Eucommia Bark: Is It an Effective Natural Source of Androgens?

For centuries, Chinese healers used Eucommia bark to treat arthritis, fatigue, and high blood pressure. Recent studies also show that this tree may be a natural testosterone booster.

As you may know, testosterone is the ultimate male hormone responsible for building lean muscle and boosting sex drive. There are thousands of products out there in the market that claim to raise T levels, but most of them are synthetic.

Of course, more and more people are resorting to natural supplements.

Aside from conditions that may affect hormone production, testosterone levels start to decline around the age of 25. (Yes, that soon.) In other words, supplementing with T boosters could help to maintain healthy levels of testosterone as men age.

eucommia ulmoides piece

What is Eucommia Bark?

Eucommia bark comes from a tree called Eucommia ulmoides, also known as the gutta-percha tree or hardy rubber tree. Eucommia is called Du Zhong in China, in reference to a Taoist monk who’s thought of as immortal. Apparently, ancient herbalists believed Eucommia promotes vitality and strong health.

The tree is native to China’s mountainous regions and grows to around 50 feet when fully mature. Once it’s at least 10 years old, small patches of its bark are harvested during the late summer until early autumn.

The outer bark of the tree is peeled away, revealing the smooth inner bark which contains the compounds responsible for Eucommia’s healing properties. Thicker, older inner bark has more of these compounds so herbalists find it more desirable than thinner, younger bark.

Of Plants and Androgens

Isoflavonoids are chemical compounds with female hormone-like action, meaning they can interact with estrogen receptors. Researchers have long wanted to find a natural source of a male-oriented counterpart. In other words, something that would bind with androgen receptors like testosterone does.

At last, scientists researched Eucommia bark.

Recent studies suggest this tree may boost testosterone levels in a natural and safe way. In one study published in 2007, scientists found that Eucommia bark contains phytoandrogens that have the same effects in animals as testosterone.

This is an exciting find in the context of T supplementation and will benefit a lot of people suffering from conditions caused by low testosterone. There is now a true, natural source of androgen-like compounds so it might no longer be necessary to resort to synthetic products.

During the study, the researchers also found an interesting synergy between plant-derived lipids, sex hormones, and sex steroid receptors.

Studies show that Eucommia may help those suffering from erectile dysfunction and general loss of libido.

By using pregnenolone cream or pregnenolone supplements, the levels of the compound in the body increases, and this brings about various benefits such as fatigue relief, and delay of the aging process.

To summarize, although we still need more studies on the matter, scientists now have a good idea about the mechanism behind Eucommia's benefits. Specifically, at least some of the tree's effects could be based on its phytoandrogen content.

Eucommia and Optimal Testosterone

Testosterone is an essential part of hormonal balance. Naturally, low T can make you more susceptible to various health issues. Don't worry, though! Here are some of the benefits of boosting testosterone levels with the help of Eucommia bark:

  • Keeps the Heart and Blood Healthy

    Testosterone helps in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, providing organs and muscles with the oxygen they need for optimal performance.

    In a study on men with low testosterone levels, the risk of having a stroke or heart attack was reduced significantly when their T level was brought back to normal through supplementation.
  • Builds Lean Muscles

    Combined with exercise and strength training, boosting testosterone levels has been proven to increase both muscle size and strength. Testosterone helps in building lean muscle mass. In turn, this makes the body burn more fat by using up more energy during exercise.
  • Strengthens Bones

    Eucommia bark has been used for centuries by Chinese herbalists to treat muscle and joint pain, and this might be largely due to its T-boosting effect. An increase in testosterone level is also known to improve bone density.
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    Enhances Libido

    Testosterone therapy can enhance sexual health and performance among older men. The phytoandrogens found in Eucommia bark might be a good alternative. The supplement may even help with erectile dysfunction that often comes with old age.

Traditional Chinese medicine shop

Other Benefits of Eucommia Bark

Herbalists were aware of the various perks that Eucommia bark offers long before the scientific discovery of its phytoandrogen content. Here are its other benefits that will probably pique your interest:

  • Protects the Brain

    A study published in 2015 reported that Eucommia ulmoides has neuroprotective effects. In theory, it could be used as a treatment option for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

    In another study, scientists discovered that Eucommia extracts can inhibit learning and memory deficits. Additionally, the natural supplement was able to slow down general cognitive decline too. 
  • Normalizes Blood Pressure

    Eucommia bark has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for chronic high blood pressure. According to research, it contains a compound called pinoresinol diglucoside, which is an effective antihypertensive substance also found in olive oil.
  • Helps in the Treatment of Fatty Liver

    Active compounds in Eucommia bark, such as aucubin and geniposide, may protect the liver from lipotoxicity. In simple terms, this is a kind of liver damage common in people with fatty liver disease.
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    Supports Adrenal Health

    Eucommia also works on the adrenal glands, helping them function optimally. Why is this important for you?

    The adrenal glands release stress hormones, including cortisol. If your cortisol levels are permanently high, you might end up with sleep problems and constant fatigue.

    Here’s something that makes things even more concerning though—there's an apparent link between high cortisol and low testosterone. As you already know, that comes with its own set of problems, aside from possibly worsening existing ones. 

Hope for Natural Options

All in all, the discovery of Eucommia bark’s phytoandrogen content is nothing short of remarkable. There are still a lot of studies to be done, but now there’s hope for people who need testosterone therapy but don’t want to rely on synthetic solutions.


Ivan is a medical doctor that has five years experience in researching and writing health-related content, SaaS companies, startups, motivation and self-growth resources. He also speak five languages. Therefore, he is able to research any topic five times better than the average writer.

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