Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men 

For millennia, ashwagandha has been used as an adaptogenic herb to encourage healthy energy levels, soothe stress, and improve quality of life.  This herb is specifically supportive of men through …

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Written by: Siobhan Mendicino
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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For millennia, ashwagandha has been used as an adaptogenic herb to encourage healthy energy levels, soothe stress, and improve quality of life. 

This herb is specifically supportive of men through its endurance, hormone, and heart-supporting properties. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the composition of ashwagandha, benefits of ashwagandha for men, as well as dosage and safety.

ashwagandha for men

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men

Ashwagandha has many purported health benefits. Below are the top research-backed ashwagandha benefits for men. 

1. May Reduce Stress & Anxiety  

In the United States, 1 in 10 men experience anxiety or depression, which is often directly correlated with stress. Stress can cause fatigue, mood swings, apathy, and emotional exhaustion. 

A clinical trial involving stressed healthy adults found that ashwagandha root supplementation significantly reduced cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Researchers noted participants experienced less stress and anxiety after receiving ashwagandha.

In another clinical trial, ashwagandha helped healthy adults with mild anxiety by reducing anxiety and stress levels by 41%. Researchers noted ashwagandha reduced morning cortisol levels and improved mood.   

In a clinical study involving adults experiencing chronic stress, ashwagandha significantly lowered cortisol levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to heightened inflammation and other issues when released excessively over time. After 60 days of ashwagandha supplementation, participants noted an enhancement in their overall quality of life.

2. May Support Hormone Balance 

Testosterone deficiency affects around 20% – 50% of American men. Having low levels of testosterone can cause numerous effects like low libido, depression, and weight gain.

In a clinical trial involving adult men, ashwagandha supplementation increased testosterone levels after 8 weeks. In addition to the change in testosterone levels, subjects reported feeling a significant increase in sexual well-being. 

Another clinical trial involving aging, overweight males found that 8 weeks of ashwagandha supplementation increased testosterone levels by 14.7%. Although changes in testosterone were significant, researchers noted no significant changes in sexual vigor or well-being. 

In a review involving herbs that affect testosterone, researchers discovered that ashwagandha significantly and positively influenced testosterone concentrations. Men experience increased sperm count and sexual well-being.       

3. May Increase Endurance 

Daily movement has the ability to affect cardiovascular health, mental well-being, and quality of life. Research also suggests exercise can lead to an increase in self-confidence and lower stress levels.    

A clinical trial observing elite Indian cyclists found that ashwagandha significantly improved the cardiovascular endurance of the cyclists. The ashwagandha improved oxygen intake and helped the athletes exercise for longer before feeling tired. 

Another trial with young male subjects found that ashwagandha significantly increased muscle mass and strength after 8 weeks. Other results include improved testosterone levels and a decrease in body fat percentage.   

In a review involving healthy men and women taking ashwagandha, researchers found supplementation improved strength and power, cardiovascular endurance, and fatigue/recovery rates. 

4. May Improve Sleep Quality

In a clinical trial observing participants with insomnia, researchers found that after 10 weeks of ashwagandha supplementation, subjects experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and were able to fall asleep faster.   

Another clinical study involving healthy and insomnia subjects found that ashwagandha root improved sleep length and how long it took participants to fall asleep. Researchers noted the effects were more significant in the insomnia group. 

A study observing subjects with insomnia discovered that ashwagandha root supports greater sleep quality. Participants experienced an improvement in total sleep time and how long it took to fall asleep, as well as a reduction in how many times they woke up once they were asleep. 

5. May Improve Heart Health

In the United States, heart disease is the primary cause of death for men. Heart complications can be caused by unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and obesity. 

A clinical trial observing elite Indian cyclists found that ashwagandha positively affected heart health by improving oxygen intake. The improvement of cardiorespiratory endurance had an effect on blood pressure and heart strength. 

In an animal study, ashwagandha provided heart-protecting properties and reduced heart damage caused by blood circulation issues. Researchers noted these results were caused by ashwagandha’s active constituent, withaferin A. 

benefits of ashwagandha for men

What is Ashwagandha? 

Ashwagandha is a therapeutic shrub indigenous to the dry regions of Nepal and India, and can be found in Pakistan, Middle East, Africa, and a few Mediterranean countries. The root needs to mature for at least 1 year before being used therapeutically.  

