Varun Dhawan believes ashwagandha improves sex life ‘100 per cent’; here’s what experts say

Brewing some interesting conversations on Koffee With Karan, actor Varun Dhawan, who appeared with his JugJugg Jeeyo co-star Anil Kapoor, responded to a caller’s question in a segment of the show on how to improve sex life by sharing that the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha helps.

“Try ashwagandha. I genuinely mean this. Start having some ashwagandha. It’s a great herb,” he said, on the seventh edition of the celebrity chat show. Johar was quick to ask a follow-up question, “So, ashwagandha helps?” “100 per cent,” said Dhawan, to which Johar responded, “I shall also buy it”.

We reached out to ayurvedic experts to understand more about the herb and its benefits for those looking to enhance their libido.

While sex is often equated with either procreation or pleasure, it has far more significance and plays an integral role in one’s holistic well-being. In Ayurveda, too, it is one among the triyopasthambam or the three pillars that support life. “Just like food and sleep, proper sexual activity is encouraged in Ayurveda,” said Dr Archana Sukumaran, Ayurveda doctor (BAMS) at Kerala Ayurveda in an earlier interaction. According to her, sexual intercourse helps one remain young for a long time with high memory power, intellectual abilities, long life, health, nourishment, high perceptive power of senses, and strength.

Ayurveda, Ayurveda remedies, Ayurveda remedies pandemic, Ayurvedic industry, Scientifically known as Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha has traditionally been used to modulate and enhance immunity Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

There are several herbs that help improve your vitality and one such, experts mention, is ashwagandha, known by its botanical name Withania somnifera. It is also called by several other names including Indian ginseng and winter cherry. Deriving its name from the Sanskrit words ‘ashwa’ which means ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’ which means ‘smell’, it collectively symbolises the energy and vitality of a horse. Ayurvedic experts believe that ashwagandha is rich in biologically active substances as it is composed of both macro and micro-elements, amino acids, peptides, lipids, and the bases of nucleic acids.

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According to Dr Archana, Ayurveda recommends specific herbal rejuvenators like ashwagandha that help boost sexual function. “It is a powerful herb that can increase strength and libido. Ajax capsules, aswagandharishta and Aswagandhadi Lehyam are excellent options to regain vitality in men,” she said.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which means it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress by adapting to the needs of the body. In Ayurveda, the Sanskrit term for adaptogen is rasayana. “This rasayana rejuvenates our body and relaxes our brain. From joint pain, inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, poor immunity, anxiety, and depression to improving physical strength, sperm count and sexual potency, ashwagandha works for all of these and more,” ayurvedic practitioner Dr Dixa Bhavsar told

Mostly, ashwagandha is used in improving sperm count, sperm quality, and physical strength in males as Shatavari is used in females. “Both these herbs can be had by males and females but here we shall be talking about how it can help improve sexual potency specifically in males”.

According to Dr Dixa, men with diabetes (for a long time) have poor stamina (sexual potency), low sperm count, and poor sperm quality. For them, ashwagandha works like a miracle. Just having Ashwagandha churna in the dosage of one teaspoon at bedtime with warm water is all they need to improve their overall health. Along with improving sexual potency, it also helps in reducing elevated sugar levels and HbA1C. “For men with infertility due to azoospermia and oligospermia, ashwagandha when combined with other herbs like kaunch beej, muesli, shatavari, yastimadhu, etc gives wonderful results,” said Dr Dixa.

For men with loss of libido due to depression, work stress, and anxiety, Dr Dixa mentioned that “just having ashwagandha with milk at bedtime can improve mood, energy and even libido”.

“For people with lactose intolerance, it’s best to have ashwagandha with ghee or coconut milk for optimum absorption,” she noted.

Dr Bhavsar also advised that it is best to “take an advice of an ayurvedic doctor before consuming it for proper benefits without any side effects”.

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