Horny Goat Weed

Jul 25, 2022

Horny goat weed refers to various herb species of the Epimedium genus, and may be known as “yin yang huo.” It has limited evidence of health benefits.

Horny goat weed contains chemicals that might help increase blood flow and improve sexual function. It also contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act somewhat like the hormone estrogen.

People use horny goat weed for erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual problems, weak and brittle bones, health problems after menopause, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any of these uses.

What are other common names?

  • Epimedium acuminatum
  • Epimedium brevicornum
  • Epimedium grandiflorum f. flavescens
  • Epimedium grandiflorum
  • Epimedium koreanum
  • Epimedium macranthum
  • Epimedium pubescens
  • Epimedium sagittatum
  • Epimedium violaceum
  • Epimedium wushanense
  • Arrow-Leaf Barrenwort
  • Barrenwort
  • Bishop’s Hat
  • Chien-Hsieh
  • Epimedium
  • Fairy Wings
  • Japanese Epimedium
  • Randy Beef Grass
  • Rowdy Lamb Herb
  • Xian Ling Pi
  • Yin Yang Huo
  • Yin-Yang-Hua

What is this product used for?

There is no information from medical studies to support the use of horny goat weed for any health problem.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.
  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:
    • Heart problems
    • Blood pressure problems

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.
  • Signs of low blood pressure. These include feeling dizzy, weak, or tired; fainting; more thirst; or skin that is pale, cool, and clammy.
  • Signs of over stimulation. These include feeling very nervous or irritable, a fast or slow heart beat, sweating.
  • Very bad throwing up