World J Mens Health.  2020 Jul;38(3):377-384. 10.5534/wjmh.190125.

Ginseng for Improving Semen Quality Parameters: A Systematic Review

Affiliations
  • 1Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2College of Oriental Medicine, Joongbu University, Geumsan, Korea
  • 3Clinical Medicine Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
Ginseng has been used as a tonic to improve overall health, restore balance in the body, help the body to heal itself, reduce stress, boost energy, and enhance the immune system. The aim of this review was to assess current evidence that ginseng improves sperm quality.
Materials and Methods
We searched twelve databases (PubMed, EMBASE, AMED, the Cochrane Library, five Korean medical databases, and three Chinese medical databases), using a cut-off date of 1st December 2019. We included clinical studies in which healthy men or men with fertility issues were treated with ginseng. We used Cochrane’s risk of bias (ROB) tool to assess the ROB in the studies examined.
Results
From two-hundred and nineteen potentially eligible studies, just five relevant studies were selected (two randomized clinical trials [RCTs], one controlled clinical trial [CCT], and two observational studies). Of these studies, one RCT reported some positive results when using Korean red ginseng to improve sperm quality in infertile men. In addition, the other RCT reported that the effects of ginseng on sperm quality were equivalent to those found when valerian tablets are taken by healthy people. One CCT and two uncontrolled observational studies, however, did not demonstrate the clear effectiveness of ginseng in improving sperm quality in infertile men.
Conclusions
Currently, there are few trials investigating the efficacy of ginseng for improving sperm quality. The available studies demonstrate a high ROB. It can be suggested that overall, the evidence regarding ginseng improving sperm quality is limited.

Keyword

Ginseng; Infertility; Sperm; Spermatogenesis; Systematic review
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