What Does Ashwagandha Do for Men

7+ Ashwagandha Benefits for Men - Scientific Evidence

Ashwagandha is a traditional Ayurvedic herb known for its health benefits, especially for men. It enhances physical, mental, and sexual health. This article explores what Ashwagandha can do for men, its side effects, how to use it, and its effectiveness. We'll also uncover some exciting aspects of Ashwagandha.

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Key Takeaways

  • Ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels and improve male reproductive health.
  • It can boost libido and support erectile function.
  • This herb may reduce blood sugar and inflammation.
  • Ashwagandha can improve athletic performance, muscle growth, mental health, and sleep quality.
  • Side effects are usually mild but should be considered before use.
  • Ashwagandha may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Its effectiveness can vary depending on the user and the purpose of use.
  • More research is needed to determine if Ashwagandha increases estrogen in men.

7+ Ashwagandha Benefits for Men

ashwagandha may boost testosterone in men

May Boost Testosterone

Ashwagandha is believed to increase testosterone levels, which is crucial for maintaining sexual health, muscle strength, sperm production, and overall well-being.

Studies have shown that using Ashwagandha can significantly increase testosterone levels [1].

In a 16-week study involving overweight men aged 40-70, participants using Ashwagandha had higher testosterone levels after 8 weeks compared to the placebo group [2].

Research also indicates that Ashwagandha improves sperm quality, count, and motility, enhancing male reproductive health [3].

Enhances Male Libido and Sexual Health

Ashwagandha can improve sexual desire and function. Studies have shown that it significantly increases testosterone levels and enhances sexual desire in men [1].

An 8-week trial demonstrated that Ashwagandha root extract (300 mg, twice daily) significantly improved sexual function and increased testosterone levels in men [4].

By reducing stress and anxiety, Ashwagandha helps improve sexual desire and performance [5].

It also improves blood circulation, aiding in maintaining erections and boosting sexual confidence [6].

Supports Male Fertility

ashwagandha may boost male fertility

Ashwagandha may positively affect male fertility through:

  • Improving Sperm Quality: Increasing sperm count and motility, especially important for men with infertility issues [3].
  • Regulating Reproductive Hormones: Balancing hormones like testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to enhance fertility [7].
  • Reducing Oxidative Stress: Protecting sperm from damage by inhibiting lipid peroxidation processes [5].
  • Hormonal Balance via GABA Mechanism: Acting similarly to GABA to reduce stress and balance the male reproductive system [8].

Potential Benefit for Erectile Dysfunction

Although Ashwagandha is often considered for treating erectile dysfunction (ED), scientific evidence is insufficient.

For example, a study on Ashwagandha for performance anxiety-related ED showed no benefit [9].

Another study on psychogenic ED found improvements in both the Ashwagandha and placebo groups, with no significant difference between them [10].

Reduces Blood Sugar and Inflammation

Ashwagandha can balance or reduce blood sugar levels, increase insulin secretion, and improve insulin sensitivity [11].

This benefits people with diabetes and helps regulate blood sugar in healthy individuals, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

A study on individuals with mild diabetes and high cholesterol showed that Ashwagandha reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels significantly [12].

Animal studies also indicate that Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory effects [13].

Increases Sports Performance and Muscle Growth

benefits of ashwagandha for sport performance

Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance athletic performance and muscle development.

A study demonstrated that supplementing with Ashwagandha improved strength, endurance, and recovery [14]. Bayesian analyses suggest its benefits for athletic performance, though more research is needed [14].

Another study linked Ashwagandha use with increased muscle mass and strength, especially when combined with resistance training [15].

Improves Mental Health and Cognitive Function

Ashwagandha reduces stress, improves mood, and enhances focus [16]. It lowers cortisol levels, helping to reduce stress and anxiety while boosting well-being [16].

Research shows that Ashwagandha improves cognitive functions like memory and concentration, benefiting those who feel fatigued or have difficulty focusing.

One study found that Ashwagandha extracts could improve symptoms of depression and anxiety in schizophrenia patients [17]. Both preclinical and clinical studies confirm its anti-stress properties [18].

