Horny goat weed has a two-thousand-year history of use as a sex-enhancer. Scientific texts on Chinese herbs and top medical doctors in Shanghai report that horny goat weed boosts libido, improves erectile function, and helps to mitigate menopausal discomfort. Horny goat weed is a botanical that has also been used traditionally in Japan. This herb is also used for disorders of the kidneys, joints, liver, back and knees. Horny goat weed’s most common use is as an aphrodisiac. Through research, horny goat weed has been found to have testosterone-like effects. It stimulates sexual activity for both men and women, increases male sperm production, stimulates the sensory nerve endings, and increases overall sexual desire.
Horny goat weed’s aphrodisiac effects have been verified in both animal and human research. Mice treated with a horny goat weed preparation produced “apparent effects on the improvement of sexuality”. It was also shown to improve their sperm producing capability. Since horny goat weed has been traditionally used for kidney disease, it is intriguing how it demonstrated an increase in the sexual drive and quality of life for patients with chronic renal failure.
Research has shown that horny goat weed significantly increases testosterone levels in mice. This appears to be the herb’s main mechanism of action, although horny goat weed could have more than one. For example, through research, it has been established that sexual arousal is linked to the activity of cholinergic neurotransmitters. However, an enzyme called acetyl-cholinesterase (ACHE) inactivates cholinergic neurotransmitters within 1/500 of a second. Research shows that horny goat weed is capable of inhibiting ACHE. This in turn could support higher levels of the key cholinergic neurotransmitters associated with sexual arousal. Research has also shown that horny goat weed has anti-fatigue effects and aids in preventing adrenal exhaustion.