What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone primarily produced by the Leydig cells in the testes of males and in the ovaries of females. The process of testosterone production begins in the brain specifically in the hypothalamus. It is secreted by the neurosecretory cells that synthesize and secrete hormones. The process starts in the hypothalamus, then the pituitary gland, and then in the testes in males and ovaries in women.
A small amount of testosterone is produced by the outer layers of the adrenal glands in both males and females. Empirical evidence, science and literature suggest that testosterone is higher in males than in females. This often leads to misunderstanding and wrong notion that testosterone is only prevalent and present in males and that females do not have it.
While testosterone is often associated with male sexual capacity and ability, it has more to it than just human beings’ ability to procreate. Men and women alike are prone to the benefits of having sufficient testosterone and downside of testosterone deficiency.
Career choices, health ideals, life standards, mating, level of success, aggression, passiveness, certain sensitivities, body language, sexual behavior, appearance, perceived attractiveness, reproduction, physical strength are among the aspects that are greatly affected and directly influenced by testosterone.
How Testosterone Affects Sex Drive
Men and women alike attribute their libido to testosterone. A decrease of testosterone can lead to low sex drive, low semen count and low libido for men. The same goes to women. Testosterone not only fuels aggression and determination. It is also responsible for libido. Increase in testosterone heightens sex drive in both genders.
Women who are prone to stress tend to have low sex drive. Stress may also be caused by low testosterone. It is quite common for women as they grow older to say the phrase “having sex is a chore.” Sex plays a vital role in a married couple’s bonding as well as reproduction. The proliferation of the human race from the beginning of time can be attributed to the presence of this specific hormone in our body.
Even psychology acknowledges that intimacy plays a factor in the likelihood of whether a married couple makes or breaks the relationship in the long run. Women suffer this consequence of low sex drive as testosterone is considerably less in women than in men. However, since the last few decades have caused so much change in the lifestyles of men, testosterone levels among men have also lowered down dramatically.
Here are the top ten herbs that will help boost testosterone levels in the body:
1) Garlic and Onions
These two root vegetables that you often see in your kitchen contain a compound called allicin, which is strongly associated with promoting higher levels of testosterone. A study in the United Kingdom also concluded that high garlic consumption can lower cholesterol levels and in effect reduce blood flow problems that will also reduce the likelihood of male impotence.
2) Cruciferous Vegetables
There’s nothing new in knowing that vegetables are good for your health. As an added bonus, vegetables can also maintain high levels of testosterone. Adding cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower to your daily diet helps you not only benefit from their nutrients, you also benefit from the indole-3-carbinol content of these vegetables, which helps increase testosterone levels.
3) Maca Root
Maca is a superfood that grows in the volcanic mountains of Peru where it absorbs the nutrients from the rich volcanic soil. Maca root contains compounds called sterols that may block the body's production of estrogen and in effect boosts testosterone levels. Maca also contains several other nutrients that also help improve testosterone levels.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have trusted varieties of ginseng to improve not only virility, but also strength, stamina, and longevity. Ginseng is considered a key herb for keeping testosterone levels high. It is famous in Asian culture and is added in Asian foods and beverage. It helps increase testosterone by stimulating the central nervous system and gonadal tissues. Ginseng also contains ginsenosides that increase the conversion of arginine to nitric oxide, which helps build muscle mass.
5) Tongkat Ali
Eurycoma longifolia, commonly known as Tongkat Ali is a plant native to Indonesia that is considered one of the most powerful hormones and sex drive-modulating herbs on the planet. Also called longjack, it is one of the few natural substances that have been scientifically shown to actually boost testosterone levels, and it does so powerfully. Longjack is famous in many parts of Asian culture due to its remarkable ability to increase testosterone levels, endurance, and stimulate sex drive.
6) Pine Pollen
Pine pollen, known mainly in the Chinese herbal tradition is a powerful androgenic and vitality enhancing substance. It is considered the sexual fluid of pine trees. When the seed is mixed with soil, air, sun, and water can grow into a massive hundred foot tall pine tree, and sometimes even taller. It has a similar effect on your hormonal system as well as sex drive. Pine pollen has aphrodisiac effects due to its ability to increase testosterone.
7) Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus terrestris is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in the East. It eventually gained popularity in the West when Bulgarian athletes used it and claimed better performance and higher sex drive. Tribulus contains the the steroid saponins called terrestrinins that plays a role in increasing testosterone levels. This does this by increasing the secretion of the luteinizing hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland. The luteinizing hormone stimulates the testes, to produce more testosterone.
8) Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is commonly consumed in Japan, a country considered to have the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Aside from its famous ability to promote longevity, it also shows promising remarkable abilities in improving testosterone levels. Matcha is rich in antioxidants that combat oxidation and damaged caused by free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage to the cells producing testosterone when left unchecked. By drinking matcha tea, the body has unobstructed ability to produce more testosterone.
9) Horny Goat Weed
The name itself justifies the effect and reputation of this herb. Horny goat weed has been shown to increase the blood levels of corticosterone and testosterone hormones. It also helps improve the circulation of these hormones through the blood vessels and also improves circulation itself. Higher levels testosterone and its effect in dilating blood vessels increases testosterone around the body and thus, helps to increase sex drive, hence the name that lives up to expectation.
10) Mucuna Pruriens
Mucuna pruriens are among the few plants loaded with an unusually large amount of psycho and hormonally active compounds, particularly L-Dopa, referring to dopamine, which creates an aphrodisiac effect. It also lowers the levels of prolactin, which reduces menstrual discomfort among women and helps increase sperm count, fertility, and testosterone levels among men.
It is imperative to raise testosterone levels up through a holistic approach – that includes nutrition, diet, exercise and the right supplements that can be helpful to increase sex drive. There are several cases where women who take testosterone supplements have a dramatic increase in sex drive. In some cases, if the first dosage does not have any dramatic effect, doctors prescribe higher doses. If the effect is also too dramatic that the libido is too heightened, dosage is usually lowered. Dosage of testosterone supplements should also depend upon the conditions of the person taking it. But it is clear that both men and women’s sex drive and overall health are negatively affected by low testosterone.