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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 4076430, 17 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4076430
Review Article

Effects of Withania somnifera on Reproductive System: A Systematic Review of the Available Evidence

1Department of Iranian Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2Department of Urology, Emam Reza Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
4Road Traffic Injury Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
5Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
6Department of Iranian Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
7Department of Urology, Sina Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran

Correspondence should be addressed to Afshar Zomorrodi

Received 23 September 2017; Accepted 7 December 2017; Published 24 January 2018

Academic Editor: Leon Spicer

Copyright © 2018 Ramin Nasimi Doost Azgomi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Withania somnifera (WS) also known as ashwagandha is a well-known medicinal plant used in traditional medicine in many countries for infertility treatment. The present study was aimed at systemically reviewing therapeutic effects of WS on the reproductive system. Methods. This systematic review study was designed in 2016. Required data were obtained from PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, and manual search of articles, grey literature, reference checking, and expert contact. Results. WS was found to improve reproductive system function by many ways. WS extract decreased infertility among male subjects, due to the enhancement in semen quality which is proposed due to the enhanced enzymatic activity in seminal plasma and decreasing oxidative stress. Also, WS extract improved luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone balance leading to folliculogenesis and increased gonadal weight, although some animal studies had concluded that WS had reversible spermicidal and infertilizing effects in male subjects. Conclusion. WS was found to enhance spermatogenesis and sperm related indices in male and sexual behaviors in female. But, according to some available evidences for spermicidal features, further studies should focus on the extract preparation method and also dosage used in their study protocols.