Can Ashwagandha Improve Sperm Count?
Since the last decade or two, natural remedies have taken the wellness industry by storm.
These natural, organic supplements are becoming the first choice for many people when it comes to their health.
People have started replacing western medication with organic supplements more often.
One of these supplements is ashwagandha, a small woody plant, which is gaining momentum for its benefits regarding reproductive health in males.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub found in India and North Africa more commonly.
It is distinctive due to its small bright yellow flowers. It is known by its scientific name- Withania somniferous in botanical circles.
This plant is classified as an adaptogen. Ashwagandha or more precisely its root is a star ingredient in many Ayurveda medications for problems like stress, anxiety to problems as serious as male infertility. It is also known as the Indian ginseng.
Low sperm count
Low sperm or zero sperm is one of the most common causes of infertility in men. It indicates the number of sperms per milliliter of a semen sample.
It can be caused by many factors and in the worst cases lead to infertility in men.
This problem can be caused by many reasons including hormonal issues, trauma to the genital area, infections, or due to any medication.
Role of ashwagandha in improving fertility among men?
Ashwagandha has been reported to not only increase the testosterone levels in males it also plays a vital role in increasing sperm production in males, improving their fertility and reproductive health.
As this is a natural supplement with slight to no risk more and more people are interested in this option.
Furthermore, it is much cheaper than the western alternative treatments offered for the treatment of this ailment.
A study carried out recently discovered that after incorporating ashwagandha in men’s diet for 90 days, a 167% increase in sperm production was observed in their semen samples. 
Sperm volume and motility also experienced an immense boost. While the control group showed no signs of improved sperm count or quality.
Ashwagandha is known to reduce stress which also indirectly influences the release of male fertility hormones, imparting good reproductive health.
The stress increases the number of free radicals that can damage the sperm, lowering its number and quality.
By reducing stress levels this natural supplement reduces oxidative stress and preserves sperm health.
This not only provides the patient with an increased number of sperms but their motility and quality are also boosted, increasing the chances of them getting their partner pregnant. 
Another study conducted on males aged 40-70 concluded that taking this supplement daily not only increased the volume of semen, it also boosted sperm concentration and motility in men with low sperm count. Not only that, but it was also effective in males that had normal sperm count, to begin with. 
Ashwagandha also acts as a natural aphrodisiac in men. It stimulates the production of nitric acid which dilates the blood vessels increasing the blood flow to the genital area that improves sexual health and desire. Increased blood flow also affects the production of sperm and their motility rate.
Another study concluded that giving ashwagandha powder in milk consistently for 2 months increases the sperm count, motility in men having issues with conception.
A boost in the level of testosterone was also seen. Testosterone is a male hormone that helps mature the sexual, reproductive characteristics in males. Increase in testosterone production translated in increased production of sperm, better sexual health, and reproductive ability. 
How much ashwagandha should be taken?
Several studies concluded that the ideal amount of this supplement for men experiencing infertility is 675mg daily.
Ashwagandha is becoming more and more popular among people looking for a substitute for western medication or those who cannot afford treatment options like IVF.
More studies are being carried out to confirm these effects of this plant but the results seen so far have been very promising.
If you plan on taking this herb to solve your issues, make sure you talk to your doctor and understand the health benefits and risks if any.
Incorporate this herb into your diet along with healthy lifestyle changes. Also, consistency is the key to the effectiveness of herbal supplements.
- Ambiye VR, Langade D, Dongre S, et al. Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:571420. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24371462/
- K. Ahmad, A. A. Mahdi, K. K. Shukla et al., “Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males,” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 94, no. 3, pp. 989–996, 2010. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19501822/
- Lopresti, A.L., Drummond, P.D. and Smith, S.J. (2019). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. American Journal of Men’s Health, 13(2), p.155798831983598. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/
- Nasimi Doost Azgomi, R., Zomorrodi, A., Nazemyieh, H., Fazljou, S.M.B., Sadeghi Bazargani, H., Nejatbakhsh, F., Moini Jazani, A. and Ahmadi AsrBadr, Y. (2018). Effects of Withania somnifera on Reproductive System: A Systematic Review of the Available Evidence. BioMed Research International, [online] 2018. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833251/.