Research: Ashwagandha For Increased Testosterone

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Ashwagandha is an herb used extensively in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.  But does it have benefits for someone living in the modern world?

The research says “Yes!”

What is ashwagandha?

ashwagandha witheria somnifera plant

It is an herb that belongs to the same plant family as the tomato, and has oval leaves and yellow flowers.  It bears tiny red fruit.  Native to India, Africa, and the Middle East, ashwagandha is now grown all over the world.

The plant is called withania somnifera in Latin, which means “sleep inducing.”  This refers to the plant’s ability to relieve insomnia and reduce anxiety.  The translation from Sankrit comes out as “the smell of a horse” because the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion.

black horse rearing

According to research, ashwagandha…

  • protects the immune system (and rebuilds immune function after illness)
  • combats the effects of stress and lowers stress hormones
  • improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • keeps blood sugar stable
  • lowers bad cholesterol levels
  • reduces brain-cell degeneration
  • helps prevent malaria
  • is a systemic anti-inflammatory

And now the spotlight benefit for today: Ashwagandha increases testosterone.

A study from India shows increases in testosterone up to 40% from ashwagandha supplementation.  Here’s where to find the study, if you’re interested:

Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):989-96.
Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.
Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Rajender S, Madhukar D, Shankhwar SN, Ahmad S.

The researchers focused on sperm, quantity and motility.  But they also measured testosterone.

The control group was 75 normal (fertile) men, and the ashwagandha takers were 75 men who were deemed infertile (low test, low sperm count, slow sperm).

Here is a chart showing the results:

ashwaganda studt chart

In infertile men with normal sperm, the supplement increased testosterone by 15%.

Men with slow moving sperm increased testosterone by 21%.

And men with a low sperm count increased testosterone by 40%!

Even if someone doesn’t have fertility issues, ashwagandha is a safe and natural way to increase testosterone.  You can find it in most health food stores and even in the supplement section of organic grocers – but you can source the same brands a lot cheaper online.  (Here is the brand I take Nutrigold Ashwagandha)

Taking 500 to 1000 milligrams twice daily is a good maintenance dosage, and 2500 milligrams twice daily is what we use to raise test levels in clients with low testosterone.

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