Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Histomorphometry and Stereology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran


Background: Iranian borage, Echium amoenum, is believed to improve reproduction according to folk medicine. Although E. amoenum distillate known as “Aragh Gav-zaban” is widely consumed as a safe and natural remedy, its possible effects on fertility have not yet been scientifically examined. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of borage distillate (BD) on reproductive parameters of male mice.Methods: In this experimental study, 30 adult male Mus musculus mice (30-35 g) were equally divided into three groups. The control group received distilled water (DW) for five weeks and the other two groups, BD1/2 and BD1/4, received borage distillate of 1/2 dilution (150±2.5 ml/kg/day) and 1/4 dilution (75±1.25 ml/kg/day), respectively, ad libitum for three weeks and DW for 2 weeks. On the day 35, mice were sacrificed, sperm analysis was performed, and sera were collected to evaluate gonadotropins, testosterone, and toxicity parameters. The left testis was excised for stereological study and the right testis was used to evaluate androgen receptor (AR) gene expression. Results: The administration of BD1/2 significantly increased serum FSH (P=0.004), LH (P=0.025), testosterone (P=0.014), the percentage of motile (P=0.011); slow progressive (P=0.001), coiled tail (P<0.001) sperms, and the number of Leydig cells (P=0.008) compared to the control group. Treatment with BD1/4 significantly increased sperm count (P=0.044) and motile sperms percentage (P=0.040) compared to the control group too. The administration of BD revealed no significant effects on toxicity parameters and AR gene expression.Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that the consumption of borage distillate, as a safe herbal remedy, improves hormonal and sperm parameters in male mice.