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Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

Ashwagandha is a powerful ayurvedic herb that has been used to treat illness and ailments in human culture for many thousands of years

There are many reasons why Ashwagandha is considered to be one of the most popular medicinal herbs available - it’s believed to reduce blood sugar levels, relieve stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation, and so much more (particularly when paired with black pepper).

Amongst its plethora of health benefits, it’s also thought that Ashwagandha is capable of boosting testosterone levels which is a huge driver for its popularity in modern times.

ashwagandha and testosterone

ashwagandha and testosterone

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Does Ashwagandha Affect Testosterone In Men?

One study found that men taking Ashwagandha noted an increase in both muscle size and strength while simultaneously participating in a weight-lifting program.

In fact, the study found that it was so powerful that the men taking Ashwagandha had testosterone levels that were five times higher than those who weren't!

This clearly makes it a useful supplement for anybody trying to gain muscle mass and strength. But, there is another benefit to the testosterone-boosting power of Ashwagandha.

The higher your testosterone levels are, the higher your sex drive is and you also have better-quality sperm. This means that Ashwagandha could be a particularly useful supplement for any man with fertility issues.

The science behind this is clear, too. Another study on the testosterone-boosting properties of Ashwagandha discovered that 14% of the men’s partners had become pregnant after just 3 months of taking the supplement.

ashwagandha dosage for testosterone

Does Ashwagandha Affect Testosterone In Females?

Some women may be hesitant around the idea of taking Ashwagandha because of its testosterone-boosting effects. However, the first thing you need to know here is that Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This means that it works differently for each person depending on what your body needs.

While testosterone is most commonly thought of as a male hormone, it is still naturally occurring in females and is the primary sex hormone in women. It is also produced by the adrenal glands and the ovaries, and it’s responsible for sexual sensitivity.

But, since it’s an adaptogen, it won't increase testosterone levels in females in the same way it does for males. Instead, it is thought to help regulate both testosterone and estrogen levels better.

It might also interest you to know that, even after menopause, the ovaries continue to produce testosterone for many years. Since estrogen levels are much lower during this time, taking Ashwagandha could help to better regulate the production of testosterone.

Testosterone is also responsible for bone and muscle development in females as well as contributing to energy levels. So, again, taking an Ashwagandha supplement could help to ensure the testosterone produced is being used as efficiently as possible.

ashwagandha benefits for women
Photographer: John Arano

ashwagandha and testosterone

 Click here for SuperFeast Ashwagandha Click here for Teelixir Ashwagandha

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take To Boost Testosterone?

Since Ashwagandha is a natural supplement, it can take your body a little longer to adjust to it and start using it to boost testosterone compared to a prescription drug. However, you don’t have to wait too long to start seeing results.

We’ve mentioned one study above that found 14% of men taking an Ashwagandha supplement were able to achieve pregnancy with their partner in just three months. The reason for this is because they had higher testosterone levels in their seminal fluid.

Another study saw half of the participants taking 300mg of Ashwagandha a day, while the remaining half were given a placebo. After 8 weeks, the participants that were given Ashwagandha had dramatically increased testosterone levels.

Looking at both of these studies, it’s fair to say that you can expect Ashwagandha to have a significant effect on testosterone levels within 2-3 months. However, there are two things to consider.

First of all, the two studies we’ve detailed above show us that you need to take Ashwagandha consistently for it to have an effect on testosterone. Throw some ashwagandha in a smoothie every morning to stay on track 

Secondly, you need to make sure that you’re taking the correct dose. Put simply, take too little and not often enough, and it will take longer to start having an effect.

How Much Ashwagandha Should I Take To Increase Testosterone?

As with all herbal supplements, the amount of Ashwagandha you need to take really depends on twhat you're looking to achieve. However, when it comes to increasing your testosterone levels, it’s recommended that you start with a smaller dose of 300-500mg twice per day.

Doing this allows your body to get used to it over time. After a few weeks, you can start increasing the amount of Ashwagandha you’re taking to between 1,000 and 1,500 milligrams twice per day.

One thing that you need to keep in mind, however, is that some Ashwagandha products can be diluted, which means that you may not be getting as much as you thought. Luckily, you can determine how concentrated your Ashwagandha supplements are by looking at the withanolide content.

For boosting your testosterone levels, you’ll need to make sure that your chosen Ashwagandha supplements have a withanolide content of between 5%-10%.

