Could Ancient Herbal Remedy Boost Fertility? Alfalfa Seeds Show Promise

Seeking affordable alternatives to costly IVF, Iranian researchers revive an ancient herbal fertility remedy to give undiagnosed couples new hope for beating the odds

Of couples seeking treatment for infertility, nearly 20% battle “unexplained infertility” – no identified mechanical, hormonal or genetic explanation despite extensive medical workups.1 Seeking accessible alternatives to costly IVF or lackluster lifestyle recommendations, Iranian researchers decided to test an ancient herbal fertility remedy used for centuries in Persian folk medicine – humble alfalfa seeds.

In a 2023 double-blind trial, adding alfalfa seed powder to standard vitamin E therapy significantly improved sperm count, shape, and movement compared to vitamin E alone in men with undiagnosed infertility.2

Putting Alfalfa Seeds to the Test

Previous research demonstrates certain bioactive compounds abundant in alfalfa called saponins and L-canavanine positively impact sperm health and production.3 Hoping to extend these effects to infertility treatment, researchers recruited 60 couples struggling to conceive without an identified medical cause.

For 12 weeks, half of the men added 6 grams daily of alfalfa seed powder to their regimes of 100 IU vitamin E, while controls only took the standard vitamin. By study’s end, the alfalfa group experienced substantial boosts in sperm count (+33%), motility (+9%) and morphology (+30%) over baseline.2 The placebo group in contrast saw minimal changes, establishing alfalfa as the clear agent of fertility benefit.2 Four pregnancies also occurred in partners of alfalfa seed consumers over this brief study period compared to none in the control group.2

Safety Profile and Accessibility

Aside from two early withdrawals due to minor bloating and allergy symptoms, alfalfa seed powder proved safe and well-tolerated by the vast majority of patients in the trial.2 This safety profile – combined with alfalfa’s affordability, availability, and minimal side effect risk compared to other herbal aphrodisiacs like Panax ginseng – renders it an attractive natural therapy for boosting pregnancy odds when no mechanical fertility barriers exist.

An Ancient Solution for Modern Woes?

“While small, our study results hold promise for conditions with few reliable treatments like unexplained infertility,” says lead author Dr. Azita Sadough Shahmirzadi. “Given alfalfa’s centuries of traditional use, benign safety data even in pregnancy, and minimal contraindications, fertility specialists should strongly consider adding alfalfa seed powder as an accessible first step before progressing patients to invasive treatments.”

Of course, larger clinical trials over longer periods can better clarify alfalfa’s utility.. But for now, adding just a sprinkling of this sprouted seed powder looks to offer couples struggling with fertility a safe, natural way to potentially tip the scales toward new life.

To learn more about natural fertility boosting approaches, visit our database on male infertility here, and female infertility here.


  1. Smith ADAC, Tilling K, Nelson SM, Lawlor DA. Live-birth rate associated with couple infertility treatment relative to live-birth rate without treatment. JAMA. 2021 Jun 15;325(23):2367-2376.
  2. Shahmirzadi AS, Shafi H, Shirafkan H, Memariani Z, Gorji N, Moeini R. Effect of Medicago sativa seed powder (Plus vitamin E vs. vitamin E alone) on semen analysis in men with idiopathic infertility: A double blind randomized clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2024 Mar 25:322:117606.
  3. Bahmanpour S, Talaei T, Vojdani Z, Panjehshahin MR, Poostpasand LA, Zareei S, Ghaeminia M. Effect of Phoenix dactylifera pollen on sperm parameters and reproductive system of adult male rats. Iran J Med Sci. 2006 Apr;31(4):208-12.

Important Notice: This article was originally published at by GreenMedInfo Research Group where all credits are due.  Fact checked by Nick Blackmer.


The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah™. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah™ are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah™ in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah™ or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.

Dr. Farrah™ is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah™ has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.

Dr. Farrah™ promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.

Dr. Farrah™ does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah™ does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.

To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind. Dr. Farrah™ hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.