What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera), is considered in Ayurvedic medicine to be a rasanaya (meaning a 'path of essence' herb. It is widely known as Indian Ginseng and sometimes Winter Cherry. It is known for promoting longevity and sustaining good health through later life. This herb stimulates the mind, and supports energy, but there are countless Ashwagandha benefits for men!
It is not only sourced from India but also native to China and surrounding areas. These two countries are where much of the world's Ashwagandha comes from. Interestingly, the berries from these shrubs are used in cooking and baking. In India's native language, it translates as 'the smell of the horse'. Many sources claim the origin of the name is because it provides the strength of a horse.
Ashwagandha and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, Ghee is so highly revered and is seen as much more than a cooking oil. This is because Ghee is a 'catalytic agent' that increases the efficacy of medicines taken with it, as the body loves the healthy fatty acids present in ghee, and therefore absorbs the nutrients alongside it in higher quantities. We recommend taking Ashwagandha with Ghee, such as making a smoothie with a spoonful of ghee. Get more information about Ghee and Ayurvedic Medicine here.
What are the benefits of Ashwagandha for men?
Reported Ashwagandha benefits for men include incredible holistic support for a man as he ages, and could provide great relief from the everyday stresses of life. This herb can possibly provide protection against a range of hormone imbalances and the inconvenience that this brings. With thousands of years of practical use supported by modern research, it could be an effective way for men to supplement for better health and vitality.
Available evidence shows that there are plenty of practical Ashwagandha benefits for men, along with possibilities that this herb may bring which need further research to understand how they work. With the incredible value of complementary alternative herbs like Ashwagandha, it is safe to say that researchers will be able to investigate much more of this wonderful herbs potential in the future.
Some of the benefits of Ashwaganda for mean include:
- Increased sex drive and reduced erectile dysfunction. This is linked to your body's cortisol levels, along with the stress levels which can have a negative impact on the body. A stream of cortisol in your body can lead to high blood pressure which is the major cause of impotence. In order for a male to get an erection, blood needs to be able to circulate freely through the shaft. In some men, increased cortisol levels and high blood pressure can directly increase erectile dysfunction.
- Supports fertility and sperm count - Ashwagandha root can possibly increase sperm concentration, and could also improve the quality of the semen. A study about the effects of Ashwagandha on male fertility was undergone; some men were given an Ashwagandha supplement, and others were given a placebo. Over a 90-day period, the average sperm concentration of the men who took the Ashwagandha rose by 167%.
- Supports Testosterone Metabolism - Ashwagandha has been said to be able to increase natural testosterone production. Although research does suggest, that this incredible herb can actually raise serum levels of Testosterone and the LH hormone, which is responsible for the production of testosterone!
What is the difference between the benefits for men and women?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means that the way it works on me will be different from how it works on you which is why the effects on men and the effects on women can be different.
Some women have been concerned that as Ashwagandha boosts testosterone it may also boost the same hormone in women. It is important to remember that ultimately Ashwagandha is an Adaptogenic hormone balancer- that targets the endocrine system.
This herb can help to balance hormones and help with the stability of these hormone levels. Therefore, as the herb can raise testosterone levels in men, it can just as similarly do the same to women as raise oestrogen levels. Ashwagandha is beneficial to both men and women, but the form those benefits take is always different and unique to the person. This is the incredible beauty of this very powerful plant.
Common Ashwagandha Benefits for both Men and Women
Many of the Ashwagandha benefits for men can benefit women in the same way.
- Insomnia - Ashwagandha has been used as a natural remedy to induce sleep in traditional Indian medicine. Even its scientific name, withania somnifera, points to its ability to promote a deeper, better quality sleep, as 'somnifera' translates to sleep-inducing.
- Anxiety and depression - Stress can slowly creep up on us and over time have a detrimental effect over our body, overall health and lives. Ashwagandha has been known to promote a sense of calm and help the body to relieve itself of agitation. The Ashwagandha benefits for men and women are that when we are stressed or overworked this herb can act to soothe and nourish the nervous system. This can provide an energizing effect for the system, and fight against the effects of inevitable stressors.
- Increased Sports performance - Ashwagandha has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which combined with anti-stressors make it a great herb to enhance sports performance. Endurance is a benefit and one of the major Ashwagandha benefits for men and women. In elite athletes one of the Ashwagandha benefits for men, is possibly increasing their oxygen levels and decreasing fatigue! This could also assist in fitness and health goals, and help you to achieve a greater level of motivation.
- Slows down the aging process - Concentrations of catechins and antioxidants in Ashwagandha combat conditions related to aging such as Alzheimers, cancer, cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Antioxidants help protect the body from the free radical damage caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and the sun's UV rays. Free radical damage can increase the speed at which we age by shortening our telomere lengths, but antioxidants work to fight against free radicals.
- Supports healthy cholesterol - The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha can strengthen the muscular walls of your heart and keep bad LDL cholesterol levels low. This is good for cardiovascular health and preventing future heart problems.
- Maintains health iron levels - Haematopoiesis is the term for the process by which the body produces new blood, and Ashwagandha is hemopoetic. Ashwagandha is good for maintaining iron levels in the blood.
- Adrenal Support - rebalances cortisol levels and other hormones, it is a good supplement to take for anyone wanting to manage or prevent overworked adrenals. When our body has been in a prolonged state of stress for a while, the adrenals keep us in a constant state of fight or flight and it can exhaust them. Our energy levels plummet along with a lot of other symptoms. This can be completely debilitating.
Physical, mental and emotional stress can be managed and energy levels can be replenished with the supplementation of Ashwagandha. Recovery from adrenal fatigue can take anywhere from 2 years depending on the severity of the condition. Taking Ashwagandha can support the progress through recovery, alongside the right nutrition, sleep, and exercise.