Getting your dosage correct isn’t only important for making sure you get the most out of your Ashwagandha supplement, though. Taking too much could result in some serious side effects. These can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Hypotension
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Eczema
  • Vivid dreams

So, to put it simply, start with a lower dose and increase it gradually over time. You should also consider taking a break from Ashwagandha from time to time, and of course, consult a medical professional if you ever experience side effects.

The majority of studies on the testosterone-boosting effects of Ashwagandha found that a 300mg-500mg dose twice a day has the desired effect in 8-12 weeks. With this in mind, it’s best to find what works for you and adjust your dosage accordingly.

ashwagandha and testosterone

 Click here for SuperFeast Ashwagandha Click here for Teelixir Ashwagandha

ashwagandha dosage
Photographer: Pille R. Priske

Is Ashwagandha Good For Erectile Dysfunction?

While Ashwagandha is believed to increase both sex drive and sperm quality in males, it isn’t thought to be a helpful supplement for anybody that suffers from erectile dysfunction. The main reason for this is that ED isn’t caused by a lack of testosterone. Instead, it’s usually a mental or physical issue.

There have been a few studies on the effects of taking Ashwagandha to help with erectile dysfunction but, unfortunately, they all came to the same conclusion.

The first was conducted on rats in 2002 and, not only did the researchers find that erectile dysfunction wasn’t improved, it was actually increased. The rats also seemed to suffer from a lower sex drive.

A few years later in 2011, another study looked at the effects of Ashwagandha on psychogenic ED. This is a specific type of erectile dysfunction that is caused by sexual anxiety and concerns about sexual performance.

The overall result found that out of the 86 men taking part, there wasn’t an improvement in ED in those that were given an Ashwagandha supplement compared to those given a placebo.

With each of these studies in mind, it’s safe to say that Ashwagandha doesn’t have an effect on improving erectile dysfunction. However, it is believed to improve sperm count, semen quality, and sperm motility. If you'd like to look at some adaptogens that are shown to have a positive effect on erectile dysfunction - click here.

ashwagandha and erectile dysfunction
Photographer: Chris Liverani

ashwagandha and testosterone

 Click here for SuperFeast Ashwagandha Click here for Teelixir Ashwagandha

Does Ashwagandha Help PCOS?

There are many prescription medications available to help with PCOS, but if you want to keep things as natural as possible, Ashwagandha could be the perfect herbal supplement for managing it.

There are a few reasons for this, but let’s take a moment to look at what POCS is, to begin with. Polycystic ovary symptom (PCOS) is caused by a hormonal imbalance, and it can have several effects on the female body. These include weight gain, irregular periods, acne, metabolic syndrome, and more.

So, how could Ashwagandha help anybody suffering from PCOS? First of all, it is believed to help reduce stress. This means that it could be useful for alleviating depression and anxiety associated with PCOS. One 2019 study found that a 240mg daily dose of Ashwagandha significantly reduced stress levels compared to those given a placebo.

Another way that Ashwagandha could help those suffering from PCOS is by reducing inflammation. There have been many animal studies on this, but one, in particular, found that a 250mg daily dose of Ashwagandha decreased the body’s inflammatory markers (CRP) by 36%. With this in mind, Ashwhaganda could be a useful supplement for alleviating any physical pain associated with PCOS.

Finally, Ashwagandha is believed to help lower cholesterol levels. This is particularly important for women suffering from PCOS as they are generally known to have higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). One animal study on the cholesterol-lowering effects of Ashwagandha found that it was able to reduce total cholesterol levels by 53% and triglyceride levels by 45%.

Each of the reasons above (and the studies alongside them) go to show that Ashwagandha might be a good choice of natural supplement for anybody suffering from PCOS.

If you want to find out more about the huge range of health benefits provided by taking Ashwagandha, hit play on the video below:

That’s It!

As we hope you’ve discovered, Ashwagandha is a brilliant natural supplement with a fast-growing list of science-backed benefits.

Not only is it great for helping with low testosterone levels in both men and women, but can also help with a range of other issues including high blood sugar, managing stress and anxiety, excess inflammation, PCOS and much more.

If you think you’d like to learn more and even give it a try yourself - check out our guide to the best Ashwagandha supplements in Australia (& the world) and where to buy them. You can also head straight to our in-depth reviews on SuperFeast Ashwagandha Powder & SuperFeast Ashwagandha Capsules.

Thanks for reading!

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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