There are a handful of herbs that have been shown to offer excellent support for the male reproductive system. The five herbs I will highlight, when used in combination, may help to restore and strengthen male reproductive health once again. These herbs may be very supportive for men who are suffering from low sperm count, poor sperm motility, poor sperm morphology, low libido, stress and/or physical sexual dysfunction.
Remember herbs are not to be used as a replacement for important diet and lifestyle changes. If diet and lifestyle changes are not in place first, the body will not be able to respond and utilize the herbs as well.
Before beginning any herbal program, it is important to make these important changes first:
- Learn to eat a nutrient-dense Natural Fertility Diet.
- Exercise regularly, at least 5 times a week, for 30 minutes a day.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, excess sugars, and cigarettes.
- Consider a Male Fertility Cleansing program.
- Have a stress management plan.
Herbs take time to be effective. Remember to be patient and consistent when taking herbs for health. Never exceed the suggested dosage on the product label.
Herbs for Male Reproductive System Support
American Ginseng Rt. (Panax quinquefolius)
This hearty root is considered to be one of the best male sexual tonics. Clinical observation has shown American ginseng to support healthy libido, erectile dysfunction and enhance male sexual performance.
Compared to Asian ginseng, American ginseng is not overstimulating to the nervous system, but provides gentle, deep, nourishing support to the nervous system. American ginseng has been found to provide excellent immune system support and strengthens the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis, according to Ethnobotonist and Registered Herbalist David Winston in Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. The HPA axis is vital to proper hormonal balance, stress management, and immune system strength.
Benefits of American ginseng:
- Supports sex drive and sexual performance through increased stamina.
- Supportive of healthy stress response, aiding in hormonal balance.
- Supportive for proper immune system function.
- Supports proper digestion for improved absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food, important for overall fertility health.
It has been said that American ginseng helps everything in an herbal blend to work better.
Tribulus fruit (Tribulus terrestris)
TCM and Ayurvedic practitioners have found Tribulus to be very effective in improving sperm count, motility, and morphology when combined with dietary and exercise changes.
The main part of Tribulus that aids in fertility for men is a constituent called protodioscin. This constituent improves DHEA levels in the male body. In men with ED, it has been found they have low levels of DHEA. Some studies have shown that protodioscin, extracted from Tribulus, increases natural DHEA levels needed for proper erection. Protodioscin is also the main constituent that is responsible for Tribulus’ aphrodisiac qualities. Increase in sexual desire when using this plant has been reported by both men and women.
A Bulgarian study performed in 1998, published at Harvard.edu, showed a 61% increase in conception for couples with antisperm antibodies (immune system attacks sperm cell), who were taking Tribulus. The average time it took couples to conceive after treatment was 5 months.
Tribulus is one of the best male reproductive system supporting herbs.
Benefits of Tribulus:
- Shown to increase in sex hormone production in both men.
- Supports LH and testosterone production in men.
- May help to increase in sperm count, motility, and health.
- Decreases the effects of antisperm antibodies.
- May improve DHEA levels to treat erectile dysfunction.
Maca Root (Lepidium meyenii)
One of maca’s main actions is to stimulate and nourish the hypothalamus which regulates the pituitary gland, acting as a tonic for the hormone system. When the pituitary gland functions optimally, the entire endocrine system becomes balanced, because the pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the other three glands.
In a small, clinical, human 2001 study in the Asian Journal of Andrology, 9 men who were given gelatinized maca for 4 months at 1,500 – 3,000 mg a day, and the men who took it experienced an increase in libido, sperm count, motility of sperm, increased DHEA levels, decreased anxiety and stress, lowered blood pressure, balanced iron levels, and an increase in adrenal androgens.
Benefits of maca:
- Supports hormonal balance
- Increases energy, stamina, and mental clarity
- Supports the thyroid
- Supports normal sexual function
Saw Palmetto berry (Serenoa repens)
Saw Palmetto is nourishing to the entire endocrine system, which may help improve overall reproductive function in men. Men with high stress, poor immune function, poor lifestyle, and dietary habits have shown to respond well to this herb. This plant is classified as an adaptogen and is antiandrogenic, anti-inflammatory, a demulcent, a urinary antiseptic, and an immune amphoteric. Saw Palmetto is also a reproductive amphoteric. What does that mean though? It simply means it normalizes reproductive function.
Saw Palmetto is deeply nourishing to the body when taken for many months consistently. Consistent use of this herb has been shown to bring about the greatest long-term health benefits.
Benefits of Saw Palmetto:
- May help increase low sperm count
- Supports stress and immune system response to treat chronic fatigue
- May improve libido
- Deeply nourishing to the body for long-term support
Yohimbe Bark (Pausinystalia yohimbe)
Yohimbe has been found to increase circulation to the erectile tissues, aiding in physiological and psychogenic (mental) impotence. Impotence, the inability to sustain erection, is the most common sexual disorder among men. Yohimbine is the active component found in yohimbe bark. Yohimbine has been shown to dilate the blood vessels and lower blood pressure, which enlarges the vessels in the sexual organs and increases reflex excitability in the lower spinal cord. In many cases, yohimbe has shown to make erections firmer. It is thought to help sustain an erection by causing compression and preventing blood to flow back out of the penis while sexually aroused.
Benefits of Yohimbe:
- Supports healthy circulation to the male reproductive organs
- Shown to help sustain erection
- May help to make erection firmer
Caution: Yohimbe should not be use in those people with low blood pressure or who are on blood pressure medications. Never exceed the dosage of this herb. Not to be taken at the same time you eat cheese, liver or red wine, all of which contain the amino acid tyramine.
- Barton-Schuster, D., CH, Doula. (n.d.). American Ginseng: Male Fertility Tonic. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/american-ginseng-male-fertility-tonic.html
- Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
- Barton-Schuster, D., CH, Doula. (n.d.). Tribulus Terrestris: Fertility Herb for Both Men and Women…. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/tribulus-fertility.html
- Stanislavov, R., & Nikolova, V. (2000). Tribulus terrestris and human male fertility: I. Immunological Aspects. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie Bulgare des Sciences, 53(10), 107. Retrieved from: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2000crabs..53j.107s/J000107.000.html
- Rodriguez, H., C.H., CMT. (n.d.). Maca, Wonder Herb For Fertility…. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/maca
- Gonzales, G. F., Cordova, A., Gonzales, C., Chung, A., Vega, K., & Villena, A. (2001). Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. Asian Journal of Andrology, 3(4), 301-303. Retrieved from: http://www.asiaandro.com/archive/1008-682X/3/301.htm
- Barton-Schuster, D., CH, Doula. (n.d.). Saw Palmetto for Improved Male & Female Fertility. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/saw-palmetto-fertility.html
- Tenney, D. (1997). Yohimbe: (Pausinystalia johimbe). Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing.