Black Ant (Polyrhachis spp.)


Black Ant Overview:

Black ant is exactly as it sounds... black ants. They contain a rich source of zinc, and other trace minerals, and provide a potent dose of protein. They are low in fat and carbohydrates, and contain a fibre known as chitin. As a nutritional supplement black ants are perfect for the body builder or athlete. The zinc, complete protein, and high fiber makes them one of the most well rounded protein sources available.

Aside from the nutritional value, black ants have a few key medicinal actions as well. They contain a gorwth hormone known as ecdysterone, which has been shown to have mild anabolic steroid activity in humans. This opens the floor to black ants use to a wide number of conditions, especially when combined with the rich source of protein, zinc, and trace minerals needed to grow and repair muscles.

In Chinese medicine where its use is most popular, black ant is used as a cognitive enhancer for students, to promote the repair of broken or damaged bone and muscle tissue, as an athletic performance enhancer, and to treat sexual dysfunctions in both men and women.

Consuming black ant is easy, as it can be taken as a powder in a smoothie or protein shake, made into backed goods, capsulated, or taken as a liquid extract.

+ Indications

  • To improve immune function
  • As a preworkout supplement
  • As nutritional supplement
  • As an athletic enhancement supplement
  • Low libido
  • Low energy/fatigue
  • To improve concentration

+ Contraindications

  • None noted.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Nutritive
  • immunomodulator
  • Mild CNS Stimulant
  • Mild anabolic steroid
  • Male Tonic

Main Uses:

Black ant is mainly used as an athletic performance enhancer as an addition to the supplementing regimen. It is also popular amongst students looking to increase their cognitive endurance for long hours of study.

The nutritional content of black ant, especially the protein and zinc make it useful for a wide range of conditions from a nutritional standpoint, including anemia, poor immune function, malnutrition, and weak sexual function.


Part Used

Whole ant body

Family Name



Mountainous Regions of China
Islands of Southeast Asia and The South Pacific
Mountainous regions of Australia

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Constituents of Interest

  • Ecdysterone
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Amino acids

Common Names

  • Black ant
  • Polyrhachis
  • Hei Ma Yi (China)

Entomological Info:

Polyrhachis as a genus contains 697 species. Although only Polyrhachis vicina has been thoroughly studied, it is likely that many of these other species contain very similar compounds.


Level Of Research:

Clinical Applications Of Black Ant:

Black ant is very useful as an athletic enhancement supplement, and for treating damaged bone and muscle. It's nutritional content makes it useful for blood deficiencies like some anemias, poor immune function (low WBC), and low albumin levels. it is also useful for sexual dysfuncitons of various sources, and symptoms of malnutrition.



Black ant is reported to have a mild stimulating nature. If sleeping difficulty is experienced, take black ant earlier in the day or cease use.


Recommended Products Containing Black Ant:

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Black Ant 10:1 Extract

Lost Empire Herbs

Made from Polyrhachis vicina roger

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Black Ant 20:1 Capusles

Barlowe's Herbal Elixirs

Made from Polyrhachis vicina roger

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Pheonix Formula

Lost Empire Herbs

Made from Shilajit, Pine Pollen, Polyrhachis Ant Extract and He Shou Wu

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For references, see the full black ant monograph.