Ashwagandha is a type of herb that grows naturally in India and Southeast Asia. It’s often used in Ayurvedic medicine.
You may also see ashwagandha called Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Its scientific name isWithania somnifera.
Typically, the root of the plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine. However, the leaves and flowers can be used as well.
Extracts of ashwagandha can have as many as 35 different chemical components. So far, a specific active ingredient hasn’t been determined.
Is Ashwagandha for Erectile Dysfunction Safe?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition. It has various causes, including physical factors and emotional conditions such as stress and anxiety.
While several medications are available to treat ED, many people may prefer to use natural methods and herbal supplements. One such supplement that you may have heard of is ashwagandha.
This popular Ayurvedic herb has various benefits and may help to improve mental health, sleep quality and athletic performance. Ashwagandha may also have a positive impact on male sexual health.
What are the traditional and current uses of ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a Rasayana, or a type of therapeutic preparation that’s used to boost general health, increase energy levels, and promote longevity.
Ashwagandha is considered an aphrodisiac, or herb used to improve sexual desire, pleasure, or performance. While scientific research doesn’t support the herb’s use for ED, it may be effective for low libido.
Ashwagandha has also been used in traditional medicine for:
skin conditions like boils and ulcers
What benefits does ashwagandha have?
Scientific studies have been performed on the potential health benefits of ashwagandha. Although additional research is needed, current findings suggest that ashwagandha may do the following:
decrease stress or anxiety
lower blood sugar
inhibit the growth of some types of cancer cells
Can ashwagandha be used to treat ED?
Overall, a very limited amount of research has been carried out on the effectiveness of ashwagandha for ED. One such research looked at the effect that an ashwagandha extract had on male rats over a week. The researchers found that the rats actually experienced increased ED as well as lower sex drive and performance. Another study investigated the use of ashwagandha for a specific type of ED called psychogenic ED, which is primarily associated with sexual anxiety and worries about sexual performance. Even though research doesn’t show that ashwagandha is effective for ED, it may have other benefits for the reproductive system.
Research has found that it may:
improve overall semen quality
increase sperm count
enhance sperm motility
While research is limited, ashwagandha doesn’t appear to be effective for ED. In fact, animal studies have suggested that it may potentially promote ED and lower sex drive.
Does ashwagandha have side effects?
Overall, ashwagandha is considered to be safe. Some of the commonly reported side effects of ashwagandha include:
nausea and vomiting
Some less common side effects are:
giddiness or hyperactivity
Who should avoid taking ashwagandha?
Talk with your doctor before using ashwagandha if you have:
Diabetes. Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Ashwagandha can raise levels of thyroid hormone.
Avoid taking ashwagandha if you:
Are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ashwagandha in high doses may be harmful to a developing fetus. There are currently no studies available on the safety of ashwagandha while breastfeeding.
Are taking sedatives. Since ashwagandha itself is sometimes used as a sedative, avoid using it if you’re taking medications like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or anticonvulsants.
Have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Ashwagandha may increase levels of the hormone testosterone in the body.
Tips for supplement safety
Follow the tips below to use ashwagandha or other supplements safely.
Talk with your doctor. It’s a good rule of thumb to talk with your doctor before starting to use any supplement. They can give you more information on how to use it effectively, as well as any associated side effects or risks.
Follow the label instructions. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully. Don’t take more than the recommended daily dosage.
Keep a log. Note how much of a supplement you take, how often, and any effects that you notice.
Discontinue if necessary. If a supplement causes negative side effects or doesn’t appear to be working, stop using it.
What are other natural remedies that cure ED?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical practice that combines dietary and lifestyle practices with natural therapies. It aims to promote health and longevity by achieving balance in the environment, mind, body, and spirit.
Safe supplement shopping
Unlike drugs, supplements don’t require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Because of this, they may not undergo rigorous testing to determine their safety and effectiveness.
Follow the tips below while shopping for ashwagandha or any other dietary supplement:
Verify the name. Make sure the name on the product label matches what you’re looking for. In addition to ashwagandha, the label could sayWithania somnifera or Indian ginseng.
Check the ingredients. The label should list all of the ingredients in a supplement. If you’re unsure about what an ingredient is, ask a doctor or pharmacist. You can also look up ingredients using the Dietary Supplement Label Database maintained by the National Institutes of Health.
Beware of claims. Be wary of any product claims that seem too good to be true or say they can treat a specific medical condition.
Do your own research. Obtain your own information using reputable sources.
Look for seals and certificates. While supplements aren’t regulated for standards by an independent body, some companies can verify their products’ content by having them tested in an independent lab.
Frequently asked questions
How long can I take ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha dosage varies depending on which condition you’re trying to manage. Daily doses may range from 125 milligrams to 5 grams. You can take equal doses 1 to 3 times per day.
The typical ashwagandha dosage for reproductive health is around 5 grams per day. Since dosages may vary between products, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult your healthcare professional for guidance.
Is ashwagandha the same as Viagra?
Ashwagandha is different from Viagra. Viagra is a prescription drug specifically designed to treat ED in adults. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it may help your body bounce back from stress.
Ashwagandha has several health benefits and may enhance certain aspects of sexual health. However, quality research supporting its effectiveness for ED is lacking.
What’s more, you need to take ashwagandha daily for at least 1 month to see results. You only need to take Viagra when you need it, and it usually starts working within 1 hour.
Can my doctor prescribe me ashwagandha?
No, your doctor cannot prescribe ashwagandha. You can purchase the herbal supplement online or in health food stores. However, it’s important to talk with your doctor before using ashwagandha, especially if you have a health condition or take medications or supplements. They may recommend an appropriate dosage and a reputable brand.
How can I use ashwagandha for sex?
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 dilated. This causes an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction.
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.
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.
Does ashwagandha make men last longer in bed?
Yes, Ashwagandha can increase stamina in bed. It helps cure low libido, erectile dysfunction, improve sex drive and even reduce stress and boost testosterone release. It acts as a natural aphrodisiac. Moreover, studies show that Ashwagandha has helped with better endurance while having sex.
Ashwagandha is an herb that’s used as part of Ayurvedic medicine. Research has indicated that it may have several health benefits, such as lowering anxiety, promoting better sleep, and decreasing inflammation.
While ashwagandha is considered an aphrodisiac, scientific research doesn’t currently support its use for ED.
Ashwagandha is generally safe and has few serious side effects. If you’re considering ashwagandha as a supplement, discuss its potential benefits and risks with your doctor before using it.