Ashwagandha and Testosterone: Potent Adaptogenic T-Booster Proven by Research

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is a herbal supplement (commonly root powder or extract) widely used in the Indian herbal medicine, aka. Ayurveda.

It’s considered to be an “adaptogen“, which is a term coined by Russian scientist to describe a herb that helps the body regain hormonal and psychological balance (homeostasis) in times of stress.

It’s claimed in Indian herbal medicine, that ashwagandha (which loosely translates to “the smell of horse”) would give its user the virility and power of a horse. Though, obviously that’s just some next-level ridiculous mumbo-jumbo bullshit…

…Don’t lose your hope on ashwagandha yet though, there are actually quite a few benefits:

What Are The Ashwagandha Testosterone Benefits?

ashwagandha testosterone boosterEven though the ancient herbal master gurus’ have made some downright stupendous claims, you should not forget the fact that ashwagandha actually has some pretty solid scientific evidence behind its claimed adaptogenic benefits…

…No, you will not turn into a super virile horse-man, but some of the benefits of ashwagandha do include reducing stress, anxiety, inflammation, and cortisol levels, improving sperm quality, boosting testosterone levels, improving the quality of sleep, strengthening the immune system, and even balancing blood lipids.

The most beneficial (and effective) form of supplemental ashwagandha seems to be a water extract called “KSM-66 Ashwagandha” (affiliate link), its claimed to have the highest standardized amount of withanolides (upwards of 5%), which are the active compounds believed to cause the beneficial effects of the herb.

Here are the ashwagandha testosterone benefits proven by research:

a) Since ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it should reduce stress, anxiety, and balance stress hormones (mainly cortisol). To my surprise, ashwagandha is actually well-proven to do all of those, while also improving subjective well-being. Take this well-done double-blind placebo study for example, where 300mg’s of KSM-66 ashwagandha given to human subjects for 60 days, was able to slash cortisol levels by 27%, while also greatly reducing anxiety and mental-stress in the test subjects. Another study with KSM-66 noted 14% reductions in cortisol, while in one study which used 5g of the root powder, up to 32% reductions in cortisol were noted in subject males who suffered from stress-related infertility. Multiple animal studies have come to same conclusions: ashwagandha supplementation consistently reduces cortisol levels and improves many stress-related symptoms.

b) When it comes to general-health benefits, there are many. For instance, ashwagandha can greatly improve cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, reducing the amount of serum triglycerides, increasing the “good” HDL-cholesterol (~17%), and reducing the “bad” LDL-cholesterol (~9%). In one human study, ashwagandha was able to increase serum T-cell count, and killer-cell count, suggesting that it can boost immunity. At 250-500mg/day KSM-66 extract has also been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, which might be one of the reasons why ashwagandha constantly outperforms placebo-pills in studies examining power-output and anaerobic exercise capacity. One of the more recent studies published this year (non-sponsored, double-blind, placebo, peer-reviewed, aka. highly reliable kind) found out that 600mg/day of KSM-66 ashwagandga significantly increased muscle strength and recovery in 57 young male subjects.

c) So ashwagandha is in fact a pretty solid adaptogen, with a wide variety of benefits that have been proven in human studies, what could be better? Maybe the fact that there’s also solid evidence of the herb also increasing testosterone levels (actually that’s not a surprise, considering the fact that ashwagandha improves sleep quality, reduces cortisol, increases HDL-cholesterol, and reduces inflammation, all of which promote healthy testosterone production). Two human studies with infertile subjects (study, study) both using 5g/day of the basic root powder for 90 days, noted significant increases in testosterone (~40% and ~16% on infertile subjects and 15% in healthy subjects) with significantly improved sperm quality. One study with infertile men as subjects (this time with 675mg/day of KSM-66 for three months) showed a ~17% boost in T, with a ~36% increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), suggesting that ashwagandha stimulates testosterone production at brain level. Prior to 2015 there was no studies on healthy men that would show increases in testosterone, however, the study with 57 young and healthy male subjects as described in the paragraph above (using KSM-66 extract), showed a significant ~15% increase in testosterone levels (average rise from 630 ng/dL to 726 ng/dL, which is a lot from a single herb if you ask me).

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Conclusion on Ashwagandha Testosterone Benefits

Ashwagandha is – in my opinion – one of the better, if not best, testosterone boosting supplement out there. It’s not that popular, however it’s well-researched, and has much more evidence behind its back than many of the more “popular” T-boosters.

I personally recommend this Aswagandha brand (affiliate link), but any other brand that chooses to use KSM-66 is good in my books.

