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Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone? (Science-Based)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: November 30, 2021

Many people tend to shy away from fancy-sounding herbs that are common in traditional medicine around the world.

But they are also often surprised how effective many of them have proven in a placebo-controlled study.

Ashwagandha root is one such African herb that some dietitians and nutritionists recommend to boost testosterone levels.

And because we’ve increasingly seen it on the labels of testosterone boosters, we wanted to show you our research to help you fully understand this herb.

Let’s take a closer look.

Quick Summary

  • Ashwagandha, aka Withania Somnifera, is a common herb in ayurvedic medicine, and it’s native to parts of Asia and Africa. 
  • Scientific studies have shown that it might help people with low testosterone levels to deal with stress-related male fertility issues, low sperm count, and improved muscle mass. 
  • Ashwagandha extract may also provide other benefits for your health, including chronic stress.

Can Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

bowl filled with Ashwagandha powder

Achieving optimal testosterone levels is particularly important for men over 30, which is when testosterone drops by about 1% per year.

That can affect muscle mass, bone density, and stress hormone levels.

But very high testosterone levels can be equally disruptive. And with herbal supplements like Withania Somnifera, it’s important to assess whether they could result in very high T-levels.

Based on our research, this is not likely to be the case. It takes quite a while for effect to build up, and none of the trial research we read through showed any signs of excessive T-count.

You also have to keep in mind that most people who decide to take an herbal supplement like this will have a low starting point.

Even a significant increase from such a low point won’t mean that the effects of Ashwagandha are overall negative.

It’s also easy to regulate your intake and adjust it as your T-levels rise.

“Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.” - WebMD.com.

How Does It Work?

As mentioned above, Withania Somnifera is common in African alternative medicine, where it has been used for generations as a fertility enhancer to improve sperm quality and count.

I won’t go into the exact details of regulating reproductive hormone levels, but there are a few interesting facts worth mentioning.

One study found that it might be influencing the luteinizing hormone, which is directly linked to boosting testosterone production [1]. And some interesting things happen in the body when testosterone heads back to a normal age-adjusted level.

For one, it should make it easier to maintain and grow muscle mass. Why else are some athletes tempted to take steroid hormones?

It also has a positive effect on resistance training, which further enhances general fitness levels and heart health.

It may also disrupt weight management issues where diet and exercise alone are not getting you past a plateau.

How Long Does It Take For Ashwagandha To Increase Testosterone?

hand view of a person with two supplement capsules

Studies have shown that it takes about eight weeks for Withania Somnifera to start showing some effects [2].

The most significant improvements in hormonal and vitality effects could happen within a month.

But for performance during resistance training, it’ll likely take twice that long.

The reason is that Ashwagandha root extract helps slowly increase free T-levels, unlike medical replacement therapy which provides a sudden boost.

But such treatments should only be considered based on professional medical advice.

We have an article on the best testosterone boosters on the market. Make sure to check it out.

Does This Herb Have Any Side Effects?

Generally speaking, Ashwagandha root is safe for most people to take. But as with any root extract, there are some reported side effects that most often come down to a possible allergic reaction.

These are rare and can result in rashes as well as vomiting.

Some people have also reported that they felt cramps, bloating, and nausea, but in most cases, that stopped after just a few days.

One way to avoid this is to take a very small dose to start with and then gradually increase it over a few days.

Does Ashwagandha Supplementation Provide Other Health Benefits?

man in a gym shirtless

The great thing is that you don’t just have to consider the health benefits of higher T-levels. There are reported benefits of oxidative stress during exercise and even erectile dysfunction.

Who doesn’t want to achieve some extra bedroom performance and stamina, right?

One interesting randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial showed that Withania Somnifera might also influence stress-related parameters [3].

That could make it a suitable herb for chronically stressed adults to reduce their cortisol levels.

Chronically stressed humans end up suffering from a lot of mental and physical issues, and the more you can deal with that at an early stage, the better the results will be for your health.

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FAQs

Is Ashwagandha like Viagra?

No, Ashwagandha supplements are not like viagra. While they may promote higher T-levels that improve sexual function slowly, they won’t have the fast effect that Viagra has. These types of medicines directly influence the blood flow to the penis rather than hormone levels.

Is Ashwagandha a Steroid?

No, Ashwagandha is not a steroid, and it doesn’t contain any hormone replacement substances.

It’s a natural herb that has been linked to signaling the production of testosterone to slowly improve muscle strength and male infertility.

Are You Going To Try Ashwagandha As A Supplement?

Take a look for Ashwagandha, or Withania Somnifera, in your local health food store. It’s becoming more commonly available as people have come to appreciate the health benefits.

It has made a big impact on infertile males and performance athletes looking for that extra edge during training.

You can buy a standalone Ashwagandha supplement, but it might be worth considering a testosterone booster that has some other ingredients to help you with mild fatigue, increased body fat, muscle and bone mass, and even mental health issues.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29277366/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/

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