By: Jared Tropple, M.H.
Hormones affect pretty much all the vital functions of t he body to some degree. Hormones help keep us physically and emotionally healthy. Hormonal imbalance can cause a wide range of symptoms that can greatly affect our health.
When discussing hormone imbalance, men are often forgotten about. If there is mention of hormones for men, it most often focuses only on their sex drive. This observation is further validated when browsing the selection of men’s hormone supplements available. Supplements that focus mainly on stimulating men’s sex drive often leave out many other important aspects of the male hormone system. Of course the major hormone associated with men is testosterone, but estrogen, along with several other hormones, also play important roles in men’s health. More testosterone isn’t always better. There is actually a delicate balance of testosterone and these other hormones that when increased or decreased, even slightly, can cause several unwanted symptoms.
So what are the symptoms of male hormone imbalance?
Many symptoms come on gradually, so often they go unnoticed. The symptoms include infertility, fatigue or lack of energy, decrease in muscle mass with increase in body fat , changes in cholesterol, reduced bone density, low libido, night sweats, mood swings or irritability, depression and anxiety, memory loss, and insomnia.
Do men have cycles like women do? The short answer is, yes.
Men’s testosterone levels vary, and may go up and down four or five times in an hour. There are daily cycles, with testosterone being higher in the morning and lower at night. There are seasonal cycles, with testosterone being higher in November and lower in April. Men have hormonal cycles during adolescence and between the ages of 40 and 55, men have what is called Andropause. There are hormonal changes in men that can be related to stress in their life. Men have a monthly hormonal cycle that is unique to each man. Men who track their moods are able to recognize how they are related to hormonal changes throughout the month.
Which herbs may help with male hormone imbalance?
This is by no means a comprehensive list, however it is important to mention the following herbs. Terrestris Tribulus is most commonly associated with testosterone production. Ginseng, Eleuthero, and Maca are widely used to balance male hormones. Saw Palmetto helps with prostate issues but also helps balance out estrogen and other hormones in the body. Sarsaparilla works by stimulating hormone production in the body. Licorice helps heal the adrenal glands, which are affected by stress. Drinking plenty of water and adding good oils to your diet or supplement regimen is also important. Finding time to exercise is also key to balanced hormone levels. Men’s hormones are more complex than just their sexual drive. Often, hormonal imbalances go unnoticed due to lack of social awareness of men’s hormonal issues. By recognizing possible symptoms, and by taking into account a fuller spectrum of men’s hormones, true balance and optimum health can be restored.
About the Author:
Jared Tropple has been a Master Herbalist for more than 8 years. He managed the Christopher’s Herb Shop, worked and taught at Dr. Christopher’s School of Natural Healing and created Ginger’s Garden Café. During this time he has been able to help countless people with their health. He is back working at Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop making herbal preparations and consulting as needed.
© 2014. Used by permission of Herbal Legacy. This article can be found at www.herballegacy.com