Mens Health and Hormones finding the balance

Did you know that hormone balance can affect prostate health, energy levels and even libido? So letís review how Chinese herbal medicines can assist in maintaining healthy regulation of male hormones and support male reproductive health.

Healthy hormone balance is essential to menís health throughout adult life, and supports healthy prostate and reproductive function as well as optimal libido, energy levels, mood, mental performance, body composition and physical performance.

Testosterone is the primary male hormone that maintains male sex organs, builds muscle mass and increases bone density. It is also crucial for mental sharpness, concentration, and memory. Testosterone promotes drive, libido, sexual potency, energy levels and menís physical fitness.

Letís look at how Chinese herbal medicine can support healthy hormone balance and menís overall general well being.

1. Reproductive health is largely dependent on hormone balance. Problems with impotence, ejaculatory dysfunction, low sperm count and poor sperm motility all impact on male reproductive health. After reaching sexual peak at around 24 years of age, men begin losing potency at 2 per cent each year. Sperm quality and count are affected by many factors including heat, stress, lifestyle and diet.

2. Andropause or ADAM (androgen deficiency in ageing males) is part of the normal ageing process and refers to the steady decline in testosterone production in males from their late 40s or early 50s onwards. Andropause is associated with decreased virility, libido, sexual performance, muscular strength, physical performance and energy levels.

3. Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a highly prevalent condition with around 50 per cent of men experiencing symptoms by the age of 50. The incidence of BPH increases to 90 per cent by the age of 85. As men age, testosterone is converted to the potent form dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at an increased rate, and this affects prostate health. BPH can cause urinary frequency, dribbling and incomplete bladder emptying. Abnormal prostate enlargement can be a sign of cancer so it is important to seek medical diagnosis if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

4. Male pattern baldness is also influenced by excess DHT in ageing men. This form of hair loss has a genetic basis and is by far the most common type of hair loss in men.

As well as supporting healthy hormone balance, reproductive function and assisting in the management of medically diagnosed BPH, specific Chinese herbs can also promote cardiovascular health and healthy immune system function.

When it comes to Menís Health, look for the following herbs:

    Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) is one of the best known herbs for promoting male hormone balance. Clinical evidence supports the use of standardised extracts of Saw palmetto for the management of medically diagnosed BPH and its associated urinary symptoms. Also traditionally recognised for helping male pattern baldness.
    Curcuma zedoaria
    (White Turmeric) helps maintain normal prostate health.

    Epimedium sagittatum
    (Horny Goat Weed) and Morinda officinalis (Ba ji tian) are traditionally used as aphrodisiacs to boost libido.

    Cuscuta hygrophilae
    (Tu si zi) traditionally used to support energy levels.

    Ligustrum lucidum
    (Nu zhen zi) traditionally used to help relieve joint pain.

    Scrophularia ningpoensis
    (Black Figwort) is a principal Chinese herb for supporting prostate health, and traditionally used to help relieve symptoms of andropause such as, insomnia, anxiety and irritability.

    Cullen corylifolium
    (Psoralea) can help improve reproductive function by supporting healthy sperm production.

Also consider the benefits of Zinc, a key nutrient for supporting menís health. Zinc is vital for healthy sex hormone production, sperm function and motility, normal prostate health and healthy immune function.

Of several Menís Health products available in health food stores, Fusion Health Menís Balance is a unique formulation based on Chinese Herbal medicine and which contains all of the above mentioned herbs and nutrients.

Written by Peita Handel
Herbalist, yoga teacher and health writer, Peita writes to inspire and inform, and practices natural health in the Blue Mountains, NSW

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