The most common disease or disorders of the male reproductive system are; Prostate cancer, Testicular cancer, Enlarged prostate or BPH, Prostatitis, Erectile dysfunction, Male infertility, Testosterone deficiency, Undescended testicle, Varicocele or dilated veins around testicle, Hydrocele or fluid around testicle. Male reproductive system health challenges also include genital ulcers, testicular disorders, or sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STDs.)
Prostate issues are more common for men over 50. The prostate gland enlarges with age as some of the prostate tissue is replaced with a scar like tissue. This condition, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), affects about 50% of men. Prostate diseases fall into three categories; infections, malignant and hypertrophic. Symptoms of prostate problems or BPH are; Frequent urge to urinate, A need to get up many times during the night to urinate, Blood in urine or semen, Pain or burning urination, Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream, Dribbling of urine, Painful ejaculation, and Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases with ageing. The most common age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. A male can get prostate cancer at any age but if they are under 50, the risk of getting prostate cancer is very low but it is possible.
Herbal infusions have been used to manage male reproductive system issues, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and the associated lower urinary tract symptoms. There are a handful of herbal actions that are beneficial in the holistic treatment of the male reproductive system; Reproductive Tonic, Diuretic, Circulatory Stimulant, Aphrodisiacs, Anti-Inflammatory, Alternative, and Astringent.
Definitions of Herbal Actions That Benefit The Male Reproductive System:
Reproductive Tonic: This is a pretty generalized term to denote herbs which have a specific affinity for the male reproductive system. These are remedies which exert influence upon entire sphere of the male reproductive system- prostate and urinary tract health, hormonal regulation of testosterone, libido and sexual vitality, etc.
Diuretic: This is likely one of our most beneficial actions for this system as it delivers things directly to the afflicted area. Of course, this is primarily used in the relief of issues which are reflexing or radiating into the urinary tract (IE swollen prostate).
Circulatory Stimulant: These are particularly beneficial for bringing fresh oxygenated blood supply to the various glands and organs of the system, delivering nutrients and allowing waste products to be filtered and detoxified. This action is particularly helpful for men with erectile dysfunction- which often accompanies cardiovascular issues.
Aphrodisiacs: These are of course beneficial for men with impotence and low libido. Some help to increase blood circulation, others nerve excitability and sensitivity, and others more gentle heart opening remedies. Another category of aphrodisiacs would also be our “chi tonics,” or those herbs which help build up our core strength and vitality, nourishing the vital reserve.
Anti-Inflammatory: Because the prostate is prone to inflammation (prostatitis), anti-inflammatory remedies can prove to be beneficial here.
Alterative: These can be useful in cases of androgen excess, which can ultimately stress out the liver and lead to “bad blood” due to the strain put on it to detoxify too many hormones. These could also be generally supportive in cases of overall stagnation and kapha accumulation (slows down digestion, as well as metabolism), which can have a secondary impact upon the prostate and circulation to the pelvic area. They would more specific for damp conditions or excess testosterone and heat.
Astringent: Astringency can prove to be effective specifically in the treatment of relaxed tissues, especially of the urinary tract, which can in turn impact the reproductive system as the two systems are to a certain extent inseparable. We want to use these if there is an excess of leaking fluids- be them sexual fluids or urine.