Ashwagandha is a powerful, evergreen shrub that has been used for centuries in Indian medicine. It’s also known as “Indian ginseng” or “winter cherry” thanks to its esteemed health properties.
This herb is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body cope with stress. It also can boost immune function, among many other benefits.
Most importantly, ashwagandha is also known for its ability to improve testosterone levels and sexual function in men.
Let’s learn more about the ashwagandha-testosterone connection, as well as its other health benefits.
The Origins of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a plant that grows in portions of India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, as well as regions of northeastern Africa. While not normally found in other regions, it can easily grow as a backyard herb in temperate regions of the United States.
Ashwagandha, specifically its roots and orange-red fruits, has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine, also known as Ayurveda.
While it’s known as Indian ginseng to most, the word “ashwagandha” is actually a derivative of the Sanskrit word for “horse smell,” a nod to the strong smell of the root.
The Connection Between Ashwagandha and Sexual Function
One of the most important benefits of ashwagandha for men is its ability to increase testosterone levels.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for many of the male characteristics, such as muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive.
To understand how testosterone production ramps up, it’s important to know about two glands in the brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
The hypothalamus is responsible for sending signals to the pituitary gland, which then releases a hormone that regulates testosterone production by the testes.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha can increase testosterone levels by influencing the interaction between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. This increases a luteinizing hormone that stimulates testosterone production.
While these initial studies are promising, it’s always best to consult with a low testosterone medical specialistbefore starting any new supplement regimen.
The herb also has antioxidant properties that help protect against cell damage, helping maintain optimal T levels in the body.
A study published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online found that men who took ashwagandha had a significant improvement in sperm fertility and motility. However, not all are truly known yet on how this mechanism works exactly.
Ashwagandha appears to support testosterone production and, as a result, improve sexual function in men.
But besides the direct influence on T production, this herb also helps manage physical and mental health symptoms—most notably, the ability to help the body adapt to stress.
Ashwagandha and Stress Relief
For men, stress comes in many forms. It could be work-related stress, relationship problems, or even just day-to-day worries. Stress can lead to many issues, including erectile dysfunction and low libido.
This is where ashwagandha root extract comes in.
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha has stress-reducing properties that help subdue stress-related effects in the body. With more and more people becoming increasingly more fatigued in areas of their life, many are turning to alternative medicine as a natural remedy to address their exhausted states.
A published study also found that ashwagandha supplements significantly reduced stress in men. The study participants were put through a series of stress tests, both mental and physical, and it was found that those who took the herb had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
While stress isn’t a mental illness, it can exacerbate it and become detrimental to one’s mental health if left unchecked. Stress can have damaging effects on one’s psyche, giving rise to sexual health disorders like psychological ED and performance anxiety.
It’s important to find a healthy outlet to deal with stress. For some men, that may be through regular exercise, for others, it might be through therapy and clinical intervention.
And for those who are looking for a little extra help in managing their stress levels—the health benefits of ashwagandha may be what’s needed to give you a proper boost.
Ashwagandha and Sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal health. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to a host of problems, like:
- Weight gain
- Poor concentration
- A weakened immune system
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sexual function is also suppressed when people lack quality sleep. Low libido and sexual arousal are some of the most common sexual symptoms in men who lack sleep.
Luckily, ashwagandha extract helps thanks to its hormonal and vitality effects. This herb has been shown to improve sleep quality in men. One study involving men ages 65–80 who took 600 mg of an ashwagandha herbal supplement every day for 12 weeks experienced significantly improved sleep quality compared to men who had taken a placebo treatment.
On top of that, this herb may also help reduce insomnia symptoms in men with no additional side effects, making it a relatively safe supplement for anyone to take.
Ashwagandha and Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem in the United States. It’s also heavily associated with sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction, with anywhere between 35% to 75% of men with diabetes also having ED.
One of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar levels. When we eat foods high in sugar or simple carbs, our blood sugar levels spike, which can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.
Luckily, ashwagandha may be able to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve erectile dysfunction symptoms to support medical therapies. One study showed that this herb could significantly lower blood sugar levels in men with type 2 diabetes. The blood markers that were reduced in this study include:
- Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
- Oxidative stress markers
- Blood lipids
This herb’s capacity to improve insulin production and cellular glucose uptake is one of the reasons why blood sugar levels have improved.
Consult a Local Men’s Clinic for Medical Guidance About Increasing Testosterone Levels
Ashwagandha is only starting to take the Western world by storm as a testosterone boosting herb.
It has been used for centuries as Ayurvedic medicine to help alleviate stress and improve overall vitality.
Now, modern science is beginning to back up these claims, showing that Ashwagandha can indeed increase testosterone levels, as well as improve other markers of male health.
So if you’re looking for a way to boost your testosterone, Ashwagandha may be worth discussing with a doctor.
However, don’t ignore medical methods to increase low testosterone levels either, such as TRT. It’s always best to consult with a physician before starting any new supplement regimen.
The medical professionals at Preferred Men’s Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, premature ejaculation, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.