Very few people are familiar with the ashwagandha herb despite its well-documented benefits. Its very name elicits the “what’s that?” look. Among its many benefits, recent research revealed a strong ashwagandha testosterone connection. For men in their 30s and beyond, this is an herb that warrants your attention.
As mentioned in the title, ashwagandha is an herb rooted in Indian ayurvedic medicine. In Sanskrit, the name translates to “the smell of a horse.” The name was chosen because the herb is reportedly so powerful that it can restore the vitality of an aging stallion. You may also hear ashwagandha referred by its formal and equally hard to pronounce name: withania somnifera.
The herb is traditionally taken as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body relax in response to physical and emotional stressors. Its origin, by the way, dates back 5,000 years. Of course, the scientific research behind this potent tonic has only emerged in the past two decades or so. Nevertheless, the results validate the positive experiences felt by generations of people spanning from the days before Jesus and Buddha.
In centuries past up to modern times, people use ashwagandha for:
The last point will be the bulk of this article.
In one study, men who received an ashwagandha supplement had significantly higher testosterone levels compared to the placebo group after an eight-week trial. That’s not all; subjects also engaged in strength training and had their performance and muscle mass gains measured. The ashwagandha group outperformed the placebo in these following parameters:
This study is significant because not only did the trial show an increase in testosterone, but subjects also exhibited all the parameters associated with testosterone elevation.
The ashwagandha testosterone link may also be indirect. One study found that ashwagandha reduced cortisol levels by as much as 30%. As you may know, cortisol is the dreaded stress hormone. We even dedicated an entire post on lowering cortisol naturally because it is that detrimental for your testosterone levels and health in general. It ranks up there with inflammation as being a major health destroyer.
Another indirect pathway ashwagandha raises testosterone is by promoting sleep. A Japanese study from the University of Tsukuba found that the herb significantly improved non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
We have discussed the importance of sleep in numerous prior posts. When you don’t sleep well or only get a fraction of the recommended eight-hours, the effects are far more reaching than a cranky morning. Your testosterone levels take a major dive. The inverse, by the way, is also true. Just as poor sleep causes low testosterone, low testosterone also leads to sleepless nights. It’s a vicious cycle where one feeds off the other, resulting in an endless loop that goes on indefinitely until you take corrective action.
Improved libido is one of the commonly reported positive effects of a testosterone boost. Another study confirmed that ashwagandha supplementation increased gonadotropin, a hormone needed for testosterone production. The gonadotropin also elevated levels of progesterone; this is a precursor of testosterone. Low progesterone levels have also been linked to diminished libido.
With all this talk on ashwagandha and testosterone, one would suspect the herb is mainly for treating male problems. That is far from the case. One study revealed ashwagandha was effective for treating female sexual dysfunction.
It’s unlikely you’ll find ashwagandha in root or herbal form in western countries. This is where supplementation comes in. It’s actually not uncommon to find ashwagandha as an active ingredient in natural testosterone supplements for men. In fact, it’s a core ingredient in our own Testro-X. Of course, you’ll also find ashwagandha as a standalone supplement.
In any case, if you’re seeking out this herb, we recommend looking for the designation KSM-66. What does this mean? This essentially means the product contains the highest concentration full-spectrum extract. In other words, it retains most of its constituents. It also has a withanolide concentration of 5% or higher. Withanolides refer to a class of over 300 naturally-occurring flavonoids, which attribute to much of ashwagandha’s benefits.
We recommend researching even further and determine the precise testing method. Try to verify if the withanolide content is tested using the trustworthy HPLC analysis. This produces far more accurate results over the less reliable and outdated gravimetric analysis. You don’t need to understand precisely how each method works. Just know that gravimetric measurements can overestimate withanolide content by a factor as high as three.
Ashwagandha certainly doesn’t have the name recognition of more prominent herbs like ginseng, ginger, or lavender. However, relative obscurity doesn’t equate to effectiveness. The ashwagandha testosterone connection is very real. This is why we firmly stand behind this compound as one of the best albeit unknown natural testosterone supplements for men.
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