Does Astragalus Root Increase Testosterone?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


A large number of herbal products claim to enhance testosterone, muscle size, strength and sexual desire. Other herbal remedies do not have the nutrients necessary to boost testosterone. 

You may come across Astragalus roots when you are looking for ingredients to boost testosterone. 

Do the claims it increases T levels have any scientific basis? 

You will learn the following: 

  • What is Astragalus?
  • Do studies show that it increases testosterone?
  • Is it a good way to boost health?

Astragalus Root

Astragalus Membranaceus, also known as milk vetch or locoweed is a perennial plant in the legume family Fabaceae. Also known as Milk Vetch, or Locoweed, this perennial is part of the legume family. 

Native to northern hemispheres, it is most common in China’s eastern or north regions. It can also be found in Korea and Mongolia. Since ancient times, this plant has been combined with others to treat ailments such as fatigue, diarrhoea and breathing problems. 

Plants contain a variety of compounds that can help improve the immune system and health. This includes saponins flavenoids, and polysaccharides. In this plant, you'll find amino acids and phenolic acid as well as sugar. These are all essential nutrients. 

The combination of these compounds has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial effects, as well as lower cholesterol, protect against cancerous cells and reduce oxidative damage [1]. 

Extracts from the herb have also been included in small amounts of testosterone-boosting products. Although it isn’t as widely known as D-aspartic Acid or Magnesium, can milk vetch actually raise your testosterone levels? 

Take away: Astragalus (a perennial herb) is used by traditional Chinese medicine in order to boost your immune system. 

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Does it enhance testosterone production?

It is clear that astragalus, in relation to testosterone and reproductive health for men, is an under-researched substance. 

There is not much clinical evidence that supports the claims made by many manufacturers about milk vetch's effect on androgen levels. 

A recent study found that the effects of the milk vetch plant on the female reproductive system had not been thoroughly studied. 

The statement is echoed by a comprehensive and thorough review of herbal supplementation in Plant Biochemistry and Physiology. 

This is an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of each herbal agent at increasing T. The evidence supporting it for each herb is evaluated. 

While there are extensive sections on other herbs in the article, the section for astragalus contains only a few sentences and no scientific references. In essence, researchers do not know if this herb increases T. 

There is only one thing worth mentioning in this section: the authors mention that although historically astragulus has been claimed to be a testosterone booster, we are not aware of any studies that have specifically examined the effects of the root. 

Wistar rats are the only animals used in the study to link the herb and male hormone levels. This study showed that 100 ug.mL of the herb improved male fertility markers, such as testes count and testosterone production. However, this was an animal study. 

The whole selling point of this product is not backed by conclusive evidence. The fact that there are so many ingredients that can boost testosterone makes it not worth buying. We recommend that you steer clear of it until there is more evidence. 

Take away: Astragalus, a herbal remedy that is understudied by researchers and has almost no research to support its testosterone-boosting effects. 

Can Astragalus Improve Health?

Milk vetch may not increase T, but there are increasing numbers of studies that suggest its health benefits in clinical settings. 

Astrageloside IV (a saponin present in the extract of the herb) has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiac health and blood flow, including the regulation and control of pressure. 

The saponin content and flavenoid contents have shown anti-diabetic properties. According to one study, milk vetch nutrients protected specific beta-cells in the pancreas. These cells helped regulate blood sugar. 

This herb also has some anti-viral abilities. Its most famous benefit is this. Astragalus may regulate white blood cell production, which boosts the immune system. 

It is not overwhelming clinical evidence but a recent study reported in Integrative Cancer Therapy [6] that Astragalus can be an effective early treatment of the common cold. 


Astragalus roots are perennial herbs that have been long-used in Chinese medicine to treat various ailments. Saponins, flavenoids have anti-viral properties and are anti-inflammatory. Studies show it improves cardiovascular health. 

The lack of evidence for the use of this substance in testosterone boosters is remarkable. The limited amount of animal and human studies means that it is best to stay away from this ingredient until there are more reliable evidence.

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  1. Zhang, J et al. Systematic review of the renal protective effect of Astragalus membranaceus (root) on diabetic nephropathy in animal models. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009; 126(2): 189-96
  2. Jiang, X et al. Effects of treatment with Astragalus Membranaceus on function of rat leydig cells. The official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR). 2015; 15: 261
  3. Gunnels, TA et al. Increasing circulating testosterone: impact of herbal dietary supplementsJ Plant Biochem Physiol. 2014; 2(2)
  4. Ren, S et al. Pharmacological effects of Astragaloside IV: a literature review. J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Jun;33(3):413-6
  5. Agyemang, K et al. Recent Advances in Astragalus membranaceus Anti-Diabetic Research: Pharmacological Effects of Its Phytochemical Constituents. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013, Article ID 654643
  6. Block, KI et al. Immune system effects of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus: a review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003; 2(3): 247-67
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