Image for Horny goat weed(spp.)
Horny goat weed(Epimedium spp.)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acetylicariin, acuminatoside, anhydroicaritin, apigenin, baohuoside I, baohuoside II, barrenwort, benzene, Berberidaceae (family), bishop's hat, breviflavone B, buxueyangyan mixture, caohuoside B, chrysoeriol, desmethylanhydroicaritin, desmethylicaritin, diphylloside A, diphylloside B, Epimedii folium, Epimedii herba, epimedin A, epimedin B, epimedin C, Epimedium acuminatum Franch., Epimedium brevicornum Maxim., Epimedium cremeum, Epimedium coactum, Epimedium davidii, Epimediumdiphyllum, Epimedium fargesii, Epimedium flavone, Epimedium grandiflorum, Epimedium grandiflorum Morr., Epimedium grandiflorum var. flavescens, Epimedium hunanense, Epimedium koreanum Nakai, Epimedium leishanense, Epimedium leptorrhizum, Epimedium myrianthum, Epimedium pubescens Maxim., Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. et Zucc.) Maxim., Epimedium sempervirens, Epimedium truncatum, Epimedium wushanense T.S.Ying, Epimedii, epimedokoreanin B, epimedokoreanoside I, epimedoside A, epimedoside E, fairy wings, herba Epimedii, huichun zhibao, hyperin, hyperoside, icariin, icarisid I, icarisid II, icaritin, ikarisoside A, ikarisoside B, ikarisoside C, ikarisoside F, Japanese epimedium, kaempferol, korepimedoside A, korepimedoside B linolenic acid, luteolin, magnoflorine, oleic acid, O-methylicariin, palmitic acid, prenyflavone, quercetin, rowdy lamb herb, sagittatoside A, sagittatoside B, sterols, syringaresinol, tannin, vitamin E, wanepimedoside A, xian ling pi, xianlinpi, xin-qin granule (long-spur epimedium), yangheye, yin yang huo, zuo-gui-wan.
  • Selected combination products: Enzyte® (Epimedium, niacin, Panax ginseng, Tribulus terrestris, Avena sativa (oat), zinc oxide, Lepidium meyenii (maca), Muira puama, Ginkgo biloba, L-arginine, and saw palmetto), Equiguard® (Epimedium brevicornum, Morindae officinalis, fructus Rosa laevigatae, Rubus chingii, Schisandra chinensis, Ligustrum lucidum, Cuscuta chinensis, Psoralea corylifolia, Astragalus membranaceus), Tangshenqing (TSQ) (Astragalus membranaceus, Panax notoginseng, Epimedium brevicornum, etc.), tian-huang-ling (larvae of silkworm with botrytis, milk vetch, long-spur epimedium), zuo-gui-wan (rehmannia, Chinese yam, wolfberry fruit, dogwood fruit, cyathula root, dodder seed, antler glue, tortoise plastron glue, Epimedium, morinda root).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The leaves of as many as 15 species of Epimedium are used as the herb known as yin yang huo in traditional Chinese medicine, which is usually translated as "horny goat weed" because the Chinese characters literally mean "obscene goat leaves of pulse plants." Various medicinal Epimedium species grow all over China, as well as in Korea. Other species of Epimedium are found elsewhere, but their similarity is unclear. The leaf of the plant is commonly used medicinally, although the petiole and stem may be used in some species.
  • As with many other herbs in Chinese medicine, horny goat weed is rarely used as a single ingredient. Horny goat weed is traditionally used as an ingredient in a yang tonic and for combating wind-damp-cold blocking qi circulation.
  • Despite its traditional and popular use, few well-designed clinical trials exist in support of horny goat weed. Areas of research include atherosclerosis, hormonal effects for postmenopausal women, and sexual dysfunction. More rigorous research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of horny goat weed for any indication in humans.

Dosing/Toxicology

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Precautions/Contraindications

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Mechanism of Action

  • Content available for subscribers only.

History

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Evidence Table

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Evidence Discussion

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Products Studied

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.