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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 571420, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/571420
Research Article

Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study

1Mahalaxmi Clinic, Nanaddham, Sulochana Shetty Marg, Sion (E), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400022, India
2Department of Pharmacology, B.V.D.U. Dental College & Hospital, Sector-7, C.B.D., Belpada, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400614, India
3Trupti Hospital & Santati Fertility Center, Thane, Maharashtra 400607, India
4Arya Clinic, Thane, Maharashtra 400601, India
5Arogyadham, Manpada, Thane, Maharashtra 400607, India

Received 26 August 2013; Revised 28 October 2013; Accepted 1 November 2013

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2013 Vijay R. Ambiye 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

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been described in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac that can be used to treat male sexual dysfunction and infertility. This pilot study was conducted to evaluate the spermatogenic activity of Ashwagandha root extract in oligospermic patients. Forty-six male patients with oligospermia (sperm count < 20 million/mL semen) were enrolled and randomized either to treatment ( ) with a full-spectrum root extract of Ashwagandha (675 mg/d in three doses for 90 days) or to placebo ( ) in the same protocol. Semen parameters and serum hormone levels were estimated at the end of 90-day treatment. There was a 167% increase in sperm count (9.59 ± 4.37 × 106/mL to 25.61 ± 8.6 × 106/mL; ), 53% increase in semen volume (1.74 ± 0.58 mL to 2.76 ± 0.60 mL; ), and 57% increase in sperm motility (18.62 ± 6.11% to 29.19 ± 6.31%; ) on day 90 from baseline. The improvement in these parameters was minimal in the placebo-treated group. Furthermore, a significantly greater improvement and regulation were observed in serum hormone levels with the Ashwagandha treatment as compared to the placebo. The present study adds to the evidence on the therapeutic value of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), as attributed in Ayurveda for the treatment of oligospermia leading to infertility.