Fadogia agrestis (of the family Rubiaceae) is a short bush plant that appears to have traditional usage for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It is sometimes called a nigerian plant and can be found in the region stretching from Ghana to Sudan where it appears to be a popular herbal export.
Other reports suggest that this plant has been used to treat fevers and malaria, and the plant has once been noted to have antiplasmodial properties. This plant is known as bakin gagai (Hausa) or Black Aphrodisiac (English).
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
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.
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. Intromission and mounting latency were similarly decreased, while ejactulation latency was prolonged to about 2.5-fold more than control.
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.
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.
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. 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. A later study repeating the dosing and timing protocol 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