Testosterone is a principal hormone that enables men to be at their best. While the common narrative is testosterone causes men to be aggressive, quick-tempered, and violent, the reality is men with optimal testosterone levels are more likely to be assertive, calm, and have protective instincts. When your testosterone levels are ideal, you feel strong and focused. Moreover, You’re confident, driven, positive, decisive, and aware. You don’t need to overcompensate for feeling inadequate by lashing out at others, intimidating others, or desperately seeking validation from others. By my estimate, most irascible men quick to road rage or quick-tempered in general don’t have optimal testosterone levels. They probably have depleted testosterone levels produce way too much adrenaline and suffer from estrogen dominance but that is a story for another day.
Lifestyle modifications such as making sure sleep is on point, avoiding overtraining (too much training without adequate recovery will only deplete testosterone levels), and dialing in nutrition are all important ingredients to optimizing testosterone levels. However, in this article, we’re going to get into more sophisticated methods to increase testosterone including effective herbs, medications, and as a final resort testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). No wasted time on nonsense such as using a sauna, cold plunge, or red light therapy to increase testosterone. While all three may have some benefits, you’re delusional if you think any of these methods will optimize your testosterone production.
There are many products sold as natural testosterone boosters but few actually work as most who have tried over-the-counter options know all too well. While commonly promoted herbs such as Tribulus Terrestris, Fenugreek, and Tongkat Ali are ineffectual to increase total and free testosterone into the optimal ranges, there are fortunately a few herbs that work exceptionally well.
The most powerful herbs for increasing your own production of testosterone are African herbs.* My favorites are Bulbine Nataleneis, Fadogia Agrestis, and Massularia Acuminata. Of the three, Bulbine Natalensis is the king which is why it’s the cornerstone ingredient in my Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster.
Bulbine Natalensis increases GnRH-LH signaling and also ramps up cholesterol in the testes. The cholesterol is taken up into the mitochondria of the testes where it is processed into pregnenolone. Subsequently, it is converted into other sex hormones and glucocorticoids. Increasing GnRH-LH signaling and cholesterol in the testes are distinct processes that are important for testosterone synthesis. GnRH, or Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, is released from the hypothalamus in the brain. In turn, this stimulates the release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH), from the pituitary. LH is the hormone that directly stimulates Leydig cells in the testes to release testosterone.*
All three African herbs work in a similar manner so stacking all three will probably not be additive and may even be subtractive. Bulbine Natalensis for example works on a bell curve meaning more is not better. If you take too much, it will lower testosterone. Therefore taking the optimal dosage of Bulbine, Fadogia, and Massularia may initiate a similar bell-curve effect. Thus, my recommendation is to use a Bulbine Natalensis-based product such as my Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster for twelve weeks then cycle off and use Fadogia or Massularia for four weeks. It’s possible that stacking Bulbine and Fadogia for example is additive, but I don’t have any data to substantiate that possibility. Again, we do know that taking too much Bulbine can lower testosterone, and given that Bulbine, Fadogia, and Massularia all work in a similar manner it’s possible that stacking all three is counterproductive.
If ASTB doesn’t get your testosterone into the optimal range then the next step is to talk to a physician skilled in hormone optimization regarding the fertility medication Clomiphene citrate or Enclomiphene citrate. The latter is a superior option as Clomid contains a mix of two stereoisomers, zuclomiphene citrate, and enclomiphene citrate. The enclomiphene citrate portion is responsible for the desired benefits of increased LH. Zuclomiphene on the other hand is an estrogen receptor agonist and can cause estrogen-related side effects such as depression, anxiety, and ocular issues (all of which desist by the way when you desist usage). It also remains in your system for up to thirty days! Enclomiphene essentially eradicates the negative aspects of Clomid and emphasizes all of its beneficial properties. This allows for a lower dosage of 12.5 to 25mg every third day instead of 50mg every third day with Clomiphene Citrate.
Every third day is an effective protocol that leading hormone optimization expert Dr. Mark Gordon recommends. For the record, Dr. Gordon has used Clomid for years with many of his patients without any negative side effects reported. I have used Clomid as well following Dr. Gordon’s protocol and did not experience any negatives. I like to cycle Clomid with ASTB as well as stack the two and while I have never experienced any issues with Clomid, I plan to use Enclomiphene going forward. I rather take less of a medication and get more benefits rather than take a medication that has some benefits as well as avoidable negatives. Keep in mind that Enclomiphene is not as readily available as Clomiphene so your Doctor will probably have to contact a compounding pharmacy to have it specially made.
