Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

What Herbs Can Help You Boost Testosterone Naturally?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: October 13, 2021

In recent years, we’ve seen tons of testosterone boosting supplements come on the market. Many of our clients take these to boost muscle mass and help with better weight management.

But my dietitian has always told me to make small adjustments to my meals with a few herbs to help with testosterone production naturally.

I’ve been buying many of these online and in health food stores on a regular basis, and it can be as simple as adding them to a morning smoothie. But before you just buy random things you see advertised as boosting testosterone production, beware that many herbs simply don’t work.

We discussed dozens of herbs with our dietitian to come up with a list of herbs that have gone through clinical trials. Here are our findings.

Summary of the Key Findings

Man in front of Supplements and Herbs illustration
  • There are herbs that directly influence testosterone production that might lead to improved physical strength. 
  • Traditional medicine around the world has been using herbs for hundreds of years to improve sexual drive.
  • Herbs like pine bark extract and horny goat weed are just a few proven ingredients that could improve overall men's health.

 

What Are The Best Herbs For Increasing Testosterone?

1 - Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed herb close up

Horny goat weed is probably the most adequately named herb on this list.

A proven link from trials showed it could increase testosterone levels, but there might be an added bonus as well.

While more research might be needed, there is early evidence that it could help treat erectile dysfunction.

It seems like it could help improve blood flow to the penis, which could explain why it has long been promoted as a powerful aphrodisiac in traditional medicine.

2 - Pine Bark Extract

Pine Bark Extract plain background

Pine bark extract is another common ingredient in supplements that I have been recommending.

One study, in particular, found that it’s effective enough to boost testosterone naturally and also has an impact on erectile dysfunction [1].

The boosted testosterone levels should also make a significant enough difference to any athletes in a bulking phase.

And with the added performance boost in the bedroom, men should be using this herb more regularly.

3 - Tribulus Terrestris

Close up image of Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is another common herb from traditional Asian medicine where it’s also used to improve fertility.

It’s possible to drink it like tea, but it seems to work best when combined with other ingredients.

Just keep in mind that it’s an herb that you should take sparingly, as higher doses have been shown to cause some stomach upset.

It’s also less likely to have the desired effect as a testosterone booster with high doses.

4 - Ashwagandha

Ashawagandha powder bowl

This is also sometimes called Indian Ginseng, and it has been used in traditional Indian medicine to improve reproductive health for centuries.

Our dietitian pointed us to one study in particular that showed some significant changes in testosterone levels [2].

This study showed that test subjects showed up to a 22% increase in testosterone hormone levels with significant changes to impaired sexual function.

Similar studies also looked at the impact on oxidative stress and found that there were improvements in exercise performance.

5 - Garlic

Garlic on plain white background

I know you wouldn’t think that garlic breath could improve things in the bedroom when you’ve struggled with low libido.

But studies have shown that it may directly link to the productivity of Leydig cells and adrenal glands [3].

In other words, it could improve your sexual health.

The antioxidative properties should also help with overall physical health, which is important when you go through a phase of shedding some fat cells.

6 - Malaysian Ginseng (Tongkat Ali)

Malaysian Ginseng on hand

Whenever I’ve looked for Malaysian Ginseng in health food stores, it’s usually marked as Tongkat Ali. And scientists believe that it may influence sex hormone-binding globulin.

By making it less likely for the human body to bind testosterone, it seems to have a positive impact on serum levels.

There are also links to improved energy levels and reduced fatigue, which could boost your exercise performance and counteract weight gain.

And that could then further boost testosterone levels and the reproductive system.

7 - Fenugreek

Fenugreek bowl

There have been a surprising number of studies on fenugreek, and a meta-study concluded that it might have a significant impact on testosterone levels [4].

Results from different studies showed higher blood levels of testosterone and better physical performance.

It’s also been tied to improved sperm count and sperm motility.

Some early research also shows that it could help deal with bone weakness.

8 - Maca Root

Spoon full of Maca Root powder

You’ll also see this advertised as Peruvian Ginseng. Based on feedback from our nutritionist, this herb may work very similarly to Asian Ginseng as it has a similar profile of active compounds.

The positive effects should be noticeable on T-levels, and it’s a natural way to improve the effect of superfood smoothies.

You only need a small amount daily, and it’s widely available in health food stores.

9 - Yohimbe

Yohimbe herb top view plain background

This is also often referred to as the African aphrodisiac, and it looks like ancient medicine was onto something.

