Horny goat weed is a herb known as a “natural aphrodisiac,” as it has been shown in some animal studies to have positive effects on hormone production and libido. The plant that produces horny goat weed is the species called Epimedium, a member of the Berberidaceae plant family that mostly grows in China, other parts of Asia, and in the Mediterranean. Epimedium contains the active ingredient called icariin, which is responsible for most of it’s health-promoting effects.
If you’re thinking that horny goat weed has a strange name, then you’re on to something. The story behind the name is that it originated when farmers noticed that goats and sheep who ate epimedium herbs became more excited around animals of the opposite sex. Scientists haven’t proven that horny goat weed increases sexual function in humans. However, anecdotal evidence, along with certain animal studies, suggests it has some of the following benefits:
Helps to increase increase testosterone production
Helps to increase estrogen levels, particularly in post-menopausal women
Helps to treat conditions like impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED) or vaginal dryness