Bulbine Natalensis Review: A Worthy Supplement?

Rob Miller | May 3, 2018
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Contents

What is Bulbine Natalensis
What are the Benefits of Bulbine Natalensis
What are the Side Effects of Bulbine Natalensis
Does Bulbine Natalensis Increase Testosterone
Bulbine Natalensis and Muscle Mass
What Are Users Saying about Bulbine Natalensis
Cons
Pros
How Much Bulbine Natalensis to Take to See Results
Stacking Bulbine Natalensis
Where to Buy Bulbine Natalensis

If you’re suffering from low testosterone levels, you know only too well how overwhelming it can be to find a natural alternative to expensive and questionable testosterone replacement therapy.

In the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in all-natural testosterone boosters on the supplement market.

While a few are based in scientific literature, most are junk.

I know this because I’ve personally tested DOZENS of them over the years.

Bulbine Natalensis is an herb that has been of interest in the last few years as studies are suggesting that it may have the power to dramatically increase testosterone while fighting back against estrogen levels.

Let’s take a look at what Bulbine Natalensis is, the reported benefits of the herb, and what science has to say about its impact on testosterone levels.

bulbine natalensis review

What is Bulbine Natalensis?

Like most testosterone boosting ingredients such as Fadogia Agrestis and Fenugreek, Bulbine Natalensis is a common sight in an uncommon land.

Travel to the southeast of Africa and that is where you’ll find this herbal remedy growing.

Also, just like other testosterone boosters, Bulbine Natalensis has been used over a very long period of time to improve quality of health.

Recent scientific studies have been investigating the benefits of Bulbine Natalensis and it may be a useful supplement for more than just its reported benefits of being an aphrodisiac and testosterone booster.

What are the Benefits of Bulbine Natalensis?

Libido Enhancer

  • Bulbine Natalensis is most famously used as a traditional and modern-day libido booster.

    What was once rumor and common tribe knowledge has been confirmed in a handful of studies evaluating the sexual behavior and consequential fertility rates in rats.

    A study published in Theriogenology demonstrated that rats who were given Bulbine Natalensis showed a dramatic increase in sex drive and libido. (1-2)

Testosterone

  • Increased libido and sex drive may be a direct result of increased testosterone levels.

    I’ll talk more about this in greater detail below but one of the reported benefits of Bulbine Natalensis is its ability to dramatically spike testosterone levels.

Type II Diabetes

  • While there are no studies to confirm this yet, many user reports claim that Bulbine Natalensis can assist with diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.

    Type II Diabetes is one most the common preventable diseases, especially in the United States.

    Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease that you’re born with and it only affects 5% of the population.

    Type II diabetes, on the other hand, is more often than not preventable and it’s a result of poor lifestyle choices, primarily dietary choices.

    If Bulbine Natalensis is able to improve insulin sensitivity while fighting back against insulin resistance, this has huge implications as a natural weight management and bodybuilding supplement.

Anti-inflammatory

  • Another potential benefit of Bulbine Natalensis that is not backed by scientific studies but often reported in perceived benefits from users is anti-inflammatory properties.

    If this is the case, Bulbine Natalensis could be added to the list of other natural inflammatories that provide relief for post-workout soreness, joint pain, and arthritis.

    With the assumption that Bulbine Natalensis does provide anti-inflammatory benefits, I’ll discuss the best way to stack it to alleviate joint and muscle pain below.

What are the Side Effects of Bulbine Natalensis?

This is a tricky subject with this ingredient because two studies clash in their findings.

In one human-based study featuring all men, subjects were given Bulbine Natalensis for 28 days but the only metric that was observed was safety.

In other words, scientists didn’t check testosterone, libido, diabetes, or pain levels.

They checked nothing except whether the subjects were okay after taking the supplement.

is bulbine natalensis safe

The safety study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and it confirmed that no side effects were reported.

In fact, they deemed it as safe as the placebo.

So we don’t know whether or not the benefits above can be verified but we know that it’s safe, right?

Not so fast.

The studies that have been performed to evaluate the hormonal response from Bulbine Natalensis have a different consensus.

As I’ll jump into more detail below, Bulbine Natalensis does seem to be effective at promoting an increase in testosterone while decreasing estrogen.

The catch is that these findings occurred in rats, not humans.

bulbine natalensis rat study

With that said, the effect from Bulbine Natalensis was so dramatic that researchers concluded Bulbine Natalensis may promote liver side effects that are comparable to a steroid cycle.

Again, this isn’t something that’s been confirmed in a human-based study but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you have liver or kidney issues.

All in all, do I think Bulbine Natalensis is safe?

Considering the number of users who rave about it and the lack of front page news demonizing the ingredient, I think that Bulbine Natalensis is safe as long as you take it in moderation, like any other supplement on the market.

More importantly, if you’re going to take Bulbine Natalensis, I would highly recommend treating it like any other androgen-focused supplement and using a PCT after a cycle.

Does Bulbine Natalensis Increase Testosterone?

Let’s jump into the million-dollar question: Does Bulbine Natalensis boost your testosterone?

Bulbine Natalensis MAY boost testosterone levels but this has not been scientifically confirmed in human-based trials.

Let’s take a look at the science that is available.

In one study involving Wister rats, the animals were divided into four dosage groups: control (placebo), 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. The dosage levels were milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight.

Those rats who were given 25 mg and 50 mg dosages, testosterone and luteinizing hormone increased but far more so in the 50-mg group.

In fact, another study replicated these benefits, reporting that the 50 mg saw an increase in testosterone of over 300%.

If the rats saw such a significant increase in testosterone and luteinizing hormone, then it goes without saying they also saw a spike in estrogen and progesterone, right?

Wrong.

These same studies showed that the Wister rats had a decreasein both estrogen and progesterone.

Progesterone is converted into estrogen and cortisol, neither of which is good news for testosterone or muscle building.

What about humans?

Does Bulbine Natalensis boost testosterone levels in humans?

I’m only going to report on science and unfortunately no study has been released demonstrating the testosterone boosting effects of Bulbine Natalensis on humans.

With that said, if a fraction of the benefits found in rats apply to humans, then Bulbine Natalensis may be the next shelf-clearing t-booster.

Bulbine Natalensis and Muscle Mass

While no scientific studies have come out regarding the muscle building benefits of Bulbine Natalensis, in theory, if the supplement significantly increases levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone while decreasing estrogen, they you have the ideal anabolic environment for growth.

If your goal is to build lean muscle mass while supporting natural levels of testosterone, Bulbine Natalensis may be able to help with both.

Testosterone is a powerful recovery hormone.

If you’re following a training program that focuses on muscle hypertrophy, the increase in circulating testosterone may aid in lean muscle growth.

Again, this is just a theory and we’re waiting on studies to connect these dots.

What Are Users Saying about Bulbine Natalensis?

Since there are no human-based studies that evaluate the effects as it relates to testosterone, user reviews become the next best thing.

Keep in mind that I never consider reviews that are suspicious such as paid reviews or reviews from the company itself.

Below, you’ll find the common thread topics that I found across several forums and buying platforms such as Amazon.

I’ll start with the cons before moving to the pros.

Cons

Delayed Effect

  • One interesting observation from several users about Bulbine Natalensis is that the effects of the supplement aren’t observed until the second or third week of taking it.

    I wanted to say this was dependent upon the brand until I found the same complaint across different brands.

    Take home lesson: if you’re going to supplement with Bulbine Natalensis, be patient and give it time to kick in.

bulbine natalensis side effects

Side Effects Related to T-Boosters

  • While the official human study cited no side effects, plenty of users have reported side effects that are common with other testosterone boosters.

    The most common complaints are that of acne.

    On the upside, when users mentioned these side effects, it was usually followed up with a mention about higher sex drive as well.

Sensitive Stomachs Beware

  • Not extremely common but still something I wanted to point out: I noticed several users who had complained about diarrhea and stomach cramps after taking Bulbine Natalensis.

    This could be from a few things outside of Bulbine Natalensis such as the coating on the capsule or even the filler within.

    Easiest way around this is to start with a low dosage and increase gradually as you body adjusts.

Dosage Needs to Be Adjusted

  • Speaking of dosages: As I’ll talk more about in the next section, many users found that they had to increase the recommended dosage in order to see any effect.

    For example, with the brands that offer 350 mg of Bulbine Natalensis per serving, some users had to take four or five capsules per day.

Pros

Sex Drive / Libido

  • There’s no arguing with the fact that nearly all of the positive reviews I found mentioned in some form about how sex drive and libido went through the roof after a cycle of Bulbine Natalensis.

    Whether it was an increased interest in sex, longer performance, or greater frequency, those who have benefited from Bulbine Natalensis can attest to its libido boosting properties.

    This is by far the most commonly reported benefit of Bulbine Natalensis regardless of the brand of supplement.

