The enhancing effects of alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa seed on fertility potential, plasma gonadotropins and testosterone in male rats

Iran J Reprod Med. 2012 Jul;10(4):355-62.


Background: The task force on plants for fertility regulation in men continued with its program to identify novel prototypes in plants alleged to have fertility regulating properties. Nigella Sativa seeds are frequently used in folk medicine in the Middle East and some Asian countries for the promotion of good health and treatment of many ailments.

Objective: To evaluated the role of alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa on fertility potential, Pituitary-testicular axis hormones and Testosterone in male rats.

Materials and methods: 24 male rats were randomly divided into 3 groups; control, group A and group B, each group comprising of 8 rats. Animals in control group received 1 ml of normal saline and treatment groups (A and B) received (gavage) graded doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight of alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa seeds on a daily basis for 60 days. At the end of treatment period, fertility parameters such as body and reproductive organs weight, sperm motility, viability and count, epididymal sperm reserve (ESR), daily sperm production (DSP), blood testosterone concentration, Gonadotropins levels and fertility index were measured.

Results: There was a significant difference in testes and epididymidis weight, sperm count, ESR, DSP, blood testosterone concentration, LH and fertility index in both the lower dose group and the higher group as compared to the control group.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa seed especially in higher doses could increase fertility potential, LH and testosterone concentration in male rats.

Keywords: Fertility; Male rat; Nigella sativa.