Enhances Sleep Quality

Ashwagandha can improve sleep quality. In a study involving 150 individuals with sleep issues, participants consuming 120 mg of Ashwagandha extract daily for six weeks showed significantly improved sleep quality and life quality [19].

Another study found that higher doses of Ashwagandha (250 mg and 600 mg) significantly improved sleep quality over eight weeks compared to the placebo group [20].

By reducing stress and anxiety, Ashwagandha contributes to better sleep, enhancing overall health.

Ashwagandha's Side Effects for Men

Ashwagandha's side effects are usually mild and temporary, including nausea, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, or abdominal pain [21].

Long-term use may cause severe side effects like liver damage or thyroid hormone elevation [22].

It may also interact with other medications, so consulting a doctor before use is essential.

Ashwagandha is unsuitable for individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, thyroid disorders, autoimmune conditions, or are scheduled for surgery [23].

How to Use Ashwagandha for Men's Health

How to Use Ashwagandha for Men's Health

Ashwagandha is available in various forms, such as capsules, powder, and liquid extract. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Capsules: Convenient and easy to use.
  • Powder: Can be mixed into water, milk, smoothies, or added to dishes like soups or porridge.
  • Liquid Extract: Mixed into water or fruit juice.

Ashwagandha powder is often consumed with honey, milk, or tea due to its bitter taste. It's best taken with food to avoid stomach discomfort.

Over-the-counter products range from 150 milligrams to 2 grams. Consult healthcare providers to determine the appropriate dosage for your needs.

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work for Men?

The effectiveness of Ashwagandha varies depending on individual health conditions, benefits sought, and dosage. Some may notice improved sleep or reduced stress within a few days [24]. Others may need 4 to 8 weeks for benefits like improved cognitive function or regulated stress [25].

Does Ashwagandha Increase Estrogen in Males?

A study on Japanese quail showed increased estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) expression in the testes after exposure to Withania somnifera root extract (WSRE) [26].

This suggests Ashwagandha may enhance estrogen receptor activity. However, more research is needed to understand its effects on the human hormone system.

Conclusion

Ashwagandha offers many health benefits for men, from boosting testosterone to improving mental and physical health.

Available in various forms, it can be used according to your needs. To achieve the best results and avoid side effects, men should use Ashwagandha under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

