How to Use Ashwagandha for Testosterone

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By Jack Cincotta, MS

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

how to use ashwagandha for testosterone

Ashwagandha is becoming a very popular supplement for a wide range of potential benefits, including increased testosterone.

However, it’s important to see if ashwagandha can actually increase testosterone levels, and if so, how to best use it for this purpose.

Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to use ashwagandha for boosting testosterone, including the dosage, the best time to take it, and any potential concerns.

Main Points

  • Clinical research shows that ashwagandha may increase total and free testosterone
  • This is due to various effects, including:
    • Boosting DHEA
    • Reducing cortisol
    • Decreasing inflammation in the testes & supporting general reproductive health
  • It seems best to take 400 to 600mg per day, split up into two doses
  • The best ashwagandha supplements are root extracts standardized to ~5% withanolides
  • Cycling ashwagandha may keep the body more sensitive to its effects

About Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a shrubby plant native to India, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East. It’s most often used in Ayurveda (a traditional medicine system in India) for its adaptogenic and rejuvenating powers. 

ashwagandha supplements

Ashwagandha contains a variety of bioactive compounds, most notably withanolides, which are mainly found in the roots. And the various compounds in ashwagandha root are often used to create health supplements.

Today, many people take ashwagandha supplements to potentially increase their health, reduce stress, and boost vitality. 

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Testosterone

One of the potential health benefits of ashwagandha is increased testosterone, which is backed up by a few clinical studies.

In one clinical trial, adult men who took 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily for eight weeks experienced significant increases in testosterone and sexual well-being compared to the placebo.

Another clinical study on aging, overweight men found that those who took a standardized ashwagandha supplement for 8 weeks had notably greater testosterone and DHEA-s levels compared to the control group.

And lastly, a clinical trial on stressed adults showed that participants who took 200mg of ashwagandha twice daily for 12 weeks achieved significantly higher free testosterone levels compared to placebo.

These effects of ashwagandha on testosterone are likely due to a couple of things:

For one, ashwagandha has been shown to decrease cortisol and overall stress in the body. In turn, lowering cortisol can lead to higher testosterone since these hormones have a reciprocal relationship.

Additionally, ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This may protect the testes from damage and support a healthier hormonal state overall. 

Lastly, some studies show that ashwagandha increases DHEA levels, which is important since DHEA helps produce testosterone.

How to Use Ashwagandha for Testosterone

Based on clinical trials, the best way to use ashwagandha for testosterone is to take 200 to 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily, which results in a total daily dose of 400 to 600mg.

One can also just take this once per day, although it’s not known whether this has a great effect.

man taking ashwagandha for testosterone


Ashwagandha has adaptogenic effects, so this means it can be energizing or relaxing, depending on your body’s needs.

Therefore, you can really take it at any time of day. A common implementation is to take one dose in the morning and then another in the late afternoon or evening. 

If you have trouble sleeping, it may be best to try to shift your regimen later in the day, such as one dose in the afternoon and one at night, or simply take the whole daily dose at night.

Supplement Quality

It’s also important to use safe, high-quality ashwagandha supplements that are properly tested and standardized to contain a high concentration of withanolides (typically 5 to 10%, although some are even higher).

Look for products that state these specific concentrations. Some of the trademarked forms that are known to have high withanolide concentrations are KSM-66®, Shoden®, and Sensoril®. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

Ashwagandha is generally recognized as safe. However, there are still some possible side effects of ashwagandha, such as:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Allergic reactions

We always recommend consulting your doctor or healthcare practitioner before taking any supplement, especially if you have chronic health conditions and/or take prescription medications.

Should Ashwagandha be Cycled for Increased Testosterone?

Yes. It appears best to cycle ashwagandha periodically to keep the body sensitive to its effects because desensitization can even occur with herbs and natural products.

To do this, you can take ashwagandha for four to eight weeks, followed by a one to two-week break.

You can tweak this slightly depending on preference, but the general ratio should be around 4:1 for days on to days off.

After this initial longer period, you can move to shorter cycling periods, such as just based on a regular week, in which you take it for five days followed by a two-day break.

Is Ashwagandha a Steroid?

No. Ashwagandha is a natural substance and is not a steroid or synthetic hormone of any kind. It may increase testosterone levels, but this is nowhere near the supraphysiological level that occurs with steroids and other anabolics. 

Can Women Take Ashwagandha for Testosterone?

Yes. While ashwagandha is most commonly used by men looking to increase testosterone, women may also benefit from ashwagandha’s effects on testosterone and other hormones. 

Conclusion: How to Use Ashwagandha for Testosterone

Ashwagandha has been shown to increase total and free testosterone levels in some cases. These increases aren’t huge but may give some individuals the boost they need to improve sexual function, athletic performance, and overall vitality. 

It’s important to choose high-quality ashwagandha supplements that are standardized for a high concentration of withanolides, and to take a total daily dose of about 400 to 600mg. 

When taken in the right way and in the right form, ashwagandha may be able to boost testosterone and offer other related benefits.

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Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack Cincotta is a certified holistic health coach through AFPA and a board-certified holistic health practitioner through AADP. He has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and supplementation. Jack has a M.S. degree in Psychology and is passionate about researching the science behind nutrition. He often uses research-backed supplementation protocols for many of his clients to optimize results.