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Which Herbs Can Help Increase Fertility In Men?

According to traditional Chinese medicine, Gingko leaves, the Korean red ginseng, and the Peruvian maca root improves libido, sperm production and motility, and all phases of the sexual response. Ayurveda too suggests certain herbs for curing erectile dysfunction. Ashwagandha, dried roots of white asparagus, kawach, and epimedium restore fertility and increase blood supply to the penis.

Male fertility and erectile dysfunction have created a supplements industry worth billions. Yet, the solution to fertility issues may lie in some simple alternative therapies that have been around for centuries. Herbs derived from traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and naturopathy are being widely researched for their effectiveness. Many have the potential to fix a range of common sexual dysfunction problems and even treat the underlying symptoms.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Gingko Leaves Bring Hope

Gingko biloba leaf is useful for helping promote the various phases of sexual response, starting with desire, excitement, orgasm, and resolution. It aids erection and lubrication, a common sexual dysfunction.1 For 35 percent of the population of men aged 40 to 70 in the US struggling with erectile dysfunction, these herbal treatments offer hope.2

Go East: Ginseng

Ginseng has been a buzzword for a while now, with different varieties each bringing their own benefits. American ginseng has been seen to improve libido and sexual performance through helping hormonal balance, immune function, and stress management. Korean ginseng or red ginseng has also been widely acknowledged to help with erectile dysfunction. One study showed that a 1000 mg dose of Korean red ginseng thrice a day helped test subjects with erectile dysfunction. They scored “significantly higher” on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) scale than before treatment.3 4

Peru’s Answer To Ginseng: Maca

The Peruvian maca root helps the libido and also improves the volume of semen as well as the sperm count and motility. Touted as a superfood and consumed for its nutritional benefits for some time now, it is packed with iron, iodine, amino acids, and magnesium. One study showed that treating men with maca for over a period of 4 months resulted in higher sperm count, greater seminal volume, improved motility, as well higher motile sperm count. The researchers concluded that it could help improve sperm production as well as motility though the mechanism was not connected to the levels of hormones like follicle stimulating hormone, serum luteinizing hormone), estradiol, testosterone, or prolactin.5

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment


Ayurveda suggests the use of ashwagandha to treat infertility in men. Research shows that there was a significant improvement in sperm motility, concentration, and morphology when the extract was consumed. It was found to be especially effective for cases where hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) dysregulation was a problem and where testosterone levels were low due to its role in stabilizing endocrine function. Over the 90-day period of the study, men who took the herbal cure saw 167 percent increase in their sperm concentration.6 An earlier study had also shown it was effective for improving semen quality in men who had hypogonadism, fertility issues, and low libido.7

Mucuna Pruriens (kawach)

Mucuna pruriens (kawach) is another Ayurvedic herb used to treat impotency and boost fertility. It acts to increase seminal fluid and sexual vigor in men. It also helps to improve the sense of well-being, energy levels, and mood of a person. Men are given kawach to enhance their sexual performance and improve libido.8

Dried Roots Of White Asparagus

Dried roots of white asparagus or safed musli is used to treat impotence as well as premature ejaculation in men. Due to the high concentration of glycosides in it, this herbal remedy is good for improving sperm count.9

The Unassuming Horny Goat Weed

In areas as far flung as the Mediterranean and Asia, you’ll find a common herbal treatment for erectile dysfunction. The pungent herb from these regions, called the horny goat weed or epimedium, is not just an aphrodisiac but also helps sustain an erection. The icariin in this ornamental herb increases nitric oxide in the body, boosting circulation to extremities including the penis. [Effects of icariin on erectile function and expression of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in castrated rats and Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo]

Research on these herbs and many others are in various stages of nascency. Most do not have FDA approval, yet men the world over are finding health benefits from taking some of these herbal treatments. Should you choose to do so, do not self-medicate. Consult a doctor or a trained alternative therapy specialist so you get the dosage right and do not suffer side effects from interactions with existing medication.

References   [ + ]

1. Cohen, Alan J., and Barbara Bartlik. “Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.” Journal of sex & marital therapy 24, no. 2 (1998): 139-143.
2. Epidemiology of ED, Boston University, School of Medicine, Sexual Medicine.
3. De Andrade, Enrico, Alexandre A. De Mesquita, Joaquim de Almeida Claro, Priscila M. De Andrade, Valdemar Ortiz, Mário Paranhos, Miguel Srougi, and Tibet Erdogrun. “Study of the efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.” Asian journal of andrology 9, no. 2 (2007): 241-244.
4. Jang, Dai‐Ja, Myeong Soo Lee, Byung‐Cheul Shin, Young‐Cheoul Lee, and Edzard Ernst. “Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 66, no. 4 (2008): 444-450.
5. Gonzales, Gustavo F., Amanda Cordova, Carla Gonzales, Arturo Chung, Karla Vega, and Arturo Villena. “Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men.” Asian Journal of Andrology 3, no. 4 (2001): 301-304.
6. Ambiye, Vijay R., Deepak Langade, Swati Dongre, Pradnya Aptikar, Madhura Kulkarni, and Atul Dongre. “Clinical evaluation of the spermatogenic activity of the root extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in oligospermic males: a pilot study.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).
7. Ahmad, Mohammad Kaleem, Abbas Ali Mahdi, Kamla Kant Shukla, Najmul Islam, Singh Rajender, Dama Madhukar, Satya Narain Shankhwar, and Sohail Ahmad. “Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.” Fertility and sterility 94, no. 3 (2010): 989-996.
8. Deokar, Gitanjali, Pratiksha Anil Deore, and Sanjay Kshirsagar. “Phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of Mucuna pruriens: a review.” Pharmaceutical and Biological Evaluations 3, no. 1 (2016): 50-59.
9. Musli, Desale P. Safed. “Herbal Viagra for Male Impotence.” Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 1, no. 3 (2013): 91-97.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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