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11 Benefits Of Ashwagandha For Men

By Reviewed by Ashwagandha, Men Published on July 4, 2018 Updated on November 14, 2018
Benefits Of Ashwagandha For Men

Are you looking for what the benefits of ashwagandha are for men?

Ashwagandha is an ancient herbal remedy, that has been used by Ayurvedic medicine practitioners for thousands of years to treat and alleviate the symptoms of mental, emotional and physical health conditions. The botanical name of ashwagandha is Withania somnifera, but it is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. This plant is part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family and has potential benefits for both men and women. Such as improved sexual performance, stamina, and strength, stress, and anxiety relief and many others.

Below is a highlight of the key benefits of ashwagandha for men.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Anxiety and Stress Relief

This is one of the most talked about benefits of ashwagandha for men and women alike. Ashwagandha can be effective in aiding quick stress and anxiety relief. [1]Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V. & Morley, C. P. (2014). An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), 901-908. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0177 Ashwagandha does this by helping to regulate the level of cortisol in the body, thus helping the body to withstand stress. This is an amazing benefit for men as it helps to keep both mental and physical stress in check. [2]Sharma, A. K., Basu, I. & and Singh, S. (2018). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. </The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(3), 243-248. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2017.0183

Ashwagandha benefits for men

Daily life stressors have been shown to cause increased cortisol levels in the human body. If these levels remain high, it can lead to depression, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. [3]Linz, R., Engert, V., & Singer, T. (2017). When your daily mental content resonates in your stress-system: Evidence for the association of stress-related thought patterns and cortisol levels in an everyday experience sampling study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 83(17), 1-89. doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.07.284 Withania somnifera aids in keeping the body and mind calm, enhancing control, and preventing depression and other conditions related to stress. Some reports show that Withania somnifera has few, if any adverse effects when in use as a stress reliever. [4]Meher, S. K., Das, B., Panda, P., Bhuyan, G. C., & Rao, M. M. (2016). Uses of Withania somnifera (Linn) Dunal (Ashwagandha) in Ayurveda and its Pharmacological Evidences. Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics, 8(1), 23-29. DOI:10.5958/2321-5836.2016.00006.9

Ashwagandha Benefits for Testosterone

This is one of the little-known benefits of ashwagandha for men. Ashwagandha is effective in helping to increase the level of testosterone in men, in a healthy and natural way. [5]Juturu, V., Sahin, K., Akdemir, F., Orhan, C., Tuzcu, M., Turk, G., Sahin, N., & Yilmaz, I. (2106). M-A-T (Mucuna, Ashwagandha, and Tribulus) Enhances Testosterone and Reduces Oxidative Stress: In Vivo Model. The FASEB Journal, 30(1) supplement. Retrieved fromhttps://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.404.4 Most commercially manufactured pharmaceutical testosterone-boosting medications are accompanied by numerous unpleasant side effects and increased health risks like cardiovascular disease, liver toxicity, sleep apnea and gynecomastia [6]Anderson, J. L., May, H. T., Lappé, D. L., Bair, T., Carlquist, J. F., & Muhlestein, J. B. (2016). Impact of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death in Men With Low Testosterone Concentrations in an Integrated Health Care System. The American Journal of Cardiology, 117(5), 794-799. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.11.063, but ashwagandha root is reportedly safe and effective in boosting the levels of the hormones without unpleasant side effects.

A recent study conducted on the effectiveness of Ashwagandha in treating low testosterone levels found that the levels of this hormone naturally decline as a person grows older. [7]Abram, M. J., Culley, C. C., & Robert, M. C. (2016). Testosterone deficiency in the aging male. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, 8(1): 47–60. doi: 10.1177/1756287215612961 The researchers also found that there is a possible decrease of about 0.4-2 percent annually after the age of 30 years.

An article published in The Aging Male, explains that a decline in testosterone levels may be accompanied by symptoms like reduction in muscle mass, hair loss and the inability to maintain erections. [8]Lunenfeld, B., Mskhalaya, G., Zitzmann, M., Arver, S., Kalinchenko, S., Tishova, Y., & Abraham Morgentaler (2015) Recommendations on the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of hypogonadism in men. The Aging Male, 18:1, 5-15. DOI: 10.3109/13685538.2015.1004049 Ashwagandha can help to prevent these symptoms by regulating testosterone and cortisol levels in the body.

These hormones are imperative to the proper function of the human body. Maintaining normal levels of the hormones will go a long way to improve the overall well being of the body. A recent study concluded with Withania somnifera, found that it could improve reproductive system function in many ways. Withania somnifera extract decreased infertility among male subjects, due to the enhancement in semen quality. It was suggested that this is due to the enhanced enzymatic activity in seminal plasma and decreasing oxidative stress. [9]Nasimi Doost Azgomi, R., Zomorrodi, A., Nazemyieh, H., Fazljou, S. M. B., Sadeghi Bazargani, H., Nejatbakhsh, F., … Ahmadi AsrBadr, Y. (2018). Effects of Withania somnifera on Reproductive System: A Systematic Review of the Available Evidence. BioMed Research International, 2018, 4076430. doi: 10.1155/2018/4076430

