7 Best Ashwagandha Benefits for Men (2019)
Ashwagandha is an Indian herb used for at least three thousand years to treat a variety of conditions. The name Ashwagandha translates roughly to a horse since that’s what the root smells like. It is popularly called Indian ginseng and Ayurvedic ginseng, though it has no relationship to ginseng. It is sometimes called Indian winter cherry. This herb is often recommended for men because the herb can cause miscarriages in pregnant women and isn’t recommended when breastfeeding.
Table of Contents
Here are the 7 best Ashwagandha benefits for men.
1. It Reduces Stress
While you can find “red” campaigns for women and heart disease, the reality is that men are more likely to die from a heart attack – especially in middle age. Several studies have found that men who took Ashwagandha supplements had reduced cortisol levels. (That’s the stress hormone.) A study from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that nearly 90% of those taking it said they had reduced anxiety.
On a more practical level, this herb has been found to reduce anxiety levels akin to taking prescription medications. This stress reduction would indirectly contribute to a reduction in long-term deterioration of the cardiovascular system. To see these benefits, mix 300 milligrams of root extract powder in with food twice a day.
Animals given ashwagandha in clinical studies had better stress tolerance than animals that didn’t, though this isn’t an excuse to set impossible goals for yourself and work too hard. Ashwagandha has been found in studies to help reduce the oxidative stress associated with sleep loss, but again, it is better to get enough sleep than try to make up for it with an herb. In animal studies, taking ashwagandha reduced the odds of developing stress-induced ulcers in rats.
One word of warning: since ashwagandha essentially slows down the central nervous system, you should consult with a doctor if you’re taking barbiturates, pain medications, or psychiatric medications. It is not recommended to take ashwagandha with alcohol. Stop taking ashwagandha two weeks before any planned surgery to avoid complications with the anesthesia. Nor should you use this herb in conjunction with sleep aids, whether they’re over the counter remedies, prescription drugs or herbal remedies.
Can you use ashwagandha as a sleep aid? It has been used as an insomnia remedy. The ashwagandha powder gets mixed with warm milk and honey, then drunk about an hour before bedtime. Just don’t consume this so late at night that it could slow down your response time in the morning. Nor should you try ashwagandha as a sleep aid if you’re taking any other insomnia medication. And as with any medicine, too much can hurt you, so if you took ashwagandha as stress relief during the day, don’t try to top it off with another large dose to fall asleep.
Summary: This is an incredibly safe stress reliever.
2. It Helps Your Heart
There are several forms these ashwagandha powder benefits for men take. One is the fact that ashwagandha reduces cholesterol levels if they’re already high. It has been found in studies to reduce blood sugar in diabetes, something that reduces the rate at which diabetes damages the cardiovascular system. Since ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels, this could interfere with prescription medications for diabetics. Conversely, the leaves of this plant have a long history of being used to treat skin sores like diabetic foot ulcers.
Another benefit of ashwagandha is its ability to lower blood pressure. You don’t want to take ashwagandha is you have low blood pressure. Consult with your doctor before taking ashwagandha if you already take medications to treat high blood pressure.
Summary: This is a good way to protect your heart regardless of why your cardiovascular health is at risk.
3. It Helps Your Body Fight the Deterioration that Comes with Age
We’re not going to say that ashwagandha health benefits for men include halting the passage of time, but significant data has come in showing that it can lessen many symptoms and the progression of health problems associated with age. It increases melanin production in the hair, reducing the rate at which it goes gray. Ashwagandha has been used to improve scalp circulation and strengthen hair. Guys, we’re talking about reducing the rate of hair loss while slowing down or even decreasing the graying of your hair. As an added bonus, ashwagandha mixed with shampoo can help get rid of your dandruff.
One of the certain ashwagandha benefits for men is its antioxidant power. The root extract contains polyphenols, some of the best substances at reducing free radicals. This can slow down the aging of the body at a cellular level. Perhaps this is why the herb is classified as a Rasayana or herb that helps maintain youth.
When taken by cancer patients, it has been shown to strengthen the immune system for those going through chemotherapy. Separate studies showed it reduced their feelings of fatigue, too, caused by the chemo. However, ashwagandha is not recommended if you suffer from autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus. One study showed that ashwagandha powder along with side Makardhwaj improved rheumatoid arthritis for some people, but nothing is determining the impact of ashwagandha alone if any.
There are some studies suggesting ashwagandha slows the growth of cancerous tumors, but cancer isn’t just one thing – there are multiple types of cancer that can arise for each organ in the body. Something that works well for prostate cancer isn’t necessarily going to do anything for lung cancer. We’re not going to go so far as tell you that ashwagandha benefits for men will include fighting cancer or preventing it altogether.
The withanolide in ashwagandha acts like a steroid in the body. This can ease joint pain, and it can reduce the swelling that comes with arthritis. Fresh ashwagandha leaves were applied to the skin to treat joint pain in traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce arthritis symptoms when taken with zinc complex and turmeric. The only issue here is that they didn’t test ashwagandha by itself so the turmeric may have been of greater import.
One interesting use of ashwagandha is as a skin treatment. You can use it mixed with lemon juice to stimulate the production of skin oils; think of this as a way to moisturize your skin without looking greasy or smelling like you came out of a spa. Ashwagandha stimulates the production of collagen, too, slowing down the formation of wrinkles.
