Data published in Cureusshowed that eight weeks of supplementation with KSM-66 Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) led to statistically significant improvements in measures of sexual function in 80 healthy women, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction, compared to placebo.
The study offers possible natural ways to improve sexual health, with some studies suggesting that up to 40% of women may suffer from poor sexual function.
“Significant improvements in FSFI [Female Sexual Function Index] results and FSDS [Female Sexual Distress Scale] results were observed with Ashwagandha, ” reported scientists from Vedanta Hospital, DY Patil University School of Medicine and Prakruti Hospital, all in Mumbai.
Oral administration of standardized Ashwagandha root extract for eight weeks improves female sexual health in otherwise healthy women with no hormonal disturbances.,
According to a monograph from the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), the herb has a history of use in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 4,000 years to the teaching of the renowned scholar Punarvasu Atreya and in later works that make up the Ayurvedic tradition. . The herb’s name is derived from Sanskrit and means “horse-like smell”, referring to the strong smell of the root, which is said to be cloudy with horse sweat or urine.
According to HerbalGram’s Herb Market reports Ashwagandha herbal supplement sales to reach $92 million in the US Multi-Outlet Channel in 2021, a 226% increase over last year. This growth saw ashwagandha jump to number 7 on the main channel bestseller list. In 2019, the bar was only number 33 on this channel.
An additional $16.7 million in sales was reported by Channel Natural (a 23% increase from 2020).
The study adds to the ever-growing body of data supporting Ashwagandha’s potential benefits, which already include supporting a healthy stress response, cognitive function, sleep, metabolic well-being, kidney function, sports performance and more.
Ashwagandha root is a known adaptogen – a substance believed to increase the body’s ability to adapt to various forms of stress.
The Mumbai-based scientists recruited 80 women aged between 18 and 50 with “hypoactive libido disorder” to take part in their prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. The women were randomly assigned to receive either ashwagandha root extract (600 mg per day) or a placebo for eight weeks.
At the end of the intervention period, data showed significant improvements in FSFI scores among women in the ashwagandha group compared to placebo, with subscale improvements also reported.
The researchers also reported that FSDS scores also improved to a greater extent after ashwagandha supplementation, although the values did not reach statistical significance.
Quality of life (QoL) was also assessed by the research team using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) scale, with data showing greater improvements in the ashwagandha group, but again these differences did not reach statistical significance.
“Ashwagandha has a potential member to be useful in improving female sexual function due to being an ‘adaptogen’, which can regulate the body’s metabolic functions in individuals with physical or mental stress,” the researchers wrote.
14(10): e30787. doi: 10.7759/cureus.30787,
“Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract for improving sexual health in healthy women: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study”,
Authors: A. Ajgaonkar et al.