Horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum)

background

The leaves of as many as 15 Epimedium species are used to make yin yang huo, an herb in traditional Chinese medicine. The name literally means "obscene goat leaves of pulse plants," which is translated as "horny goat weed" in English. Epimedium species that are used to make horny goat weed grow in China and Korea. The leaf of the plant is most commonly used as medicine, although other parts may sometimes be used.
Horny goat weed is rarely used as a single ingredient. It is traditionally used as an ingredient in a tonic to help promote health.
There is a lack of well-designed studies to support the use of horny goat weed. The herb has been studied for possible benefits in clogged arteries, menopause, and sexual disorders. More research is needed to determine its safety and effectiveness.

Related Terms

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 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).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Bone density (Grade: C)
Early studies suggest that horny goat weed extracts may help improve bone density. Although the results are promising, more research is needed before conclusions can be made.
Clogged arteries (Grade: C)
Horny goat weed is traditionally used to treat heart disease. Some research has suggested that the herb may improve symptoms of blood vessel diseases. More studies are needed before firm conclusions can be made.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Grade: C)
Some research has suggested that a combination of horny goat weed and Chinese yam may improve symptoms and quality of life in people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although this is promising, more research is needed in this area.
Hormonal effects (Grade: C)
Some research has suggested that horny goat weed extract may benefit sex hormone and lipid levels in postmenopausal women. More research is needed before firm conclusions can be made in this area.
Kidney disease (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that a horny goat weed mixture with or without alprostadil may improve symptoms of diabetic kidney disease. Although this is promising, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that a combination product containing horny goat weed may help treat polycystic ovarian syndrome. More research is needed in this area.
Sexual disorders (in people with kidney failure) (Grade: C)
Horny goat weed is traditionally used to increase fertility. Early research suggests that the herb may improve sexual performance and quality of life in people being treated for kidney failure. However, more research is needed before conclusions can be made.