Spilanthes Acmella: Testosterone-Boosting Flower of Power

2024 Update – New human data has been published on the trademarked SA3X extract. Read about it in our article titled “SA3X: Spilanthes Acmella Testosterone Booster by NutraShure.

Spilanthes Acmella

Spilanthes Acmella is a next-generation natural testosterone booster with a new extract named SA3X we’ve got to try!

Spilanthes Acmella is a food used throughout history as a medicine specifically for its pain relieving properties. It’s also known as the Toothache Plant, or Paracress, for its frequent use in helping relieve toothaches.

More poignant to this article, Spilanthes has also been touted as an incredibly potent natural aphrodisiac and testosterone booster.

In this article, we will analyze all of the known information on this herbal extract to see if it can really can live up any hype, as natural testosterone-boosting compounds are truly hard to come by.

We’ve got all the research and explanations ahead, so hold on tight and get ready meet the possible next-generation natural testosterone boosting herb!

What is Spilanthes Acmella?

Spilanthes acmella is the more common name for the plant Acmella oleracea, which belongs to the plant family of Asteraceae. Spilanthes has long and storied history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as both an analgesic and aphrodisiac.[1] Specifically, the leaves of the plant were eaten in the form of a salad to provide pain relief from severe toothaches as well as ward off other oral maladies.

Other medicinal applications where Spilanthes has been used include: treatment of rheumatism and inflammation, tongue paralysis, stomatitis (inflamed and sore mouth), treatment for fever, sore throat, and even gum infections. To back this up, there is some research confirming Spilanthes does possess some mild anti-larvicidal and anti-malarial properties[2,3], but more on that later!

But the question here is, can it raise testosterone in healthy humans? We don’t fully know yet for humans, but the rat-based research looks very promising, and natural athletes should keep reading.

How Does It Work?


There are a few constituents in spilanthes that are suspected of its effects, but spilanthol here is the primary one.

The exact bioactive compounds in Spilanthes responsible for all its pain-relieving properties are still being sorted out, but researchers point to the N-Alkyl-amide class of molecules and Spilanthol in particular as being the primary bioactive compounds of the plant.[4,5]

One postulated mechanism for its action is that the spilanthol in Spilanthes Acmella was shown to inhibit 2E1 enzymes in human liver cells in vitro.[6] Studies showing inhibition of CYP2E1 (Cytochrome P450) may lower fat accumulation,[7] but this may also decrease the ability to process ethanol (alcohol),[8] so care must be taken when using such compounds.

We will continue to explore the mechanisms of action behind spilanthes, spilanthol, and the other n-alkylamides as new studies come out.

Benefits of Spilanthes Acmella

The current state of Spilanthes research can be described as “preliminary”, with no human trials conducted as of this writing. However, in animal studies (i.e. rats), the analgesic qualities are well documented, but do pale in comparison to conventional pharmaceutical drugs used for the same application. We’re not here for painkilling activity though, we’re looking at testosterone and luteinizing hormone:

  • Elevated Testosterone and Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

    We’ll start off with the primary reason most readers are on this page — increased testosterone. Preliminary studies on Spilanthes show it has a great effect on testosterone and luteinizing hormone in mice, and that was after only 28 days of usage.[1]

    Compared to two control groups — one receiving placebo and one receiving sildenafil citrate (Viagra) — the test groups consuming 100 and 150 mg/kg bodyweight Spilanthes extract had significant increases on Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone concfentration after 28 days. More importantly, serum testosterone levels increased significantly (p < 0.05) in subjects receiving the 50, 100 and 150mg/kg Spilanthes extract compared to the control group.

    Spilanthes Acmella Testosterone

    The chart everyone is looking at: Spilanthes Acmella boosts rat testosterone and FSH levels at every dose tried! Notably, SC (Viagra) does not!

    One other takeaway is that the group receiving the sildenafil citrate saw no increase whatsoever on the hormone levels! So, one could argue that spilanthes is a more active ingredient than this pharmaceutical! Now, make sure to keep in mind just because this worked incredibly well for animals doesn’t mean it will work equally well for humans.

