Herbal Testosterone Boosting Thread

Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Has anyone had success with t-boosting herbs? If so, what is your opinion on longterm usage, will they suppress natural testosterone production? Has anyone documented successes through bloodwork?

I just purchased some pine pollen powder and have read good things about it. I plan to combine with stinging nettle. I was on the fence about the other herbs because I read they might have negative effects and/or suppress the HPA axis, which is something I absolutely don't want. Also, I don't want to get gyno from any of these herbs of course.

For herbal t-boosters, the ones I know of are: Pine pollen, Tongkat Ali, Tribulus Terrestris, Fadogia Agrestis, Cistanche, Cordyceps, and Stinging Nettle.

If anyone has experience with any of the above I would be very curious to hear about it.
 
I'll save you the trouble of a few years of trial and error, get good-sourced powders with no filler of the following in bulk, put the appropriate serving in a cup, boil water and pour in, and sip as a tea in the morning:
Damiana (1/4-1/2tsp)
Maca (Black Root variant is better) (1/2tsp)
[Muira Puama - this herb will save the humans from extinction, recommend no more than 1/4 tsp at first]
Suma (sometimes spelled Summa) (1/4-1/2tsp)
Tongkat-Ali (1/4tsp)
Tribulus Terrestris (1/4tsp-1/2tsp if about to exercise)
Yohimbe (be very careful with this one, I mistakenly took a large dose first time I used it and it was too intense for my heart, had to come down with Hawthorne and Gotu Kola) recommend 1/8tsp at most for starters.

There are others like dong-quai and fo-ti but I believe these have more remedial effects for women experiencing estrogenic imbalances.

The above list is my go-to testosterone recipe, for a specific pre-workout/post-workout I have a few others I throw in there. Also don't forget your minerals! Read this to see a study done on the relationship between magnesium (which I always take after exercising as it has a relaxant effect on muscles and the body) and testosterone: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958794/
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Macca does have some benefits.

Most everything else is garbage.

If you're really trying to verify, You should get bloods done before 2x before then focus on sleep, ZMA and macca and get bloods after 2 months on that regiment on two occasions.
 

inthefade

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
Has anyone had success with t-boosting herbs? If so, what is your opinion on longterm usage, will they suppress natural testosterone production? Has anyone documented successes through bloodwork?

I just purchased some pine pollen powder and have read good things about it. I plan to combine with stinging nettle. I was on the fence about the other herbs because I read they might have negative effects and/or suppress the HPA axis, which is something I absolutely don't want. Also, I don't want to get gyno from any of these herbs of course.

For herbal t-boosters, the ones I know of are: Pine pollen, Tongkat Ali, Tribulus Terrestris, Fadogia Agrestis, Cistanche, Cordyceps, and Stinging Nettle.

If anyone has experience with any of the above I would be very curious to hear about it.

No blood work, but I was able to do more reps in workout after introducing pine pollen, ashwagandha, and damiana.
 

Batman_

Kingfisher
There is no evidence that Maca increases T. Rather, through indirect mechanisms it can raise dopamine levels, which for those of you who don't know, is highly correlated with T levels.

I would check out Andrew Huberman's work. He is a neurobiologist who has talked a lot about raising T levels. He has promoted Longjack and Fadogia Agrestis, the latter of which I am unfamiliar with, and was unable to find any reputable vendors who sold it (99.99% of supplement companies are garbage).

By the way, supplements aren't the only way to raise T. Cholesterol, saturated fat, sunlight exposure (especially in the eyes), weight lifting, stress reduction, and high quality sleep are probably more important, although I'm sure many of you know that. I have also heard that red light exposure to your balls can raise T but I'm pretty sure those studies are in their infancy still.

Anecdotally, I have tried literally every herbal T supplement in existence, and the only one I noticed a change from was Cistanche. Once I can find a vendor who sells Fadogia Agrestis I'll give that a shot next. I have also noticed benefit from Ashwagandha, as it reduces cortisol, and cortisol is directly antagonistic towards T - just make sure you get a high quality, standardized extract from a good brand (I use KSM-66 from Nootropics Depot).
 
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Longjack is Tongkat-Ali, and regular Maca compared to the ones I listed is probably the weakest of them all though it still does have some benefits. That's from personal experience and according to a few other experimental herbalist's I know and their testaments. Ashwagandha does help reduce cortisol, but I never take it with the other ones, always separately after done with main physical work for the day. I would classify it as more of a calming herb than an energizing one based on its effects.

The reason why some people here may feel most of these herbs are "useless" is likely because they're taking them as pills or capsules or the whole thing seems like new-age gibberish peddled by some smelly hippy. Quite the opposite. Most monasteries have resident herbalists and it is very much in line with Christian doctrine and theology to understand nature and its effects on the body, both as a nutritional source and as a remedy for ailments. TO get the most noticeable differences from these herbs, you have to take them as raw powders and verify to the best of your ability that there are no fillers or starches (which saturate the effects and make them nonexistent, almost placebic). When you take the raw bulk powder and put boiled water in it and drink it, the effect is magnified, especially with mushroom powders like Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion's Mane.
 

