What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a member of the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants. It grows in dry regions of India, northern Africa and the Middle East. The root looks like a sweet potato (which can be eaten) but has a strong smell that some people find unpleasant.
People use ashwagandha roots for medicinal purposes because they have antioxidant properties that can help with stress relief, allergies and inflammation caused by arthritis or other conditions.
Traditional uses and benefits
Traditionally, ashwagandha has been used for a wide range of purposes including:
- Treatment of anxiety and stress. Ashwagandha can be beneficial in treating general anxiety disorders and chronic stress which are both associated with low levels of dopamine and GABA receptors in the brain.
- Reducing inflammation, improving immune function, and reducing fatigue. Ashwagandha extract may help to reduce inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers) such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) or interleukin 6 (IL-6). It may also improve immune function by increasing antibody production against bacteria such as Salmonella typhimurium and Staphylococcus aureus. Studies have shown that it reduces fatigue when combined with other herbs such as Schisandra chinensis or Eleutherococcus senticosus.
- Managing stress and improving vitality. It has been used for centuries as a sexual tonic, to increase sexual desire and performance.
How it works
Ashwagandha is a natural mood enhancer and may help lower cortisol levels. It may also help improve memory and thyroid function. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, which could be beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes. Ashwagandha contains compounds with antioxidant properties that may help fight free radicals, which are believed to play a role in the aging process and certain diseases such as cancer.
In summary, ashwagandha contains many nutrients that are important for heart health: potassium, magnesium, B vitamins (especially folic acid) and zinc.
Improve your sex life with Ashwagandha
Studies have shown that ashwagandha may be helpful in increasing libido, testosterone levels, and sexual performance. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body adjust to stressors which can improve sexual function and fertility.
In one study on healthy adults, researchers gave participants the equivalent of 600 mg of dry root powder for 60 days. At the end of the study period, they found that there were significant improvements in libido (increases in sex drive), energy levels and overall wellbeing (decreases in fatigue).
The same researchers also found that ashwagandha can help improve testosterone levels. In particular, they saw an increase in free testosterone after supplementing with 300 mg per day for 60 days. In addition to increasing free testosterone levels—which is associated with better erectile function—this study also found that men taking 300 mg/day had increased sperm count by an average of 30%.
According to research published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, ashwagandha may improve sexual health in both men and women. The researchers tested the effects of a high-concentration ashwagandha extract on male rats, with results showing increased sperm count and motility (ability to move). They also found that it helped decrease levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is associated with infertility. This effect appears to work similarly in both sexes: Other studies have shown that ashwagandha can restore estrogen balance after menopause for women or reduce testosterone levels for men who’ve been taking steroids or other drugs that suppress sex hormones (but unlike testosterone replacement therapy).
Researchers have found that ashwagandha was effective at improving sexual desire and performance when compared to a placebo group. The researchers concluded that “the efficacy of ashwagandha root extract in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction is comparable to sildenafil citrate.”
How ashwagandha may boost libido
There are two ways that ashwagandha may boost libido.
The first is by boosting testosterone levels. Testosterone is an important sex hormone that helps increase sexual desire, performance, and overall satisfaction. A low-testosterone state can cause a decrease in libido, so increasing your levels could help you feel more aroused and ready for sex.
The second way ashwagandha may boost your libido is through its ability to decrease cortisol levels (the “stress” hormone). Cortisol is released when you’re stressed out or anxious—which usually leads to poor sleep quality and increased fatigue—and can also lead to decreased sexual desire in men and women alike. Reducing cortisol levels can help combat this effect on your sex drive and make it easier for you to get into the mood for lovemaking.
For how long should you use ashwagandha to boost libido?
The best way to find out how long ashwagandha takes to work is by doing a trial run of the herb in your body. You can do this by taking 100 milligrams of ashwagandha every day for three months or so, and then evaluating how well it works for you.
If you’re looking for quick results, it may be disappointing to hear that these herbs take time to build up in your system before they start working. However, once they do start working, there are far fewer side effects than what other types of supplements might cause. This makes ashwagandha a great supplement for anyone who wants their libido boost without having any negative side effects!
So if you’ve been under a lot of stress lately and your intimacy has been affected negatively, ashwagandha may help you get your sex drive back and give more satisfaction in your relationship.