"Ashwagandha has a long history of traditional use as a natural aid to improve mood, energy, and general well-being,"* clinical researcher Adrian L. Lopresti, Ph.D., tells mbg. Lopresti was curious if its age-old benefits would hold up in a rigorous research trial, so he conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the herb in 2019.
Sixty adults were asked to take either 240 milligrams of Shoden® ashwagandha root and leaf extract or a placebo once a day for 60 days, then have their stress, mood, and hormone levels measured. Those who took the ashwagandha supplement had significantly lower stress levels by the end of the trial, as shown by stress tests and levels of the hormone cortisol.*
Ashwagandha seems to interact with the brain's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, or HPA, axis, which helps regulate our stress response: "Ashwagandha helps to regulate various brain pathways to decrease cortisol levels overall so that we can stay calm and relaxed,"* integrative physician Cindy Tsai, M.D., previously told mbg.
"It sort of takes the edge off stressful events, helping us to cope better and giving the body resilience to respond to stress in a balanced and healthy way,"* adds Martins. While not a benefit specifically for men, this is no doubt something we could all use more of these days.