Herbal testosterone boosters promise to improve sex drive and enhance intensive workout results.
Before you can evaluate these claims, you need to understand the role of this hormone produced in the body.
Testosterone is produced in the male testes (testicles) and mediates physiological processes such as sexual function and muscle growth.
Herbal testosterone supplements and folk remedies are promoted to support your body’s anatomy in maintaining healthy levels of test.
Currently, the information market is flooded with products and solutions to address underwhelming results at the gym by increasing testosterone.
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Testosterone is produced or manufactured in the male testes, but the testicles itself don’t give instructions for this increase or decrease in production.
Rather, those instructions come from two glands found in the brain: the pituitary and the hypothalamus.
The pituitary and the hypothalamus gland are part of the endocrine system.
So too are the adrenaline glands, the ovaries, the testes, the parathyroid, and the thyroid glands.
Female ovaries produce estrogen, which provides secondary sex characteristics in females while the testes initiate and promote growth as well as maintenance of secondary sex characteristics in males.
What does that have to do with the pituitary or hypothalamus glands?
The pituitary gland is called the master gland of the body due to its job of regulating the functions of all endocrine glands.
The pituitary gets its instructions from the hypothalamus.
Among its many functions, the pituitary gland is responsible for the production of gonadotropins like gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) which stimulate or increase the synthesis or production of testosterone in males as well as stimulate synthesis of androgens.
The hypothalamus gland produces neurohormones that give instructions to the pituitary gland to perform a certain function.
For example, the hypothalamus can send signals or neurohormones that instruct the pituitary gland to increase or decrease production of any gland in the body, including testosterone.
Healthy testosterone production in normal range levels based on age is therefore the responsibility of the pituitary gland.
Of course, a number of medical conditions, disease processes, or injury can interfere with the function of testosterone synthesis in the testes, as can the result of disease or trauma to the pituitary or hypothalamus gland.
Using herbal or dietary supplements that promote the health and wellness of the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus gland, and all endocrine glands in the body may help promote the production of testosterone and increase levels naturally and safely.
While vitamins are not technically a herb, they are often incorporated into testosterone booster products.
Vitamin D and a product held to increase the Testosterone levels called Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) are the focus of this section.
There is scientific evidence establishing that mega doses of vitamin D can have significant effects on Testosterone levels in males.
The vitamin is also argued to suppress sex hormone binding globulin (SBHG) levels. When testosterone is bound to SBHG, it is prevented from exerting its activity.
Lower SHBG levels allow for higher levels of free testosterone.
Vitamin D has a reputation for being the best product for boosting Testosterone levels.
There is a dearth of clinical studies that demonstrate how low levels of vitamin D can lead to a deficiency of endogenous Testosterone production, especially during the cold winter months when there is little to no sunlight.
One 2011 study took place in Austria and involved 200 test subjects.
One control group was injected 3332 IU of vitamin D every day, while the placebo group did not get any.
Results showed that the men who received an ample dose of vitamin D had higher Testosterone levels and also lower SHBG levels compared to the vitamin D-deficient group.
Androgen and vitamin D levels are linked to each other in the men and fluctuate by season.
Reportedly, a number of people who had been taking vitamin D supplements and had blood work done by doctors showed increased levels of total and free Testosterone only one to two months after starting the supplements.
ZMA is a drug developed by the founder of Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) Victor Conte.
It is a combination of three ingredients with a particular composition:
Initial claims were that it was a good Testosterone booster that increased the strength levels amongst weight trainers and athletes.
Although all three minerals present in the compound perform important biological processes, zinc is held to have the highest efficiency when it comes to fertility improvement and gonadal protection.
The combination, however, has been reported to have no particular effect on these processes. There were studies conducted initially which showed that ZMA increased the strength in football players, but it was discovered that there were errors in the methodology.
Victor Conte, the owner of the company manufacturing ZMA, was an author of the study and had funded the research.
Since then, other studies conducted in 2004 and 2007 on ZMA showed that the drug had no effect on androgen levels or strength endurance in the human body.
If you visit your local herbal or nutritional store, you’re likely to find dozens if not hundreds of supplements designed to boost health and wellness naturally.
The same applies to herbal testosterone supplements.
Some herbs and nutrients have been studied in their ability to promote test production and increase levels in men of various ages.
Be aware that many have not, even though they have been used for centuries if not thousands of years.
Many swear by the effectiveness of herbal remedies, herbal components, and herbal ingredients that improve testosterone production and help raise levels of low T in men.
While there is little doubt that nutrients like vitamins and minerals are essential for health and wellness, a number of herbs can also promote health and wellness not only in the endocrine system, but numerous body systems.
Some of the most common ingredients found in the best herbal testosterone booster supplements include:
Eurycoma longifolia – more commonly known as Malaysian ginseng or Tongkat ali, this herb has been used for centuries as not only an aphrodisiac, but in the relief of some types of sexual dysfunction.
Today it’s mainly used to enhance libido, promote weight loss, and improve athletic performance. Malaysian ginseng is believed to boost production of androgen hormones.
Tribulus terrestris is also known as Puncture Vine, Devil’s Weed, or Devils Thorn. The plant has long been used in traditional folklore medicine in Asia, Africa, and throughout Europe.
In limited studies involving small animals, it has been shown to have some ability to increase test levels to the point of relieving some symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Human studies are lacking, and results in young men aged 20 to 36 did not show any improvement in test levels. Studies involving older men (40 plus) are lacking.
Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine practices for treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction. A 2010 study determined that this herbal ingredient may improve quality of semen, improve production of testosterone, and improve fertility.
Yohimbe is a century-old aphrodisiac typically used to treat erectile and sexual dysfunction. Some research studies have shown that it may improve performance and relief of some mild forms of erectile dysfunction.
The most prominent type of Testosterone booster on the market is the herbal variation.
Tribulus Terrestis, Eurycoma Longifolia, Avena Sativa, Tongkat Ali and many more continue to gain popularity among physique builders.
Now that we’ve listed some of the most popular ingredients, we are going to evaluate two popular herbal supplements using available research.
The two herbal supplements we will review here are Tribulus Terrestis and Tongkat Ali.
There are mixed reviews and opinions on these herbal extracts and natural products which claim to stimulate the production of Testosterone in men.
Many companies selling supplements have products that contain a blend of ingredients which may include a few of the herbs mentioned above.
The herbal ingredients are also available separately, and are reported to be purchased at very low prices compared to the ones sold by big brands selling proprietary blends in packaged products.
The problem that is found with most of the herbal compounds is that there have been very few studies conducted on humans that demonstrate their efficacy.
There have been many studies conducted on lab rats and primates, and they have produced compelling data.
But the effects these products trigger in humans is still little understood.
Tribulus appears to be the most popular herbal drug for boosting testosterone, and there is animal research available for that product.
However, opinions about whether the herb is effective as a Testosterone booster are still divided.
Tribulus is said to offer many physical benefits to the human body, but this article will only explore the benefits it offers regarding Testosterone boosting.
Tribulus grows on a vine and is cultivated at moderate temperatures in tropical areas.
It is believed that Tribulus contributes to the support and promotion of healthy androgen levels since it is held to be a natural Testosterone booster.
Advocates claim it stimulates the pituitary gland which releases LH and FSH. These gonadotropins send a signal to the Leydig cells in the testes to manufacture Testosterone.
The drug Tribulus is used by athletes as an anabolic steroid alternative.
One 2008 study noted that the urine samples taken from two athletes taking 500 mg of Tribulus three times a day showed no change in the endogenous Testosterone production after two days.
A different 2008 study which had rabbits, primates and rats as the test subjects showed the androgen levels among primates increased but not enough to be considered statistically significant.
However, the androgen levels in rats and rabbits did increase to statistically significant levels compared to control groups.
An earlier 2007 study conducted on male rates concluded that the subjects had indeed showed a positive response to the Testosterone increase when they were injected with Tribulus.
Since primates are a much closer species to human beings than rabbits or rats, ambiguity about the effects of Tribulus on humans remains.
Another 2007 study conducted on a group of elite rugby players that spanned over 5 weeks showed that although the muscle mass had significantly increased over a 5 week training period, there was no noticeable difference in the gains made between the Tribulus group and the control group.
Furthermore, the compound Tribulus did not alter the Testosterone levels present in urine, nor did it trigger significant strength or mass gains claimed by manufacturers.
From the above mentioned evidence, many physique builders have concluded that Tribulus either works as a mild Testosterone booster, or has no effect at all.
Tongkat Ali is a herbal product that is the second most popular Testosterone booster, and it is often combined with Tribulus in many Testosterone booster supplements.
As is the case of Tribulus, there is existing animal data demonstrating this herbal product’s effectiveness in boosting Testosterone levels in mice and rats by stimulating the HPTA.
However, like with Tribulus, there is a lack of studies conducted on human subjects and the effects can’t be generalized.
The limited amount of evidence does suggest that Tongkat Ali causes a more positive improvement in testosterone levels as compared to Tribulus.
One study investigated the effect of the use of Tongkat Ali on the Testosterone levels of men with late-onset andropause.
The results of a 2013 study showed that administering a 200 mg extract of water-soluble Tongkat Ali for one month lead to normal Testosterone levels among test subjects that previously had lower than normal levels.
One important thing about these results was that Tongkat Ali did not raise testosterone above the baseline value, or anywhere close to the supraphysiological levels that are necessary for strength and physique changes.
Herbal Testosterone boosters are widely considered to be a grey area as there is not enough evidence to support the claim that they significantly boost Testosterone levels.
Many studies have been conducted on animals, but more research is needed to support the promises of these products.
However, based on current research Tongkat Ali appears to be the best herbal supplement for boosting testosterone. Still, this herb does not appear to be nearly as effective as Vitamin D.
When considering an herbal testosterone booster for men or any herbal steroids, do your homework. Check ingredients and know what those ingredients do.
Talk to your doctor about safety, dosage, and efficacy, especially if you have been diagnosed with medical conditions or disease processes. Doing so may help reduce potential side effects or adverse reactions.Herbal Testosterone BoosterHow Do Test Boosters WorkMuscletech Testosterone BoosterNatural Test BoosterNatural Testosterone BoosterStrongest Testosterone BoosterT BoosterTest BoosterTestosterone BoosterTestosterone Booster Elite SeriesTestosterone Booster GNCTestosterone Booster Pros ConsTestosterone Booster ReviewsTestosterone Booster Side EffectsTestosterone Booster WalmartTestosterone Rich FoodsTestosterone SupplementsTop Testosterone BoostersWhat Does Testosterone Booster Do to the Body