Batman_

Kingfisher
The reason why some people here may feel most of these herbs are "useless" is likely because they're taking them as pills or capsules or the whole thing seems like new-age gibberish peddled by some smelly hippy. Quite the opposite. Most monasteries have resident herbalists and it is very much in line with Christian doctrine and theology to understand nature and its effects on the body, both as a nutritional source and as a remedy for ailments. TO get the most noticeable differences from these herbs, you have to take them as raw powders and verify to the best of your ability that there are no fillers or starches (which saturate the effects and make them nonexistent, almost placebic). When you take the raw bulk powder and put boiled water in it and drink it, the effect is magnified, especially with mushroom powders like Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion's Mane.

Personally I don't hold that sentiment, many herbal products are fascinating, and have unique, complex pharmacologies not seen in synthetic products.

I only take supplements from companies that provide Certificate of Analysis' (CoAs) from independant 3rd-party testing labs. If you have that as your criteria, the overwhelming majority of supplement vendors are out of the question. Honestly, that's the only thing you should really look for. I do suspect that the reason resulted are so varied is because it's a total gamble what you're actually getting - a ton of supplement companies got heat a few years ago because their products were tested and found to be extremely underdosed compared to the label, or straight up didn't contain the product in question at all.

So, a lot of it comes down to the placebo/nocebo effect through branding and word of mouth. Hence why anecdotes are pretty much worthless in the supplement industry.
 
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Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I'll save you the trouble of a few years of trial and error, get good-sourced powders with no filler of the following in bulk, put the appropriate serving in a cup, boil water and pour in, and sip as a tea in the morning:
Damiana (1/4-1/2tsp)
Maca (Black Root variant is better) (1/2tsp)
[Muira Puama - this herb will save the humans from extinction, recommend no more than 1/4 tsp at first]
Suma (sometimes spelled Summa) (1/4-1/2tsp)
Tongkat-Ali (1/4tsp)
Tribulus Terrestris (1/4tsp-1/2tsp if about to exercise)
Yohimbe (be very careful with this one, I mistakenly took a large dose first time I used it and it was too intense for my heart, had to come down with Hawthorne and Gotu Kola) recommend 1/8tsp at most for starters.

There are others like dong-quai and fo-ti but I believe these have more remedial effects for women experiencing estrogenic imbalances.

The above list is my go-to testosterone recipe, for a specific pre-workout/post-workout I have a few others I throw in there. Also don't forget your minerals! Read this to see a study done on the relationship between magnesium (which I always take after exercising as it has a relaxant effect on muscles and the body) and testosterone: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958794/
Isn't gotu kola stimulating? I have some in my shelf that I have avoided due to supposed stimulant effects. I just ran out of Hawthorne unfortunately which I felt was good for blood pressure.

I just placed an order today for tribulus.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Isn't gotu kola stimulating? I have some in my shelf that I have avoided due to supposed stimulant effects. I just ran out of Hawthorne unfortunately which I felt was good for blood pressure.

I just placed an order today for tribulus.
Charles Poliquin reccomend gotu kola for excess skin. He said it takes a long time but will eventually cause skin to tighten up once you've lost enough weight.

I think his interview with the dude from the 4 hour work week is where he said it.
 

Blade Runner

Ostrich
Orthodox
I always wonder how detrimental booze is since it clearly affects sleep to a great degree, which I believe is what "hurts" you more, as opposed to empty calories. People with bad, high calorie diets that also drink alcohol have a triple whammy, which is generally why alcohol is considered bad for most people.

I like to drink and keep a solid diet, also lift but I'm older now so I don't work out as much per week (now I basically lift 2-3x a week but sometimes just do 3 workouts a week with running a couple miles or doing some sprints). There is no doubt over the last year and a half I have drunk a lot more, lol. The sleep part is the recovery killer. It's amazing how much better you feel when you didn't drink the prior night, which is funny. But drinking is always fun, I must say.
 

Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Charles Poliquin reccomend gotu kola for excess skin. He said it takes a long time but will eventually cause skin to tighten up once you've lost enough weight.

I think his interview with the dude from the 4 hour work week is where he said it.
Interesting. I have read Gotu Kola is really good for longevity too. Some studies show it can lengthen telomeres.
 

Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
many herbal products are fascinating, and have unique, complex pharmacologies not seen in synthetic products.
This is the thing. I don't even want to boost testosterone necessarily. I feel that would be detrimental for me. My testosterone is pretty good (772 ng/dl). I calculated free testosterone from SHBG and albumin and it was something like 1.74% free testosterone, or 336 ng/dl bioavailable testosterone. Both were easily within the normal range. The thing that bothers me is I get depressed and feel low on dopamine all the time, and my prolactin is slightly high (12-17). I think this is actually because of estrogen. But why is estrogen high? Perhaps because too much is getting aromatized from testosterone! So I think that actually boosting testosterone for the sake of boosting it is not a smart idea. However, I believe these herbs are actually not just simply raising testosterone. They have anabolic effects in general and my guess is––at least in pine pollen case––have some aromatase inhibition effects. They may also impact LH, SHBG, etc. Like I know stinging nettle lowers SHBG. And I know that Cordyceps and Fadogia can increase LH either by acting on the Leydig cells of the testes or by affecting the pituitary secretion of LH. My goal is to just make the HPA axis stronger and healthier, with overall more T and more dopamine, and less prolactin and estrogen. NOT to just linearly increase T because that will in the end cascade to higher estrogen and/or super high DHT = hair loss.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
I always wonder how detrimental booze is since it clearly affects sleep to a great degree, which I believe is what "hurts" you more, as opposed to empty calories. People with bad, high calorie diets that also drink alcohol have a triple whammy, which is generally why alcohol is considered bad for most people.

I like to drink and keep a solid diet, also lift but I'm older now so I don't work out as much per week (now I basically lift 2-3x a week but sometimes just do 3 workouts a week with running a couple miles or doing some sprints). There is no doubt over the last year and a half I have drunk a lot more, lol. The sleep part is the recovery killer. It's amazing how much better you feel when you didn't drink the prior night, which is funny. But drinking is always fun, I must say.
Went the last 2 weeks no alcohol, it's amazing how much better i felt even with 6 hours of sleep vs drinking 3 x a week.

Alcohol messes with a lot of your neurotransmitters. GABA being one of them.

Sleep and diet are the biggest 2 things in T production.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
This is the thing. I don't even want to boost testosterone necessarily. I feel that would be detrimental for me. My testosterone is pretty good (772 ng/dl). I calculated free testosterone from SHBG and albumin and it was something like 1.74% free testosterone, or 336 ng/dl bioavailable testosterone. Both were easily within the normal range. The thing that bothers me is I get depressed and feel low on dopamine all the time, and my prolactin is slightly high (12-17). I think this is actually because of estrogen. But why is estrogen high? Perhaps because too much is getting aromatized from testosterone! So I think that actually boosting testosterone for the sake of boosting it is not a smart idea. However, I believe these herbs are actually not just simply raising testosterone. They have anabolic effects in general and my guess is––at least in pine pollen case––have some aromatase inhibition effects. They may also impact LH, SHBG, etc. Like I know stinging nettle lowers SHBG. And I know that Cordyceps and Fadogia can increase LH either by acting on the Leydig cells of the testes or by affecting the pituitary secretion of LH. My goal is to just make the HPA axis stronger and healthier, with overall more T and more dopamine, and less prolactin and estrogen. NOT to just linearly increase T because that will in the end cascade to higher estrogen and/or super high DHT = hair loss.

What's your age and rough body fat?

700+ is great.

You need estrogen too for muscle building and heart health.

It's the ratio that's important
 

Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
What's your age and rough body fat?

700+ is great.

You need estrogen too for muscle building and heart health.

It's the ratio that's important
Turning 29 in a week. Body fat is probably 12-15%.

I got estrogen tested a long time ago (separately from T), and it was 97 pg/ml. The top of the range was 115. To me it seems a bit high.

I am technically a "slow oxidizer" metabolism. So my guess is that estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline etc. are just being degraded or metabolized at a slower pace than many people. My thyroid/liver metabolism/detox capacity is sluggish. So that's why I was getting hair recession, I believe. Because the hormones were attaching to anabolic receptors on my scalp and causing inflammation.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Turning 29 in a week.

I got estrogen tested a long time ago (separately from T), and it was 97 pg/ml. The top of the range was 115. To me it seems a bit high.

I am technically a "slow oxidizer" metabolism. So my guess is that estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline etc. are just being degraded or metabolized at a slower pace than many people. My thyroid/liver metabolism/detox capacity is sluggish. So that's why I was getting hair recession, I believe. Because the hormones were attaching to anabolic receptors on my scalp and causing inflammation.
DHT and genetics are the culprit for male patterned baldness.

Nothing you can do about it except thickening shampoo.

Don't take dutasteride or finasteride for it unless you're going to also take exogenous test (which again you don't want to do here at 29 with good test numbers).

I wouldn't worry about prolactin unless you have man boobs/are fat.

Also are you strength training? If not you should be.

Add DIM as a supplement for a little help... Also Ashwaganada and ZMA might help... Zinc/magnesium huge on T production.

Other than that just be happy to be in a healthy range.

I was a lower post military at 29, but there were other factors in that aslo...
 

Don Quixote

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Update: I felt a pretty strong effect from pine pollen. Really good. High energy in the gym, more masculine feeling. Since it's the only change––and I was even supposed to rest today–– I would say it is probably the pine pollen that did it.
 
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