Butea Superba: benefits, side effects and medications

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Butea superba is a shrub native to Thailand, India, and Vietnam that is believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Used in traditional Thai medicine, Butea superba roots contain compounds that are said to improve sexual performance, treat erectile dysfunction , and even increase sperm count.

In scientific research, the roots of Butea superba have been found to contain a variety of flavonoids, a class of compounds with antioxidant effects that provide a variety of health benefits .

This herb is sold in capsules and as a powder.

What is Butea Superba used for?

Most of the evidence supporting the potential health benefits of Butea superba comes from preliminary animal studies, although several small clinical trials and case reports have been published.

erectile dysfunction

Several studies in rats have shown that Butea superba can help treat erectile dysfunction (ED). These include a report published in the journal Andrologia in 2012, in which tests in diabetic rats showed that Butea superba can help improve erectile function by stimulating blood circulation .

While several studies have tested Butea superba 's effects on human health, a clinical trial published in the Asian Journal of Andrology in 2003 suggests that the herb may help treat erectile dysfunction. In one study, men between the ages of 30 and 70 with the condition were given either Butea superba extract or placebo for three months. At the end of the study, 82.4% of the subjects in the treatment group reported a significant improvement in erectile function (note: the placebo group was lost to follow up, so the results could not be compared) .

However, a 2010 study comparing Butea superba to sildenafil, a key ingredient in Viagra, showed mixed results. In the first part of the study, the herbal drug was found to be slightly more effective than the drug in treating erectile dysfunction .

However, in the second part of the study, the researchers were unable to reproduce these results. It was later discovered that the drug used in the first part of the study was mixed with another herb that inhibits phosphodiesterase-5, the same mechanism of action as sildenafil and other drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction .

Increased sexual desire

Butea superba has long been used as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine, but its use has not yet been fully understood.

In a case study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2012, a 35-year-old man who was taking topical Butea superba supplements to try to reverse hair loss told his doctor that his sex drive had increased. Laboratory tests have shown abnormally high levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone derived from androgenic testosterone.

The study authors note that low androgen levels are associated with decreased sexual desire and erectile dysfunction in men.

Although Butea superba increased androgen levels in this area, more research is needed before it can be recommended as a treatment for low libido in men.

Sperm count

Butea superba has been studied in animal models as a potential fertility enhancer in men.

A 2006 study in rats found that eight weeks of treatment with Butea superba increased sperm count by 16% compared to controls. However , there are no studies linking the herb to higher sperm counts in humans, and it is too early to recommend it as a treatment for this purpose.

Possible side effects.

While little is known about the safety of regular use of Butea superba , animal studies indicate that this herb may have adverse effects on blood chemistry and testosterone levels .

Some research suggests that Butea superba increases testosterone levels , but additional research suggests that high doses of the herb may have the opposite effect.

Butea superba is believed to act in a similar way to other hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), gonadotropic-releasing hormone (GnRH), and testosterone. People undergoing hormonal treatment or taking anabolic steroids should not take Butea superba .

Butea superba has been shown to increase androgen levels, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) , increased facial and body hair, and acne in women .

Pregnant women should not take Butea superba .

Considering the potential health risks associated with this supplement, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using Butea superba . Be sure to mention any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking.

Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Selection, preparation and storage

Capsules and powders containing Butea superba are sold online, as well as in many health food stores, pharmacies, and stores that specialize in natural products.

Butea superba can be purchased online from retail stores in Thailand, but the quality and effectiveness of the supplements may not be known. Additionally, food additives are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To ensure you are buying a quality product, look for a verified independent third-party seal on the label, such as US Pharmacopeia , NSF International , or ConsumerLab . This does not guarantee the efficacy or safety of the product, but it does ensure that the product's ingredients match the advertisements on the label.

There is no standard recommended dose for Butea superba supplements in the United States, but the Thai FDA (the country's Ministry of Public Health agency) has set the safe upper limit at 100 milligrams (mg) per day, or 0, 2 mg per 100 grams (g) of body weight.

Follow the directions on the supplement label and store Butea superba in a cool, dry place .

General business

Can Butea superba help hair grow back?
Butea superba is sometimes used as a remedy for male pattern baldness and hair loss. The working theory is that this herb increases testosterone levels, which in turn promotes hair growth. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

What alternatives to treating sexual health problems are said to help Butea superba ?
You can consider several options, many of which have a more established safety profile than Butea superba. As recommended, before starting any new treatment, talk to your doctor to see if the option you want to try is right for you.

  • Erectile dysfunction: Ginseng and maca (two herbs widely available in dietary supplement form) show promise for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Additionally, certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking , achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and managing chronic stress, can help improve erectile dysfunction.
  • Libido (in women): Research shows that the use of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) can lead to significant increases in libido and sexual satisfaction in women over 70 years of age. However, it should be noted that DHEA can affect male production. and female hormones, in addition to altering liver function.
  • Fertility: acupuncture can be helpful. For example, in a review of a study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine in 2011, researchers found that acupuncture can increase fertility in women and improve in vitro fertilization outcomes (possibly improving ovulation). There is also some evidence that the use of antioxidant supplements among men with fertility problems can help improve sperm motility and concentration and, in turn, increase a partner's chances of conceiving.

Get the word of drug information

Due to limited research, it is too early to recommend Butea superba for the treatment of any medical condition. It is also important to note that self-medication for a disease and avoiding or delaying standard treatment can have serious consequences. If you plan to use Butea superba , consult your doctor before starting supplementation.

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