Herbal Testosterone Replacement: What is it, Where did it Come From?
When a man has low testosterone levels, a doctor often prescribes HRT (hormone replacement therapy). This consists of the actual male hormone; testosterone, in either injections, pellets, gels, creams, or tablets (this last one being fairly uncommon these days).
Hormone replacement therapy with actual androgens is highly effective at restoring blood levels of testosterone, although it also leads to suppression of the natural production, which means that a lot of guys who start HRT, have to stay on HRT for the end of their days if they want to have normal testosterone levels.
Men who have low T, but don't want to suppress their own natural production, have often used nutrition, lifestyle changes, exercise, and supplementation to restore their levels. And granted, correct combination of all of those factors can significantly increase testosterone levels by stimulating the natural production.
But out of this natural testosterone enhancement, a seemingly odd practice has grown...
...It's called "herbal testosterone replacement therapy" and tens of thousands of men are now searching about it every month through Google.
Could this herbal testosterone replacement therapy be an alternative to actual hormone replacement therapy, or is it just another desperate attempt of selling snake oil with very little benefits?
Does Herbal Testosterone Replacement Work?
After running Anabolic Men for many years now and seeing how thousands of men have been able to naturally raise their testosterone to healthy high levels, we've come to realize that it's most certainly possible to increase T levels without synthetic hormone replacement.
However, this is not a walk in the park to do. It requires you to alter your lifestyle habits, drastically change your nutrition, exercise, and yes, use a handful of scientifically proven supplements.
Now, does this mean that herbal supplements could be used as a HRT alternative?
Not really. Although there are few herbs that have very clear science supporting the fact that they do increase testosterone levels (ashwagandha, mucuna pruriens, forskolin), the majority of the ones claimed to do so actually won't (tribulus, maca, etc).
And even though if you use the herbs that do increase testosterone levels, you are not going to see similar increases in the blood levels as synthetic HRT would bring...
...Research has shown that the herbs that do work, are able to increase testosterone levels by 20-80% in most cases. This is great, and we definitely do recommend using the ones that are effective (forskolin, mucuna, ashwagandha)...
...But alone, it simply isn't enough to raise blood levels from low to high. You need to focus also on nutrition, lifestyle, and exercise, which without a doubt are more important factors than supplementation.
So with that being said, herbal testosterone replacement does not work in the way its claimed to work. Although some herbs do raise testosterone levels, the increase isn't enough solely to be called "replacement therapy".
You can expect a small 20-80% increase from use of proven herbals (little bit more if you add in some micronutrients to fix deficiencies), but don't expect a supplements, especially just herbs, to be enough to actually be called hormone replacement.