T Nation

T Boosting Plant Extracts


Hi to everyone,

I'm a Biology student in Engalnd, as well as a semi-pro rugby player - and as part of my MSc i'm looking into the possible T boosting /estrogen supressing effects of different plant extracts..... I'm aware of some of the better known ones, e.g.:
Tribulus terrestris
Vitex agnus castus
Prunella vulgaris
''Wild Oat'' etc.

I just wondered what other natural T boosters you may have come across & in your opinion their efficacy???

Any input you could give would be great,
Cheers J


On the flip side, you need to address things that boost estrogen levels. Are you on that track as well? For some, elimination of something may have a greater benefit than introducing the other agents.


Thanks KSman, i've read your ''Things that damage your hormones'' thread..... great thread, i will consider this in my proposal for sure & try to eliminate the kinds of things mentioned

I was looking more for any experiences people may have had with different plant extracts & ''natural'' tesosterone boosters - particularly their thoughts with regards to their efficacy..... i'm looking to get some anecdotal type evidence to go alongside the peer reviewed papers, the tutor i've got is pretty open minded & doesn't want me just regurgitating work from journals.

I've took a natural booster around 6 months ago, containing fenugreek, passiflora, avena sativa & Bioperine - i certainly noticed increased libido, as well as enjoying deeper sleep & i felt fresh throughout the day.

Any help is much appreciated, J


Tribulus terrestris contributed to my secondary hypogonadism. I highly recommend staying away from that T "booster" if you want to stay healthy.

You also need to wonder about the purity of these unregulated herbal supplements. How do you guarantee that you are indeed getting pure herbal extracts and not something spiked with synthetic androgens?

That is why I have changed my mind and think that dietary supplements absolutely should be regulated.


Why would a supplement maker add synthetic androgens which are costly and mostly ineffective as orals in any case?

So regulated products are safer? About 500 people die from Tylenol induced liver failure every year and 10's of thousands need hospital treatment. There are lots of horror stories from FDA approved products.

Regulation of supplements is what the drug companies want so there is nothing to compete with their crap. They do not like things that are disease preventative as that reduces the number of sick people who will need to buy their products. Regulation will not make supplements safer, it will remove most from the market place. Supplement makers are subject to regulations concerning record keeping and process/quality controls and other practices.


Recent legislation in the US now requires most supplement manufacturers to follow "current good manufacturing practices" - CGMPs. This is not as stringent as the requirements for drug manufacturers, but does provide some protection from contamination. Each ingredient must be accurately labeled.

As far as outright regulation, the FDA has little power to limit sales of supplements, and can only do so if the supplement has shown prior evidence of being harmful (as in ephedra for example).

As a consumer, it is ultimately your responsibility to do the research and to determine the risks associated with any supplement (or drug for that matter).


Why add androgens? To make a bunk product work. This tribulus was very expensive. Who knows, maybe just tribulus messed me up, but this brand specifically did the trick.

Why add expensive sildenafil [viagra] to "natural" erection boosters? To make a bunk product work. This has been documented numerous times by the FDA.

Regulated products may not be "safer" in the sense that you define safer. But at least you know what you are taking. Tylenol is tylenol. Regulation should mean that you have to prove that your product does indeed contain what you are advertising and at an acceptable level of purity.


We already have this in the US (read my previous post). Regulation as it applies to drugs would mean that all supplements would need to undergo years of laboratory testing costing $$$ before the FDA would approve for sale. This would drive all but the largest manufacturers out of the buisness and severely limit your options with regard to your health.


I guess that is why another Tylenol recall was in the news today, again for contamination. And in 2008 there were a lot of deaths from FDA approved heprin drugs.



The problem as I see it with so called "health food " supplements is that multiple times an independent lab has found the products do not contain what they are supposed to contain, whether the ingredients were much lower than claimed or whether it did not contain the advertised product at all. Also, purity and quality is suspect.


Some companies perform deeper analysis of the raw materials or used certified standardized extracts. As with many things in life, it is a good idea to watch who you deal with. With things like DHEA, there really is no excuse for under dosing. [Micronized DHEA powder is actually quite cheap.] Today so many raw materials come from china, that one can get the same raw ingredients from the same source from many different brands. That also applies to FDA approved Rx drugs.


I believe ginger has testosterone boosting effects; the Iranians just published a study about it if I recall correctly...