Herbs to Help Elevate Testosterone Levels

Try these herbs to help elevate testosterone levels, includes Q and A with leading natural health experts.

| September/October 2006

Discover herbs to help elevate testosterone levels, including Asian ginseng, yohimbe and ashwaganda root.

Read more about calming IBS symptoms naturally: Herbs to Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Herbs to Help Elevate Testosterone Levels

I am 51 years old. Seven years ago, I was working very hard at weightlifting. When having some bloodwork done, the doctor noticed my testosterone levels were below normal. The doctor put me on a male hormone replacement (Androgel) and I have been on it ever since. Now that I know better, I do not want to use this drug any further. I would like some advice on what herbs to use to get off of this drug, and I will certainly be working with my doctor as I go through the process.
Via e-mail

Keville responds: You are right to think that after taking Androgel for several years, your body may need a kickstart to produce a sufficient quantity of testosterone on its own, especially since your production was low already. It is great that your doctor is willing to help you wean yourself off the hormone, and it sounds like he or she might even be supportive of you taking herbs to help the process. It is a good step, since there is some evidence that taking testosterone may have detrimental side effects similar to the problems women develop from taking estrogen.

Weightlifting usually increases testosterone levels. However, some weight lifters have discovered that overtraining, and especially not allowing the body to recuperate adequately between training sessions, can lower testosterone. Getting enough sleep and eating a diet rich in nuts and olive oil are some simple lifestyle suggestions that can help elevate testosterone and keep it high. The stress from training too hard or emotional stress also can increase cortisol levels and slow down the body’s production of testosterone. You can try stretching exercises like yoga, chi gung or tai chi, which help lower cortisol.

There is no hard evidence that Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) supports testosterone, but the Chinese historically have used the herb for hormone-related problems, and Western herbalists like myself also think it works well. Many Chinese men still turn to ginseng today when their testosterone levels begin to decline in their 40s and 50s. Unlike hormone-enhancing drugs, herbs will encourage your body to produce its own testosterone, rather than working as a replacement. The Chinese also recommend kidney tonic herbs to strengthen and balance hormonal production. Consider seeing a practitioner who can combine acupuncture with Chinese herb formulas to help the process of discontinuing the drug.

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