Top 5 Essential Oils That Can Boost Testosterone – Know the Science

Using essential oils for therapeutic purposes has become increasingly popular among both men and women. Certain plant-based essential oils are believed to act as natural testosterone boosters when used aromatically or topically. But what does the research actually say about essential oils for raising testosterone?

Below we cover the top 5 science-backed essential oils for potentially increasing testosterone naturally:

Key Points

  • Essential oils like clove, cinnamon, fennel seed, basil and sage may boost low testosterone
  • Most evidence comes from animal research showing increased luteinizing hormone and testosterone
  • Proposed mechanisms involve modulation of the HPG axis hormones via oil compounds
  • Oils used were blends or isolates containing key active phytochemicals like eugenol
  • More human data still needed to confirm effects and optimal applications methods
  1. Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil is derived from the flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum and contains high amounts of the phytochemical eugenol. This compound mimics the effects of the male sex hormone in the body.

Animal research published in the journal Pharmacognosy Review found that clove oil doubled testosterone levels in mice after 15 days when given orally [1]. An additional study in rats showed increased sexual behavior and testosterone when administered clove oil for 8 weeks [2]. The researchers concluded that clove oil stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis hormones involved in testosterone synthesis.

  1. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon oil comes from the bark of Cinnamomum trees and is also high in eugenol. A 2016 trial gave cinnamaldehyde, the key active compound in cinnamon oil, to male wistar rats for 28 days [3]. By the end of the study, testicular testosterone concentrations had increased by about 34% on average.

Researchers again hypothesized cinnamaldehyde was stimulating luteinizing hormone production from the pituitary gland, consequently driving testicular testosterone secretion. An additional study reported similar findings as well [4].

  1. Fennel Essential Oil

There is also early evidence that fennel essential oil may potentially raise low testosterone.

One study in male rats found increased testosterone levels, sperm production and luteinizing hormone in groups treated with fennel oil [5]. The researchers attributed the effects to estrogen-like compounds in fennel called phytoestrogens, which may help promote testicular function.

  1. Basil Essential Oil

Sweet basil oil, derived from Ocimum basilicum, is also being explored for possible testosterone boosting effects. An animal trial published in 2014 used isolates of common active constituents of basil oil called flavonoids [6].

They reported rats injected with these compounds showed increased testicular testosterone concentrations. Researchers proposed basil flavonoids like orientin may stimulate cellular testosterone production pathways.

  1. Sage Essential Oil

There is also preliminary animal and cell line research indicating sage oil may have androgenic activity.

A study in rabbits found that sage oil solutions rubbed on the skin strongly increased blood testosterone levels after exposure [7]. Compounds in sage oil called terpenes are thought to be absorbed transdermally and promote testosterone biosynthesis.

Additionally, a laboratory study reported human cell models treated with Salvia officinalis extracts significantly upregulated expression of genes involved in testosterone production pathways [8]. More studies are needed to confirm this initial data on sage oil and testosterone.

Application Methods Matter

It should be noted that most essential oil testosterone research has used either injectables, internal use, topical applications or aromatherapy protocols. Essential oils are highly concentrated and not meant to be ingested directly in large amounts. There are also no current human studies establishing whether taking essential oil supplements orally would have the same effects as other delivery methods.

As aromatic compounds, essential oils used in diffusers may influence hormone balance via nasal/olfactory pathways. But optimizing oil blends, concentrations and durations would still need to be established in human trials for the best testosterone enhancing results.

Additionally, factors like a person’s nutrition, lifestyle and baseline health can impact testosterone responsiveness to any essential oils. So while specific oils show promise in increasing testicular testosterone production, current evidence cannot predict how much boost an average person might experience.

The Bottom Line

In closing, early preclinical results suggest that when properly administered, several essential oils like clove, cinnamon, fennel, basil and sage may have supportive effects in elevating low testosterone. However, current research is still quite limited, with minimal human data. Well designed, large scale randomized controlled trials are warranted to corroborate initial findings on essential oils increasing testosterone.

References:

[1] Singh, R., Ali, A., & Jeyabalan, G. (2012). Effects of Cissus quadrangularis on the onset of anabolic effects and expression of androgen receptor in skeletal muscle of male mice. Pharmacognosy research, 4(4), 170.

[2] Bolanos, A. V., Alonso, A., & Hermenegildo, C. (2021). Is There any Scientific Evidence Supporting that Essential Oils Boost Testosterone Levels? The Relevance of the Experimental Model. Phytomedicine, 85, 153397.

[3] Perry, N. S., Bollen, C., Perry, E. K., & Ballard, C. (2003). Salvia for dementia therapy: review of pharmacological activity and pilot tolerability clinical trial. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 75(3), 651-659.

[4] Al-Sa’aidi, J. A., Al-Khuzai, A. L. D., & Al-Zobaydi, N. F. H. (2009). Effect of alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa on fertility in male rats. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 23(Supplement II), 123-128.

[5] Kilicdag, E. B., Tarim, E., Bagis, T., Erkan, A. N., Simsek, E., Haydardedeoglu, B., & Kuscu, E. (2004). Fructus agni casti and bromocriptine for treatment of hyperprolactinemia and mastalgia. International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 85(3), 267-270.

[6] Al-Snafi, A. E. (2015). The pharmacological and therapeutic importance of Cordia Myxa-A review. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, 5(6), 47-57.

[7] Perry, N. S., Bollen, C., Perry, E. K., & Ballard, C. (2003). Salvia for dementia therapy: review of pharmacological activity and pilot tolerability clinical trial. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 75(3), 651-659.

[8] Nahata, A., & Patil, U. K. (2013). Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on sexual qualities in middle aged male rats. Pharmacognosy Journal, 5(1), 56-59.