Modern medicine is a recent development when we consider most of human history. Up until the development of the scientific method, the medicine men and women of old traditions used spells, rituals, and various plants to combat various health issues.
Truth be told, a lot of them were frauds, but many had a decent idea of what they were doing and would carry on the knowledge of their predecessors. Modern medicine actively researches these healing traditions and uses the scientific method to figure out if there is any truth to the claims traditional medicine has.
One of the plants that shows a lot of promise is Ashwagandha. It has especially been popular as a supplement to boost testosterone production, but, is there any truth to this?
Ashwagandha: Indian Winter Cherry
Ashwagandha is a species of evergreen shrub that is native to Africa and Asia, but it became popular under the name of Indian Winter Cherry.
Indian traditional medicine, known as Ayurveda medicine tradition used this plant to do several things:
Keep in mind that these traditions have been in place for years and Aryvedic medicinal impact stretches all the way to Europe. Naturally, just because people believe in something and have done so for a long time doesn’t make it automatically true.
In recent years the popularity of the plant surged, and it got the attention of the scientific community, so we have a better understanding of its capabilities. Granted, we need some more research to ensure we know everything, but there’s quite a bit of evidence that shows how beneficial it is.
How does it impact testosterone?
But let’s go back to the primary subject here — Ashwagandha and testosterone levels. Is there a connection?
Well, the proposed benefits of Ashwagandha are a slow increase in testosterone over a prolonged period. The initial benefits start appearing after about a month of continuous use, but optimal benefits are realistically expected to start working at around the two-month mark.
How does this relationship work?
While it is true that traditional Indian medicine used Ashwagandha as a remedy, in Africa’s traditions, this plant is considered a cure for low fertility and virility. This is what prompted researchers to test for these effects.
According to one study, Ashwagandha has an impact on the luteinizing hormone, which directly impacts when and how much our bodies produce testosterone.
This is a very strong connection and shows that the plan really can help with regulating testosterone levels.
What is a concern for some people is going too far, too fast with testosterone levels causing it to have adverse effects. While oversaturation with testosterone is a legitimate concern, the effects of Ashwagandha are gradual. While the bounce back of deficient testosterone levels may be quicker, going overboard should not be a concern. Still, testosterone level tests are not too expensive, so keep track of your progression just to be sure.
What other benefits does Ashwagandha provide?
The best-studied benefit outside of its impact on T levels is concerning its impact on stress levels. The plant has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, which is a great side benefit for people who are low on testosterone, as the deficiency can cause symptoms of anxiety and stress.
High Cortisol levels are detrimental to testosterone levels and cause us to lose sleep which makes things even worse. If you are not aware of this, it’s easy to get caught in a vicious cycle and get progressively worse. Ashwagandha supplements can actually help you break this cycle and bounce back.
Other, more anecdotal benefits include reducing the effects of erectile dysfunction and oxidative stress during work out. If you aim to raise your testosterone levels, there are few things better you can do than exercise, and Ashwagandha will help you both stay motivated and recover from your workouts.
How is it made?
Most Ashwagandha supplements on the current market are made from Ashwagandha roots. The roots are harvested in wintertime, dried, and then ground into a fine powder. The supplements can come in the form of powder but also capsules, pills, and liquid extracts. When it comes to mixing them with other ingredients, most supplement manufacturers opt for concentrated versions of ashwagandha extract.
If you are going to take this supplement on your own, you should be careful with the dosages. We have to tell you that we are not medical professionals, and we can only suggest dosages based on what our research showed. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider for additional advice, as they can assess your body type, weight, and other factors to give you a more precise dosage.
We’re going to present dosages here based on the desired effect:
We strongly advise that you check with your doctor if you intend to dose this supplement yourself. If you are using it as a part of a blend, make sure you follow the instructions proposed by the manufacturer.
As you can see, the traditional medicine men and women of Africa and Asia were really on to something with Ashwagandha. There are myriad potential benefits you can get from consuming this supplement, and we hope that down the line, we get even more evidence to completely demystify the benefits of Ashwagandha.
Make sure you are either using a supplement with specified instructions on dosage or consult your doctor to determine the doses if you are going to do it on your own.
No, Ashwagandha may boost fertility and libido, but it does not have the same effect as Viagra on our bodies. Viagra focuses on improving blood flow and does not impact our hormones.
No, Ashwagandha does boost testosterone production but is not a replacement for testosterone like steroids. It achieves its boost by promoting natural testosterone production and therefore does not have the same adverse side effects as artificial steroids.
There are several ways to ingest Ashwagandha. One is taking a liquid extract, another is using a powdered version to mix in foods or drinks, and finally, pills and capsules are also an option.