As men age, they can begin to experience a slow down in testosterone production and the bodily functions it’s related to. This condition, otherwise known as andropause (or male menopause in some circles), is extremely common yet not always discussed. It’s time to bring the problem to light and discuss honest solutions which can include the use of various herbal therapies. One herb in particular, withania somnifera, better known as Ashwagandha, has been used for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac, as an enhancer of cognitive function, to relieve stress, for greater energy, and to promote male vitality.  For men, this Ayurvedic herb can have far reaching effects on proper hormone function and long term health.
A Male Hormone Stabilizer
Ashwagandha has proven a potent option to support male fertility. When tested, researchers found it ‘significantly’ increased serum levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone, a hormone that stimulates testosterone production.  A 2013 study reported that Ashwagandha stimulated enzyme activity and revitalized the balance of reproductive hormones in infertile men. 
While showing great promise as a solution for infertility, the consistent, positive impact on male reproductive hormones suggests application as a male hormone stabilizer. All of this research supports its traditional use as well as new opportunities for use as a rejuvenating supplement to promote and maintain a man’s health.
Revitalizes Hormone Imbalance in Men
A variety of factors can create male hormone imbalance, including age and body weight; stress is another. Stress can be physical as well as mental. A 2013 study from Texas A&M University focused on the effects of overtraining and over-doing exercise. The stress created by this type of training led to severe adrenal fatigue and the inability for the body to maintain balanced hormone levels. 
Although this study evaluated the stress created by physical training, the hormone imbalance created by stress can result from situations regardless of how or where they occur. As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha provides holistic support, helping to counter the effects of stress on the body. The ability to relieve stress can also help a man maintain stable hormone levels.
Additional Men’s Health Benefits
Hormone balance protects more than a man’s vitality. It promotes a healthy prostate, ideal body weight, erectile response, and helps to limit unnecessary fatigue. These represent only a sampling of the problems that can result from male hormone imbalance.
For a man, proper hormone levels promote healthy sexual function, encourage strength and muscle development, and sharpen cognitive function. Plus, a man will feel greater energy, drive and confidence when he is in peak health. Perhaps the confidence that results from stable, balanced testosterone levels has earned Ashwagandha its reputation as an aphrodisiac.
When to Take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha can offer holistic support for a man’s health as he ages. It can also provide protection against a wide array of ‘age-related’ illnesses commonly resulting from the hormone imbalance that can result from consistent daily stresses. With thousands of years of practical use supported by modern research, it promises an effective way for men to supplement for better health and vitality.
Have you supplemented with ashwagandha? What changes did you notice? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us!
– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Ven Murthy MR, Ranjekar PK, Ramassamy C, Deshpande M. Scientific basis for the use of Indian ayurvedic medicinal plants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders: ashwagandha. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2010 Sep 1;10(3):238-46.
- Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Rajender S, Madhukar D, Shankhwar SN, Ahmad S. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):989-96. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046. Epub 2009 Jun 6.
- Gupta A, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, Bansal N, Sankhwar P, Sankhwar SN.J Efficacy of Withania somnifera on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males: A proton NMR study at 800MHz. Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jun 21. pii: S0378-8741(13)00444-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.024.
- Brooks K, Carter J. Overtraining, Exercise, and Adrenal Insufficiency. J Nov Physiother. 2013 Feb 16;3(125). pii: 11717.