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Horny Goat Weed

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Epimedium, rowdy lamb herb, barrenwort, yin yang huo


Horny goat weed is an herb that grows in China. The leaves have been used to ease fatigue and increase sex drive. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea.


There are no advised doses for horny goat weed.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Erectile dysfunction —may improve function when used with other herbs A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for most adults to take horny goat weed for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to for take a long period or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.B1-B3


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Erectile Dysfunction

A1. Punyawudho B, Puttilerpong C, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of Cappra® for the treatment of mild or mild to moderate erectile dysfunction in Thai male. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2012 Dec 31;10(2):310-315.

B. Safety

B1. Partin JF, Pushkin YR. Tachyarrhythmia and hypomania with horny goat weed. Psychosomatics. 2004 Nov-Dec;45(6):536-7.

B2. Metz D, Weston P, et al. Case report of vasculitic rash induced by Ginkgo biloba and/or Horny Goat Weed. BMJ Case Rep. 2009;2009. pii: bcr07.2008.0399.

B3. Bostock E, Kirkby K, et al. Mania associated with herbal medicines, other than cannabis: a systematic review and quality assessment of case reports. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jul 6;9:280.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020