Fenugreek and HGW for Low Testosterone

Fenugreek and HGW for Low Testosterone

There are several reasons that men in their late forties or early fifties begin to feel some physical setbacks. Rebounding from injury takes longer than it used to; being able to maintain high stamina during exercise decreases; muscles and joints seem to ache more. In the past, most people would say that these and other setbacks are simply due to old age. However, now we know that it could be the result of low testosterone. 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),

“Many common conditions can lead to low testosterone, such as obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, use of opioid drugs, and depression….Testosterone levels also naturally decrease with aging and fluctuate throughout the day. Symptoms of low testosterone are not specific, but include sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and low energy and muscle mass.”

There are treatments available that include special medications to possibly help boost testosterone levels. However, the science is sketchy with a “one treatment fits all” approach unable to be applied as each person responds differently. Also, some may experience various side effects from testosterone therapy such as: increased risk of heart attack or stroke; painful breast enlargement (including males); possible blood clots; and an enlarged prostate that could lead to prostate cancer.

Before you consider medical testosterone therapy talk to your physician or licensed naturopathic doctor for a natural approach using the combination of fenugreek and horny goat weed (HGW). 

Furostanolic Saponins 

Fenugreek is a grain-like herb native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. It conveys the scent and flavor of maple syrup and has been used for centuries as a spice, cooking additive, and medicinal application for diabetes, menstrual cramps, and stimulating milk production during breastfeeding. 

Natural compounds found in fenugreek called ‘furostanolic saponins’ have scored high in studies measuring hormonal testosterone levels. One very effective saponin is ‘protodioscin’ which is considered the link to increasing this elusive hormone. 

One fenugreek study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences concluded that,

“Overall, the results demonstrate that FS [Furosap, an innovative, protodioscin-enriched extract developed from fenugreek seeds], is safe and effective in attenuating testosterone levels, healthy sperm profile, mental alertness, cardiovascular health and overall performance in human subjects.”

As a result of boosting testosterone, fenugreek may help improve sexual function in men as well as women. 

Healthline reported that, 

“A 6-week study in 30 men found that supplementing with 600 mg of fenugreek extract daily increased strength and improved sexual function…Similarly, an 8-week study in 80 women with low libido determined that taking 600 mg of fenugreek daily significantly improved sexual arousal and desire, compared with the placebo group.”

Fenugreek is safe to use however it is not recommended during pregnancy or for those compromised by liver problems. 


Horny goat weed (HGW) is an actual supplement with a very odd name. It is ancient to China discovered a few thousand years ago when goat herders witnessed increased mating behavior after their flock feasted on a particular flowering patch. The technical name for plants in this patch is epimedium but the title horny goat weed is what stuck. 

It is the purified extract from HGW called icariin that has been compared to the synthetic ingredients sildenafil and tadalafil found in erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. ED is a common side effect of low testosterone. According to a paper by researchers at McGill University, Canada, 

“Laboratory experiments have also shown that compounds in horny goat weed interfere with an enzyme that normally degrades acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that has been associated with sexual arousal.”

It is important to look for HGW that has a high potency of icariin. The estimated dosage compared to a person’s weight, as reported by Examine, is as follows:

  • 150lbs = 900 mg 
  • 200lbs = 1,200 mg 
  • 250lbs = 1,500 mg

Side effects of HGW include minor dry mouth, upset stomach, low blood pressure, heart palpitations and nosebleeds. Therefore, it always best to consult with your healthcare practitioner to determine if HGW is safe for you to consume.

Combining these two plant-based remedies has shown to have the potential to boost low testosterone levels. The biggest challenge is finding the cleanest brand of these supplements to make sure you are getting the most optimal formula. There are many ‘unclean’ supplements out there showing traces of dangerous substances such as arsenic. Stick to reputable companies and even check websites to find full ingredient transparency.

Overall, working with fenugreek and HGW for low testosterone could potentially help reduce associated symptoms and naturally enhance quality of life.