Exotic plant aids fertility

BERLIN: Men trying to increase their fertility may soon receive help from an unusual source a plant grown for centuries in East Africa and the Middle East.

The leaves of the khat plant, which is also known as qat, are chewed for the feeling of euphoria they produce. But scientists at King's College London have discovered that they also contain chemicals that help sperm mature and fertilise an egg.

"We envisage the development of products that could be taken by individuals, either couples who might be having trouble conceiving or even those who have just decided to try to conceive, and who have no obvious problems," Professor Lynn Fraser told a fertility conference in Berlin yesterday.


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