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Horny Goat Weed

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Uses

What is horny goat weed used for?

Horny goat weed is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine.

Horny goat weed is used for weak back and knees, joint pain, osteoarthritis, mental and physical fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease, bronchitis, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, polio, a blood disorder called chronic leucopenia, viral infections of the heart, bone loss after menopause, weak bones (osteoporosis), and as a tonic.

Some men use horny goat weed for sexual performance problems including erectile dysfunction (ED) and involuntary ejaculation. It is also used to arouse sexual desire.

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how horny goat weed works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, it is known that horny goat weed contains chemicals which might help increase blood flow and improve sexual function. It also contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act somewhat like the female hormone estrogen, that might reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using horny goat weed?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of horny goat weed or other medications or other herbs.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.

How safe is horny goat weed?

Horny goat weed extract is possibly safe when taken by mouth, appropriately. A specific extract of horny goat weed containing phytoestrogens has been taken by mouth for up to 2 years. Also, a different extract of horny goat weed containing icariin has been taken by mouth for up to 6 months.

However, some types of horny goat weed are possibly unsafe when used for a long period of time or in high doses.

Special precautions & warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Horny goat weed is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is a concern that it might harm the developing fetus. Avoid using it. Not enough it known about the safety of using horny goat weed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using.

Bleeding disorders: Horny goat weed slows blood clotting and might increase the risk of bleeding. However, it is not known if this is a big concern. In theory, taking horny goat weed might make bleeding disorders worse.

Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Horny goat weed acts like estrogen and can increase estrogen levels in some women. Horney goat weed might make estrogen-sensitive conditions, such as breast and uterine cancer, worse.

Low blood pressure: Horny goat weed might lower blood pressure. In people who already have low blood pressure, using horny goat weed might drop blood pressure too low and increase the risk of fainting.

Surgery: Horny goat weed slows blood clotting and might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from horny goat weed?

Long-term use of these other forms of horny goat weed might cause dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, thirst, and nosebleed. Taking large amounts of horny goat weed might cause spasms and severe breathing problems.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.

Interactions

What interactions may I have with horny goat weed?

Horny goat weed may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.

Products that may interact with horny goat weed include:

  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Horny goat weed seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking horny goat weed along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Horny goat weed might slow blood clotting. Taking horny goat weed along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for horny goat weed?

The dose for horny goat weed may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does horny goat weed come in?

Horny goat weed may be available in the following dosage forms:

  • Encapsulated horny goat weed extract
  • Organic horny goat weed extract powder
  • Horny goat weedhealth drink combined with lewtress kombucha l

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Horny goat weed http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-699-horny%20goat%20weed.aspx?activeingredientid=699& Accessed July 21, 2017

Horny goat weed: Uses, benefits, side effects http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317023.php Accessed July 21, 2017

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD on May 02, 2020
Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD
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