If you’ve heard of ashwagandha root extract, it’s likely you’ve heard of at least one of its multiple benefits, too.
Some of the fan-favourites include its abilities to help to reduce levels of stress in the body; enhance physical endurance (including muscle growth and strength); and help to reduce blood sugar levels.
However, there are some benefits that directly affect men, rather than women.
From improving the quality of sperm to boosting sex drive, ashwagandha has a number of associated benefits for men – and these are what we’re focussing on today through our guide.
- Ashwagandha benefits for men
- Ashwagandha for testosterone
- Ashwagandha for libido/sex drive
- Ashwagandha for fertility
- Can ashwagandha help erectile dysfunction
- Taking ashwagandha for muscle growth
- The final say
As an adaptogen, the ashwagandha herb is most commonly known for reducing levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body.
However, alongside this, ashwagandha has since been associated with a number of other benefits, including muscle growth and strength, helping reduce symptoms of mental health conditions and supporting brain function and memory.
Many of these benefits are applicable to both men and women, but there are some advantages of taking ashwagandha that directly affect males.
As well as being commonly known to reduce stress, another widely known use of ashwagandha is for sexual performance – specifically around increasing testosterone levels in men.
One study tested the benefits of ashwagandha on sperm quality in men with fertility issues. Participants experienced a 10 – 22% increase in testosterone levels, which also led to 14% of their partners becoming pregnant.1
Another small study of 57 men found that taking 600mg of ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks increased testosterone levels by nearly 15%.2
Therefore, it’s likely that ashwagandha can successfully help to increase testosterone levels in certain individuals.
Ashwagandha can be a popular supplement to take in ageing men, as testosterone levels may begin to drop by about 1% every year after the age of 30. However, if you believe you are experiencing low testosterone levels, contact your GP for further medical advice and information.
With its ability to enhance testosterone levels, this, in turn, is considered to contribute to an enhanced sexual desire.3
As we know ashwagandha helps to reduce stress levels in the body, it’s believed this could also have a correlation with sex drive and sexual performance.
Ongoing stress is a common cause of a reduced sex drive and poor sexual performance. However, studies have shown that as ashwagandha offers stress relief - this can positively impact sex drive, providing a calming effect which enhances both desire and pleasure.4
Ashwagandha is also believed to improve sexual satisfaction in women, too, alongside a number of other benefits. Read our dedicated guide on ashwagandha benefits for females for more.
As well as boosting sexual desire and testosterone levels, some studies have suggested that taking ashwagandha helps to improve sperm count, sperm motility and overall semen quality.5
A 3-month study analysed 75 men who experienced infertility and found that a daily dose of 5g of ashwagandha increased both sperm count and motility.6
As mentioned in the previous section about testosterone, studies which saw an increase in participants’ testosterone levels also saw an increase in their partners becoming pregnant7 – leading to a link between ashwagandha, testosterone and fertility.
So, coupled with raised testosterone levels and increased sex drive, it’s safe to assume that ashwagandha could provide benefits for men’s fertility.
With its ability to support sperm motility, sperm count and libido, this has led to theories that ashwagandha could help people suffering from Erectile Dysfunction (ED) - the inability to get, and/or maintain, an erection.
However, although there’s anecdotal evidence stating that it’s effective, there are limited studies to back this up from a scientific perspective. In fact, there are actually more studies that refute it rather than support it.
A 2002 study looked at the effect of ashwagandha on male rats over a period of a week. This study found that the rats experienced an increase in the symptoms of ED, as well as a lower sex drive and performance.8
Another theory around why ashwagandha could be effective at reducing symptoms of ED stems from it being best known for its ability to reduce stress levels in the body. Ongoing stress can often manifest itself in mental health conditions such as anxiety which, in some cases, could lead to sexual anxiety and a declining sex drive.
With the reduction of stress levels in the body, in theory, ashwagandha could then reduce the levels of sexual anxiety associated with ongoing stress.
However, another study analysed men with psychogenic ED, which is a form of ED that is predominantly associated with sexual anxiety, including worrying about sexual performance.
The study analysed 86 men for 60 days and found that ashwagandha did not provide any more relief from ED than the placebo.9
Therefore, the research suggests that although ashwagandha may help contribute to an improved sperm count and libido, it may not be effective in helping reduce symptoms of ED.
Although this also benefits women, it’s believed that ashwagandha can enhance muscle growth and strength, as this is paired with a rise in testosterone in males.
Research to support this concluded that in a study of healthy men, an increase of strength in muscle activity was significant, as well as a reduction in total body fat percentage.10
Another study showed “significant increases in muscle mass and strength” in participants undergoing resistance training for 8 weeks. This was while taking 300mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day.11
Find out more about taking ashwagandha for body muscle growth and reduction in fat from our dedicated guide.
Ashwagandha root extract has been proven to be effective for improving sperm count, sperm motility and the quality of semen.
It’s also believed to enhance testosterone levels, which contribute to an increased libido as well as helping to fuel muscle growth and endurance.
There’s not enough scientific evidence to suggest that ashwagandha is effective in providing treatment for patients with erectile dysfunction.
Browse our full selection of ashwagandha supplements online today to find the perfect choice for your needs.