of dried herb daily [8].

Powder: If using powder form, mix it with water, fruit juice, smoothies, or yogurt to improve its flavor. In this form, you can easily adjust the dosage of Horny Goat Weed. It's recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it for optimal adaptation by your body.

Capsules: Capsules are the most convenient form of using Horny Goat Weed; you can take them after meals. These capsules often combine with other herbs to create a comprehensive health formula.

Tea: If you prefer tea, you can brew yourself a delicious cup of Horny Goat Weed tea. Boil water and pour it into a cup, then steep a tea bag for 5-10 minutes. You can add a bit of honey or lemon for extra flavor.

Other Benefits Of Horny Goat Weed

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Horny Goat Weed is widely used for osteoporosis [8].

Epimedium species also treat various conditions, including low-grade joint inflammation, menopausal symptoms, and memory loss [8].

Additionally, it can be used to enhance energy, reduce menstrual and menopausal symptoms, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure [9].

Other Natural Remedies For ED

Apart from medical treatments, there are several natural methods you can adopt to improve ED:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Limiting intake of stimulants like alcohol, smoking, ...
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychological counseling

Furthermore, you can also use other therapies, such as L-arginine and pycnogenol, or other herbal products (ginseng, Prelox, Tribulus terrestris), to manage your erectile dysfunction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Horny Goat Weed Make You Bigger?

Currently, there is no research showing that Horny Goat Weed increases penis size. It's important to note that some supplements containing horny goat weed may mislead consumers by advertising size-enhancing effects.

Does Horny Goat Weed Make You Last Longer?

Horny Goat Weed may help improve erection hardness, increase stamina, and reduce recovery time after ejaculation for some individuals. However, effectiveness may vary among different people.

Does Horny Goat Weed Get You Hard?

Yes, many men have reported that Horny Goat Weed can improve their ability to achieve and maintain erections.

Does Horny Goat Weed Help with Libido?

Horny Goat Weed may increase libido in both men and women.

Does Horny Goat Weed Work Effectively?

The effectiveness of Horny Goat Weed can vary from person to person. Some people find it very effective, while others may experience slight improvement.


Horny Goat Weed may support individuals experiencing erectile dysfunction. However, for the question "Does Horny Goat Weed Help with ED?" more human studies are needed to prove its capabilities and effects. Also, cultivate a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management to improve reproductive health and sexual function.


  • [1] Horny Goat Weed: MedlinePlus Supplements. Published 2023. Accessed June 25, 2024.
  • [2] Shindel AW, Xin ZC, Lin G, et al. Erectogenic and Neurotrophic Effects of Icariin, a Purified Extract of Horny Goat Weed (Epimediumspp.) In Vitro and In Vivo. ˜The œjournal of sexual medicine. 2010;7(4_Part_1):1518-1528. doi:
  • [3] Potent Inhibition of Human Phosphodiesterase-5 by Icariin Derivatives. ACS Publications. Published 2020. Accessed June 25, 2024.
  • [4] Fang J, Zhang Y. Icariin, an Anti-atherosclerotic Drug from Chinese Medicinal Herb Horny Goat Weed. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2017;8. doi:
  • [5] Leslie SW, Thushanth Sooriyamoorthy. Erectile Dysfunction. Published January 9, 2024. Accessed June 25, 2024.
  • [6]‌ Li L, Luo Y, Liu J, Zhang Y, Fu X, Yang D. Icariin Inhibits Pulmonary Hypertension Induced by Monocrotaline through Enhancement of NO/cGMP Signaling Pathway in Rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. 2016;2016:1-10. doi:
  • [7] Horny Goat Weed Uses, Benefits & Dosage Herbal Database. Published 2023. Accessed June 25, 2024.
  • [8] Edwards SE, da I, Williamson EM, Heinrich M. Horny Goat Weed. ResearchGate. Published February 2015. Accessed June 25, 2024.
  • [9] Horny Goat Weed: Uses, Benefits And Side Effects. Forbes. Published May 24, 2024. Accessed June 25, 2024.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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