I have also discovered that stacking ASTB with Clomid is superior to taking Clomid alone as ASTB not only increases free and total testosterone, it also augments Dopamine and Growth Hormone via the ingredient Mucuna Pruriens. Dopamine is a crucial neurotransmitter for motivation, mood, and drive and Growth Hormone is important for training recovery, improving sleep quality, ideal physique composition, building muscle, and skin health. ASTB also contains Stinging Nettle Root which improves free testosterone (The only measure of testosterone that really matters is free as it’s what you have access to) and has a positive effect on liver and prostate health.*
If effective herbs such as the ones in ASTB or medications such as Enclomiphene, fail to drive your testosterone levels into the optimal range then Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the best option to explore with a knowledgeable physician. Keep in mind your general practitioner is probably not knowledgeable regarding effective TRT usage. Make sure to work with qualified physicians who are experts in hormone optimization such as Dr. Mark Gordon. The last thing you want to hear is antiquated advice such as your levels are supposed to go down as you age or TRT is dangerous. Life is way too long to live with depleted testosterone levels. Especially when there are viable methods to transport your levels into the optimal range for you. TRT is only dangerous when used irresponsibly. When used correctly, it is a powerful game changer to help you feel at your best. If and when methods that I utilize to keep my natural production in the optimal range are no longer effective, I won’t hesitate to take advantage of TRT.
With TRT there are several options such as injections, pellets, transdermal creams, lozenges, and patches. The most commonly prescribed options are injections and transdermal creams. Lozenges make the least sense as you have to place a lozenge under the tongue or against the gums for a whopping 12 hours 2x per day. I don’t know anyone that has used lozenges and I have never heard a reputable physician convey it’s their preferred option to prescribe.
Many doctors recommend creams. They’re relatively convenient as you apply the cream daily for a consistent testosterone level. However, you have to avoid coming into contact with anyone to prevent the transfer to others for several hours. Furthermore, you also have to avoid sweating for several hours after each application otherwise you’re not going to absorb the cream at all. A unique property of the cream is its propensity to convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a more powerful metabolite of testosterone, especially for enhancing sex drive and function so initially this may seem like a positive. However, according to hormone optimization expert Dr. Mark Gordon, DHT can’t pass the blood-brain barrier and won’t increase DHT levels in the brain. It’s the increase of DHT in the brain that increases motivation and drive. DHT is augmented in the brain by free testosterone. Free testosterone passes the blood-brain barrier and then is converted into DHT. DHT just floating around your bloodstream and getting picked up by androgen receptors may cause some undesirable side effects such as oily skin, hair loss, and acne. If you had acne as a teenager then it’s a strong possibility you will have serious acne again from using the cream. Of course, this is more likely with too high of a dosage but can still be an issue even with a dosage that gets you into the optimal range for you. You can block some of the conversion of testosterone to DHT, by taking Saw Palmetto.*
Testosterone shots while not as convenient as the cream tend to be the most favorable option by expert physicians. No excessive conversion to DHT or fear of transferring testosterone to others. Many such as Dr. Gordon recommend more frequent injections such as a lower dosage three times per week instead of one big injection once a week. This will enable steady levels of testosterone as well as minimize side effects such as water retention and high blood pressure. A very nuanced approach that Dr. Gordon utilizes is the use of medications such as Clomid to increase levels and then if necessary add TRT at a low dosage to increase levels further. In addition to avoiding having a shutdown of your own production, as well as avoiding testicular shrinkage, this combination is additive. Meaning, TRT adds to the production you’re getting from Clomid rather than replacing it. By the way, I have had a few customers take ASTB with TRT for similar benefits.
An important point about TRT usage is you should replace precursor sex hormones as well. If you utilize TRT for too long you will down-regulate DHEA and Pregnenolone. DHEA is the ultimate stress management hormone and Pregenolone is crucial for brain health. Depleting these hormones will have negative consequences regardless of what your testosterone levels are. This is why many start off feeling great on TRT then not so much down the line. Remember comprehensive hormone optimization is what you want to achieve to fire on all cylinders which requires more than simply increasing testosterone. Make sure to have DHEA and Pregnenolone levels measured as well when you have your testosterone levels checked. Most likely if you have poor testosterone levels, you have depleted DHEA and Pregnenolone as well.
In conclusion, you can have peace of mind knowing that if your testosterone levels are not where you want them to be there are many viable options. While most over-the-counter options to increase testosterone are ineffective, ASTB is definitely not among them. I have been selling it for ten years and the customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Most users notice an increase in sex drive, energy, mood, and improved physical training performance within a month with further enhancement in months two and beyond. It is a fantastic first-step option to take advantage of. Enclomiphene either alone or stacked with ASTB is the next step if ASTB is not taking you where you need to be to feel your best. Finally, if natural production methods are inadequate to deliver the results you desire, it is time to employ the big artillery and look into TRT. Again a combination of TRT with ASTB or Enclomiphene is likely the best option to avoid natural production shutdown, and testicular shrinkage, and enable the ability to avail oneself of a lower TRT dosage than would otherwise be possible to get your free and total testosterone levels into the perfect range for you. Every man has a level that is unique for maximum benefit so don’t get distracted by numbers on a lab work report. It doesn’t matter what other men’s levels are either. What matters is what is the level that works best for you. A good physician won’t just treat numbers but symptoms. You could be in what looks like an optimal range such as the upper half of the statistical range, but may need to go higher to get the desired outcome. It may take some experimentation to dial things in but will be well worth the effort and dedication once you do.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.