This double-blind study wanted to see if the Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb ashwagandha could help women with female sexual dysfunction (FSD). . . . .

The 50 women in this study had all been diagnosed with FSD, and they all had either hypoactive (underactive) sexual desire disorder, female sexual arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder or combined genital and subjective arousal disorder.

Half the women were given a placebo and half were given ashwagandha root extract standardized for at least 5% withanolides. The dose was 300mg twice a day for 8 weeks. Both groups also received counseling for FSD.

At the end of the study, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) had improved significantly more in the ashwagandha group and was significantly greater in the ashwagandha group compared to scores at the begining of the study: in the placebo group FSFI scores went from 13.57 to 20.06; in the ashwagandha group scores went up from 13.63 to 23.86. FSFI measures desire, arousal, lubrication, pain, orgasm, and satisfaction.

Ashwagandha does not seem to be an aphrodisiac. It did not improve desire more than the placebo did, but it did improve arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction significantly more.

Scores on the Female Sexual Distress Scale, which measures worry and distress about sex, also improved significantly more in the ashwagandha group.

There were no adverse events.

This is the third blog on ashwagandha we have written recently. One showed that ashwagandha improves sperm in infertile men, and the other showed that it improves athletic endurance.

Biomed Res In 2015;2015:284154

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