A hormone produced by the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands, testosterone is essential for proper functioning of the reproductive system. While the male body produces much more testosterone, females bodies need testosterone too. It helps maintain bone density, muscle mass, red blood cells, sexual function, and a sense of wellbeing in both men and women. As people age and testosterone levels diminish, many rely on natural testosterone boosters to keep hormone levels balanced.
The use of herbs for testosterone has proven safe and effective. Three show particular promise, either used individually or in combination with other natural remedies.
Native to Mexico, damiana leaves are used to produce herbal medicine and a type of liqueur. The plant contains an alkaloid that behaves like testosterone in the body, and it is purported to possess aphrodisiac properties. Laboratory studies show that damiana extract inhibits the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, thereby showing potential as one of the more promising herbs for low testosterone.
Also known as Withania somnifera, ashwagandha is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, and it is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for sexual dysfunction and infertility. A study from India determined that men who took ashwagandha supplements showed improved semen quality and improved testosterone levels. The herbal preparation used in the study also lowered oxidants and boosted antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress in subjects.
When people think of herbs for testosterone, gingko biloba often comes to mind. Many know gingko biloba by another name, maidenhair. Derived from the oldest surviving tree species on earth, this herb offers a number of important health benefits. According to a study conducted by researchers at National Taiwan University and published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, it was shown to boost levels of testosterone in lab rats making it potentially beneficial for humans.
Side Effects of Low Testosterone
Side effects of low testosterone in men include waning libido, infertility, increased body fat, reduced muscle strength, fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood swings, and depression. Reduced testosterone in women can result in diminished libido, mood swings, and lower energy levels.