Natural Testosterone Booster: Tulbaghia Violacea
Tulbaghia violacea, a perennial plant largely found in South Africa, goes by a number of different names including ‘Society Garlic’, ‘Silver Lace’, wildeknoffel in the Afrikaans language, and isihaqa in Zulu. It can be identified by its lilac-colored flowers and narrow, lengthy (typically 12 inches in length) leaves. Gardeners who have imported the species note the plant’s uncommon stink, which works well as a repellent against slugs, snails and domestic animals (one gardener from Pasadena reports that “the smell is similar to SKUNK with some raw SEWAGE tossed in … when the plant is wet with rain or irrigation, the smell is worse.”) This fact may owe itself to the sulfurous content of the plant. In spite of this possible deterrent, the plant’s leaves have their own culinary uses, including the ability to be used in salads, and the plant is becoming a topic of discussion in other areas of human health. Tulbaghia violacea preparations have become one of the latest traditional medicines to be re-assessed in the recent global revival of such traditionalism. Go here to read about natural testosterone boosters that actually work – www.naturaltestosteronepills.com.
Among Dutch settlers of the Southern Cape, this herb was used as a purgative (when taken in tea) and as a means against paralysis and rheumatism. Zulu tribesmen, meanwhile, have found a similarly wide range of uses for it – it has both been used among the Zulu as an aphrodisiac and (perhaps attesting to the gardener’s comments above) as a means of warding away snakes from their homes.
Given this rich local history, it is unsurprising that much of the recent academic study on tulbaghia violacea has taken place within South African institutions. Some of the most recent findings were published in a 2011 issue of The Journal of Food Protection, noting how this garlic inhibits the activity of the aspergillus mold and thus contributes to a fungus-detoxifying diet. A few years prior to this, when it was compared with the nutrient properties of more common forms of garlic, tulbaghia violacea was also found to have distinctly stronger anti-coagulating potential and anti-thrombosis abilities.
Can Tulbaghia Violacea Increase Testosterone Levels?
Meanwhile, a 2010 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20723589) conducted in the Department of Medical Biosciences, at the South African University of the Western Cape, is the source for much of the recent curiosity about tulbaghia violacea’s helpfulness in the quest for testosterone production. Like many organic substances that are claimed to be helpful in this area, steroid saponins are contained in tulbaghia violacea. Though the study in question warns us that further examination is required to know “the exact mechanisms involved,” it does seem to conclude that tulbaghia violacea has potential androgenic use. This determination was arrived at after a 50% ethanol extract of tulbaghia violacea was prepared and administered to mice, whose testicular structure was monitored shortly thereafter. Testosterone production, as induced by luteinizing hormone, was seen to be positively affected once weighed against the results achieved among a control group of mice. The exact difference in testosterone level compared to the control group was some 30-72% higher (though no increase in complementary sex hormones, e.g. estradiol, were noted.) Furthermore, the effects noted occurred independently of the dosage that the test subjects received.
Some have argued that, by achieving all this, tulbaghia violacea “accomplished what tribulus [terrestris] is supposed to do but doesn’t,” and so we can subsequently wonder if this type of garlic will eventually surpass tribulus in the supplement market.
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Searching for supplements containing tulbaghia violacea can be a challenge, to the point where one might just be better off growing the plants themselves (and for those interested, the plants grow in ‘hardiness zones’ 7-10, meaning minimum temperatures necessary for their growth are -17 – 10 degrees Celsius.) It is also a particularly hardy plant in terms of resisting drought. Making an extract from the plant, naturally, is the hard part, though – as hinted at above – many health benefits can still be gained from crushed leaves of the plant. The plant’s roots, which are the most likely culprit for the unappealing smell mentioned earlier, are probably less desirable as a source of nutrition or aphrodisiac experimentation.
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There have been warnings against “extensive use” (though this level of excess is not properly quantified): several side effects can include “abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, acute inflammation and sloughing of the intestinal mucosa, cessation of gastro-intestinal peristalsis, [and] contraction of the pupils and subdued reactions to stimuli.”