Take an Ashwagandha At This Testosterone-Boosting Ayurvedic Herb
To supercharge your hormones and get the true benefit of the primary male androgen testosterone, you have to choose the right nutrients.
Let’s be right though, you’ve probably tried what you thought was best already, but it left you feeling flat, flabby and out of pocket. Is it time to just give in and lead a life of no energy and lackluster masculinity? Hell no.
This time it’s different. With the anabolic power of the ashwagandha plant, it’s time to forget the pretenders and ramp up testosterone, strength and even muscle size in no time at all.
Here’s why ashwagandha should be one of your nutrient weapons of mass muscle and hormonal power…
What Is Ashwagandha?
In botanical terms, ashwagandha is known as the hard-to-pronounce withania somnifera. It’s part of the nightshade family alongside plants such as winter cherry and ginseng.
Ashwagandha is a pretty cool looking perennial shrub with bright tomato-like orange fruits sat on yellowy-green flowers. Its branches are much like your dear own grandma; covered in white wispy hairs that are matted… and smell of urine.
In fact, the name ashwagandha actually translates to smell of horse. And the species name ‘somnifera’ derives from the Latin for ‘sleep-inducing’ – a reference to its stress-busting benefits.
A chemical breakdown – Ashwagandha and its adaptogen effects
Ashwagandha is packed full of nutrient goodness. It’s a rich source of alkaloids, fatty acids and steroidal lactones – all shown to boost have aphrodisiac and life-prolonging properties.
In other words, it adds life to your years, years to your life… as well as wood in your log and fire in your loins.
The rejuvenating powers of ashwagandha are so powerful and effective that it’s been used as a traditional Ayurvedic and African folk medicine since the times of scriptures and ancient civilizations. It predates practically all other Ayurvedic herbal medications.
If you didn’t know already, an adaptogen is a plant that can reduce physical and emotional stress. A bit like the anti-anxiety drugs you’d get from your doctor, only these ones have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
And as a plant flooding to the brim with minerals and nutrients, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce physical stress, mental tension and emotional strain in even robust, randomized, double-blind studies.
Chances are, the adaptogen effects of ashwagandha are in part to do with its ability to slash at your cortisol levels with the enthusiasm of Machete Kills on speed. And if you’ve read our articles on cortisol, you’ll know it has seriously damaging effects on male reproductive health.
Studies have shown that when chronic stress-heads are given a 300 mg extract of ashwagandha root, their levels of the primary stress hormone retreated by nearly 30% – a huge amount in as little as 60 days.
In a nutshell, here are the benefits of ashwagandha:
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
- Helps to reduce, normalize and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Boosts fertility (in relation to conception rather than erectile dysfunction).
- Improves cognitive function. This why you’ll sometimes see it included in nootropics supplements.
- Can reduce the pain associated with back ache.
- Has anti-aging properties.
Ashwagandha and Testosterone – The Indian Super Herb That Ramps Up Androgen Levels
For hundreds of years, ashwagandha was used as a tonic for less-than-lothario village men that couldn’t satisfy their women.
And just like when your favorite video game character finds an energy coin or a power-up token after an energy-sapping battle, the effects of ashwagandha on power and vitality are powerful (cue images of Super Mario jumping in the air after finding a mega mushroom).
Ashwagandha is a masculine hormone booster with the ability to elevate your manliness to astronomical heights.
The research – studies on ashwagandha and testosterone are surprisingly positive
Why did we say ‘surprisingly positive’ in the subheading to this section though you might ask?
Well in all honesty, many Ayurvedic potions and herbs are as useful as a giving an impotent priest a porno for his birthday. And no we’re not naming names when it comes to poor-quality testosterone boosters are we tribulus?
The evidence for ashwagandha as a T-booster is nevertheless really strong.
Animal research shows ashwagandha supplementation boosts sex hormone levels
When it comes to clinical research, the first study of interest comes from male rats (yeah okay, animal studies aren’t always useful, but this was in Wistar rats who have a bizarrely similar androgen characteristics to human men).
After a reasonable dose of the herb, testosterone and its precursor luteinizing hormone levels were significantly higher. The rats were having sex like rabbits. The poor female rats were trying their best to avoid the now hyper-sexual Wistars, and maybe had to break out the “I have a headache” line too, we just don’t know!
Men taking part in strength training boost muscle mass and strength with ashwagandha supplement
There’s more to high testosterone levels than being able to leave your lady quivering in submission after an other-worldly orgasm. As an anabolic-androgen, testosterone is also responsible for increasing your muscle mass, strength and power.
In a study from the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 57 active men who regularly lifted weights were given 300 mg of ashwagandha root twice daily for 8 weeks while taking part in a standardized strength training program.
What happened? Compared to another group that weren’t given the supplement, muscle mass significantly increased. As did maximal strength in the bench press and leg extension.
And best of all, testosterone levels went up like a skyrocket too.
On another note, there’s a certain irony that the lead author of this study was called Wankhede. They do say that a surname can subconsciously lead you to your occupation – and what better name for someone investigating men’s ability to boost testosterone and release more ejaculate than a Wankhede. Poor guy.
Healthy men benefit from somnifera supplementation over a 3-month period
The men in this study weren’t your typical strength athletes. But they were healthy guys that just so happened to be stressed up to the nines and infertile.
Each of the men were given 5 grams of ashwagandha root over a 12-week period – more than enough time to assess any significant effects. They had their blood taken both before and after the study in order to measure their testosterone levels and stress hormone concentrations.
The first thing the researchers were able to confirm at the beginning of the study was that there was a definite link between stress and fertility. The more stressed the guys were, the more their hormone levels had tanked.
The results were powerful. In that 3-month period, stress significantly reduced, and blood levels of antioxidants and semen parameters increased. Oh, and testosterone levels blew up by a whole 14% too.
Systematic review tells us ashwagandha is a powerful hormonal tonic for guys
If you’re not too hot on your clinical research methodology (and who’d blame you if you’re not), a systematic review is a catch-all report on all existing studies looking at one subject matter – in this case, looking at the effects of withania somnifera on reproductive health.
Systematic reviews are considered to be one of the most valid and reliable study designs, as it’s able to look objectively at all of the evidence in detail and weigh up the good and bad points of each individual experiment.
Here were the main findings of the report:
- Animal studies are conclusive and show a strong correlation between ashwagandha and testosterone
- Human case studies on infertile and healthy men show positive effects on testosterone, muscle and strength
- Withania somnifera has “a positive effect in the treatment of infertility both in male and female”
Ashwagandha is a traditional Ayurvedic herb used for centuries as a male health tonic. It’s been shown to raise sex drive and quality of life in lackluster men, as well as providing a number of benefits to cognitive processes, metabolic pathways and overall longevity with its adaptogen properties.
Research is promising, with a good few clinical studies showing that ashwagandha supplementation elevates testosterone in even strong double-blind and systematic review-based trials. It also has a positive effect on strength and muscle mass too (this is a good article on ashwaghanda for body builders).
We hold out hands up and say that ashwagandha isn’t the most exhaustively-researched T-boosting nutrient out there. But there’s no denying that this is an exciting traditional testosterone treatment that should be in your arsenal in the war against low testosterone.