How Ashwagandha May Boost Testosterone (Explained)


Evidence-Based. Scientifically Reviewed by Michael Sharpe, MSc.

Infertile males who took 225mg of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract three times a day for a couple of months experienced a 17% rise in testosterone levels and a 167% increase in sperm cell concentration.


5 grams Ashwagandha a day boosts testosterone levels in human studies, and animal studies have shown that Ashwagandha even may have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue. (1, 2)

The most important active ingredients in Ashwagandha are withanolides. Ashwagandha is regarded as a tonic for the aged and a libido enhancer in Ayurvedic medicine.

The plant has been shown in animal studies to accelerate testicular growth and improve sperm production. However, in several animal trials, animals fed Ashwagandha had a decrease in testosterone production. (3)

Therefore it might not be as clear cut as originally thought. Let’s explore further studies.

KSM-66 Ashwagandha Study

One study sought to determine the efficacy of a highly concentrated, full-spectrum root extract of Ashwagandha as a viable herbal supplement in the treatment of male infertility. (4)

The extract that the researchers used was KSM-66 Ashwagandha, produced by the Indian company Ixoreal Biomed. KSM-66 Ashwagandha consists of 5% withanolide.

  • 25 men in the experimental group took 3 capsules a day for a period of 90 days.
  • Each capsule contained 225 mg of the Ashwagandha extract.
  • A control group of 21 men took a placebo instead of the Ashwagandha extract.


The number of sperm cells per ml grew by 167% in the experimental group over the course of 90 days. The volume of sperm rose by half, while the motility of the sperm increased by 60%.

During the same time frame, the testosterone level in the experiment group grew by 17%, while LH levels climbed by 34%.

The control group’s sperm quality and hormone levels improved, but not as much as the experimental group’s.


The study explored in this article adds to the evidence of the therapeutic value of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract. It seems to be able to provide a meaningful boost in LH and testosterone levels.

However, more research is required to come to any conclusions as to whether Ashwagandha can reliably increase testosterone.


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This evidence based analysis of Ashwagandha and testosterone features 4 references, listed below.

1. 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) (Controlled Clinical Trial) ✔

2. Anuradha Grandhi, A.M. Mujumdar, Bhushan Patwardhan. A comparative pharmacological investigation of Ashwagandha and Ginseng. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. (1994)

3. Abdel-Magied EM, Abdel-Rahman HA, Harraz FM. The effect of aqueous extracts of Cynomorium coccineum and Withania somnifera on testicular development in immature Wistar rats. J Ethnopharmacol. (2001, Apr) ✔

4. Vijay R. Ambiye, Deepak Langade, Swati Dongre, Pradnya Aptikar, Madhura Kulkarni, Atul Dongre. Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. (2013, 28 Nov)

✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.

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