One study found a direct link to it improving erectile dysfunction [5].

By getting the body to release more testosterone, there may also be a gradual improvement in physical performance, and we’ve found it quite often in fat loss supplements as well.

It’s an easy ingredient to add to smoothies or just mix in with oatmeal.

10 - Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea herbal tea

This is a particularly interesting ingredient as a study has shown that it may improve both physical and mental performance, which may be linked to testosterone levels [6].

There may also be a link to reduced stress hormone levels.

The only thing missing in studies is to verify whether it may also improve sexual performance, which would give it a triple benefit.

If you struggle to find it online or in stores, then try looking for Golden Root, which is just another name for the same herb.

11 - Passiflora Incarnata

Passiflora Incarnata close up image

This flowering herb had some mixed results in clinical trials, but one study found that it did help older men who were struggling with low testosterone levels [7].

Apparently, it may slow down the production of an enzyme responsible for transforming testosterone into estrogen.

The result is not that it directly boosts testosterone but indirectly by preventing serum levels from dropping.

However, because studies didn’t show significant results for younger men, it might not be the ideal herb if you're looking to boost muscle mass.

12 - Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto palm leaves green lighting

This is a small type of palm tree common in the Southeastern United States, and it’s believed to have a limiting effect on aromatase. Just like with Passiflora above, this should reduce how much testosterone degrades.

There have been measured increases in total testosterone in test subjects, and the result after several months of testing showed consistently higher T-levels and increased sperm count.

13 - Creeping Butea

Butea Monosperma close up image

It’s a beautiful flowering plant that looks like it has flames.

An extensive study that looked at multiple herbal ingredients to improve the testosterone level and manage stress in men took a close look at this tropical herb [8].

The study found a measurable improvement in men with a testosterone deficiency and that their sexual health improved a lot during the trial period.

14 - Ginger

Ginger powder in a small bowl

Many people take ginger as a tea or in supplements for its anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s believed to stimulate the production of luteinizing hormone, which sends signals to the testicles to increase the testosterone level.

Multiple studies have found a positive correlation where men measured up to 17% improvement in T-count [9].

The effect of this for athletes would be increased muscle mass, and it may also improve stress by reducing cortisol levels.

“In addition to all of this, with ginger being a rich source of antioxidants, it might help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. It is also said to maintain blood cholesterol, hence lowering the likelihood of heart problems.” - MensJournal.com.

Not only is it a natural way to get a boost, but it’s also one of the easiest ingredients to add to your meals.

15 - Basella Alba

Basella Alba on plain white background

The final one of the herbs we have here is an African plant that has been used for generations to improve sexual development and counteract low testosterone.

While the studies so far have been small, there are some positive early indications that it’s a good ingredient for testosterone supplements.

Do Herbal Testosterone Boosters Have Side Effects?

Yes, some herbal testosterone boosters may have side effects, but in most cases, they happen when people take very high doses.

As with all kinds of herbal remedies, the above ones could cause some stomach upset.

That’s why it’s generally best to look for these in a mixed supplement form where tests have revealed that side effects are limited.

You can also try boosting your testosterone with supplements:

FAQs

Is Tea Good for Testosterone?

No, most types of tea are not good for testosterone. Both green and black tea may contain chemicals that inhibit testosterone release. And peppermint tea has also been proven through trials to lower T-count [10].

Try buying the above herbs in your local health food store and adding them to meals and smoothies. Or, if you want an even easier option, simply check the labels of supplements to start making a difference.

Does Horny Goat Weed Improve Testosterone Levels?

Yes, horny goat weed is one type of herb that has been clinically shown to improve testosterone levels. But it also seems to work better in combination with other herbs like Ginseng and ginger.

Are You Staying On Top Of Your T-Count?

Even with all the proven herbs in the world, you probably won't get to the same testosterone level as you had in early adulthood.

But counteracting the normal aging impact on testosterone could help you remain much healthier.

Try buying the above herbs in your local health food store and adding them to meals and smoothies.

Or, if you want an even easier option, simply check the labels of supplements to start making a difference.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20184576/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136684/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330360910_Effect_of_garlic_Allium_sativum_on_male_fertility_a_systematic_review
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32048383/
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/3900803
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6230218/
  7. https://www.oatext.com/The-influence-of-a-passion-flower-extract-on-free-testosterone-in-healthy-men-a-two-part-investigation-involving-younger-and-older-men.php
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151601/
  9. http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=71548
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19585478/

About the author

You may also like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *