Anabolic steroidal effect of Anacyclus pyrethrum (animal study)Posted on July 22, 2013 by NJEditorial in Anacyclus pyrethrum [Spanish chamomile or Akarkara], Testosterone Boost
Anacyclus pyrethrum DC (Spanish chamomile or Akarkara) is used as aphrodisiac in Ayurveda to treat male sexual dysfunction (including infertility) and is added to some testosterone boosters. Its roots are considered sexual stimulant and are known to improve sexual function especially in male.
Can it actually increase testosterone?
Many aphrodisiacs are added to testosterone boosters in belief that they increase testosterone. It is true that testosterone is main synchronizer of sexual activity but increased sexual desire does not necessarily mean testosterone is increased. In fact, penile erections can be and are often present even without testosterone .
After reviewing a few animal studies we must say that they sure look promising. Sharma and assistants  evaluated the effects of 2 doses of Anacyclus pyrethrum root extracts (50 and 100 mg/kg) and compared it to a group that got testosterone injected intramuscularly (0,5 mg/kg) and a placebo group. Administration of extracts resulted in significant weight gain in treated animals (cca. 14,2%). The weight of sexual organs was also significantly increased. The increase in body and organ weights was comparable with testosterone treated group. A significant anabolic effect was observed after administration of extracts compared to the placebo group, suggesting a testosterone type action of the extracts. The experiment clearly suggests anabolic steroidal effect of Anacyclus pyrethrum. Furthermore, increase in penile erection index, indicates the involvement of nitrous oxide based intervention.
Blossom of Spanish chamomile (Anacyclus pyrethrum DC)
Another quite similar study , which was the first to demonstrate the extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum is useful in enhancing sexual activity in normal male rats, also noted increased weight of sexual organs. If certain compound can increase the weights of sexual organs, they are considered to possess androgenic properties .
A study published in 2012  evaluated 3 doses of Anacyclus pyrethrum extract (50, 100, and 150 mg/kg) for a period of 28 days, and the action was compared with control and testosterone-treated rats. In all treated groups, a dose-dependent increase in serum testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (acts on the Sertoli cells to regulate spermatogenesis), and luteinizing hormone (stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone) concentrations was observed (p < 0.01).
So, can it actually increase testosterone? Well we can say for sure but it seem that it does. However, clinical trials are lacking.
Anacyclus pyrethrum side effects and toxicology
A study by Sujith and colleagues  made a toxicological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum (same as used in all studies mentioned before). Findings of the study indicate that ethanolic extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum reveal no evidence of adverse effects and no toxicological abnormalities and can be considered as safe for long-term treatment.
Vignozzi, L., et al. “Testosterone and sexual activity.” Journal of endocrinological investigation 28.3 Suppl (2005): 39.
Sharma, Vikas, et al. “Evaluation of the anabolic, aphrodisiac and reproductive activity of anacyclus pyrethrum DC in male rats.” Scientia pharmaceutica (2008).
Sharma, Vikas, et al. “Effects of petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC. on sexual behavior in male rats.” 中西醫結合學報 8.8 (2010): 767-773.
Sharma, Vikas, et al. “Androgenic and Spermatogenic Activity of Alkylamide‐Rich Ethanol Solution Extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC.” Phytotherapy Research 27.1 (2013): 99-106.
- Sujith, Kuttan, Ronald Darwin, and Venkatesan Suba. “Toxicological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum in albino wistar rats.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease 2.6 (2012): 437-441.