The acute toxicity of methanolic and watery extracts of Zingiber officinale (ZO) roots in mice and their effects on fertility of male diabetic rats were carried out. The fertility experiment was done on six groups of male rats one of them was kept as normal control, while the others were rendered diabetic by subcutaneous injection of alloxan (120 mg kg(-1)). One group was left as diabetic control, while the others were given orally either methanolic (100 and 200 mg kg(-1)) or watery extract (150 and 300 mg kg(-1)) for 65 consecutive days. The results showed that no mortalities occur when both extracts were given orally to mice in doses up to 5 g kg(-1) b.wt. Both extracts increased fertility index, sexual organs weight, serum testosterone level and sperm motility and count. Histopathological examination of the testes of diabetic rats showed mild to moderate degenerative changes of spermatogenic cells, diffuse edema and incomplete arrest of spermatogenesis. Treatment with ZO extracts caused alleviation of the testicular lesions that appeared in non-treated diabetic rats. Conclusively, 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.
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