Ashwagandha Benefits for Sexual Arousal and Sexual Performance

Another amazing benefit of ashwagandha for men is that it could enhance sexual arousal, libido, and sexual performance thus increasing sexual satisfaction. [10]Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9 As already mentioned above, ashwagandha is also active in regulating cortisol levels in the body. This can prevent stress-related conditions like high blood pressure that may negatively affect sexual health and performance.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is notorious for having a negative effect on sexual life. It may be one of the major cause of impotence – a condition that causes an inability to attain and maintain an erection, and the inability to ejaculate. [11]Skeldon, S. C., Detsky, A. S., Goldenberg, S. L., & Law, M. R. (2015). Erectile dysfunction and undiagnosed diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Annals of Family Medicine, 13(4), 331- 335. doi: 10.1370/afm.1816 Ashwagandha is also effective in helping to improve sexual performance in men. It has been shown to enhance the circulation of blood thereby helping to stimulate an erection and aid in reducing blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Sperm Count and Fertility

Ashwagandha benefits for men

In Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners prescribe Withania somnifera as a remedy for men suffering from low sperm count. A study conducted on the effectiveness of Ashwagandha in treating infertility in men found that ashwagandha may be beneficial in increasing the quantity and quality of sperm in men that have been diagnosed with infertility. [12]Setareh, T. (2014). Ashwagandha for Male Infertility: Ayurvedic herb improves sperm parameters in infertile men with hypogonadism. Natural Medicine Journal, 6(4). Retrieved from https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-04/ashwagandha-male-infertility

The key results of this study found that after a 90-Day treatment phase with ashwagandha root:

  • sperm concentration increased by 167%
  • semen volume increased by 53%
  • sperm motility increased by 57%

Even though more studies are required to determine the effectiveness of ashwagandha in managing this condition, it can be safely concluded that it is a promising option for infertile men. [13]Mahdi, A. A., Shukla, K. K., Ahmad, M. K., Rajender, S., Shankhwar, S. N., Singh, V., & Dalela, D. (2013). Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011: 576962. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep138

Ashwagandha Benefits for Thyroid Function

This is an amazing benefit of ashwagandha for men, as the activities of the thyroid gland are essential for the overall well being of the body. The thyroid gland functions to regulate other important hormones and glands in the body including the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. [14]Bianco, A. C., Anderson, G., Forrest, D., Galton, V. A., Gereben, B., Kim, B. W., … Williams, G. R. (2014). American Thyroid Association Guide to Investigating Thyroid Hormone Economy and Action in Rodent and Cell Models: Report of the American Thyroid Association Task Force on Approaches and Strategies to Investigate Thyroid Hormone Economy and Action. Thyroid, 24(1), 88–168. http://doi.org/10.1089/thy.2013.0109

Ashwagandha has been shown to be effective in stimulating the activities of the thyroid glands thus regulating the secretion of thyroxine. It performs these functions by aiding the increase of the levels of T4 and T3and helping to convert T4 into active T3. [15]Sharma, A. K., Basu, I., & Singh, S. (2018). Efficacy and safety of ashwagandha root extract in subclinical hypothyroid patients: A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(3), 243-248. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0183

Ashwagandha Benefits for Immunity, Memory and Cognitive Function

In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners prescribe ashwagandha for improving immunity levels in the body. [16]Baht, H. P., Jakribettu, R. P., Boloor, R., Fayad, R., & Shrinath, M. (2015). Foods and Dietary Supplements in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease in Older Adults. Use of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants as Immunomodulators in Geriatrics: Preclinical Studies. (pp. 143-149). Science Digest. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-418680-4.00015-4 Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-malarial benefits, the regular intake of ashwagandha is believed to be effective in improving the overall health of the body and reducing the risk of contracting infections, diseases, and illnesses.

Since ashwagandha is believed to be effective in reducing the level of stress-related hormone – cortisol, [17]Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Joshi, K. (2016). Body weight management in adults under chronic stress through treatment with ashwagandha root extract. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 22(1), 96-106. doi: 10.1177/2156587216641830 It’s also believed that ashwagandha is effective in improving brain functions and treating other cognitive disorders. [18]Tomoharu, K., Chihiro, T., & Katsuko, K. (2015). Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A. British Journal of Pharmacology, 144(7), 961-971. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706122 Ashwagandha has also been shown to serve as a memory booster, as it helps its users to focus, concentrate, attend to their problems, and solve them with ease.

