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Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

UpdatedMay 29, 2024

As you grow older, testosterone levels go down, and low testosterone levels can cause various issues, such as reduced bone mass, general fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and low sex drive. Other health conditions, such as metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes, can further reduce testosterone levels. Many people try to boost testosterone with supplements, lifestyle changes, or food.

One dietary supplement that's growing in popularity as a testosterone booster is ashwagandha. Ashwagandha supplements are marketed as natural testosterone boosters, immune system support, or herbal supplements for improving mood and promoting relaxation. But does ashwagandha increase testosterone?

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, is an evergreen shrub native to Africa, India, and the Middle East, commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic for several health conditions. It has many health benefits, including anti-stress and anxiety effects due to its adaptogen properties. The ashwagandha root extract also boosts energy, improves cognitive functions, and promotes sexual wellness.

Since ashwagandha has numerous health benefits, clinical research on its hormonal and vitality effects has found that it also boosts testosterone levels. We've looked into the science of ashwagandha and testosterone to determine if it works and how to use it to boost testosterone.

Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

Testosterone hormone is a sex hormone in both genders that influences libido and satisfaction. It also plays a vital role in muscle growth and strength, energy drive regulation, and promoting optimal bone density. And yes, ashwagandha is a natural testosterone booster. This has been proven by studies, including randomized double-blind-placebo controlled studies, where it was realized that men on ashwagandha extract for a minimum of eight weeks had significant improvements in their testosterone levels five times higher than those in the placebo group. So how does ashwagandha boost testosterone?

Ashwagandha works in several ways to increase testosterone levels.

1. Reduces Oxidative Stress

First, studies show that ashwagandha has robust antioxidant properties protecting the body from oxidative damage. This means that it also protects the cells in the testes, the source of testosterone production, which in turn leads to improved levels of testosterone hormone.

2. Increases Luteinizing Hormone Production

Ashwagandha increases the production of LH (luteinizing hormone) by the pituitary gland in the brain. In men, these hormones trigger testosterone production. Therefore, higher levels of luteinizing hormones mean more testosterone.

3. Curbs Stress

Ashwagandha's anti-stress properties are vital in boosting testosterone levels. Chronic stress and high cortisol (stress hormone) levels have numerous physical and mental health effects. Oxidative stress, in particular, can affect sperm and libido quality, and high cortisol levels can potentially interfere with testosterone levels and functionality. Luckily, an ashwagandha supplement can reduce stress, lowering cortisol levels and promoting a relaxed state that improves blood flow.

4. Increases DHEA-S Levels

Besides DHEA supplements, ashwagandha also boosts DHEA-S levels. DHEA-S is a steroid hormone involved in testosterone production, as it converts estrogen into testosterone. Therefore, with these properties, we cannot deny the possibility that ashwagandha could increase testosterone levels.

How to Use Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, tablets, gummies, and tinctures. You can buy ashwagandha supplements in health stores, pharmacies, or from vendors who sell natural supplements. However, it's important to note that since ashwagandha is one of the dietary supplements, it is not FDA-approved as a drug and is therefore not monitored by any regulatory body. Hence, there's no assurance that the claims on the label match the product inside the bottle.

While there is a connection between ashwagandha and testosterone, note that everyone's health is different, meaning how you react to any supplement may differ from how others respond to that same supplement. Moreover, medications like diabetes, sedatives, thyroid drugs, immune suppressants, and high blood pressure may interact with ashwagandha, so consulting with a health practitioner is essential.

In terms of dosage, there are no guidelines on how much ashwagandha to take daily. However, clinical trials have used dosages up to 500 mg per day. Also, you can take ashwagandha whenever it is most convenient for you. But it is recommended to take it after breakfast if you have a sensitive stomach since consuming it on an empty stomach could result in stomach discomfort.

Other Benefits of Ashwagandha

Aside from boosting testosterone levels, ashwagandha has other health benefits.

As an adaptogen, ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels which reduces anxiety and occasional stress levels. Another more hyped health benefit is increasing sex drive because it can boost testosterone levels, and higher testosterone is linked to a better sex drive. Ashwagandha root extract supplement also improves semen health by regulating reproductive hormone levels and reducing oxidative stress in infertile males' seminal plasma.

Another potential benefit of ashwagandha is boosting muscle mass and endurance capacity. Ashwagandha is a potential natural booster for muscle growth and can also support muscle strength when combined with resistance training. Finally, ashwagandha supplementation can effectively boost cognitive function and improve attention, executive function, and information processing speed.

Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Even though Ashwagandha is generally considered safe to use, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements, including ashwagandha, especially if you have pre-existing health issues. This is because ashwagandha supplementation may interact with medications used to treat diseases like diabetes, anxiety, high or low blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, and some thyroid conditions.

Also, while moderate consumption of Withania Somnifera supplementation is unlikely to cause adverse side effects, taking excessive quantities may cause diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach issues.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ashwagandha and Testosterone

1. How long does it take ashwagandha to increase testosterone?

According to most studies, supplementing with ashwagandha leaf or root extract for testosterone boosting yields results after at least eight weeks. However, this may vary depending on several factors, such as the dose, potency, and type of ashwagandha supplement. Also, an individual’s body chemistry can impact absorption rates, affecting the time it takes to increase one’s testosterone when taking ashwagandha supplements.

2. Does ashwagandha boost testosterone?

Ashwagandha has several health benefits, and fortunately, there is real evidence from several studies that it can actually boost testosterone. Ashwagandha increases the levels of DHEA-S and luteinizing hormones, which increases testosterone production. It also reduces anxiety, occasional stress, and oxidative stress, which affects testosterone quality and production.

3. What does ashwagandha do for males?

Ashwagandha root extract offers great health benefits to men. It’s proven effective in increasing male fertility by improving sperm motility, sperm count, and the quality of semen. It also boosts testosterone levels, which is vital to increasing libido and helping to fuel muscle growth, muscle strength, and capacity endurance.

4. Is ashwagandha better than Viagra?

Ashwagandha has numerous proven health benefits, but for its efficacy in treating erectile dysfunction, the research is limited. However, considering it’s a natural remedy for stress hormones and testosterone levels, it can be a good solution for mild cases of erectile dysfunction, but Viagra is the prescription drug for erectile dysfunction.

Final Take

According to the available research on ashwagandha's health benefits, it is clear that ashwagandha boosts testosterone levels. Maintaining optimal testosterone levels is vital to sexual health and exercise performance. Ashwagandha also helps with other health benefits, such as reducing stress and enhancing cognitive functions. Also, it is safe and easy to integrate into your daily routine.

So if you are looking to naturally boost your male sex hormones while also improving physical and mental health, you can give ashwagandha supplements a try. However, even if ashwagandha is a testosterone booster, consider consulting your doctor before taking it. It is also recommended to start with treatments such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

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