Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

The 'Smell of Horse'. Traditional herb and wonder ingredient .

tl; dr ... Short and to the Point
Who is this article aimed at?
Anybody with low test or fertility problems who are looking for a natural substance to boost their testosterone. Anybody evaluating a supplement which has Ashwagandha in it and wondering what on earth it is.
I am busy - summarise it for me

Ashwagandha has a lot going for it. It's been the subject of a huge number of clinical and academic studies and shown to be very effective treating a wide range of ailments. However it's efficacy as a test booster isn't quite as clear cut.

Ashwagandha and Testosterone

A plant traditionally used in homeopathic medicine in India and Africa to treat a wide range of ailments relating to;

  1. Stress, anxiety an depression (as a powerful adaptogen)
  2. Cholesterol
  3. Fertility (in relation to conception rather than erectile dysfunction)
  4. Improved cognitive function. This why you’ll sometimes see it included in Nootropics supplements
  5. Back ache
  6. Anti Ageing

The name itself is derived from Sanskrit and literally means ‘horse’ (ashva) ‘smell’ (gandha). Due to it’s revered nature in Indian medicine and the fact it’s used so widely, it has been the subject of a great deal of clinical testing since the 1980s.

These studies did not refute the anecdotal homeopathic effects of ashwagangha. Indeed the sheer number and diversity of the benefits demonstrated by clinical studies on animals and humans is pretty spectacular. Amongst other benefits, it was show to;

  • Increase the stamina of rats in swimming endurance
  • Prevented the levels of ascorbic acid and cortisol changing in the adrenal glands when under stress
  • Pre-treatment showed significant protection against stress induced gastric ulcers
  • Anti-tumour effects shown on rodents
  • Effective against lung adenoma in mice
  • Effective at controlling dermatosarcoma
  • Cognitive effects: effective in children with memory deficit
  • Cognitive effects: loss of memory in old age
  • Found useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s syndromes
  • It’s anxiolytic effects improve energy levels and mitochondrial health
  • It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties were shown to be clinically effective against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis

You can see a list of all of these, and links to the appropriate studies, here

So… not really that much of a surprise that it’s been used as one of the principal medicinal herbs in the traditional Indian system of medecine (Ayurveda) for thousands of years.

The million dollar question though is ‘is it going to boost my testosterone?’. It might do all these things but is it worth adding to a test boosting supplement, or taking on it’s own?

Well typically the answer isn’t quite as clear cut as might be hoped. The answer is ‘Yes’ if you are either;

  1. Infertile
  2. Stressed

There have been clinical studies done on Ashwagandha where the research demonstrated beneficial effects on the testosterone levels of infertile men and, in a separate study, stressed men.

So if you are in one of those categories then you might well benefit from a supplement that contains Ashwagandha. It may have additional benefits too if you are in one of these groups, as previously pointed out the herb will help with stress directly.

If you are fit, fertile and looking at your test levels in order to help you build muscle then it is not likely to be terribly useful to you. If you are older, have low test and are looking for a good natural substance to help with your test and some of the other symptoms of ageing then it might be a very good idea to supplement with.

Conclusion

We can conclude that this is herbal extract has much to commend it. It has been demonstrated to provide a great many health benefits – however the clinical proof about it’s testosterone boosting powers isn’t terribly convincing.

It is likely to benefit older men with low testosterone or fertility problems rather than younger muscle builders. It’s also not really even earned it’s place as a headline ingredient in a combined test booster. Personally we like Ashwagandha but would recommend it be taken on it’s own as supplement for general health and well being.

tl; dr ... Short and to the Point
Who is this article aimed at?
Anybody with low test or fertility problems who are looking for a natural substance to boost their testosterone. Anybody evaluating a supplement which has Ashwagandha in it and wondering what on earth it is.
I am busy - summarise it for me

Ashwagandha has a lot going for it. It's been the subject of a huge number of clinical and academic studies and shown to be very effective treating a wide range of ailments. However it's efficacy as a test booster isn't quite as clear cut.

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