Furthermore, a study has shown that ashwagandha contains properties that allow it to mimic the behavior and functions of GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric acid). [19]Wadhwa R., Kalra R.S., Chaudhary A., & Kaul S.C. (2017) Ashwagandha for Brain Health: Experimental Evidence for Its Neuroregenerative Activities. In: Kaul S., Wadhwa R. (eds) Science of Ashwagandha: Preventive and Therapeutic Potentials. Springer, Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59192-6_14These neurotransmitter function to regulate the activities of the neuron by preventing nerves from working beyond their limits thus reducing stress, creating a feeling of calmness and self-control for ashwagandha users.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Muscle Size, Strength, and Stamina

Ashwagandha has may increase muscle strength, muscle size, and muscle stamina. In addition, it has been shown to be effective in reducing the recovery time after stressful workouts. Study results of a clinical trial published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition [20]Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9 concluded that the study group treated with ashwagandha had:

  • significantly greater increases in muscle strength on the bench-press and the leg-extension exercises
  • significantly greater muscle size increase at the arms and chest
  • significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage
  • significantly greater increase in testosterone level
  • a significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage

Ashwagandha may also be beneficial in reducing inflammation, allowing its users to spend more time working out without worrying about muscle injuries or having any stress. [21]Sikandan, A., Shinomiya, T., & Nagahara, Y. (2018). Ashwagandha root extract exerts anti‑inflammatory effects in HaCaT cells by inhibiting the MAPK/NF‑κB pathways and by regulating cytokines. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 42, 425-434. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2018.3608 A recently published study found that the use of an ashwagandha root paste, when applied directly to the skin of mice had the potential to protect against skin inflammation.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Sleep

Ashwagandha benefits for men

Another benefit of ashwagandha for men is that it may help to enhance better sleep. The root or whole plant extract of Withania somnifera has been used to induce sleep in the Indian system of traditional home medicine, Ayurveda. Until recently, the active component of ashwagandha root that causes sleep was unknown. A study published in 2017 showed results that clearly demonstrated that triethylene glycol is an active sleep-inducing component of Ashwagandha leaves, and it could potentially be useful for insomnia therapy. [22]Kaushik, M. K., Kaul, S. C., Wadhwa, R., Yanagisawa, M., & Urade, Y. (2017). Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction. PLOS ONE 12(2): e0172508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172508

Stress and other contributing factors have also been shown to prevent a person from sleeping. If one does not treat the condition for a long period of time, it may contribute to other serious health conditions. These include insomnia, depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. [23]Shrivastava, S., Mishra, R. P., & Dwivedi, S. N. (2016). Ashwagandha, A rejuvenator of Ayurveda: An overview. International Journal of Pharmacy & Life Sciences, 7, 10-11. DOI: 10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9

Although ashwagandha is not a sedative, it is safe to conclude that it can help regulate cortisol levels in the body, thus relieving stress and making the body calmer and relaxed.

This invariably means better sleep for ashwagandha users.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Aging

Many people believe this superfood is effective at delaying the onset of aging. [24]Pradhan, R., Kumar, R., Shekhar, S., Rai, N., Ambashtha, A., Banerjee, J., … Dey, A, B. (2017). Longevity and healthy aging genes FOXO3A and SIRT3: Serum protein marker and new roadmap to burst oxidative stress by Withania somnifera. Experimental Gerontology, 95:9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.05.013 This is beneficial because the process is associated with how the body handles the degeneration of some systems in the body. People who take ashwagandha are able to “buy” additional time for themselves and possibly delay these processes to a later time in life. This allows them to enjoy the benefits that peers who do not take the supplement are lacking. [25]Vaishali, V. K., Mangal, A. B., & Milind, A. N. (2014). Evaluation of antioxidant potential of Rasayana drugs in healthy human volunteers. AYU: An international quarterly journal of research in Ayurveda, 35(1): 46–49. DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.141919

Ashwagandha root has been shown to be effective in balancing hormones, preserving healthy tissues, stabilizing overall health, prevent neurodegeneration and cognitive issues. It also may prevent wrinkles, graying of the hair, reduce joint inflammation, and many other benefits. These benefits put together will help to prevent fatigue, weakness and low libido. Also, it will help with hormonal imbalance as well as fertility issues in men even at a later period of their lives. [26]Baliga, M. S., Meera, S., Shivashankara, A. R., Palatty, P. L., & Haniadka, R. (2015). The Health Benefits of Indian Traditional Ayurvedic Rasayana (Anti-aging) Drugs: A Review** Modified from an earlier publication: The health benefits of the Ayurvedic Anti-aging drugs (Rasayanas): an evidence-based revisit [In: Watson RR and Preedy VR (eds.) Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for the Aging Population, Academic Press. San Diego, USA]. pp. 209–226. In Foods and Dietary Supplements in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease in Older Adults (pp. 151-161). https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-418680-4.00016-6

Ashwagandha Benefits for Endurance

Ashwagandha benefits for men

Withania somnifera is helpful in increasing endurance in men. A study titled “An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda” was conducted on the effectiveness of ashwagandha. [27]Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 8(5 Suppl): 208–213. doi: 10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9 The researchers found that due to the anti-stressor and anti-inflammatory properties of Withania somnifera root, it may be active in improving endurance and enhancing sports activities.

According to the findings, the participants who were administered ashwagandha showed a significant increase in endurance (up to double). They did this while performing a physical activity, hence another one of the amazing benefits of ashwagandha for men.

Final Thoughts on Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men

As you have learned, there are many more benefits of ashwagandha for men then just anxiety and stress relief. It’s a great supplement for athletes and physical fitness enthusiasts for both performance enhancement and recovery. If you think ashwagandha may be a good fit for your supplement regimen, you can learn more about ashwagandha here or buy ashwagandha here.

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Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually he could fulfil his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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