The following are herbal medicines I use to treat male infertility which are invaluable tools for men to use in our current day epidemic of infertility. Using a blend/formula of all herbs together for best results. Can be used safely where no infertility is established, just to enhance fertility during the conception process
# 1 Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has beneficial effects on seminal quality, oxidative status, and reproductive hormone profiles (1). Seminal oxidative stress is linked to male idiopathic infertility. Research shows herb has protective effect of on semen quality in infertile male smokers and infertile men under psychological stress. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Dosage ranged should be from 600 mg to 6 g a day, taken by men for at least two to three months
# 2 Maca (Lepidium meyenii) root
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) root has been acknowledged by Peruvians to improve sexuality and fertility. Maca improved sexual desire in healthy men at 8 and 12 weeks after doses of 1.5 g and 3.0 g daily (2). Maca has also shown to have aphrodisiac properties in mice and rats and to have a favourable effect on spermatogenesis in adult male rats and adult men (3).
A number of other studies show benefit for male fertility using Maca (4). In one controlled study, maca compared favorably with L-carnitine and placebo in improving sperm motility in infertile men but had no effect on sperm morphology or concentration. One uncontrolled observational study(UOS) reported significant benefits to sperm motility, progressive motility, sperm vitality, and sperm morphology in infertile men. Two controlled trials comparing maca with placebo in healthy men reported that maca improved motile sperm count and normal morphology as well as erectile function. Another UOS with healthy male subjects reported significant increases in total sperm count, motile sperm count, and sperm motility. Maca increases the length of sperm stages VII-VIII, elevating sperm counts without elevating daily production. One study suggested that this is achieved by maintaining a balanced oxidative/antioxidative state. More research is needed to determine maca's mechanisms of action on sperm parameters. Potential bioactive ingredients include macaridine, macamides, macaene, glucosinolates, maca alkaloids, and maca nutrients.
# 3 Siberian/Korean Ginseng
Siberian/Korean Ginseng causes a decrease in the percentage of diskinetic forms of spermatozoids in men taking it. Researchers used a combination of Andrographis paniculata and 7.2 mg of Siberian Ginseng and noted a positive trend in the number of spermatozoids in the whole ejaculate, an increase in the percentage of active forms of spermatozoids, a decrease in the percentage of inactive (diskinetic) forms of spermatozoids, and an increase in the Farris fertility indices of the men taking it.(5)
# 4 Valerian root (Valeriana officionalis)
Valerian root (Valeriana officionalis) caused a decrease in the percentage of diskinetic forms of spermatozoids and also a temporary increase in the percentage of normokinetic spermatozoids was noted in men taking the valerian root. (5)
# 5 Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) has been used in herbal medicine to treat colic, dysentery, diarrhea, menstrual pain, skin eruptions, conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, and muscle spasms. A number of studies support passionflower's calming effects on the central nervous system. Recent work suggests that the plant may benefit people who are withdrawing from addictive drugs and may bolster men's libidos. (6) An anxiolytic effect has also been observed. Researchers have reported on the ability of a novel compound in passionflower to restore libido in aging male rats, to restore fertility which has been reduced by alcohol or tobacco use, to reduce anxiety while withdrawing from alcohol and to restore the libido of male rats which are frequent users of tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] (a primary active ingredient of Cannabis sativa [a.k.a. marijuana). Passionflower also has a mild setative effect. Researchers disagree on whether its sedative effects are due to indole alkaloids such as harmane, harmaline, and harmol; flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, and scopoletin; or a recently isolated trisubstituted benzoflavone.
# 6,7 & 8 ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), horny goat weed (Epimedium sagittatum) & damiana (Turnera diffusa)
A herbal formula containing a blend of herbal medicines used to restore male fertility showed positive results in a study. The authors conclude that the blend was effective in improving erectile function in men with sexual dysfunction. Authors also stated in the study “ it appears that the blend may help in enhancing the overall quality of sexual experience" (7) The formula contains 100 mg of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), 100 mg of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), 100 mg of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), 100 mg of hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), 50 mg of muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides), 50 mg of catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba), 25 mg of Chinese dodder (Cuscuta chinensis), 15 mg of horny goat weed (Epimedium sagittatum), 75 mg of tribulus (puncturevine; Tribulus terrestris), 100 mg of damiana (Turnera diffusa), and 5 mg of black pepper [Piper nigrum]. The study did not have sufficient evidence to distinguish between ED of organic, psychogenic, or mixed origin
Other Nutrients Of Benifit
Some nutritional supplements also help men increase fertility. Zinc (66 mg/day) and folic acid (5 mg/day) increased sperm count by 74% after 26 weeks of supplementation. While vitamin C (1,000 mg/day) increased sperm counts by 140% in another study; however, high doses of vitamin C can decrease fertility in women by reducing cervical fluid production. Another study in which men received 400 mg/day vitamin E and 225 microgram/day selenium, 'an improvement in sperm motility' was detected.
1)Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality in stress-related male fertility. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Sep 29, 2009
2) Cordova A, Vega K, Villena A, Gonzales GF. Efecto del Lepidium meyenii (Maca) una planta alco-andina sobre el escado de animo y el deseo sexual en varones aparencemente normales. Reproducao e Climaterio 2001;16:S96-S97.
3) Gonzales G, Cordova A, Vega K, Chung A, Vellena A. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men Journal of Endocrinology. 2003;176:163-168
4) Lee MS, Lee HW, You S, Ha K-T. The use of maca (Lepidium meyenii) to improve semen quality: a systematic review. Maturitas. October 2016;92:64-69.
5) Mkrtchyan A, Panosyan V, Panossian A, Wikman G, Wagner H. A phase I clinical study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang versus ginseng and valerian on the semen quality of healthy male subjects Phytomed. 2005;12:403-409
6) Cronin J. Passionflower: Reigniting male libido and other potential uses Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 2003;April:89-92
7) Shah GR, Chaudhari MV, Patankar SB, Pensalwar SV, Sabale VP, Sonawane NA. Evaluation of a multi-herb supplement for erectile dysfunction: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012;12:155