Clinical study suggests using Korean red ginseng to improve semen quality in males with fertility problems
11/21/2018 // Edsel Cook // Views

Korean red ginseng has traditionally been consumed to improve the healthy functions of the body. A study offered evidence that it could enhance the production of sperm, making it a potential remedy for men with varicocele-related infertility problems.

Varicocele is a condition where the veins inside the scrotum become larger than usual. Similar to a varicose vein in the leg, it can cut off the supply of blood to the testicles.

Deprived of blood, the testicles produce lower quality sperm and reduced fertility. Indeed, varicocele is considered to be a common cause of male infertility.

The most common way of treating varicocele is through surgery. Varicocelectomy removes the swollen veins, thereby restoring the proper flow of blood to the testicles.

Varicocele is not the only cause of male infertility. Nor is surgery the only way to amend it.

The therapeutic power of Korean red ginseng is well-documented. Among its many beneficial effects include increasing spermatogenesis, the process of producing sperm.

This effect is attributed to the antioxidant and age-fighting activities of Korean red ginseng. It may also be connected to the way it affects the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis of glands. (Related: Natural remedies: Males with fertility problems may find help in the walnut leaf.)

Improving male fertility with Korean red ginseng supplementation

In a study supported by the Pusan National University (PNU), researchers evaluated Korean red ginseng as a possible means of treating male infertility. They found 80 male patients who had been diagnosed with infertility for at least 12 months.

Ultrasonography of the scrotum confirmed the presence of varicocele in the scrotum of the patients. The condition of each participant was given a score based on the severity of the condition.

At the start of the experiment, each participant was physically examined to establish a baseline. They were randomly divided into four groups. The first group served as a control; the members would not undergo varicocelectomy and they were only administered a placebo.

The second group was slated for varicocelectomy with the help of surgical microscopes. They were also given placebos.

The third and fourth group both received 1,500 milligrams of Korean red ginseng supplement each day. Of these two supplemented group, only the fourth one would go under the knife.

All participants were subjected to one of four randomly-allocated treatment arms. During this time, semen samples were collected for analysis of the quality and quantity of the sperm.

Their hormone levels were analyzed during the first screen visit. The concentration of these sex-related chemicals was analyzed once more after the surgical operation and during supplementation.

A safe and effective way to raise the quality and quantity of sperm in infertile men

The PNU researchers reported that the varicocelectomy-only group, the varicocelectomy-and-Korean red ginseng-treated group, and the Korean red ginseng-only group all displayed improvements in sperm parameters. The number, motility, shape, and viability of their sperm all went up.

In all four groups, the levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone did not greatly vary. This indicated that Korean red ginseng exerted the same effects on all three hormones.

There were only a few adverse incidents that took place during the experiment. These reactions were not attributed to either the varicocelectomy or the Korean red ginseng supplementation. Given these results, the ginseng was safe for consumption.

The researchers were unable to find out the means by which the herbal remedy was able to increase sperm quality and quantity. They did conclude that Korean red ginseng could be considered a potential natural treatment for male infertility.

Find out more about the health benefits of taking Korean red ginseng supplements at

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