  • Spilanthes and Sexuality

    Researchers also noted several other important characteristics related to sexual performance. Namely, researchers documented significant increases in:

    • Spilanthes Acmella Benefits

      Over time, more Spilanthes yielded more sex from the male rats! We always emphasize that ‘more sex does not equal more testosterone’ but clearly something strong is happening here.

      mount frequency,

    • ejaculation,
    • and “sexual consistency.”[1]

    Furthermore, researchers documented a significant dose-dependent increase in PEI (penile erection index) as compared to control group. The PEI was nearly 3x higher in the Spilanthes group, dosed at 150 mg/kg bodyweight (EE 150 in the graph to the right), and 4x higher in the sildenafil citrate (a.k.a. Viagra) treated group during the treatment period.

    It’s worth repeating again, that just because Spilanthes was gangbusters for mice doesn’t yet mean it’s going to translate into gains for men – but it does happen when the doses safely translate well to humans.

  • Nitric oxide effects

    One point to consider with these enhanced sexual performance characteristics is that Spilanthes does exert a very strong nitric oxide boost.[1] The same study we’ve been discussing for the vast majority of this write-up also showed that Spilanthes was approximately half as strong as Viagra in this particular trial!

    This may be a big part of the reason for the improvement in PEI, researchers noted.

    Additionally, a separate study on several different extracts of Spilanthes confirmed that the ingredient does produce vasorelaxation via a “partial release of NO (nitric oxide) and PGI2 (prostacyclin) from endothelium as well as showing antioxidant activities.”[9] Of the several types of extracts studied, the chloroform extract displayed the highest vasorelaxation with the highest antioxidant compared to other extracts forms such as ethyl acetate, methanol or hexane extracts.

    Spilanthes Acmella Erections

    The same rats had vastly improved scores on the Penile Erection Index — harder erections. It’s theorized that this is due to a nitric oxide boost, meaning it could also be used for stronger workouts if taken prior training!

  • Pain Relief

    We briefly mentioned this up top, but Spilanthes’ original use in traditional medicines was that of an analgesic (pain-relieving) ingredient. It is called the toothache plant, after all.

    Specifically, various species of the plant were employed for all pain-relief applications including: toothaches, sore throat, boils, cut wounds, and various other types of wounds.[10]

    To further expound on its healing properties, Spilanthes also exhibited antipyretic (fever reducing) ability when dosed at 100, 200, and 400mg/kg body weight in a separate animal study.[11] In essence, Spilanthes reduced the temperature of pyretic rats significantly from the first hour to the third hour following administration of the herbal remedy.

    Curious as to what part of the plant was responsible for these properties, researchers conducted assorted phytochemical studies and found the presence of flavonoids. Researchers ultimately couldn’t isolate which flavonoid was directly responsible for the fever-reducing properties of Spilanthes, but conjectured that the presence of alkylamides were responsible for the analgesic qualities.[11]

  • Diuretic

    Aphrodisiacs and Mice

    In the rats, spilanthes shows everything we’d like in a ‘sex supplement’ – improved mount frequency, harder erections, less ‘reload time’, the works! Will it verifiably translate to humans is the question!

    Aside from pain relief and libido increase, Spilanthes Acmella also appears to exert a mild diuretic effect. This effect was only found in one study, but Spilanthes exhibited more potent effects than furosemide, a loop diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt. The mechanism of diuresis for Spilanthes seems to be similar to that of a loop diuretic.

    To back this up, when a cold water extract of Spilanthes was given to rats in oral doses of 500, 1000, or 1500mg/kg in rats it stimulated urine output within 1 hour after ingestion with similar potency to furosemide (the control drug in the study).[12] However, what’s really interesting, is that five hours post ingestion, Spilanthes continued to exert its potent pro-diuretic effects, even surpassing that of furosemide in total urine volume output!

    This means that users may experience a leaner and tighter physique when using it – an unintended yet welcomed effect so long as you are staying hydrated!

