This article discusses the fertility benefits of ginger. For women, ginger can improve ovarian function. And for men, ginger can increase testosterone.
Ginger and Fertility
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is beneficial for women struggling with fertility issues. Inflammation can negatively impact the female reproductive system because it reduces blood circulation, which is necessary for ovulation, menstruation, and fertilization. Ginger can calm inflammation and stimulate blood circulation. It can also strengthen immunity, helping the body stave off infections that could potentially undermine a woman’s reproductive health. Infections like pelvic inflammatory disease can cause severe damage to a woman’s reproductive organs and even result in infertility.
Based on existing evidence, in addition to reducing inflammation and increasing immunity, ginger has the potential to enhance fertility in women. A study by Yılmaz et al.(2018) found that ginger may have a positive impact on ovarian folliculogenesis—the maturation of the ovarian follicles. And, according to that same study, it may also have a positive impact on implantation, which occurs when an embryo attaches to the uterine wall. Implantation is needed so that the embryo can obtain the oxygen and nutrients it needs for development.
Mares and Wisam(2012) study found that ginger improves male fertility. It also found that ginger increased sperm motility in men with known fertility issues. This is not surprising since reducing oxidative stress is linked with male fertility.
Khaki et al.( 2014) rats study found that sperm numbers, percentages of sperm viability and motility, and total serum testosterone increased in ginger and cinnamon and combined ginger and cinnamon-treated diabetic rats compared with control groups.
They concluded that the combined ginger and cinnamon have significant beneficial effects on sperm viability, motility, and serum total testosterone, LH, FSH, and serum anti-oxidant levels and could be effective for maintaining healthy sperm parameters and male reproductive function in diabetics.
Another in humans by Hosseini et al.(2016) has demonstrated that ginger in a controlled study of efficacy was effective in decreasing sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in infertile men.
Merati and Farshad(2020) study in Ram found that the application of ginger and echinacea extract resulted in an improvement in the quality and fertility of frozen-thawed spermatozoa.
A systematic study by Gholami-Ahangaran et al.(2021) found that the use of ginger significantly improves the biological parameters of sperm (number, total motility, survival rate, and normal morphology) and also increases all specialized fertility indicators of sperm.
Another double-blind controlled trial by Afshar et al.(2022) found that women who took 250mg of ginger four times per day had significantly higher scores on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) than before the intervention. Though the study was quite small it makes a great indication that ginger has the potential to help women sexually.
A more recent study by Abdelfattah et al.(2023) explores the insight into the possible improving effect of ginger roots on the reproductive aspects of Japanese male quails. The study found that the dietary inclusion of ginger at a dose of 15 g caused more improvement in ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, motility, viability, and sperm egg penetration.
Another human study by Halpern et al.(2023) concluded that the use of beetroot, watermelon, and ginger juice may be considered a promising strategy for improving clinical outcomes in assisted reproductive technology (ART), without any side effects.
Ginger vs. Infertility Drugs: Which Works Better for Men?
While there are many fertility drugs available to men who struggle with sperm issues, some studies have suggested that ginger may be just as effective – if not more so. One rat study by Atashpour et al.(2017) found that ginger and clomiphene citrate, a common infertility drug, were similarly effective at improving ginger extract at higher doses and had better effects in improving female hormones. They concluded that due to the long-term administration of clomiphene citrate and the side effects, the use of ginger as an herbal medicine without any side effects at high doses can be an effective and good alternative in improving Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Ginger’s potential advantage over infertility drugs may be its natural and safe profile. Unlike drugs, ginger does not come with the risk of side effects and can be easily incorporated into a man’s daily diet.
Additionally, ginger has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may further benefit male fertility. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been linked to decreased sperm quality and quantity, and ginger’s ability to combat these issues may contribute to its effectiveness as a fertility aid.
The Risks and Side Effects of Ginger on Sperm Production
Ginger is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of when using ginger for male fertility.
Shalaby and Hamowieh(2010) explore the safety and efficacy of Zingiber officinale roots on the fertility of male diabetic rats. They concluded that extracts of ZO have high safety in mice and intake of ZO roots as a drink may be useful for diabetic patients who suffer from sexual impotency.
For instance, one study by ElMazoudy and Attia (2018) evaluate the impact of ginger extract on the oestrous cycle and implantation in female mice. They found that a high dose of 2000 mg significantly reduced the number of live fetuses and increased fetal death and resorption.
Another observational study by Laekeman et al.(2021) involved 51 pregnant women who were included in this observational study and freely used ginger tablets with a maximum of 2 tablets of 50 mg a day in case of gastrointestinal discomfort. They found no serious complications at birth. However, in the newborn, 4 cases of dysplasia of the hip were seen, and 2 minor malformations.
One study published in the International Journal of Andrology found that high doses of ginger extract may harm sperm production and quality. Additionally, ginger may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and blood pressure medications.
If you’re considering using ginger to improve your sperm health, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional first. They can help you determine the appropriate dose and monitor for any potential side effects.
Another potential risk of using ginger for male fertility is its effect on testosterone levels. While some studies have shown that ginger may increase testosterone levels, others have found no significant effect. It’s important to note that testosterone plays a crucial role in sperm production, so any changes in testosterone levels could impact fertility.
Furthermore, ginger may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as heartburn, bloating, and diarrhea in some individuals. These side effects can be particularly problematic for those with pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions.
The Best Ways to Consume Ginger
For women and men dealing with fertility issues, there are some effective ways to consume ginger to maximize its health benefits. Powdered or dried ginger can be combined with hot water to form a fragrant tea. Chopped, diced, or sliced ginger root can be added to a variety of foods such as soups and stews. Various forms of ginger can also be used when baking. Ground ginger can be used to make desserts like gingerbread. Chopped ginger can be used to make entrees like roasted chicken.
If a person does not particularly like the taste of ginger in food, he or she can consume it by taking ginger supplements. These supplements can be found in health stores. Ultimately, there are many ways women and men can take advantage of the fertility benefits of ginger.
Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.
Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a professor of Naturopathic Healthcare. E-mail: [email protected]. Visit-profnyarkotey.com