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Ashwagandha Boosts Sexual Function in Women

Cureus journal logo

Ashwagandha helps improve sexual function and desire in women, according to a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study in the journal Cureus.

Estimates show that 40 percent of women report poor sexual function, enough to impact their quality of life. Thanks to new findings, there is a potential new treatment option with ashwagandha (KSM-66) supplements.

Previous research on ashwagandha has shown that it helps enhance sexual satisfaction, sleep, and quality of life in women. Now researchers wanted to further investigate the herb’s effect on women and sexual health.

Study Details

Scientists recruited 80 women between 18 and 50 with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a sexual dysfunction characterized by a lack of sexual desire and other symptoms associated with sexual health. The participants’ sexual function was determined using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS). It is important to note that women with hormone disturbances were excluded from the trial.

For the study, women were given either 300 mg of ashwagandha twice daily or a placebo for eight weeks. Those subjects who took ashwagandha showed statistically significant improvements in their FSFI scores related to markers such as desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction, and pain. FSDS scores also increased among those taking ashwagandha. Side effects were minimal and included nausea and drowsiness.

“We compared the clinical efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha root extract with an identical placebo in women for improvement of female sexual function. The study product used by us was KSM-66® Ashwagandha capsule (300 mg) administered twice daily orally with water for a period of eight weeks. Ashwagandha has been reported to improve sexual function in women in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, where an aqueous extract of Ashwagandha root was used. In this pilot study of 50 patients randomized to AG (n=25) and PL (n=25), there was a greater improvement (reduction) in FSDS scores with AG. In our study, we observed similar findings as reported in this study,” say the authors. “These findings suggest a potentially useful role of Ashwagandha in improving sexual health in otherwise healthy women. Ashwagandha roots extract is reported to be safe for human use with a daily dosage of up to 1,000 mg.”

Conclusion

This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha standardized root extract in improving sexual health in otherwise healthy women aged 18 to 50 years having HSDD. Significant improvements in the FSFI scores and FSDS scores were observed with Ashwagandha. Oral administration of standardized Ashwagandha root extract for eight weeks improves female sexual health in otherwise healthy women who do not have any hormonal disturbances.

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Our newsletters include research round-ups with a quick-read synopsis and the full study for download. Get access to webinars, case reports, practice management guidance and interviews with integrative medicine thought leaders.
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