Focus and Being In the Zone

  • Some users reported feeling more focused and aggressive during workouts, which would match other testosterone boosting ingredients but it’s not as common as the libido boosting effects of Bulbine Natalensis.

    Obviously, this has great implications as a pre-workout ingredient.

Better Sleep

  • Many brands recommend taking Bulbine Natalensis before bed as it seems to promote healthy sleep.

    Keep in mind that Bulbine Natalensis will not make you fall asleep; rather, if it’s anything like ZMA, it helps you stay in R.

    E.

    M.

    cycles of sleep for a longer period of time.

    If you stack Bulbine Natalensis with ZMA, that would be the perfect recovery and sleep aid combination.

    I talk more about Bulbine Natalensis stacks below.

How Much Bulbine Natalensis to Take to See Results?

As no scientific studies have been performed to find the exact dosage to see testosterone-based benefits, it’s tough to say.

The study performed on the safety of Bulbine Natalensis had subjects taking 650 mg throughout the day (325 mg in the morning and 325 mg in the evening).

From that, we know that 650 mg is well tolerated but that’s not even close to the 50 mg per kilogram of body weight we saw in the Wister rat study.

To play it safe, I’d start with 650 mg of Bulbine Natalensis for one cycle of 4 weeks.

Evaluate how you feel and if you’ve made any progress.

I’d also suggest getting your t-levels checked before and after you take Bulbine Natalensis.

If you can successfully complete one cycle at 650 mg, try increasing the dosage between 1,000 and 1,200 mg for another cycle.

If you want to copy the Wister rat study, the sweet spot for testosterone boosting benefits is 50 mg per kilogram of bodyweight.

If you are using pounds, you just need to convert.

For example:

  • You weigh 150 lbs or 68 kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs)
  • 68 x 50 = 3,400
  • 3,400 mg (3.4 grams)

I’m not advocating for you to jump right into the same arena as the Wister rat study.

In fact, since there is a lack of scientific evidence and a chance of liver damage, I’d go with the safe route and see where that takes you.

Better to start low and gradually increase the dosage.

If you do go the route of 50 mg per kilogram of bodyweight, I highly recommend using a PCT (post-cycle therapy) supplement after your cycle.

Stacking Bulbine Natalensis

With its potential benefits for testosterone, workout performance, and recovery, Bulbine Natalensis may be an ideal stacking compound.

Pain Relief / Anti-inflammatory

  • If you want to maximize the reported benefits of anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief, Bulbine Natalensis can be stacked with other all-natural compounds with similar benefits.

    I’d recommend stacking Bulbine Natalensis with an omega-3 fatty acid such as krill oil, glucosamine chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

Increase Testosterone

  • If testosterone boosting is your goal then I’d suggest supplementing with a lower dosage of Bulbine Natalensis and stacking it with other natural herbal remedies that have been shown to increase t-levels.

    For example, I’d stack Bulbine Natalensis with ZMA (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6), vitamin D, maca, and ashwaghanda root.

Where to Buy Bulbine Natalensis

It can be really tough to find a reputable brand of Bulbine Natalensis.

It’s either dramatically under-dosed or it’s mixed in with several other ingredients.

There are several brands out there but the reviews are mixed or strangely similar in phrasing, which raises red flags of paid reviews.

Below, you’ll find the two brands that I would try.

Have You Used Bulbine Natalensis?

Leave Your Review Below!

References

  1. Yakubu M, Afolayan A. Effect of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem on the sexual behaviour of male rats.

    Int J Androl.

    2009;32(6):629-636.

  2. Yakubu M, Afolayan A. Reproductive toxicologic evaluations of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem extract in albino rats.

    Theriogenology.

    2009;72(3):322-332.

  3. Afolayan A, Yakubu M.

    Effect of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem extract on the functional indices and histology of the liver and kidney of male Wistar rats.

    J Med Food.

    2009;12(4):814-820.

  4. Hofheins JE, Habowski SM, Ziegenfuss TN, Lopez HL.

    Short term safety of bulbine natalensis supplementation in healthy men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

    2012;9(Suppl 1):P33. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-S1-P33.

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Author: Rob Miller

Rob Miller founded SupplementCritique.com over 2 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. Originally, he founded the blog to help research various mens health supplements on the market. Today, SupplementCritique.com has grown to one of the largest men's health and fitness products review sites on the internet. Rob currently resides in the south beach section of Miami, with his girlfriend of 2 years, and his German shepherd "Max". Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google +.