As of today, the manly benefits of Astralagus aren’t strongly backed by research and there are two ways to interpret this. Astralagus could either be a plant with limitless potential, or an herb with limited use.
Our early Asian ancestors seem to believe the former as they have used Astralagus as a traditional medicine for a huge number of health concerns. If you ask me though, I’d much rather take the scientific route and personally review what little evidence it currently has.
WHY TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE ASTRALAGUS
Scientifically known as Astragalus membranaceus, Astralagus is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Given that it’s a Chinese herb, it also has matching Chinese names like bei qi and huang qi which I honestly don’t even know how to pronounce.
Astralagus is composed of more than 2,000 species but generally, the roots of the plant are what’s used to make soups and teas. Chinese medicine also uses Astralagus in combination with other herbs. For example, this research uses Astralagus to enhance the benefits of Stephania. Other herbs used with Astralagus are ginseng and licorice.
This plant has shown potential to be many things including an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and even an antioxidant. Considering its long history in traditional medications though, it’s actually stunning to me how it still doesn’t have much research regarding its reported health benefits and of course, this includes its use as a men’s health supplement.
In testosterone boosters, the goal is to pretty much bolster our overall manliness not just through boosts in testosterone, but to other aspects of male health as well. In that sense, with what little research it has, the inclusion of Astralagus in T boosting stacks is sort of justifiable. Let’s check out the studies and see what we men can possibly benefit from Astralagus supplementation.
STUDIES ON ASTRALAGUS SUGGEST:
Stimulate growth hormone release
This research was done to determine whether extracts of Astralagus had the ability to stimulate the release of growth hormone. The research was conducted by isolating compounds of Astralagus using using silica gel column chromatography and traditional boiling water methods. After isolation, the researchers used these compounds and extracts to test for their induction of growth hormone in rat pituitary cell.
The following are the compounds that significantly induced growth hormone release:
- 9Z,12Z-octadecadienoic acid
- 98-E (a mixture of two other compounds)
Of the following compounds, the research states that “98-E isolate was the most active inducer of growth hormone release” but as a whole, the study shows that Astralagus has compounds that can increase growth hormone.
Improve sperm motility
In this next research, the effects on sperm motility characteristics of different kinds of aqueous extracts of Chinese herbal medicine were studied. The tested Chinese herbs included Astralagus and 5 other herbal extracts. According to the results of the study, only Astralagus was able to significantly improve the following characteristics:
- number of progressive motile spermatozoa
- curvilinear velocity
- average path velocity
- amplitude of lateral head displacement
These results show that Astralagus can “enhance the motility of human spermatozoa“.
Promote healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
This last one is a long and complicated one so get your brain cells ready.
In this research, rats with type II diabetes mellitus were given APS at 400 mg/kg p.o. for 5 weeks. Appropriate measurements were then taken. Including all the results of the study would make this review far too complicated and difficult to understand so let me just state the few that I think are the most significant:
- significant decrease in body weight and plasma glucose
- improved insulin sensitivity
- blood insulin levels did not change
To help you understand the importance of these results better, allow me to discuss the basics of diabetes mellitus.
There are basically three kinds: type 1, type 2, and gestational. For purposes of this article, let’s focus on type 1 and type 2.
- Diabetes Type 1
- high blood sugar due to the body not producing enough insulin
- the main risk factor is genetics
- Diabetes Type 2
- high blood sugar due to higher insulin resistance
- mostly due to a lifestyle of over-eating and not having enough exercise
As the results of the study show, Astralagus was able to significantly improve insulin sensitivity and thus lowering plasma glucose (sugar). Additionally, the research also states that blood insulin levels did not change with Astralagus supplementation. Combined, these tell me that if Astralagus had any benefits on diabetes, it would specifically be on Type 2 where there isn’t necessarily a shortage of insulin but instead, a higher resistance to it.
Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with testosterone. To better explain this, let me reference another research which says that “various studies have demonstrated the increasing prevalence of hypogonadism (low testosterone) in diabetic subjects“.
Essentially, that could mean that high blood glucose and increased resistance to insulin leads to lower levels of testosterone or vice versa. Therefore, since Astralagus was able to lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity, it could also potentially raise testosterone levels given the right conditions.
How Do I Take ASTRALAGUS?
As you can see here, there really isn’t enough research surrounding the influence Astralagus has on testosterone. As such, it’s impossible for me (at this point, at least) to suggest a dosage that can be effective for T boosts.
However, what I did notice is that most astralagus supplements use around 500 – 1500 mg taken at multiple servings through out the day. Personally, my advise would be to start with low dosages considering that scientific evidence is currently lacking.
Maybe start with 500 mg taken 3x per day. If you feel like it works on you, move your way up to the higher dosages.
In summary, Astralagus looks to potentially increase growth hormone release and improve sperm quality. Moreover, the effects it has on glucose and insulin could probably lead to healthy levels of testosterone.
Notice that I highlighted the words “potentially” and “probably”? That’s because like most health benefits attributed to Astralagus, the research here isn’t really what I’d call strong evidence.
However, to me personally, the potential it has warrants its use in testosterone boosters given that it’s part of a solid stack and not taken alone. As of right now, Astralagus is basically a coin toss. If it truly does work, then that’s a win for you. If it doesn’t, then maybe its time to move on to better researched testosterone boosters.