Heck, even if ashwagandha wouldn’t do anything to testosterone, I would still continue using it. The benefits that this herb has on my sleep quality are something I have never experienced with any other herb (and I’ve tried MANY) before.

Ashwagandha and Testosterone: Potent Adaptogenic T-Booster Proven by Research was last modified: March 27th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala
Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
Ali Kuoppala
  • Raefwulf

    The studies which showed increases in T and LH used 5 grams of Ashwaghanda; I can’t imagine that 400mg pills could be that effective. I’ll try the tincture though.

    • Yeah that’s a good point, I wish Mercola would up the dose or make it in powder form as his product is the highest quality in the market.

      • 1havde .

        But 5 grams of powder is not the same as for example 600 mg of extract.
        The extract is much more concentrated wich means you don’t need that much 🙂

  • Timothy Bell

    its work for me about ashwaghanda very good but really help me good sleep dang !!!

    • Yup, it’s a powerful sleep aid. I often take it with magnesium before I go to sleep. Works like a charm.

      • Nick UK

        Ali do you know if taking 5g before bed will affect Intermittent Fasting negatively, since its a root and will have a nutritional profile?

        I tend to stop eating at 9pm but feel it would be less effective if I took it with my last meal as the other nutrients would probably contend?

  • Tyler

    How much did you take, Ali?

    • It varies greatly, currently I’m using a powder from the finnish brand called “voimaruoka” and I usually mix a tablespoon with water and gulp down.

  • naveen

    how to tincture it?

  • naveen

    i have aswagandha powder…can i have 5g of powder daily?…will it give good results?

  • naveen

    my age is 20 and my T level is 263 ng/dl…is it a big problem?

    • It’s on the low side for your age. Try getting it to 600+ and you’ll feel a lot better.

  • naveen

    can i have ashwagandha powder with water?…my T level is 263 ngdl…is tat a big problem?

    • Yeah you can have it with water, it tastes kind of bitter though.

  • Yeah, I used to buy a bunch of herbs, then mixed them together and consumed them all daily.

    What I found out was that they worked well for few days, but then the effects started to wane off.

    That’s when I started researching why it happened and eventually found out that

    a) almost all plants contain phytoalexins which work as the plants natural defence system. These cause resistance in the human body if taken for longer periods of time.

    b) Constant stimulation of the HPT axis will eventually burn out the adrenal glands, thus why I’m varying the herbs and dosages constantly, while also having weeks off completely to “rest” the endocrine system.

    There hasn’t been any studies about cycled T booster usage, but from personal experience I feel that they have an enhanced activity when cycled.

    But obviously the science shows that there will never be a complete resistance, as 90 days of Ashwagandha still increased testosterone levels quite significantly.

  • Mark F.

    How many pills per day?

  • Timothy Bell

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 🙂

  • Flexforall

    if you take Ashwadandha once a week as you recommended to cycle your herbs day to day, what will be the best dosage? still 5mg?

  • ricardo ramon

    I’ve been using the bark version of Ashwaghanda not sure if that’s the best path but it certainly relaxes me since I know I have high cortisol.

  • Another great Article from You Ali….. I’ve had a Mind blowing experience with Ashwagandha too. One of the things that I’ve Personally noticed is that Ashwagandha grounds Me, and when I talk about “Grounding” I’m talking about it how Elliott Hulse talks about it….. Other things I’ve noticed : It helps Me sleep better and Keeps My Metabolism Up to Speed.
    Have You noticed the same about Metabolism ?

    Great Article.
    God Bless !

  • Abdulla

    Ali are you shia ?

  • K. S.

    I ordered Ashwagandha tea ca. a month ago and I have to agree with you. Stuff is awesome. When I drink a tea in the evening, I can feel that I’m getting really tired after about half an hour.
    Also my sleep improved. Never had much problems with sleeping (although I sleep a lot when sleeping) to begin with, but it’s gotten even better now.

  • Wasim Wazir

    been taking ashwagnda and havent noticed increase in t…nothing beats tongkat ali and pine pollen…PEROID

  • Jason

    Don’t you think the testosterone increase could have been from being enrolled in a resistance training program with the study? The one you mentioned with “average rise from 630 ng/dL to 726 ng/dL” said they had little resistance training prior to the study and the study put them on a training program.

  • Kelly

    Will your T levels eventually become too high causing an imbalance in estrogen? How would you prevent this? I read of certain herbs that will balance the hormones. Will something like this work in combination with ashwagandha?

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  • Absa

    I am 24 yrs old ..I have facial hairs on my cheeks and moustache but they are invisible … I think it’s due to my low testrone level ….
    Is it possible to see good results after taking ashawgandha pills…..