Life can be a little stressful in the 21st century!
The good news is, there’s a friendly herb who’s here to help - meet ashwagandha.
But before we dive into the top benefits of ashwagandha for men, let's start with a quick background.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, a small shrub common across Asia and Africa, and particularly prolific in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, is known for its stress-reducing, anti-inflammatory properties.
Also known as Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, it has been used for thousands of years (estimates are around 4,000) in Ayurvedic healing practices. It also falls into the ‘adaptogen’ category of herbs.
Quick Recap: What Does Being an Adaptogen Mean?
Adaptogens are extremely important in maintaining balance in the body.
Adaptogens have been found to regulate hormone levels, improve immunity, aid healthy weight balance, and offer antidepressant qualities. They also promote homeostasis, which supports the proper functioning of the body’s stress system.
So, now that we've got some context - what exactly are the benefits of ashwagandha for men?
Top Ashwagandha Benefits for Men
Traditionally, ashwagandha has been used to treat a manner of male ailments. Its ability to stimulate and regulate testosterone production in the body is one of the key benefits of ashwagandha for men.
Let's dive into some of the other key benefits of ashwagandha for men:
1. Alleviating Stress and Anxiety
Dubbed ‘the silent killer’, untreated stress disorders can lead to a number of health complications. Including, damaging your immune system, affecting brain and memory function, and interfering with the natural working of your gastrointestinal tract.
It has long been understood by ayurvedic practitioners that a very useful benefit of ashwagandha for men and women is alleviation of stress. To validate this claim a study was conducted on 64 chronically stressed adults. Half of the group was administered placebo supplements. The remaining 32 participants were given a 300mg ashwagandha capsule twice daily.
The results found that serum cortisol (the dreaded stress hormone) was significantly reduced in the treated group. They also tested more positively in all levels of stress assessment over the 60 day period.
A similar study was also performed on patients with severe anxiety disorders. The results, unsurprisingly, were similar to that of the chronic stress disorder group. Almost all of the patients treated with the herb felt significant improvements in their well-being.
2. The Sleep/Stress Cycle
Having a nice relaxing bath before bed, generally, enables a good nights sleep. Going to bed anxious, tense, and stressed, however, has us up all night, tossing and turning.
It’s no coincidence then, that the more stress running through our bodies (caused by spikes in cortisol levels), the worse our sleep quality.
In Indian medicine, one of the more commonly known ashwagandha benefits for men and women is its ability to support inducing sleep.
An active component of the herb, triethylene glycol, has been found to induce sleep. Therefore, used over an extended period, ashwagandha could help to treat long-term sleep disorders, including insomnia.
So, less stress equals better sleep and inducing sleep can help lower stress. Win-win, right?