Traditional and modern practices revere the root for its adaptogenic activity and dense iron content. The roots can be used dried or fresh. 

In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is considered a Rasayana herb, providing longevity through increased vitality and rejuvenation. The word ashwagandha refers to its horse-like smell and its ability to act as an aphrodisiac. 

Ashwagandha contains several beneficial health-supporting compounds, such as alkaloids like somniferine and withanine, steroidal lactones, and sitoindosides. These active constituents are recognized for their adaptogenic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

How Ashwagandha Works in the Body: 

Ashwagandha’s phytochemicals aid in stress reduction by regulating the stress response. These include alkaloids (such as anaferine), steroidal lactones (like withaferins), and saponins (specifically sitoindosides).

These compounds support the HPA axis by balancing the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, to regulate the stress response. Additionally, they bolster the immune system, ease inflammation, and support heart health.

Ashwagandha Dosage:

Tincture (1:5): 2 – 4 mL (40 – 80 drops), up to 3x per day.

Decoction: Add ½ tsp of dried root to 8 oz. water. Gently simmer for 10 minutes, then steep for ½ hour. Take 4 oz 3x per day. 

Root Extract Capsules: 400–500 mg, 2x per day.

Powder: 2-6 grams per day, divided into 1-3 doses.

Is Ashwagandha Safe? 

Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated and has a relatively safe profile. 

Individuals sensitive to plants in the Solanaceae family should refrain from using ashwagandha. Additionally, individuals with hemochromatosis (excess iron) should avoid ashwagandha due to its high iron content.

Ashwagandha has the potential to enhance the effects of thyroid medication and barbiturates.

Ashwagandha vs. Other Herbs:

Ashwagandha is often compared with many other different types of herbs. We have put together helpful articles going over the most common comparisons.

Ashwagandha vs. Cistanche

Ashwagandha vs. Eleuthero

Ashwagandha vs. Ginseng

Ashwagandha vs. Holy Basil

Aswagandha vs. L-Theanine

Aswagandha vs. Maca

Ashwagandha vs. Melatonin

Ashwagandha vs. Rhodiola

Ashwagandha vs. Shilajit

Ashwagandha vs. Tongkat Ali

Ashwagandha vs. St. John’s Wort

Ashwagandha vs. Valerian Root

Read More:

Below, we’ve compiled several articles going over additional information regarding Ashwagandha for further reading.

Ashwagandha Benefits: Dosage & Safety

Ashwagandha Dosing: How Much Should You Take Per Day?

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Anxiety & Stress

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Sleep

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women

Best Ashwagandha Supplements

ashwagandha benefits for men

Conclusion:

Ashwagandha root has been used for centuries and has numerous supportive properties for men. Supplementing with ashwagandha may support healthy hormone levels, soothe stress, and increase endurance.  

It’s important to discuss ashwagandha supplementation with a healthcare professional before including it in your daily routine.   

Bonilla, D. A., Moreno, Y., Gho, C., Petro, J. L., Odriozola-Martínez, A., & Kreider, R. B. (2021). Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology, 6(1), 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk6010020

Chauhan, S., Srivastava, M. K., & Pathak, A. K. (2022). Effect of standardized root extract of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on well-being and sexual performance in adult males: A randomized controlled trial. Health science reports, 5(4), e741. https://doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.741

Lopresti, A. L., Drummond, P. D., & Smith, S. J. (2019). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. American journal of men's health, 13(2), 1557988319835985. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988319835985 

Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine, 98(37), e17186. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000017186

Mikulska, P., Malinowska, M., Ignacyk, M., Szustowski, P., Nowak, J., Pesta, K., Szeląg, M., Szklanny, D., Judasz, E., Kaczmarek, G., Ejiohuo, O. P., Paczkowska-Walendowska, M., Gościniak, A., & Cielecka-Piontek, J. (2023). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)-Current Research on the Health-Promoting Activities: A Narrative Review. Pharmaceutics, 15(4), 1057. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15041057

Salve, J., Pate, S., Debnath, K., & Langade, D. (2019). Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Cureus, 11(12), e6466. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6466

Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM, 8(5 Suppl), 208–213. https://doi.org/10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9

Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 43. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9

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About Siobhan Mendicino

Siobhan is a herbal researcher and writer. She has a bachelor of science in communications as well as having completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in herbal studies.