Bulbine Natalensis has been used as a powerful aphrodisiac, cognitive enhancer and general health tonic in traditional medicine in its native origin, Africa.
More recently it has become of interest to the scientific community and a large body of men due to its potential as a testosterone booster and sexual function enhancer.
In fact, with respect to the testosterone increase and other effects of this herb, Bulbine Natalensis may be the most steroid-like natural supplement available.
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What Is Bulbine Natalensis?
It’s an herb from Africa, used traditionally for its aphrodisiac / sexual enhancement properties. The interaction with the male sex organs and related hormones are the source of these effects.
Effects on Testosterone
Current study data comes from research on rats. However, given the significance of the results in all of the studies undertaken so far, there is a strong probability that the effects can be seen in human equivalent doses.
Anecdotal evidence from experienced users so far supports the research findings.
Testosterone is increased in rats with very high reliability and potency. It is important to note that dosage was a very important factor in the studies, to a point where the higher dosage of 100 mg (per kg of bodyweight) was not effective in comparison with a lower 25-50 mg/kg dose.
Dosage and other usage factors are discussed in the dosage section later in the article.
Increased testicular testosterone levels and testicle size were noted.
In some cases, up to a 346% increase in testosterone was recorded.
Why Does Bulbine Natalensis Boost Testosterone?
Bulbine increases testicular acid phosphatase as well as levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
These hormones are the precursors to the manufacture of testosterone in the testicles. Read about testosterone boosters
Reduction of Estrogen
A significant reduction of estrogen was found at all dosages (25, 50, 100mg per kg).
At the dose specified for highest testosterone increase – 50 mg/kg – there was a 65.1% reduction of estrogen.
Many testosterone boosters don’t have a concomitant estrogen reducing effect like this. In fact, when testosterone is increased, the aromatization of testosterone is usually increased too, which means more estrogen.
The fact that Bulbine decreases estrogen makes it quite unique, and could be considered its secret weapon.
Effects on Sexual Function and Arousal
The same studies which looked into the effects on testosterone could of course measure aphrodisiac properties and the impact on sexual function.
The aphrodisiac effect is significant if secondary to the testosterone boost. Testicle size was increased along with an increase in penile tumescence and reduction of refractory period between ejaculations.
What these mean respectively is that the erection is firmer and larger (penile tumescence), while the time it takes to become aroused again after ejaculating is reduced.
Basically: bigger, firmer erections and more sex.
Interestingly: the aphrodisiac effect is more effective than Viagra at equivalent, or even lower, dosages than Viagra.
A Natural Steroid?
What are the implications of the testosterone increase and estrogen reduction? And what of the other effects on the human body?
The potency of the testosterone boost and concomitant estrogen inhibition is extremely interesting to a whole host of potential users, ranging from bodybuilders to men suffering with sexual dysfunction and libido problems.
What is apparent is that Bulbine’s effects are perhaps the most steroid-like of any natural supplement discovered thus far. This includes the
Safety and Side Effects
There is an effect on the liver and kidneys and can be damaging if the supplement is taken for long periods of time.
Therefore, much like a steroid cycle, it is wise to only take Bulbine Natalensis for cycles of 4 to 8 weeks maximum.
The study with human subjects that took a daily dose of 650mg for 28 days (4 weeks) showed no negative effects on kidneys or liver for that period.
This suggests that 500 to 650 mg a day is the ideal dose for men for periods of 4 to 8 weeks, as it coincides with the effective dose of 8 mg/kg found in the testosterone studies.
Dosage and Usage
The optimal dosage for testosterone effects was found to be 50 mg/kg in rat studies. This converts to 8 mg/kg in human men when using the FDA’s Guidance for Industry – for estimating safe doses for adults in clinical trials.
Now, this 8 mg per kilogram of bodyweight dosage equates to:
- A 150 lb man taking 545 mg total per day.
- A 200 lb man taking 727 mg per day.
- A 225 lb man taking 818 mg per day.
…and so on.
It is also advised to cycle the use of Bulbine Natalensis such as would be the case for a steroid, which exhibits similar modes of action.
NOTE: Bulbine Natalensis will have NO effect on women.
Conclusion and Important Takeaway Points
Bulbine Natalensis is a potent:
- Testosterone Booster
- Estrogen Reducer
- Sexual Function Enhancer
- Cognitive Agent
It is perhaps the most steroid-like natural supplement discovered so far, in terms of its potential testosterone increase in humans.
Though most studies at the moment are based on research with rats, the significance and consistency of the results implies there is a strong effect in humans.
Anecdotal evidence from bodybuilders and strength athletes seems to support this assumption.
One major difference when compared to anabolic steroids is that Bulbine reduces estrogen levels in males. A drawback of steroid use is that they can increase estrogen levels via the aromatase action as a result of higher than normal testosterone levels.
The simultaneous increase of testosterone and decrease of estrogen seen with Bulbine Natalensis is highly encouraging for men with a range of requirements, specifically enhanced testosterone production for muscle growth, improved sexual function and overall well-being.
A final point with respect to its steroid type behaviour is that it is completely legal to purchase and use.
The most important takeaway points are thus:
- Use the correct dosage (even if the supplement product suggests more)
- Use for only 4 to 8 weeks at a time
- Avoid heavy alcohol use during the cycle
There are not many manufacturers of quality pure grade Bulbine Natalensis. The best product we have found is that made by Evolution Slimming for their sports supplement range.
- Yakubu MT(1), Afolayan AJ. Anabolic and androgenic activities of Bulbine natalensis stem in male Wistar rats. Pharm Biol. 2010 May. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645801]
- Yakubu MT(1), Afolayan AJ. Reproductive toxicologic evaluations of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem extract in albino rats. Theriogenology. 2009 Aug. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19410284]
- Yakubu MT(1), Afolayan AJ. Effect of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem on the sexual behaviour of male rats. Int J Androl. 2009 Dec [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18710410]
- Jennifer E Hofheins, Scott M Habowski, Tim N Ziegenfuss, and Hector L Lopez. Short term safety of bulbine natalensis supplementation in healthy men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500755/]