Ashwagandha is a plant in the nightshade family, and it has long been part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine to create treatments from the plant's roots and berries.
Ashwagandha has been linked to many potential benefits, including enhancing your overall wellbeing, increasing muscle strength and size, and lowering blood sugar.
Although, one of the most sought-after benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to help boost testosterone levels.
The natural decrease of testosterone after 30 is subtle for some men and does not cause significant side effects.
However, for others, the decline can occur more rapidly, causing adverse effects on your body as testosterone is responsible for the reproductive system and your bone health, cognitive function, and even muscle strength.
So, if you're looking for a way to improve your testosterone levels, we're here to help.
In this blog post, we'll talk you through what Ashwagandha is, the expected benefits of the plant, and how it can help your testosterone levels.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a plant that belongs to the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. It is a herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, customarily as a tonic for treating various ailments.
In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha is roughly translated as "the smell and strength of a horse." While that may not sound appealing, it alludes to the herbs used as a treatment to support a healthy libido and vitality.
The name is due to the strong scent once it is dried and ground, as it was thought to be similar to how a horse smells.
As a result, it was traditionally thought to impart the power of a horse to those who used Ashwagandha.
The plant is a small evergreen shrub with soft leaves and bellflowers. Inside the bellflowers are small orange berries that resemble small tomatoes.
Ashwagandha is native to the Indian subcontinent and Africa, but it can also be cultivated in temperate climates.
It is known as an adaptogen. It supports balance in many bodily systems; however, for a herb to be considered an adaptogen, it must meet three criteria; be non-toxic, reduce and regulate stress by helping the body adapt, and benefit overall wellbeing.
Like many herbal supplements, Ashwagandha has been studied as a treatment for various illnesses.
Overall, the findings have been mixed, but there has been strong evidence that it may improve testosterone levels, relieve stress and anxiety, lower blood sugar.
It could also lower body fat, increase muscle and strength, boost fertility in men, sharpen focus, support the heart, and even improve sex for women.
Boosts Fertility and Testosterone Levels in Men
As you get older, your testosterone levels begin to drop by 1% each year when you reach 30, but in some men, this can occur more rapidly, as we previously mentioned, and this can be detrimental to your quality of life.
Testosterone is essential for many functions in your body, such as your sex drive, muscle mass, muscle strength, sperm production, bone density, red blood cell production, and fat distribution. This is why when your levels begin to drop, you are not alone if you want to add a supplement to your diet to help offset the side effects.
When it comes to natural supplements for boosting testosterone levels and fertility in men, Ashwagandha is one of the most popular choices.
Studies into Ashwagandha and men with infertility have found that the herb helps improve sperm quality, and it does this by rebalancing your reproductive hormone levels.
Following one study that lasted only three months, 14% of the male patients' partners became pregnant after taking the herb daily for the duration of the research.
The plant's root doesn't just boost levels of the testosterone hormone; it may also make significant improvements in your semen quality by raising sperm count and improving sperm motility in men with infertility.
These were findings in the same study where 14% of the participants could go on to have positive pregnancies.
Additionally, there is a connection between testosterone levels and cortisol levels, and some researchers have suggested that the elevation of cortisol decreases testosterone levels.
The supplementation of Ashwagandha may perform a vital role in helping in cases where cortisol levels are impacting testosterone production, as the herb has been shown to reduce cortisol while boosting testosterone.
Which is excellent news for men who want a supplement that will help combat the effects of lower testosterone levels.
Improves Muscle and Strength
If you have difficulty developing muscle and strength, Ashwagandha could help you.
Many studies have shown the plant effect on muscles and strength, offering varying degrees of improvement in participants.
One study observed that participants experienced increased speed and strength; other researchers saw a reduction in body fat percentage, improved muscle power, less post-workout muscle damage, and diminished cholesterol levels in those consuming Ashwagandha.
Sharpens Memory And Focus
Ashwagandha may also help you improve cognition, the ability to perform motor responses, and your memory, which is vital if you have a busy work life and often find yourself struggling to focus during the day.
Some small studies have found that Ashwagandha improved patients' reaction times during psychomotor and cognition experiments, which are designed to measure how you respond to instructions and perform actions.
One of the studies even found that the plant could significantly improve participants' attention spans.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
If you've ever found yourself feeling stressed and anxious, you're not alone.
In today's modern world, many people often struggle with the day-to-day stresses of life, which is why Ashwagandha is best known for its stress-relieving properties.
Several studies into the herb have highlighted this advantage, and participants have typically been found to have significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels.
Some researchers in other studies even found that Ashwagandha can benefit sleep quality due to the herb relieving stress and anxiety, which is good news if you have a busy life and struggle to get enough sleep.
Decreases Blood Sugar and Fat
Ashwagandha has shown promise in some small clinical studies where it was shown to reduce triglycerides, which is the most common fat in your blood and blood glucose levels.
One study indicated that the blood sugar-lowering effects of the herb are similar to drugs prescribed for type 2 diabetes, but further research is needed on this aspect to understand the implications of Ashwagandha and diabetes fully.
Enhances Sexual Function in Women
Ashwagandha won't just benefit you, but it could also help your wife or girlfriend as many women experience sexual dysfunction as they age.
One study into the effects of the plant on women and how it can benefit those experiencing sexual dysfunction showed that following the consumption of Ashwagandha, many participants experienced significant enhancements in arousal, lubrication, and orgasm, as well as an overall improvement to sexual satisfaction.
Many women self-reported that they also found that amount of successful sexual encounters improved and that they endured less distress around their sex lives and sexuality.
The benefits of Ashwagandha are excellent if your wife or girlfriend has been struggling with a reduced sex drive and the stress that can come with feeling less sexy as they age.
With Ashwagandha, you can both enjoy the benefits it brings to your bodies together and enjoy a more fruitful sex life even when you're older.
Supports Heart Health
While the research into Ashwagandha and your heart's health needs more time and further studies to prove the benefits definitively; however, two studies have shown promise.
Researchers found that Ashwagandha can increase your VO2 max levels in these studies.
Your VO2 levels are the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in during physically exerting activities and are used to determine your cardio endurance.
This is how well your lungs and heart can deliver oxygen to your muscles when you're exercising; the higher your VO2 max, the healthier your heart.
With that in mind, however, one of these studies may not apply universally as researchers conducted it with healthy, athletic adults exclusively instead of using a group of participants from all backgrounds and fitness levels, which would have given us a better understanding of how effective Ashwagandha is for your VO2 max levels.
Who Shouldn't Take Ashwagandha?
You should always speak to your doctor before adding it to your daily routine when taking any supplement. Many herbal treatments can interact with prescribed medications, and some can even stop your drugs from working.
Ashwagandha is no different, and you should always check in with your healthcare provider before taking it, especially if you have any issues with your thyroid.
Ashwagandha can affect your thyroid function by increasing the conversion of the less potent thyroid hormone, which is some people can support a healthier thyroid function.
However, in people with a borderline hyperactive thyroid taking Ashwagandha could be detrimental to your health and contribute to hyperthyroidism.
Additionally, if you were hoping to take this with your partner, she mustn't take Ashwagandha if she's already pregnant or breastfeeding, as it can lead to complications.