When it comes to elevating testosterone and boosting your libido, you want to do so 100% confident that you are free from risk or danger. Maybe that is why we so readily turn to herbal products such as bulbine natalensis – we assume they are safe. But are they?
On the one hand, this natural aphrodisiac CAN raise testosterone production and keep your body functioning. But on the other, there is speculation over bulbine natalensis and its potential side effects.
So what is right and what is wrong? In this article, we shall explore the truth behind bulbine natalensis supplements and determine – does it really work?
- What is Bulbine Natalensis?
- Bulbine Natalensis benefits for men
- Bulbine Natalensis side effects
- Bulbine Natalensis supplements
- What you could take instead
Bulbine natalensis extract (also known as ibhucu, rooiwortel and ingcelwane) is an herb that originates from South Eastern Africa. For centuries, it has been harnessed for its aphrodisiac and testosterone boosting properties.
In fact, in three separate rat studies, researchers noted massive increases in circulating testosterone, whilst another saw a fall in estrogen levels.
Related article: The best testosterone supplements
However, despite its distinct ability to bolster your libido, sexual health and testosterone production; bulbine natalensis is also believed to damage organ function (in a similar way to steroids).
In particular, nasty bulbine natalensis side effects have been seen in the liver and kidneys of participants – at the EXACT dosage required to see elevations in testosterone.
Bearing this in mind, it does make you wonder – is taking a bulbine natalensis supplement worth the risk? Let’s find out…
When it comes to introducing anything into your diet or routine it is important to know all the facts. And who can fault you for that?
Only once you’re fully aware of all the pros and cons, can you safely make a decision about whether or not to use it to boost your testosterone levels.
In this section, we hope to enlighten you to all the benefits you can expect from this herb. Especially, as many of these perks are exclusive to only men.
Boost Testosterone levels
We’ve mentioned this a few times, but you’re probably wondering how? How is it able to increase testosterone? Well, this is partly due to its breadth of beneficial compounds e.g. saponins, anthraquinones, tannins, cardiac glycosides and alkaloids.
In one study on rats, when four separate groups were given different dosages (placebo, 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg body weight); by the end of the 14 day study, the 50mg/kg group experienced the highest anabolizing and androgenic activities (followed by 25mg/kg and then 100mg/kg). On day one, rats saw a 3.3ng/mL increase in testosterone, day 7 a 4.3ng/mL increase and by day 14 a 4.4ng/mL increase.
Similarly, the 50mg/kg group saw the greatest rise in testicular and serum testosterone concentrations, as well as higher testicular acid phosphatase activity, serum follicle stimulating and LH concentrations. This is due to bulbine natalensis elevating the activity of alkaline and acid phosphatases. Together, the phosphatase enzymes work to boost testicular and serum testosterone.
And these increases are not just exclusive to these particular studies…
Another witnessed an impressive 346% increase in testosterone when rats were given 50mg/kg a day.
In either case, as your testosterone levels rise, you can expect to see boosts in muscle development, muscle recovery, strength and endurance. Which is perfect if you’re trying to pack on muscle, as this combination of benefits will give you a head start. In fact, by the end of week three you will see a distinct improvement in muscle mass.
INTERESTING FACT: those given 100mg/kg a day saw lowered serum testosterone levels, suggesting dosages have to be precise in order for it to work.
A study published in the International Journal of Andrology reported that when rats were given oral dosages of bulbine natalensis extract (25-50mg/kg per day) they experienced an increase in libido, fertility, reproductive hormones and sexual behavior.
This is a result of the breadth of phytochemicals found in this herb which can assist erections and increase the frequency (and quality) of ejaculations, as well as elevate the presence of testosterone and luteinizing hormone. At the same time, researchers believe this herb could alleviate erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Improve reproductive health
Alongside increasing testosterone creation, bulbine natalensis is also believed to boost progesterone, LH and FSH (when dosages range between 25-50mg/kg). In doing so, this can improve your reproductive health:
This hormone is a precursor to testosterone and can help counteract estrogen within male bodies. Instead, it can help regulate sperm function and assist sperm and testosterone production.
25mg/kg doses can produce 31% increases, whilst 50mg/kg can produce an incredible 70% boost (NOTE: 100mg/kg doses actually trigger falls in this hormone of up to 41%).
Created in your pituitary gland, LH binds to receptors on Leydig cells, encouraging increased production of testosterone and sperm. In one study, when rats received 50mg/kg a day, they saw a 2ng/ML increase on day one and a 7ng/mL by day 14.
This hormone plays a key role in stimulating sperm production.
Assists in the treatment of wounds
Research suggests that when bulbine natalensis is applied topically it can help treat a range of skin ailments, including cutaneous wounds.
For instance, during a 16 day evaluation, those treated with leaf gel extracts managed to heal faster than those whose wounds weren’t treated. In addition, its leaf sap has been found to increase skin strength, protein and DNA content, as well treat cracked lips and burns.
Treat intestinal issues
It is reputed that this herb can be used to treat intestinal problems such as diarrhoea, vomiting and convulsions.