Summary: Reduce many of the ways age takes a toll on the body.
4. It Leads to Improved Mental Function in Some Cases
One of the benefits of ashwagandha for men is improved mental function, especially with age. Several studies have shown that it can slow down Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies suggested that given in the very early stages of these conditions can protect against further progression of the circumstances. This allows you to retain your full mental faculties much longer than you otherwise would.
There isn’t sufficient data to say that it reduces the need to take antipsychotic medications. There are studies to try to determine its effectiveness in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, but there isn’t a significant difference between kids in the control groups and those who try the herbal remedy. The remedy didn’t seem to do much for bipolar disorder according to a New Brunswick, New Jersey study. Preliminary research suggests ashwagandha could improve balance for those with cerebellar ataxia, but it needs further investigation.
One potential use of ashwagandha would be to take ashwagandha along with psychiatric drugs that raise blood sugar and fat levels to help get them down. However, that needs more study.
Summary: Improve your brain function for a wide array of disorders.
5. It Can Help Create Hormonal Balance
We need to give a warning about thyroid function. A slowed thyroid can cause fatigue, lazy thinking, and other health problems. Ashwagandha seems to increase thyroid hormone levels. However, if you think you have a thyroid problem like Hashimoto’s disease, you need to consult with a doctor instead of trying this herb. If you are taking thyroid medications already, do not take ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha seems to help support adrenal fatigue. There is some evidence that ashwagandha can be used to overcome adrenal fatigue. We do want to say that if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue because of stress, ashwagandha is an excellent choice for managing that stress. For those who were suffering from physical stress due to hard workouts, ashwagandha has been linked to a reduction in adrenal cortisol and ascorbic acid. Don’t use this as an excuse to overdo your workouts or try to lift more weight than you’re really ready for.
One of the exciting applications of ashwagandha is in postmenopausal women. When you can’t get pregnant and won’t be nursing, it can help reduce mood swings and hot flashes. Apparently, that’s caused by the drop in estrogen for older women, but men can suffer from many issues as testosterone drops during middle age. This leaves open the door to helping older men not feel so tired or irritable as testosterone levels drop, and it could be accomplished without raising your risk for a heart attack as you’d see if you started testosterone injections. As we’ve said, it actually results in the opposite.
Summary: As long as your thyroid isn’t the problem, it can address your hormonal problems.
6. It Can Help with Body Fat Management
Ashwagandha isn’t a stimulant, pushing your body into overdrive to try to burn extra calories. Instead, ashwagandha is linked to the actual death of fat cells. For example, ashwagandha can induce fat cell death and reduces the viability of these cells. It provides some benefit at a cellular level when trying to manage your weight. For example, ashwagandha is linked to an overall decrease in body fat percentages.
We’re not going to say that ashwagandha helps you melt the fat away. Instead, one of the best ashwagandha benefits for men is its ability to prevent regaining the fat after you lose it.
Summary: While not a fat burner, it should be on the menu for those losing the fat.
7. It Helps You Fight Disease
We already warned you not to take ashwagandha if you have an auto-immune disorder. For everyone else, ashwagandha can be an incredible booster for your immune system. Ashwagandha is a strong anti-fungal. It is widely used to treat tuberculosis. It is being studied for use against Staphylococcus aureus and antibiotic-resistant strains of staff. In lab tests, it inhibits the growth of gonorrhea. It destroys salmonella infections in animal tests, though this hasn’t been confirmed in human trials.
Note that you shouldn’t take ashwagandha in place of antibiotics if they’ve been prescribed to you. Talk to your doctor before you take ashwagandha along with antibiotics. However, there is some evidence that taking ashwagandha may reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place.
If you are taking any immunosuppressant drug, do not take ashwagandha. Its ability to stimulate the immune system could offset the effects of drugs that prevent transplant rejections or control autoimmune disorders.
There are theories that the immune-system boosting effect of ashwagandha has cancer-fighting properties, but there isn’t enough substantial evidence to say it is true. The only sure thing is that it reduces the odds you’ll develop a secondary infection while dealing with cancer.
Summary: It is so good at stimulating the immune system that you cannot take it if you have autoimmune disorders.
What about the Purported Male Performance Benefits?
There are plenty of people who claim that it increases strength, energy, and endurance in all areas – including in bed. However, we’re not going to go that far. Yet the fact that it has been used as an aphrodisiac for ages leads many to take it precisely for that purpose. A slight improvement in endurance when you’re working out doesn’t mean you’ll cure your problems in the bedroom.
Why can’t we recommend ashwagandha for treating impotence and infertility? For one, there’s limited clinical evidence it improves sperm quality. There’s no evidence it improves sperm count. There is nothing at all that proves it actually enhances male fertility. What about ashwagandha increasing sex drive? Some research showed that ashwagandha along with counseling increased sexual desire and satisfaction in women that advice alone, but that didn’t entirely rule out the placebo effect.
A Few Warnings Regarding Ashwagandha
Don’t take ashwagandha if you have liver problems. If you take too much, this can induce vomiting. If you have gastrointestinal issues, ashwagandha consumption is not recommended. For example, if you have stomach ulcers, you shouldn’t take ashwagandha until they’re healed.
We’ve already addressed the risk of miscarriage and breastfeeding children that explain why ashwagandha benefits for men tend to be more widely known than what it can do for women.