Can Ashwagandha Lower Stress Hormones?

Can Ashwagandha Lower Stress Hormones?

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If you are familiar with
testosterone boosters, you may have heard of a plant called ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha seems to be pretty popular as a supplement.  

This one actually seems to raise testosterone in some men.

Still, even with supplements that do raise testosterone levels, you have to be careful.

Some appear to work by blocking other androgens.  

So, have any studies looked into how ashwagandha works?

A few have.  

And it looks like ashwagandha doesn’t work by directly boosting testosterone.

Instead, it seems to work by lowering stress hormones, and stress hormones lower testosterone.

Take a look at this study.

They conducted this study on rats.  

The researchers supplemented one group of rats with ashwagandha, and the other rats served as a control group.

The researchers then took these rats and subjected them to some stressful situations.

In one situation, the researchers forced the rats to swim to exhaustion.
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In another test, they subjected the rats to extreme cold.  

Another test saw the rats immobilized for hours, and a final test attempted to induce ulcers in the rats.

These are certainly unpleasant and stressful experiences.  

At the conclusion of the tests, the rats that received ashwagandha had fared better than the control rats.

However, the most impressive result came from the swim to exhaustion test.

The rats supplemented with ashwagandha were able to swim almost twice as long as the control rats.

This is a very impressive result from a simple herb.  

And it seems that it helped the rats deal with stressful situations.

But would these same results apply in humans?  

And is there a study that measures a stress hormones too?

Luckily for us, there is.

For this study, researchers recruited 64 adults who were under chronic stress.

They tested their blood for the stress hormone cortisol and also gave them a stress assessment questionnaire.

One group received ashwagandha, and the other group got a placebo.

Then the researchers followed these people for 60 days.

On day 60, the ashwagandha group had significant improvements in the stress test questions.

But even more interesting was the change in cortisol levels.

The ashwagandha group lowered cortisol levels by 27%.  

And remember, cortisol has the effect of lowering testosterone.

When cortisol is high, testosterone is low.  

And when testosterone is high, cortisol is low.

So, ashwagandha benefits make it an anti-stress herb.

If you happen to be under a lot of stress, or if you have low testosterone, ashwagandha might be worth a try.

It is certainly effective at lowering stress hormones and helping to deal with stressful situations.

For some men, it may work to boost testosterone by lowering cortisol.  

Of course, if you see no improvement or have a more serious condition, it is always best to talk to your doctor.



Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.
Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha), a Rejuvenating Herbal Drug Which Enhances Survival During Stress (an Adaptogen) 

A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults;year=2012;volume=34;issue=3;spage=255;epage=262;aulast=Chandrasekhar 

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