Ashwagandha is a respected medicine used in the traditional Indian healthcare practice Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is thought to be one of the most potent adaptogens, thus meaning that it has a ability to stabilize hormonal functions and discharge stress from the body.
More often than not, everything stated above would be a bunch of baloney. However, controlled studies have shown that ashwagandha reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases testosterone levels.
What do the studies say about ashwagandha and testosterone?
a) 300mg of concentrated ashwagandha root extract, as well as 5g of ashwagandha root powder, decreased cortisol levels in study participants across two separate studies. The supplements were taken daily and the studies lasted for 2 and 3 months respectively. (1, 2)
b) In a recent double-blind placebo-controlled Indian study, 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day for 8 weeks led to a 15 % increase in testosterone levels in healthy young men. During the study, strength levels and muscle mass grew even more significantly in men taking ashwagandha when compared to the control group. (3)
c) Multiple studies have examined ashwagandha’s effects on men suffering from infertility. Testosterone levels have been observed to increase by 16 – 40% in men who have low testosterone and poor sperm quality. In a study from 2013, the number of sperm cells rose 2.5-fold and sperm volume increased by 50% with ashwagandha use. (4, 5, 6, 7)
In some of these studies, the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were also measured. LH regulates testosterone production and FSH controls sperm production in the testicles. It was discovered that both LH and FSH levels increase with ashwagandha. This further validates ashwagandha’s reputation as an adaptogen, as it seems to be able to support and stabilize hormonal functions. (8, 9)
Ashwagandha is probably the best testosterone booster amongst herbal male hormone boosters, followed closely by tongkat ali and mucuna pruriens.