Ashwagandha - is it helpful or harmful?

I’ve heard of ashwagandha being used as a t-booster, often cycled with tongkat ali, tribulus and others, however I found this study: which suggests it may cause marked reduction in libido, possibly due to its GABAergic, sedative effects.

I can definitely attest from my own experience that ashwagandha is great for anxiety, but if the cost is a loss of libido, then that’s a price I can ill afford to pay.

If anyone is using ashwagandha, what are your experiences? Is it worth dropping ashwagandha for a different herb?

1 Like

I’ve used it both daily and in cycles before and never had the first ill effect. Nothing but positives for both. I would definitely suggest cycling it daily or doing month on, month off style. It’ll loose it’s efficiency after your body builds a tolerance to it.

However, I’m sure others will argue differently given that people on this forum seem to claim fish oil and rice give them ill side effects…nocebo is real in certain cases folks.

People who don’t believe in PFS claim we’re the ones suffering nocebo. If there’s a scientific study that shows ashgawandha causes sexual impairment, shouldn’t we take note? There are plenty of other t-boosters we can cycles, so I just wonder if this is a mistake.

LiveStrong reference the same study in their asssessment of the herb: … dha-herbs/

To test ashwagandha’ss purported libido-enhancing properties, researchers at the University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka fed powdered ashwagandha root extract to male rats for seven days, and tested their response to receptive female rats before, during and after the treatment. They found that the treated rats exhibited a marked decrease in libido, sexual performance and sexual vigor, and an increase in penile erectile dysfunction. The researchers concluded that despite its reputation as an aphrodisiac, ashwagandha may be detrimental to male sexual competence.

Right, what I’m saying is that cycling something once a day on a weekly, bi-weekly, or tri-weekly basis isn’t going to cause any damage. I’ve taken it daily before and again, it only did nothing to me at the worst. Also, I don’t know how much ashwagandha you plan on taking, but that study states that they gave those rats 3000mg/kg a day (if I’m wrong please correct me, I’m not super literate on reading biological studies given that I’m a computer/engineer background), and I don’t take anywhere near that much. I’m sure if you megadose anything it can possibly be bad for you.

I DO believe that some of the reactions that guys get to some supplements is due to stressing so much over taking stuff that the mind gives you a shit reaction. The reason I say this is because I’ve personally experienced doing it with myself and maca root. I in no way meant to say that I think PFS is nocebo, if I did I wouldn’t be on this site lol.

Besides, supplements by themselves aren’t as big of a deal as your diet and lifestyle. If you’re taking these supplements while putting cheap food and alcohol into your body, you’re just wasting time and money. Putting them into a system that is ready to respond = success in your endeavors. At least that’s been the case in my experience. (Note: I’m not saying you’re not doing this or throwing accusations, I’m just stating personal experience.)

Understood. Interesting you mention maca root because I had a bad reaction off that too. It gave me horrific heart palpitations, so much so I went for several ECG’s before I figured out the cause and stopped taking it. The palpitations stopped.

As for ashgawandha, I only recently started taking it and I’m absolutely certain it’s harmed me sexually. The studies I’ve read online have confirmed my experience. I won’t be using it again as a test booster. I think any GABA receptor agonist is harmful to us, as noted here: … fectively/

TBH, I just avoid maca in general after my experience. I think it might have been in my head but still, I’m making great solid progress and I don’t wanna mess it up by adding something I don’t really need.

And of course on ashwagandha, YMMV, it might be fine for me and not work for you…that’s the key to any recovery protocol is figuring out what works for you.

Fair play. What does the rest of your protocol involve? What other t boosters are you using?

I’ll copy my protocol post from another site I visit and put it here:

Just for future reference I’m going to post a list of all my supplements and routine for people who are interested. It’s pretty much CDs regime just tweaked a little bit. I won’t be on the forum as much (as English has suggested, just came back today in a moment of weakness as I’m currently in a little downswing. But nothing like I was before. Can’t wait to swing back up again.)

Super Man Herbs:

Tongkat Ali
Ashwaghanda tincture
Maral Root
Polyrhachis Ant
Shilajit pitch
He Shou Wu
Pine Pollen tincture (daily atm, moving to cycling on my next bottle)
Pine Pollen powder (daily)
Royal Jelly (2-3 times a week) (not from SMH, from GNC, in the tub)


L-Tyrosine Powder - daily.
L-Citrulline Powder - daily.
Tribulus (60%) - I cycle this with my SMH products.

Natural Vitality:

Natural Calm magnesium supplement - daily

…Then I use a multivitamin, vitamin D3 (10000IU), fish oil, calcium, boron, tocotrienol cap, and choline daily. Use Sorghum (grinded up in a powder, thanks FPR for the fantastic idea) in my protein shakes daily. I also take S. boulardii probiotic and L-Glutamine daily, and drink kombucha a 4-5 times a week for gut (shout out to English).

Workout Routine:

Monday/Thursday: Legs/Abs - 5x6 heavy lifts, squats, calf raises, leg lifts and extensions
Tuesday/Friday: Arms (Bis/Tris/Forearms) 5x6 heavy lifts, a rotation of multiple lifts I’ve learned over the years
Wednesday/Saturday: Chest/Shoulders: 5x6 heavy lifts, bench/incline bench/cable crossovers, and rotated shoulder exercises.
Sunday: Relaxation/recovery
HIIT: Tuesday/Friday 6x100 yard sprints, all out. 8 if I’m feeling giddy. Which is rare after the 6, lol.


Holosync daily - usually in PM.


Paleo with carb backloading.
Intermittent fasting at least once a week.
24 hour water fast at least once a month, usually more frequent.

This should pretty much answer ANY question anyone has that I’m doing from here on out - which is what I wanted to leave as I won’t be on here as much. I’m waiting for my Super R-Andro Rx (DHT prohormone) to arrive and then I’m going to run a 6 week cycle at 400 mg/day by recommendation of CD.

Anytime I’m going through a rough patch or need some motivation to get through, just remember, set it (the routine) and forget it. I can always lay my head down at the end of the day knowing I did everything I could to better myself. And guess what, that is just what is happening.

I am getting better."

Basically CDnuts’ routine with a few gut fixing additions. If my progress holds up, I should be close to cured by the end of the year or early next. I feel SO much better than I did in February when I crashed. I live a normal life again…only thing left to come back is my libido and my eye floaters to go away. My libido appeared a few weeks ago and went back away. This is pretty much how all my symptoms have went, I’ve improved in “waves”. 3 steps forward, 1 or 2 back, then 3-4 forward again…maybe none of only one back. Very similar to how Cdnuts and others have described.

Sounds good. I think the most important element is persistence. It’s what I’ve struggled with most.

You hit the nail on the head there. Once you’ve got your mind calmed and under your control again - you can make yourself stay calm and steady during those “downs” and stick to the regimen. Usually it only takes two/three weeks at max to come out of that down and back to a high. Once you’ve got the mind back on your side, half the battle is won. Holosync is great for this.

I wrote this post on treating anxiety and did an attachment of copied materials from another website which reviews ashwaganda. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9376

Ashwaganda is an adaptogen. Apart from treating anxiety it is supposed to reset the cortisol levels and balance them out temporarily. In practice it lowers cortisol so if you already have low daytime cortisol this will leave you feeling more tired.

I have high night time cortisol so I take ashwaganda in the evening around 6pm, I find it helps.

It should also by cycled as it acts on the receptors that produce serotonin.

How are you doing these days?