Over time, Ayurvedic medicines have gained popularity worldwide for their potent medicinal properties. Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera is an ayurvedic herb that has been used since AD 6000 for its numerous health benefits.
It is an ancient medicine that has several health benefits and improves the sexual health of men. Men have now increasingly started adding ashwagandha supplements to their diet since it naturally boosts various aspects of their health.
This medicinal herb helps in managing stress and anxiety. It can also boost brain function, testosterone levels and increase fertility.
The following article will explore the various health benefits of ashwagandha and the various methods through which you can incorporate this super herb into your diet. Let’s dive right into it.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that has been classified as an adaptogen. This classification indicates that the herb contains properties that help in managing stress and anxiety. It is also known as the winter cherry or Indian ginseng.
This evergreen shrub grows in various parts of India, the Middle East and Africa. People use different parts of this shrub for various health benefits. The term ashwagandha is derived from a Sanskrit word that translates to horse odour, which describes the smell of the herb’s root.
Ayurveda also classifies this herb as “Bhalya” and “Vajikara”, substances that increase strength and sexual health, respectively.
This herb can help manage constipation, mental health issues, infertility, low libido, insomnia and much more.
But how can a simple herb have so many medicinal properties? The answer lies within Phytochemicals, the chemical compounds found in plants.
These compounds have various properties that help plants in specific ways. Withanolides is a particular compound found in ashwagandha that has been extensively linked to reducing inflammation and tumour growth.
Ashwagandha has a wide array of phytochemicals that interact with your body pathways to produce various positive effects on your system.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is touted as a Rasayana, which helps maintain mental and physical youth. Let’s look at the health benefits offered by this herb that are backed by science.
- Reduction in blood sugar levels: Ashwagandha can help healthy and diabetic people decrease blood sugar levels. Several studies revealed that the herb increased insulin secretion and also improved insulin sensitivity of cells.
Another small study reported lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes after taking ashwagandha supplements for 30 days.
- Anticancer properties: This medicinal herb is enriched with Withaferin that promotes the death of cancer cells. It also stops the growth of new cancer cells in different ways.
A few animal studies have revealed that ashwagandha can help manage different types of cancer such as lung, breast, brain, etc.
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Ashwagandha is widely known for its ability to control and reduce stress and anxiety. This herb acts by blocking the stress pathway and regulating the brain’s chemical signalling that causes stress.
A study conducted over two months revealed a 69% reduction in anxiety for people supplemented with ashwagandha. This humble herb can be used as a great natural adjunct and other stress-relieving methods to help you manage your stress levels.
- Reduction in signs of depression: Depression can be a debilitating mental health disease. Along with other sources of help, one can also choose to take a natural supplement like ashwagandha that poses minimal side effects.
Some studies have shown that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha extract daily can reduce depression by 79%. More research is needed to define the exact mechanism through which it helps in managing depression.
- Reduces Cortisol levels: Cortisol or stress hormone is produced by adrenal glands present in your body. Some conditions can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels that can further cause high blood sugar levels and an increment in fat accumulation.
According to studies, ashwagandha helps in reducing cortisol levels by a significant amount. This, in turn, helps in lowering symptoms produced by the stress hormone.
- Increases muscle mass and strength: Ashwagandha positively affects your body composition and strength. A study reported an increase in muscle strength when healthy men took 750-1250 mg of ashwagandha root powder every day.
This herb can also produce a double reduction in body fat percentage, making it a popular choice amongst men looking for natural supplements to boost muscle growth.
Sexual Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men
Many men suffer from sexual dysfunction that varies from a low sex drive to erectile dysfunction. Ashwagandha is a natural alternative that can greatly improve your sexual health without resulting in harmful side effects.
This medicinal herb has been mentioned in the legendary Kama Sutra as an aphrodisiac that helps improving sex drive. Let’s take a look at the various ways through which ashwagandha can boost your sexual health.
- Boosts Testosterone: Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone responsible for producing important male characteristics. It directly affects the quantity and quality of sperm that also affects your physical and sexual performance.
Men experience a decline in testosterone levels with an increase in age. Depleted hormone levels affect blood flow, sperm count and much more.
Ashwagandha naturally boosts testosterone levels in men and improves their reproductive health. You can take ashwagandha supplements and natural testosterone boosting foods to see an increase in your primary male hormone.
- Improves sex drive: Ashwagandha is a powerful sex stimulant that boosts the production of nitric oxide. The increased production of nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels present in your genitals. This increases blood flow and helps in improving libido.
- Sperm count and motility: A good sperm count and sperm motility are essential for male fertility. Healthy sperm can swim at a speed that is necessary for fertilisation.
Ashwagandha helps by increasing the quality and motility of sperm that increases the chance of getting pregnant. Research conducted in 2018 found that this medical herb can significantly improve sperm count, semen quality and sperm motility.
- Improves Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection. It can be caused due to psychological and medical reasons.
Ashwagandha can help you in managing ED caused by psychological reasons. One of the biggest reasons behind this condition is stress and anxiety. Since this ayurvedic herb is effectively able to reduce stress, it also helps in treating psychogenic ED.
- Improves stamina and endurance: Ashwagandha can boost your physical performance and increase your energy. This helps in improving your performance in bed and helps you last longer.
A study revealed that men who took ashwagandha supplements showed double the endurance levels as those who didn’t.
How Can You Take Ashwagandha?
You can take ashwagandha in several forms. Natural forms like powdered root taste bitter and can be quite unpalatable. To tackle that, you can opt for ashwagandha supplements that pack the extract of this amazing herb in an easy to take pill form.
The best option for consuming ashwagandha is to take licensed capsules that contain a standardised amount of root extract (250-500 mg daily). KSM-66 ashwagandha offers the highest concentration of root extract that is virtually non-toxic.
It enhances sexual performance in men and also helps in reducing stress, anxiety and cortisol levels.
Noah’s Vigour contains the goodness of KSM-66 ashwagandha and several other ingredients that provide a daily boost to men’s sexual and physical health. Noah is a one-stop telehealth platform for men in Singapore. They treat a range of conditions that include sexual health, hair, skin, smoking cessation and more.
Dos and Don’ts of Ashwagandha
As with any supplement, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking ashwagandha. Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition that requires prescription medications to ensure that ashwagandha doesn’t cause cross interactions with your medicines.
Apart from that, this ayurvedic herb has reported minimal side effects that last for a very short duration when taken within the right amount. These side effects of ashwagandha include:
- Taking more than 2 grams of ashwagandha every day can upset your stomach and cause diarrhoea or nausea.
- Ashwagandha has a heating property and hence should be taken along with food daily to avoid its heating effect.
- It should not be taken by people who have hypothyroidism. If you have this condition, then consult your doctor to determine an appropriate dosage.
- Ashwagandha affects the blood pressure of the body. Men with high blood pressure should avoid taking this herb.
- It is advisable to take ashwagandha before night since it contains stress-reducing and sleep-inducing properties.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that improves and treats several conditions of your body. It is especially popular for managing stress levels and boosting the sexual health of men.
Along with its medicinal properties, it is also a natural compound that produces minimal side effects on your body. It’s an excellent alternative treatment that covers several health issues for men.
To enjoy all the benefits of ashwagandha, consult your doctor to determine an appropriate daily dosage for you. Ashwagandha can work as a great adjunct with a healthy lifestyle to improve your overall physical and mental health.