Does Astragalus Increase Testosterone? (Are There Benefits?)

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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In the quest to naturally boost testosterone levels, men across the globe have turned to various supplements, each with its own promises and supported by varying degrees of scientific evidence.

One such supplement is Astragalus, a herb traditionally used in Chinese medicine.

But does Astragalus increase testosterone, or are these claims based more on mythology than fact?

This article aims to demystify the effects of Astragalus on testosterone levels, providing an in-depth analysis of current scientific research, potential health benefits, and considerations for those eyeing this ancient herb as a natural means to enhance men’s health.

What is Astragalus?

does astragalus increase testosterone

Astragalus is a genus of plants in the legume family, consisting of over 2,000 species.

However, the term is often used to refer to Astragalus membranaceus, a perennial herb native to China, Mongolia, and Korea.

With a rich history in traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus has been used for thousands of years to fortify the immune system, delay aging, and treat various illnesses.

The root of the Astragalus plant is considered its most beneficial part, used to create various forms of supplements, including capsules, teas, and tinctures.

Believed to be an adaptogen, Astragalus is known for its purported ability to help the body resist stress, both mental and physical.

Its potential benefits extend to heart health, kidney function, and even the regulation of blood sugar levels.

Please note that while these traditional uses are well-documented, further scientific research is needed to fully understand the workings and potential benefits of Astragalus.

Astragalus and Testosterone: A Scientific Perspective

Testosterone, a hormone primarily produced in the testicles, plays a crucial role in men’s health.

It aids in the development of male sex organs before birth, and during puberty, it contributes to physical changes like increased muscle and hair growth.

In adulthood, it maintains a man’s sex drive, sperm production, and bone health.

Low testosterone levels can lead to a reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, lethargy, and decreased muscle mass.

Now, onto the central question: Does Astragalus increase testosterone in men?

The relationship between Astragalus and testosterone is not entirely clear, and research in this area is ongoing.

Some animal studies suggest Astragalus may stimulate the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), a hormone that triggers testosterone production in the testes.

However, the effects seen in animals do not always translate to humans, and the existing body of research is not robust enough to draw definitive conclusions.

In a few small-scale human studies, Astragalus supplementation has shown promise in improving sperm motility, which is crucial for male fertility.

While this doesn’t directly relate to testosterone levels, it’s an aspect of male reproductive health that could be of interest.

In summary, while there are some promising indications, the scientific evidence to conclusively say that Astragalus boosts testosterone levels in men is currently lacking.

More comprehensive human studies are needed to fully explore this potential benefit.

The Myth vs. Reality: Does Astragalus Increase Testosterone?

When it comes to the topic of Astragalus and testosterone, the line between myth and reality can be somewhat blurred.

A lack of comprehensive clinical trials leaves room for plenty of speculation and anecdotal evidence.

These personal stories often claim significant testosterone increases after the use of Astragalus, but it’s crucial to remember that such testimonials should not be taken as definitive proof.

A handful of animal studies suggest a potential link between the herb and increased levels of luteinizing hormone, which can promote testosterone production.

However, these results have yet to be replicated in large-scale human studies.

Furthermore, the quality and scope of these initial studies have been questioned, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions based on the data presented.

In contrast to the ambiguous scientific evidence, the abundance of anecdotal testimonies is undeniable.

From fitness enthusiasts to elder men, many individuals swear by the testosterone-boosting effects of Astragalus.

However, without rigorous scientific backing, these claims are, at best, subjective, and at worst, potentially misleading.

Therefore, while it’s possible that Astragalus may have some impact on testosterone levels, it would be inaccurate to conclude that it’s a proven testosterone booster.

The current scientific evidence leans more towards it being a myth, but as research is ongoing, this may change in the future.

As always, it’s recommended that anyone considering Astragalus for its purported testosterone-boosting benefits consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.

Potential Benefits of Astragalus for Men

Even though the direct link between Astragalus and testosterone increase is yet to be scientifically established, the traditional uses and some modern research suggest potential benefits of Astragalus for men:

  1. Boosts Immune System: Astragalus has been used in traditional medicine to strengthen the immune system. Research indicates that it can control T-helper cells 1 and 2, which regulates the body’s immune responses[1].
  2. Promotes Heart Health: Some studies suggest that Astragalus can widen the arteries and decrease blood pressure, which can be beneficial for heart health[2].
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Astragalus may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help with conditions like arthritis[3].
  4. Improves Kidney Function: Astragalus has been used to treat kidney disease in traditional Chinese medicine and some studies suggest that it can protect the kidneys from damage[4].
  5. Potential Improvements in Male Fertility: As mentioned earlier, some small-scale studies suggest that Astragalus could enhance sperm motility[5].