General Conclusion on Spilanthes Benefits so far

Remember, hornier mice does NOT equal more testosterone – as we’ve learned with tribulus terrestris. But spilanthes acmella significantly boosted testosterone in the mice too. If it works for us, natural athletes are in for one fun run here.

Dosage: What’s the recommended dosage / timing / cycling?

If you’re one of those guys who’s not ready to fully dive into the more edgy pro hormone / anabolic side of test boosters, this may be a new “golden ticket” for a safe, all-natural testosterone increase.

The researchers provided doses of 50mg/kg bodyweight, 100mg/kg bodyweight, and 150mg/kg bodyweight. And the good news coming out of that? The increases were dose-dependent, which means that more worked better. Going further, the effects continued to grow over time!

Translating this to humans, the upper-end 150mg/kg dosages would translate to 1600mg/day for a 150lb male and 2200mg/day for a 200lb male — which isn’t an unheard of dose in a supplement.

Expect 300-600mg/day in supplements

However, we’re already hearing great things about 300mg/day ranges, and even moreso with 600mg/day, so that’s what we’re expecting to see in spilanthes-based testosterone boosting supplements until further notice.

We’re excited to see how this range performs, because 2200mg/day per the rat research would simply price everyone out of the market right now.

It’s important to remember that “more erections doesn’t equal more testosterone” (again, remember tribulus terrestris) – but there’s at least one extremely promising study here – it often takes time to find the ideal dosage in terms of both cost and effects.

What’s the best Spilanthes Acmella Ingredient on the Market?

NutraShure's SA3X Spilanthes Acmella

SA3X™ Spilanthes Acmella is now distributed by NutraShure and has exciting human data to support it’s sexual function and testosterone support.

A trusted ingredient is finally back in the market: SA3X is a new trademarked proprietary spilanthes acmella extract from a company named Stiriti Ayur Therapies in India, now sold and distributed by NutraShure. SA3X will be standardized for high levels of spilanthol and other beneficial components from spilanthes.

SA3X is an extract whose spilanthes plants are grown free of pesticides. Stiriti’s facilities have been awarded with an Organic Certification for processing.

SA3X: Proving Quality and Testing Methodologies

We asked if Stiriti Ayur Therapies would demonstrate the safety of their extract, and they provided us with one of their regular pesticide testing reports:

See the SA3X Test Report showing that it’s free of pesticides
Stiriti Ayur Therapies HPLC Machine

This is the HPLC machine that Stiriti Ayur Therapies is using to test their spilanthes extracts. Unfortunately, their HPLC peaks are their trade secret that we cannot see, so we’ll need to do a real review with blood tests to find out.

Further, Stiriti uses state-of-the-art analytical equipment such as HPLC,[13] GC, and AAS testing machines. To the right, you can see an image of the HPLC machine used to verify the potency of SA3X. The HPLC test cannot be shared, however, since the peaks are a trade secret.

Finally, SA3X is gluten-free, NON-GMO, and organically-cultivated in Stiriti’s farms. By early 2017 it should also be certified Kosher and HALAL.

Learn more about Stiriti

We increasingly enjoy learning where our supplements are made and manufactured. Stiriti is a custom botanical research and extraction company and all dealings with them have been professional, reliable, and credible. To read more about them, click here to download a presentation about the company and their GMP facility. Their website is StiritiVentures.com.

Remember SpilanTEST? SA3X is the next generation

Note: The original spilanthes acmella extract ever used was in the original version of USPLabs Ultimate-T, a popular natural testosterone booster in 2015. It contained SpilanTEST, a spilanthes acmella based ingredient also made by Stiriti Ayur Therapies in India.

SpilanTEST has now been improved and perfected into today’s SA3X.

What are the best Spilanthes Acmella Test Boosting supplements?

SNS Spilanthes XT SA3X

SA3X drew the early attention of Serious Nutrition Solutions (SNS), a leading scientific supplement brand.

