Horny Goat Weed  (Yin Yang Huo)

Latin:  Epimedium sp.

Family:  Berberidaceae

Parts Used:  Leaves

Taste/Energetics:  Sweet, acrid, warm

Properties:  Hypotensive, aphrodisiac, anxiolytic, circulatory stimulant

Actions:   This is a classic Chinese herb  to improve sexual performance in both men and women, improve erectile function, increase energy levels and help reduce pre-menstrual tension.  The main constituent that scientists determine give it its libido enhancing properties is icariin.  Icariin is a smooth muscle relaxer and one theory is that Horny Goat Weed helps relax the system into a parasympathetic “Rest, Digest and Restore” state.  In this state it is easier to feel open, connected and receptive in sexual encounters.  This herb also helps dilates blood vessels to allow for a more free flow of circulation which also helps improve sexual function.

Dosage:   Like most libido enhancers, its essential to get to the root cause (exhaustion, depletion, trauma, diet, stress) than to just jack your body up with a performance enhancer.  That being said, Horny Goat Weed plays an important role in traditional medicine for improving libido when other issues are also examined.  3-9 grams standard decoction generally as part of  a larger modulating formula, 2-4 grams in capsules.

Contraindications:  Side effects can include feeling light headed, dehydrated and even can rarely induce vomiting in high doses.