Choosing Your Herbal Ally: Fadogia or Cistanche

Choosing Your Herbal Ally: Fadogia or Cistanche

When it comes to testosterone support, performance, and overall health, many people are seeking natural options to enhance their vitality. Two popular choices are Cistanche and Fadogia. Both claim to boost testosterone levels, but are they equally effective and safe? We think it is important to explore the benefits of Cistanche, compare them to Fadogia, and address potential concerns related to Fadogia's impact on testicular health.

Cistanche: A Natural Testosterone Adaptogen

  • Cistanche (Cistanche tubulosa) has been a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. This plant extract is known for its various health benefits, including its potential to support testosterone production and overall well-being.
  • Testosterone Support: Cistanche contains active compounds, such as echinacoside and acteoside, which have shown promise in enhancing testosterone levels. Several studies suggest that Cistanche may help improve hormonal balance, promoting vitality and overall health.
  • Performance Enhancement: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often turn to Cistanche for its potential to boost physical performance. Some research indicates that Cistanche may improve endurance and muscle strength, which can be beneficial for those looking to enhance their athleticism.
  • General Health: Beyond its effects on testosterone and performance, Cistanche is also believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic properties. This can contribute to overall health and well-being, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Mood & Brain Health: Cistanche like Lions Mane has been shown to boost cognition, reduce mild symptoms of anxiety, support mood and focus. However, unlike Lions Mane, Cistanche may actually boost libido instead of lowering it.

Fadogia: A Controversial Choice

Fadogia agrestis is another herb that has gained attention for its testosterone-boosting properties. However, it's essential to consider potential drawbacks, particularly its impact on testicular health.

  • Testosterone Support: Fadogia agrestis has been studied for its potential to increase testosterone levels. While some animal studies have shown promising results, human studies are limited, and more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.
  • Testicular Inflammation: One major concern with Fadogia agrestis is its potential to cause inflammation in the testes,(3). Testicular inflammation can lead to discomfort and potentially more severe health issues, making Fadogia a less attractive option for testosterone support. In fact this inflammation could be damaging cell membranes and it may not be isolated to the testes. 

When comparing Cistanche and Fadogia, Cistanche appears to be the safer and more reliable choice for testosterone support, performance, and overall health. While both herbs show potential in boosting testosterone, Cistanche has a more established history of use in traditional medicine without reporting adverse effects on the testes.

Cistanche, with its proven track record of safety and numerous health benefits, is a superior choice for those seeking natural testosterone support and improved performance. Fadogia agrestis, on the other hand, comes with potential risks, such as testicular inflammation, making it a less desirable option.


(1) Zhang Y, Guo Y, Wang G, et al. Echinacoside improves testosterone production in Leydig cells from mice with the lipopolysaccharide-induced testosterone decrease. Fitoterapia. 2016;113:14-20.

(2) He J, Dong L, Xu W, et al. Acteoside and Cistanche extract (CA) are natural antioxidants with immunomodulatory activity. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:743518.

(3) Yakubu MT, Akanji MA, Oladiji AT. Effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem on some testicular function indices of male rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jan 17;115(2):288-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.10.004. Epub 2007 Oct 9. PMID: 18023305.

Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.