SA3X™ Spilanthes acmella extract is in the following SNS products:

  1. Spilanthes XT – a standalone Spilanthes supplement for boosting testosterone, libido, and sexual performance
  2. Optimize-T – a multi-ingredient formula aimed at improving all of the above, plus additional characteristics like body composition and athletic performance
  3. Anabolic XT – a multi-ingredient formula designed to maximize muscle growth

SNS is often ahead of the curve – when they get involved with a branded ingredient, we take note. And they’ve been on the SA3X train longer than anyone.

Stacking Spilanthes

We expect to see spilanthes extracts sold in supplements that use other libido and natural testosterone boosting compounds. This includes LongJack (Tongkat Ali) / LJ100, Tribulus, Ashwagandha, Horny Goat Weed, Forskolin, Yohimbe, and a host of other popular libido enhancers.

It is also prudent to stack it with your essential daily muscle building supplements (ie creatine, betaine, and plenty of protein) to maximize gains. The aforementioned muscle building supplement guide also contains other “next-generation” muscle builders that have new research around them, and we hope to add spilanthes to the list if results look strong.

Any Spilanthes Acmella Side Effects or Toxicity Concerns?

Toxicity is always a major concern when exploring new herbs. Luckily with Spilanthes, there were no toxic effects or other kinds of negative issues found in the studies so far.

This was based on a study that used ten times the above dosages! They still failed to yield problems with the mice.[12]

Is Post Cycle Therapy Required?

As for right now, we don’t believe that spilanthes will be so strong that it will throw your entire HPTA Axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular) so out of whack that you require a prescription-grade anti-estrogen.

Changes in estrogen are expected when there are changes in testosterone — that is fine — we just don’t expect them to move so much that you’d need pharmaceutical drugs to get them back to normal.

With that said, it will be important to follow they cycling instructions on your individual supplements. We’re expecting to see 8 weeks on, 4 weeks off, or something similar.

Avoid alcohol use

However, the biggest concern is that the ability to process alcohol could become impaired when using spilanthes, due to its potential inhibition of 2E1 enzymes in the liver. This is theoretical, but still worth cautioning: we highly recommend not consuming moderate (or greater) amounts of alcohol when on a spilanthes acmella based supplement cycle.

It goes without saying that any athlete looking to make gains should not consume much alcohol anyway, as it is detrimental to body composition goals.


Spilanthes Acmella has some promising potential backing it up as a safe and effective natural testosterone booster. However, before we’re completely sold on its benefits, we need to see more human evidence, but more importantly more product availability to give it a real shot. It looks like late 2016 / early 2017 is when the new phase of products will become a reality with the long-awaited SA3X.

If you’re one of those guys who’s not ready to fully dive into the more edgy pro hormone / anabolic side of test boosters, this may be a new “golden ticket” for a safe, all-natural testosterone increase. We may just need to put this to the test using the PricePlow blood testing program.

Since the first supplement with SA3X will be from Precision Research, you can sign up for their updates to get emailed when their spilanthes-based testosterone booster is out!

Subscribe to PricePlow's Newsletter and SA3X Alerts

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About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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  7. Lu, Y., Zhuge, J., Wang, X., Bai, J. and Cederbaum, A. I; “Cytochrome P450 2E1 contributes to ethanol-induced fatty liver in mice”; Hepatology; 47: 1483–1494; 2008; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.22222/full
  8. Heit, Claire et al; “The Role of CYP2E1 in Alcohol Metabolism and Sensitivity in the Central Nervous System”; Sub-cellular Biochemistry; 67 (2013): 235–247; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4314297/
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    Additional Resources:

  12. Ratnasooriya, W; “Diuretic activity of Spilanthes acmella flowers in rats”; Department of Zoology, University of Colombo; 2004; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15120455
  13. Bae, Stacy S; “HPLC/ESI-MS Method Developed and Validated to Evaluate the Quantity, Identity, and Stability of the Alkylamides in Ethanolic Extracts of Spilanthes acmella”; 2007; https://docdro.id/pz2JAOv

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