Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone? (Science-Based)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 11, 2024
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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 at 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-boosting supplements, we wanted to show you our research to help you fully understand this herb.

Let’s take a closer look.

Quick Summary

  • Ashwagandha, a natural herb, is used to increase testosterone levels, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with low testosterone production.
  • The herb works by potentially influencing hormones like luteinizing hormone, which is crucial for testosterone production.
  • Ashwagandha can start showing effects on testosterone levels within eight to ten weeks of usage.
  • Personally, I find Ashwagandha a promising option for those seeking a natural way to enhance hormonal health and manage stress.

Can Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

bowl filled with Ashwagandha powder

Ashwagandha may naturally up testosterone, crucial for men over 30 facing a 1% yearly drop. This affects muscle, bones, and stress hormones.

Yet, too much testosterone can be an issue. It's key to ensure herbs like Withania Somnifera don't spike T-levels too high.

Our research suggest Ashwagandha could boost testosterone, but it's not a quick fix. We saw no signs of dangerously high T-levels

Most users, likely starting with low testosterone, won't experience negative effects from a significant increase.

You can also adjust your Ashwagandha dose as your T-levels change.

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


How Does It Work?

Withania Somnifera, popular in African traditional medicine, has long been used to boost fertility, enhancing sperm quality and count. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), studies suggest Ashwagandha, a form of this herb, could naturally increase testosterone, aiding hormonal balance [1].

Skipping the nitty-gritty of hormone regulation, let's highlight a few key points.

Research by the NIH indicates it may affect the luteinizing hormone, crucial for testosterone production [2]. Normalizing testosterone can have several benefits.

  • Firstly, it helps in muscle maintenance and growth — think why some athletes lean towards steroids.
  • It also boosts resistance training outcomes, improving overall fitness, heart health, and sexual health.
  • Additionally, it could break through weight-loss plateaus where diet and exercise fall short.

How Long Does It Take For Ashwagandha To Increase Testosterone?

hand view of a person with two supplement capsules

From my own experience, I started noticing a difference with Ashwagandha, or Withania Somnifera, in about eight weeks.

Initially, I felt a boost in energy and overall vitality within a month. As for my resistance training, it took closer to two months to see significant improvements.

This gradual increase in free testosterone levels, unlike the quick fix you get from medical therapies, felt more natural and sustainable

I would recommend to seek professional medical advice before starting such treatments.

Don't miss our article on top testosterone boosters – it's worth a read.

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

The one way I usually recommend 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

Higher T-levels offer more than just sexual health perks; they also help with exercise-induced oxidative stress and erectile dysfunction.

Everyone's up for better bedroom performance, aren't they?

A key study found Withania Somnifera might impact stress factors, making it ideal for reducing cortisol in chronically stressed adults [3].

Tackling stress early can significantly improve both mental and physical health outcomes.

How Does It Score Against Other Adaptogens?

Ashwagandha, rich in Withanolides, effectively boosts testosterone, especially under stress.

  • Rhodiola rosea aids in hormonal balance but isn't as focused on testosterone as Ashwagandha.
  • Panax ginseng, known for adaptogenic qualities, supports overall hormonal health, though its effect on testosterone isn't as strong as Ashwagandha's.

Additionally, Ashwagandha regulates stress hormones like cortisol, which indirectly affects testosterone.

While Rhodiola and Panax ginseng relieve stress, Ashwagandha's dual action on stress and testosterone sets it apart as a top adaptogen for hormonal health.


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.


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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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