Pregnancy and Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed has not been tested on pregnant women, so pregnant and breastfeeding women are discouraged from using the herb [source: Fairview].

Horny Goat Weed Side Effects

Television commercials for prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers often spew out a long list of possible side effects before the end of their 30-second spots. Some people think they're avoiding the possibility of such side effects by taking natural supplements, but that's not always the case -- and horny goat weed is no exception. Since it hasn't gone through an FDA approval process, horny goat weed's benefits and side effects aren't well-documented.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), two types of energy called yin and yang are present in the body. Horny goat weed a yang tonic, and TCM practitioners often recommend using it in combination with yin tonics. According to TCM theories, this helps keep the body in balance and reduce side effects [source: Blue Shield of California].

Studies on animals have reported decreased thyroid activity after the subjects were given large amounts of horny goat weed over a long period. Users have also claimed that ingesting horny goat weed sped up their heart rate [source: Blue Shield of California]. One case report describes a man brought to the hospital for tachyarrhythmia, or fast heart rate, after taking the herbal supplement [source: Partin et al]. At the same time, studies have shown that combination herbal supplements containing horny goat weed might lower a person's blood pressure to unhealthy levels [source: Hager].

Keep in mind that any time you mix medications or supplements, you run the risk of negative interactions. In other words, if you're using horny goat weed, you run into more potential danger if you're taking other medicines at the same time. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any supplement to your daily regimen [source: Fairview].

Check out the next page to discover what the horny goat weed can do for women.