10 Best Natural Remedies for Men’s Health
Men can take advantage of natural treatments like everyone else
Men have specific health needs that women or children do not have, and this article tries to address those needs by presenting some of the best foods, herbs or natural substances that may help men deal with health problems such as prostate cancer, low testosterone levels or erectile dysfunction.
Please bear in mind this list is in no particular order and the author has no interest in trying to promote any particular product or series of products.
Please keep reading!
1. Pomegranate Juice
The juice of the pomegranate has been used in the traditional Ayurveda medicine of India for thousands of years. This tangy, crimson juice has been used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery and has proven particularly useful in the elimination of intestinal parasites; it has also been used as a contraceptive and as an abortifacient. The people of ancient Greece and Egypt also had many medicinal uses for the juice and fruit of the pomegranate. But perhaps its greatest claim to fame is that it can cure illnesses of the urinary tract. As for the health problems of men, pomegranate juice may be helpful in the treatment of prostate cancer, male infertility and erectile dysfunction, though the efficacy of these uses may not have a scientific basis.
An article in Men’s Health magazine called zinc the “ultimate sex mineral,” since it influences male fertility in many ways. Zinc is needed for sperm volume and motility and for maintaining a healthy testosterone level. So if a man wants to start a family, taking zinc supplements could be beneficial. Also, since the prostate gland needs zinc to operate effectively, having plenty of zinc in one’s diet could help prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and even prostate cancer. (Unfortunately, taking too much zinc may increase the risk of getting prostate cancer!) Zinc can also help fight acne and colds; it can also help treat burns and other skin wounds. Moreover, since zinc intake tends to keep one’s hair healthy, getting plenty of it could prevent baldness. By the way, foods rich in zinc are red meat, beans and nuts.
3. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as the chemical element selenium, which can keep pollutants from damaging sperm cells and also promote good prostate health. In fact, some doctors, scientists and other experts think taking 200 mcg of selenium per day can reduce the incidence of prostate cancer by 50 per cent. Brazil nuts are also rich in vitamin E, which can help prevent damage to sperm cells by free-radicals resent in many pollutants. The selenium in Brazil nuts could also reduce the level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Please keep in mind that eating only one or two Brazil nuts per day can provide an adequate amount of selenium for one’s daily intake, whereas eating more than two could cause an overdose!
4. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto or Serenoa repens is a palm bush that’s endemic to the southeastern United States. Often used by experts and/or enthusiasts of alternative medicine, saw palmetto is enriched with fatty acids and phytosterols, the latter of which could help lower LDL cholesterol, as well as treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate), which can, among other symptoms, reduce the flow of urine in men. To address this prevalent ailment, some researchers think saw palmetto may help shrink an enlarged prostate, while others assert that saw palmetto may have general, anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, saw palmetto may also be useful in the treatment of prostate cancer, though scientific proof for all of the aforementioned claims is lacking.
Blueberries are indigo-colored berries that grow wild throughout temperate areas of the world; they are also grown commercially in places such as the states of Georgia and California. Wild berries of one kind or another (as long as they aren’t poisonous, of course) tend to be healthful to humans. In fact, blueberries many contain more antioxidants than any other fruit! As for men’s health, blueberries, which are loaded with soluble fiber, may help lower cholesterol, which can clog arteries, thereby interrupting the flow of blood, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. So, instead of popping pills such as Viagra, some doctors recommend that men eat a bowl of blueberries three to four times per week.
6. St. John’s Wort
Men have mental needs as well, of course. Scientifically known as Hypericum perforatum, and commonly known as St. John’s Wort, this flowering plant has been used to treat depression for many years, particularly in countries such as the US and Germany. Scientific studies seem to indicate that S. John’s Wort is better than placebo for treating major depressive disorder. It may work because it seems able to block the re-uptake of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Unfortunately, because St. John’s Wort has medicinal properties, it can interfere with the usage of various prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines and beta-blockers. It may also prove useful in the treatment of alcoholism or ADHD.
Known as a cure-all in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years, garlic is so full of vitamins, minerals and protein that it must have healthful benefits for both women and men! Regarding men’s health issues, eaten as food or consumed as a supplement, garlic may reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and perhaps other forms of cancer as well. Garlic has also been considered a common aphrodisiac; it may also help treat impotence and low libido. Garlic may also reduce LDL levels and improve circulation. Of course, it’s hard to tell how many of these positive aspects are more hearsay than science. Nevertheless, few natural substances can be more healthful than garlic, so taking it on a regular basis couldn’t hurt, though if you consume too much, your breath and perspiration could begin to smell . . . garlicky.
Lycopene is a phytochemical found in tomatoes, as well as many other vegetables and fruits, particularly those with a red color; in fact, lycopene, completely nontoxic, can be used for food coloring. Lycopene is also a strong antioxidant and is therefore useful in repairing sun-damaged skin. As for men’s health, in recent years lycopene has been used to treat prostate trouble. Some studies seem to show that taking lycopene can help reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer or at least treating it effectively once a man is so afflicted, while other studies show inconclusive results. Nevertheless, since lycopene is stored in the prostate gland and testes, its connection to men’s health seems an obvious one. Lycopene may also be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease in men.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in plants, animals, fungi, some bacteria and archaea. As antioxidants tend to do, glutathione protects cells from damage by the free radicals found in peroxides, heavy metals and many chemicals found in pollutants and drugs. In fact, glutathione is often used to help detoxify the body. And, since the body tends to produce less glutathione as one ages, its shortage in the blood may be linked to the often poor health of the aged. Moreover, studies have shown that men with low levels of glutathione tend to have more prostate trouble. Since glutathione is not easy absorbed by the human body, some men have opted taking substances such as Immunocal, a product which contains glutathione precursors such as the amino acid cysteine, thereby helping one’s body produce more glutathione.
Ikawe is an herbal concoction designed to improve men’s sex drive and potency; in fact, it has been called an aphrodisiac, as well as an herbal equivalent to drugs such as Viagra or Cialis. It has also been called a cure to erectile dysfunction! Apparently Ikawe helps promote blood flow, particularly as it relates to the functioning of the penis and testes, two critical components in men’s sexual performance. Proponents of Ikawe insist that the product is 100 per cent safe and non-addictive. Opponents of Ikawe stress that it has some ingredients that are unknown and/or have never been subjected to scientific study. But this could probably be said of many herbal treatments.
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© 2015 Kelley Marks