As a guy, the last thing you want is too much estrogen as this will lead to the dreaded man boobs. Bulbine natalensis can cause falls in estrogen of up to 79.7% (when users take 25mg/kg) and 65.1% (when you take 50mg/kg).
Natural aphrodisiac and libido booster
Dosages of 25-50mg/kg of bulbine natalensis extract per day can produce aphrodisiac effects that come in a close second to testosterone. In fact, at 50mg/kg dose is considered more effective than Viagra. You have just discovered how to increase your libido naturally.
Whilst this herb has no apparent impact on your red blood cells, in a study of healthy rats it was found to increase their white blood cell count. Upon receiving 25, 50 or 100mg/kg doses of bulbine natalensis over 14 days, their white blood cell count rose by 4.9%, 26.1% and 38.5% respectively.
Bulbline natalensis has also been complimented for its anti-diabetic and anti-rheumatoid properties. However, as is the case with a lot of its health benefits, the majority of its claims are based on studies done on rats NOT humans.
Until we can confirm that all of these benefits are equally accessible to people; we advise you to be cautious when using this herb. Especially as it has got an equally strong reputation for raising your cholesterol levels and damaging your liver and kidneys.
We’ve hinted a few times at the fact that bulbine natalensis isn’t completely safe – but what can you actually expect?
Well, the first thing to note is that many of the following bulbine natalensis side effects can be triggered at the EXACT SAME dosages you are advised to take in order to witness results. Ironic, right?
Negatively alters liver enzymes and kidney tubules
During one toxicology study on rats, when they were given 25, 50, and 100mg/kg of this herb; it was found to alter their liver enzymes and cause adverse changes. Similarly, distortions were seen in the architecture of their proximal and convoluted tubules (in your kidneys), which is suggestive of its toxic effects on your body.
NOTE: Honestly? All three of these popular dosages can harm your liver and kidney functions (well, in rats anyway).
Increases the risk of clogged arteries
All three popular dosages have been found to boost cholesterol and triglyceride levels within just two weeks; leading to a greater risk of you developing clogged arteries. Similar to steroids, the longer you use this herb, the bigger the danger.
Like a lot of testosterone boosters, there are a variety of bulbine natalensis supplements on the market. So, if after reading its negative side effects you’re still interested – then there are plenty of options for you to pick from on the market.
On average these supplements cost $100-$140 per 100g depending on the size and quality of the product, or to put it more simply $1.20 per serving.
Now in terms of dosages, most brands advise you to take 8-10mg of bulbine natalensis per kilogram of body weight, once a day (every morning with breakfast). This means, if you weigh approx. 100kg, then you could roughly take 800-1000mg of bulbine natalensis per day.
Sounds simple right? No, not really.
The problem is, this herb has a long history of becoming less effective at producing testosterone if you exceed the dose. In fact, take too much and its effectiveness – and your testosterone – will drop.
The next problem comes in the form of the danger it poses to your liver and kidney enzymes. Even at the recommended dosage, bulbine natalensis can damage organ function. For this reason, it is recommended that you take it for 4-8 weeks straight, before taking a 4-8 week break.
NOTE: this herb is NOT recommended for women.
Although there is no denying that bulbine natalensis has the potential to boost testosterone production, muscle/strength development and your libido – hell in two weeks it can hasten muscle recovery – it is also shrouded in negative side effects.
And what is worrying about these bulbine natalensis side effects is the fact that these risks – organ function, kidney/liver damage and clogged arteries – can all be caused by the VERY dosages you are advised to take. That’s correct! Not from excessive use or overdosing. But from its suggested 25, 50 or 100mg/kg dosage.
Then of course, there is the lack of human studies. For instance, most of the benefits it claims to produce are based on the results of rats – a creature that is not even close to us biologically. This means, all of this proof can only be taken with a pinch of salt as there is no certainty that they will happen in humans too.
Because of this, we recommend sticking to more complex herbal formulations such as those offered by TestoGen.
This popular testosterone booster has been specially formulated from eleven clinically proven and 100% natural ingredients that work in synergy to raise your natural testosterone levels so you can experience increases in strength, stamina, muscle size, focus and concentration.
With TestoGen’s help you can say goodbye to symptoms of testosterone deficiency – tiredness, irritability, excess body fat, and loss of libido, erection strength and muscle tone.
So is bulbine natalensis worth adding to your testosterone boosting arsenal? In our opinion – no it isn’t.
Sure, it can help to elevate testosterone, muscle recovery, your libido and immunity. However, given that its recommended dosages can also increase your chances of suffering from liver and kidney problems, as well as clogged arteries (which can lead to heart disease); its cons far outweigh its pros.
This point is further emphasised when you consider the number of proven natural testosterone boosters that exist – all of which are 100% safe and free from negative side effects. Why put your body at risk when you don’t have to?
That is why, if you’re serious about raising your testosterone levels, you should always stick to proven, natural products that are backed by years of studies as well as proof that they are safe.