Ashwagandha, often referred to as withania somnifera, is an ancient herb that has been around for over 3,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Research suggests that it may help increase testosterone levels in men and in this article, we examine ashwagandha's full effects as a testosterone supplement.
Ashwagandha is a type of plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family. It has been around for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic system of traditional Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. This includes but is not limited to:
Like rhodiola rosea, ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen which means it can help the body better manage stress. It is also perhaps the most well-known and effective natural supplement for boosting testosterone.
A 2010 study with 150 male participants—seventy-five of these men were healthy and fertile, while the other seventy-five were not—set out to investigate the effects of ashwagandha on testosterone levels and semen profile. The researchers found that treatment with ashwagandha boosted testosterone levels and improved luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin in the infertile men (all major factors in male fertility).
In a separate randomized 2015 study, researchers looked at the effects that ashwagandha can have on strength, muscle mass, and testosterone in 57 men divided into two groups, aged 18 - 50.
The results found that those who took ashwagandha while weight training for eight weeks increased their muscle size and strength and had a significant boost in testosterone levels compared to the placebo group. More specifically, those who supplemented with ashwagandha experienced a dramatic improvement in their bench press and squat one-rep max.
To help give you a little more understanding of what these results mean—the normal range for testosterone in men aged 19 to 39 is 264 ng/dL to 916 ng/dL. Those who supplemented with ashwagandha experienced an average increase of 96.2 ng/dL over an eight-week span compared to only 18.0 ng/dL in the placebo group.
A 2019 study examined the effects of ashwagandha on several hormones in overweight men, including testosterone. In this 16-week study the men involved received ashwagandha root extract or a placebo. At the completion of the study, those who consumed ashwagandha showed nearly a 15% greater increase in testosterone levels compared to the placebo group.
The two studies described above show a clear link between supplementing with ashwagandha and an increase in testosterone levels in men.
The time to take ashwagandha is determined by your preference and goals. You can take it in the morning or at night if you would like to use its calming effects for a better night sleep.
Unfortunately, ashwagandha's health benefits may not be felt right away. It can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks before the full effects are felt. With that being said, do not let the timeline of ashwagandha's effectiveness discourage you from taking it.
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The recommended ashwagandha for testosterone dosage ranges from 250 mg all the way up to 5 grams. For more information on the proper ashwagandha dosage click here.
Interestingly enough, ashwagandha has very few negative side effects and the general consensus is that ashwagandha is safe. The side effects can very in intensity and duration. These include:
If you are pregnant, on thyroid medication, have or had prostate cancer it is best to avoid ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is a type of plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family and has been around for thousands of years. Research suggests that supplementing with this ancient herb can boost testosterone and fertility levels in men.
Ashwagandha can be taken at any time of day, has very little side effects, is generally recognized as safe, and may help treat a variety of different ailments in addition to increasing testosterone.