Ashwagandha

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Ashwagandha is an aphrodisiac as it has been long established in the history as one. The legendary ‘Kama Sutra’ also mentions the plant as one of the very powerful sexual stimulants. In fact, ashwagandha is one very common ingredient in herbal aphrodisiac products. When men start taking ashwagandha, the production of nitric oxide is stimulated in their bodies. As a result of this, the blood vessels that carry blood to the genitals are dilatated. This causes an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction. Today, research is suggesting the same. Ashwagandha has become a common form of treatment for loss of libido and even for erectile dysfunction.

Ashwagandha has been proven to raise the levels of testosterone significantly. As men age, the production of testosterone decreases in their bodies significantly. In fact, it is said that the level of testosterone drops by 0.4 to 2 per cent in men after the age of 30 every year. The symptoms of this loss can be seen in losing hair, losing muscle mass and losing the ability to last in bed.  Now, there are two ways ashwagandha helps in restoring a good sex life. First, it helps in the production of testosterone. It increases the serum levels of the luteinizing hormone and testosterone and revitalizes the natural balance of sexual hormones in men. In fact, a study in 2013 showed that ashwagandha revitalized the testosterone count in infertile men too. Secondly, as ashwagandha is known to reduce stress by inhibiting the growth of cortisol, it also helps in the retardation of natural testosterone reduction. This in turn helps to keep the testosterone levels optimum for the body’s proper sexual functioning.

Besides other factors that are related to sexual health directly, ashwagandha has also been proven to be good at bettering one’s physical performance. A study was conducted to test the impact of ashwagandha of men. A group among the subjects was given the plant supplements while another group was not. At the end of the test, it was proven that the ones who had received ashwagandha supplements were better at endurance, with about double the endurance during physical activity. The reason behind this was ashwagandha's anti-inflammatory and anti-stressor property.

Here’s a detailed look at the benefits of ashwagandha for male fertility. For both men and women, consuming ashwagandha can significantly benefit fertility. 

1. Increases Semen Volume, Sperm Count, And Sperm Motility

More often than not, the basic problem behind male infertility is the number, structure, and motility of the sperm. Ashwagandha has been seen to improve all these aspects.

A 3-month study was conducted to test the sperm-generating effect of ashwagandha root extract on 46 otherwise healthy men with a low sperm count (oligospermia). The study found that on day 90, as compared to the placebo-treated group, there was

•167% increase in sperm count

•53% increase in semen volume

•57% increase in sperm motility

2. Improves Semen Quality

The quality of the semen in terms of its biochemical composition – such as amino acids, essential salts, vitamins, and antioxidants – also determines a man’s sexual health.

A couple of studies in India tested the impact of ashwagandha roots on infertile patients for 3 months. They found that ashwagandha therapy

•repaired the disturbed concentrations of salts and amino acids like lactate, citrate, alanine, GPC, histidine, and phenylalanine in seminal plasma (semen fluid)

•recovered the quality of semen

•improved serum biochemistry

•improved sperm count and motility

•recovered the levels of antioxidant enzymes and vitamins A, C, and E

•corrected fructose levels in seminal plasma

3. Raises Testosterone And Balances Reproductive Hormones

Another important factor in male fertility is the balance of reproductive hormones. This is why doctors often ask for tests to assess the levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin in blood. A study found that ashwagandha

•significantly increased testosterone and luteinizing hormone, which help produce sperm

•reduced the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin, high levels of which indicate infertility

•invigorated the harmonic balance of seminal plasma metabolites and reproductive hormones

Another study later found that ashwagandha improves the levels of testosterone by 17% and luteinizing hormone by 34%.

4. Improves Testicular Health And Libido

Animal studies have shown that ashwagandha leads to improvements in sexual parameters, presumably by exerting a testosterone-like effect. The herb

•increases testicular weight

•increases the diameter of seminiferous tubules that produce sperms and the number of seminiferous tubular cell layers in the testes

•increases the daily generation of sperms

•increases pro-sexual behavior

5. Reduces Oxidative Damage To The Sperm

It has been well documented that high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the semen induce oxidative damage to the sperm and are associated with abnormal sperm parameters, leading to infertility. Ashwagandha, an effective antioxidant, can fight such damage. It also

•inhibits lipid peroxidation or the oxidation of the fat layers in sperm cell membranes

•lowers protein carbonyl content, which is a biomarker of oxidation-related stress in the body

•reduces oxidative stress by counteracting the formation of ROS in infertile men and improving levels of various antioxidants

6. Counters Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Stress, anxiety, and depression play a key role in sexual dysfunction. This is because these conditions raise the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which in turn increases oxidative damage. Ashwagandha can decrease the frequency and severity of instances where stress inhibits male sexual behavior.

This is by virtue of ashwagandha’s adaptogenic and anxiolytic properties – that is its ability to modulate the body’s response to stress and reduce anxiety, respectively. This herb can reduce cortisol levels by 28%, decrease stress by 44%, and depression and anxiety by 72%.

7. Reverses Ill Effects Of Smoking On Fertility

Like on other body parts, smoking has an adverse effect on sperms as well. It exposes the sperm to cadmium and lead, affecting sperm count, motility, and structure.

A study found that ashwagandha could reverse the adverse effects of cadmium on sperm-producing tubules. It could also improve the motility and density of the sperm in the cauda epididymis, the latter part of a tubular structure in the male reproductive system where sperm is stored.

Amazing list of Ashwagandha’s health benefits:

– Encourages male virility

– Helps to lessen stress and anxiety

– Supports healthy vitality and energy

– Enhances sexual vitality

– Works as an immune system booster

– Aids in the restoration of cells

—Helps to diminish exhaustion and fatigue

– Works to support the nervous system

– Supports the improvement of red blood cell count

– Promotes male fertility

– Supports a healthy sperm count

– Enhances sperm motility

– Increases volume of semen

– Revitalizes hormone imbalances

– Promotes a healthy prostate gland

– Supports a healthy erectile response

– Works to maintain healthy body weight

– Encourages muscle development and strength

– Helps to strengthen cognitive function

– Promotes confidence

– Soothes and calms the mind

– Relieves agitation

– Encourages longevity