Withania somnifera, is a herbal medicine, also known as ashwagandha, it has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to promote physical and mental well being. It has a rejuvenating action which influences and supports the nervous system and the adrenal system, and is commonly used by naturopaths and herbalists for issues of fatigue, based on empirical evidence. But scientific evidence is proving that withania is a herb of many talents and should seriously be considered in infertility, related to sperm count and motility issues.
Withania somnifera Benefits:
- Withania inhibited lipid peroxidation, improved sperm count and motility. That treatment of infertile men recovered the seminal plasma levels of antioxidant enzymes and vitmains A, C, E and corrected fructose. Treatment also significantly increased serum testosterone and lutenising hormone.
- Stress is a causative factor for male infertility! Withania was given to infertile men who where normozoospermic, in powder form at 5gms per day for 3 months, various stress parameters where measured before and after treatment, which showed improvements in the level of antioxidants, improvements in overall semen quality in a significant number of males. Treatment resulted in pregnancy in the partners of 14% of patients.
- Withania improves semen quality by reducing oxidative stress and cell death and improving essential metal ion concentrations.
- And yet another study performed on forty-six male patients with oligospermia where given 675mg in three doses for 3 months, showed a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume, 57% increase in sperm motility. Other improvements where seen in hormone levels too.
Other herbs, nutritionals, lifestyle factors to consider in terms of sperm optimization, may include tribulus, damiana, panax ginseng, pomegrante, folate, coq10, zinc, selenium, alcohol intake and obesity. When it comes to infertility natural medicines win the prize, from improving detoxification, stress management techniques, stress support herbs, to rectifying methylation issues, hormonal issues, digestive disturbances, nutritional deficiencies, addressing toxic load, assessing sleep issues – are all important, not just to conceive but to be able to better support pregnancy and manage parenthood!