‘Guy-necology’ Herbal Care for Men and BoysMay 28, 2021 06:35AM ● By Kathleen Gould and Madalyn Johnson
Everywhere you look in the herbal world, you will find lots of great information on herbs for women, children, elders, and even animals, but what about for men? What herbs and herbal protocols can men use—not only to get healthy, but more importantly, to nourish, strengthen and support the male physiology so they are less likely to get ill?
Herbalists may see 10 to 20 women to one man in herbal consultations, and in herbal classes there is often only one man for every 10 to 15 women. As women have traditionally been the nurturers and caregivers, this may account for these numbers.
Having said that, herbalists are seeing more and more men over the past few years who are looking for good information on using herbs for illness, but more importantly, to help maintain radiant health and vitality.
There are some great books written by reputable male herbalists that men can add to their herbal library, including the following: The Male Herbal, by James Green; Vital Man, by Stephen Harrod Buhner; and The Natural Testosterone Plan, also by Buhner.
According to these herbalists, many of the herbs used for women are excellent for the male body as well. According to Green, simple herbs like raspberry leaf, yarrow, mugwort, damiana, wild yam and St. John’s wort are just as appropriate for men as they are for women.
Many men come to herbalists with questions regarding phytoandrogenic herbs (to help boost their testosterone). Buhner provides great information and protocols on this subject in his book The Natural Testosterone Plan. Examples of herbs that can help include pine pollen, nettle root, tribulus, eleuthero and panax ginseng.
Environmental pollutants, poor diet and vaccinations, among other factors, have been affecting men with issues like erectile dysfunction and lack of libido, and of course, cause considerable concern for them. Again, Buhner shares great protocols using herbs like muira puama, ginkgo and tribulus.
Let’s take a look at just one of these amazing herbs: muira puama, or more commonly referred to as “potency wood.” According to Buhner, this beautiful bark “has a history of use as an aphrodisiac and nerve stimulant in South American medicine.” He tells us that “muira puama’s primary benefits in erectile dysfunction are that it strongly relaxes and calms the body (which reduces stress effects on sexual arousal while promoting blood flow to the penis).”
And while we are talking about sexual arousal, let’s mention maca. This Peruvian root has been used as a performance enhancer for a very long time. It also supports a healthy libido and may improve energy and stamina. Maca is a good source of carbohydrates, contains a good amount of fiber, and is low in fat. It is also high in many essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, iron, potassium and vitamin B6. It has also been used to help gain muscle, increase strength and improve exercise performance.
Have you heard about pumpkin seeds and their ability to increase the health of the prostate? They are loaded with the mineral zinc, which is needed to boost testosterone, build muscle and increase sperm count. So, you can see why this easily accessible and very affordable little seed is so good for men to consume. Just a ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds a day, used regularly, will provide you with protein, healthy fats, fiber, zinc, selenium, magnesium and other necessary nutrients.
So, how can we increase our intake of these vital “manly” herbs? One popular way is to make a bite-size ball of nutrients/energy and enjoy a few a day. Here is a quick, easy recipe. Feel free to add whatever you like, customizing it for your taste. And guess what? There is no cooking necessary!
Zoom Balls (inspired by American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar)
¾ cup tahini
½ cup local raw honey
1 cup pumpkin seeds
Pick your favorite four or five of the following: astragalus, eleuthero, ashwagandha, hawthorn, licorice, ginger, guarana, chia seeds, turmeric, maca and beet root. Add any of these powders that you like, probably just about two heaping tablespoons.
Put all the ingredients into your mixer and blend slowly until well combined—sticky but firm. Add more tahini or herbs to get the desired consistency.
Roll this “dough” into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in maca powder, vitamin C powder, coconut or honey granules. Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Eat two to three a day.
With consistent use, these herbs will get men “back in the game” of life and feeling good.
Kathleen Gould, registered herbalist, and Madalyn Johnson are proprietors of SW Herb Shop and Gathering Place. Gould has been an herbalist for 30-plus years and has extensive experience in herbal medicine. For more information, call 480-694-9931, or visit SWHerb.com or Store.SWHerb.com.