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Fadogia agrestis

Fadogia agrestis is a nigerian shrubbery that has traditional usage as a proerectile agent. It currently lacks human studies, but appears to have both aphrodisiac and erectile properties in rats. Possible toxicity needs to be investigated more.

Our evidence-based analysis on fadogia agrestis features 6 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Fadogia agrestis

Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts

Fadogia agrestis is a traditionally used aphrodisiac herb that, due to one study noting increases in testosterone in rodents, is currently being investigated for its potential as a Testosterone Booster. There is not much evidence on this herb at this time, and despite its traditional usage in marketplaces (Mideast and African regions) there are currently no human studies.

In the rodent studies that have been conducted, this herb appears to potently boost testosterone and act as a libido enhancer. It has been noted that while mounting/intromission frequency is increased and latency decreased (common for aphrodisiacs) ejaculation latency, or the time required to ejaculate following intromission, appears to be prolonged; this is not common for aphrodisiacs.

Supplementation of Fadogia agrestis is currently not prudent due to a lack of study replication in rodents and no human evidence, and due to a possible increase in lipid peroxidation associated with damaged cell membranes that needs to be investigated further to see if this is a concern and (if it is) how much of a concern it is.

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Things To Know & Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

bakin gagai, black aphrodisiac

How to Take Fadogia agrestis

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Although there is no human evidence, both mouse and rat studies use up to 100mg/kg of fadogia agrestis daily. This leads to an estimated human dosage of:

  • 550-1,100mg for a 150lb person

  • 700-1,450mg for a 200lb person

  • 900-1,800mg for a 250lb person

These are current human estimates based on the animal research, and it is not sure if they are the optimal dosages.

Research Breakdown on Fadogia agrestis

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Fadogia agrestis (of the family Rubiaceae) is a short bush plant that appears to have traditional usage for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.[1] It is sometimes called a nigerian plant[1] and can be found in the region stretching from Ghana to Sudan[2] where it appears to be a popular herbal export.[3] 

Other reports suggest that this plant has been used to treat fevers and malaria,[2] and the plant has once been noted to have antiplasmodial properties.[4] This plant is known as bakin gagai (Hausa) or Black Aphrodisiac (English).[5]

Fadogia agrestis is a traditionally used aphrodisiac and pro-erectile agent from mid-eastern and african regions of the world, and appears to be a fairly popular herbal supplement

Fadogia agrestis appears to be a source of:

  • 2,6-dimethyl-2(E),6(Z)-octadiene-1,8-diol and various rhamnose containing glycosides thereof, three of which are further acetylated to a 8-hydroxy-2,6-dimethyl-2(E),6(Z)-octadienoyl molecule[2]

For the classes of nutrients in this plant, alkaloids (0.32+/-0.06% dry weight) and saponins (2.08+/-0.07%) have been detected alongside low levels of both anthraquinones and flavonoids (both 0.09%); triterpenoids, steroid structures, and tannins were not detected.[1]

The components of this herb are currently not well characterized, and the currently suspected bioactive seem to be alkylamide glycosides (this class of molecules is not overly common in testosterone boosters, but has been detected in Anacyclus Pyrethrum previously

In white albino rats given fadogia agrestis given 18, 50, or 100mg/kg of the water extract has reported dose-dependent increases in mounting and intromission frequency with efficacy on the first day and slightly more on day 5, reaching 370% of baseline values at the highest dose.[1] Intromission and mounting latency were similarly decreased, while ejactulation latency was prolonged to about 2.5-fold more than control.[1]

Respectable dosages of this plant appear to have libido enhancing properties according to one study. The magnitude of benefit appears to be one of the more potent herbs for increasing libido (slightly more effective than Spilanthes Acmella)

In white albino mice given supplemental fadogia agrestis (18-100mg/kg water extract), serum testosterone has been noted to be increased in a dose-dependent manner to approximately 2-fold (18mg/kg), 3-fold (50mg/kg), and 6-fold (100mg/kg) after five days.[1]

The lone study noted fairly remarkable increases in testosterone over the course of five days. More prolonged studies in rodents are required (as the possible toxicity manifests after a month or so, and may interact with the testosterone boosting properties)

A study in rats assessing the aphrodisiac effects of the herb has noted that the dose-dependent benefits of the water extract (18-100mg/kg) appeared to prolonged time to ejaculation.[1]

There is some limited evidence to support the proerectile properties of this herb, but an increase in ejaculation latency has also been noted and is fairly unique among aphrodisiacs (which usually shorten this time)

In the testicles of rats given this same dosage range, supplementation over 28 days has been shown to increase testicular weight (by 11-15%, not dose dependent) associated with increaes in sialic acid, cholesterol, and glycogen content of the testicles.[6] Testicular alkaline phosphate was decreased and both acid phosphatase and γ-GT increased, and these particular set of changes were thought to possibly be indicative of cytotoxicity.[6] A later study repeating the dosing and timing protocol[5] noted an increase in serum lipid peroxidation (via MDA) but no clinical toxicity signs nor adverse changes in organ weight for kidneys and liver tissue.

Although there are increases in testicular size associated with this herb, there are some changes in biomarkers that suggest something in the plant could be damaging the cell membranes. This may not be a testicle-specific phenomena, and more studies are required to delineate what exactly is occurring