However, keep in mind that the potential benefits of Astragalus should not be taken as medical advice.

Consultation with a healthcare provider is always recommended before starting any new health regimen.

Safety and Potential Side Effects

Like any other supplement or medication, Astragalus may have potential side effects, and its safety profile should be considered before usage.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • General Safety: In general, Astragalus is considered safe for most adults when taken orally or applied on the skin appropriately. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, especially in Asia[6].
  • Potential Side Effects: Side effects are rare but can include diarrhea and other digestive issues. Some allergic reactions, like skin rash, have also been reported[7].
  • Interactions with Other Medicines: Astragalus may interact with medications that suppress the immune system, antiviral medications, and blood thinners[8]. Therefore, it is advised to consult with a healthcare provider before using Astragalus if you are on any of these medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: There is not enough scientific information to determine if Astragalus is safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use[9].

How to Integrate Astragalus Root into Your Diet

Astragalus can be consumed in various forms, making it easy to incorporate into your diet based on your preference.

  1. Astragalus Tea: An easy way to consume Astragalus is by brewing a cup of Astragalus tea. Steep the Astragalus root slices in boiling water for about 15 minutes, strain and enjoy the tea. It has a mild, sweet taste, and can be a warm, comforting addition to your daily routine.
  2. Supplements: If you prefer a more convenient option, Astragalus is available in capsule or tablet forms. These can be easily taken with a glass of water. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage or consult with a healthcare provider for advice tailored to your specific needs.
  3. Tinctures: Astragalus tinctures can be added to your meals or drinks. Just a few drops can be mixed into a smoothie, juice or even water.
  4. Powder: Astragalus powder can be incorporated into soups, broths, or smoothies. It’s a seamless way to add a healthful boost to your meals.

Remember, while Astragalus is generally considered safe, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before making it a regular part of your diet, especially if you are on medication, have any existing health conditions, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Based on the current evidence, it’s not definitive that Astragalus directly increases testosterone levels in men.

While traditional uses and small-scale studies suggest potential benefits, including possible improvements in male fertility, the scientific consensus leans towards its testosterone-boosting properties being a myth.

Astragalus, however, has several potential health benefits: it can strengthen the immune system, promote heart health, offer anti-inflammatory effects, and improve kidney function.

These benefits can contribute to overall wellness, but it’s crucial to remember that they should not substitute for professional medical advice.

Considering Astragalus consumption in your daily routine? It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider beforehand.

While generally safe for most adults, Astragalus can have potential side effects and may interact with certain medications.

It’s also undetermined if it’s safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

In conclusion, while Astragalus may not be a miracle solution for boosting testosterone, it could still be a beneficial supplement for overall health and well-being, when used appropriately and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Does Astragalus increase testosterone?

A: Based on existing scientific evidence, it is not definitive that Astragalus directly increases testosterone levels in men. While some traditional uses and small-scale studies suggest potential benefits, the scientific consensus leans towards these testosterone-boosting properties potentially being mythical.

Q2: Is Astragalus good for men?

A: Astragalus has several potential health benefits that can contribute to overall wellness in both men and women. These include strengthening the immune system, promoting heart health, offering anti-inflammatory effects, and improving kidney function. Some small-scale studies also suggest potential improvements in male fertility.

Q3: What are the potential side effects of Astragalus?

A: While Astragalus is generally considered safe for most adults, potential side effects can include diarrhea and other digestive issues. Some people have reported allergic reactions like skin rash. It can also potentially interact with certain medications, so it is advised to consult with a healthcare provider before using Astragalus, especially if you are on medication.

Q4: How can I incorporate Astragalus into my diet?

A: Astragalus can be consumed in various forms such as tea, supplements, tinctures, or powder. These can be easily incorporated into your daily routine based on your preference. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage or consult with a healthcare provider for advice tailored to your specific needs.

Q5: Is Astragalus safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

A: There is not enough scientific information to determine if Astragalus is safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use in these conditions unless advised by a healthcare professional.


  1. The Immunobiology of Astragalus membranaceus
  2. Role of Astragalus polysaccharides in the improvement of early diabetic nephropathy with depression in rats
  3. Anti-inflammatory effects of the Chinese herbal formula sini tang in myocardial infarction rats
  4. Chinese herbal medicines for treating osteoarthritis
  5. Effects of combined traditional Chinese medicine with immunosuppressive agents for patients with IgA nephropathy
  6. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Astragalus
  7. WebMD, Astragalus
  8. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Astragalus
  9. WebMD, Astragalus

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