References

[1] Smith SJ, Lopresti AL, Teo SYM, Fairchild TJ. Examining the Effects of Herbs on Testosterone Concentrations in Men: A Systematic Review. Advances in nutrition. 2021;12(3):744-765. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmaa134
‌[2] Lopresti AL. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males - Adrian L. Lopresti, Peter D. Drummond, Stephen J. Smith, 2019. American Journal of Men’s Health. Published 2019. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1557988319835985
[3] Sengupta P, Agarwal A, Pogrebetskaya M, Shubhadeep Roychoudhury, Damayanthi Durairajanayagam, Henkel R. Role of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) in the management of male infertility. Reproductive biomedicine online. 2018;36(3):311-326. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2017.11.007
[4] Chauhan S, Srivastava MK, Pathak AK. Effect of standardized root extract of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on well‐being and sexual performance in adult males: A randomized controlled trial. Health science reports. 2022;5(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.741
[5] Rawat N, Rakesh Roushan. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera); A potential aphrodisiac drug in Ayurveda. ResearchGate. Published February 14, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331087493_Ashwagandha_Withania_Somnifera_A_potential_aphrodisiac_drug_in_Ayurveda
[6] Prasad Mamidi, Gupta K, Thakar A. Role of Ashwagandha on hematological, biochemical, seminal parameters and on serum DHEA-S in psychogenic... ResearchGate. Published March 24, 2014. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266938454_Role_of_Ashwagandha_on_hematological_biochemical_seminal_parameters_and_on_serum_DHEA-S_in_psychogenic_erectile_dysfunction_patients
[7] Michał Wiciński, Fajkiel-Madajczyk A, Kurant Z, et al. Can Ashwagandha Benefit the Endocrine System?—A Review. International journal of molecular sciences. 2023;24(22):16513-16513. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242216513
[8] Sindgi Vasudeva Murthy, Syeda Nishat Fathima, Mote R. Hydroalcoholic Extract of Ashwagandha Improves Sleep by Modulating GABA/Histamine Receptors and EEG Slow-Wave Pattern in In Vitro - In Vivo Experimental Models. Preventive nutrition and food science. 2022;27(1):108-120. doi:https://doi.org/10.3746/pnf.2022.27.1.108
[9] Prasad Mamidi, Thakar A. Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal. Linn.) in the management of psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Ayu. 2011;32(3):322-322. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8520.93907
[10] Prasad Mamidi, Gupta K, Thakar A. Ashwagandha in Psychogenic Erectile dysfunction: Ancillary findings. ResearchGate. Published March 4, 2014. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266938386_Ashwagandha_in_Psychogenic_Erectile_dysfunction_Ancillary_findings
‌[11] Gorelick J, Rosenberg R, Avinoam Smotrich, Lumír Hanuš, Bernstein N. Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera. Phytochemistry. 2015;116:283-289. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.02.029
[12] Andallu B;Radhika B. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian journal of experimental biology. 2023;38(6). Accessed May 20, 2024. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11116534/
[13] Chandra S, Chatterjee P, Dey P, Bhattacharya S. Evaluation of Anti-inflammatory Effect of Ashwagandha: A Preliminary Study in vitro. Pharmacognosy Journal. 2012;4(29):47-49. doi:https://doi.org/10.5530/pj.2012.29.7
[14] Bonilla DA, Moreno Y, Gho C, Petro JL, Adrián Odriozola-Martínez, Kreider RB. Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology. 2021;6(1):20-20. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk6010020
[15] Sachin Wankhede, Deepak Langade, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015;12(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9
[16] Gupta S, Ravinder Nath Bansal, Sodhi S, Malhotra M. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – a herb with versatile medicinal properties empowering human physical... ResearchGate. Published September 6, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354392902_Ashwagandha_Withania_somnifera_-_a_herb_with_versatile_medicinal_properties_empowering_human_physical_and_mental_health
[17] Gannon. Effects of a standardized extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on depression and anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Annals of clinical psychiatry : official journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. 2019;31(2). Accessed May 20, 2024. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31046033/
[18] Speers AB, Cabey KA, Amala Soumyanath, Wright KM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress- Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia. Current neuropharmacology. 2021;19(9):1468-1495. doi:https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159x19666210712151556
[19] Deshpande A, Irani N, Ratna Balkrishnan, Irin Rosanna Benny. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults. Sleep medicine. 2020;72:28-36. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.03.012
[20] Jaysing Salve, Pate S, Debnath K, Deepak Langade. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Curēus. Published online December 25, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6466
[21] Ashwagandha. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Published April 24, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/ashwagandha#references-27
[22] Office of Dietary Supplements - Ashwagandha: Is it helpful for stress, anxiety, or sleep? Nih.gov. Published 2021. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Ashwagandha-HealthProfessional/
[23] Ashwagandha: MedlinePlus Supplements. Medlineplus.gov. Published 2023. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/953.html#Safety
[24] O’Connor J, Lindsay K, Baker C, Kirby J, Hutchins A, Harris M. The Impact of Ashwagandha on Stress, Sleep Quality, and Food Cravings in College Students: Quantitative Analysis of a Double-Blind Randomized Control Trial. Journal of medicinal food. 2022;25(12):1086-1094. doi:https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2022.0040
[25] Kumarpillai Gopukumar, Shefali Thanawala, Venkateswarlu Somepalli, Rao S, Vijaya Bhaskar Thamatam, Chauhan S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy, Stressed Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. 2021;2021:1-10. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/8254344
[26] Kalpana Baghel, Srivastava R. Photoperiod dependent expression of estrogen receptor alpha in testes of Japanese quail: Involvement of Withania somnifera in apoptosis amelioration. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2021;534:957-965. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.10.064
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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