International Men’s Health Week

With International Men's Health Week taking place this week, followed by Father's Day on Sunday 16th and our Summer Solstice on June 20th, Optimum Health is honouring the men and father figures in our lives.

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International Men’s Health Week

Sacred Masculine

With International Men’s Health Week taking place this week, followed by Father’s Day on Sunday 16th and our Summer Solstice on June 20th, Optimum Health is honouring the men and father figures in our lives.  Today, we look at the concept of the ‘sacred masculine’ and the use of herbs in masculine health and spirituality.

The concept of the ‘sacred masculine’ holds great cultural and spiritual significance in various civilisations over time and across the world. It embodies qualities such as strength, leadership, protection, and vitality. Different cultures have acknowledged the sacred masculine through powerful deities such as Enlil in ancient Mesopotamia, Horus and Ra in ancient Egypt, Zeus in Greek mythology, Odin in Norse mythology, and various deities in Hinduism reflecting some of the sacred masculine’s core traits.   Indigenous cultures around the world also pay tribute to the sacred masculine, often associating it with natural elements like the sun and sky, emphasising the importance of balancing masculine and feminine energies for individual and communal wellbeing.

Masculine herbal energetics in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda

For centuries, herbs have been used for their physical healing properties as well as their spiritual qualities.  Indigenous traditions use herbs in rituals and ceremonies for personal growth, self-discovery, and empowerment, helping men connect with their inner strength, wisdom and vitality. The Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilisations cultivated botanical knowledge and utilised medicinal plants such as the sacred maca root, which was, and still is, used for its adaptogenic properties and used to support energy, stamina and hormonal balance. Meanwhile coca leaf is considered sacred in Andean cultures, connecting individuals with the spiritual realm and invoking blessings. 

The Doctrine of Signatures, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Ayurveda provide insights into the energetic properties of masculine herbs. The Doctrine of Signatures suggests that certain herbs resemble the conditions they treat or the body parts they benefit.

Sturdy, upright stems or robust leaves: Basil, rosemary, sage, and nettle reflect the strong and resilient masculine energy.

Deep roots or thorny exteriors: Ginseng, dandelion, burdock, and hawthorn symbolize protection and fortitude, helping us establish boundaries and navigate challenges.

Thriving in sunny, arid environments or exhibiting fiery colours: Turmeric, ginger, cayenne, and thyme embody the sacred masculine, inspiring us to pursue our passions and embrace our inner light.

TCM also offers a rich perspective on the sacred masculine, often embodied by yang energy. Yang is linked to heat, activity, light, and masculinity, balancing yin, which represents coolness, passivity, and femininity. Therefore, optimal health in TCM is linked to a balance between yin and yang.

Key yang herbs in TCM include:

Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) boosts libido and strengthens bones. Studies have shown that Epimedium may increase testosterone levels and improve sexual function in men.

Cistanche enhances reproductive health and moistens intestines. Research indicates that it may improve erectile function and increase sperm count and motility.

Eucommia has been found to have anti-inflammatory and bone-strengthening properties, making it beneficial for joint and bone health.

Morinda Root addresses impotence, frequent urination, and joint pain. Known for its ability to boost vitality, it has been used traditionally to enhance male sexual health and alleviate symptoms of fatigue.

Cnidium warms kidney yang and addresses erectile dysfunction. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and traditional medicine usage to improve sexual function.

Ayurveda also provides detailed guidance about seeking balance among the three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Pitta dosha, governing metabolism, energy, and transformation, is often said to represent the masculine principle. Key masculine herbs in Ayurveda include:

Ashwagandha enhances strength, vitality, and stress resilience. Numerous studies have shown that Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels, enhance muscle mass, and improve endurance.

Shilajit boosts stamina, energy, and sexual health. Research has demonstrated its potential to improve male fertility by increasing sperm count and motility.

Gokshura supports urinary and reproductive health. Clinical studies have also shown it can enhance libido and treat erectile dysfunction.

Mucuna Pruriens improves mood, libido, and muscle mass. It has been proven to help increase dopamine levels, improve mood, and support male reproductive health.

Globally, herbs like Ginseng, Turmeric, Cumin, and Sage hold immense cultural significance. Ginseng is highly regarded in East Asian traditions for its longevity and vitality properties. Turmeric is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, symbolizing purification and protection. Cumin has been prized for its medicinal and culinary uses in ancient civilizations. Sage is considered sacred in Native American traditions and is used in spiritual rituals and purification ceremonies.

Scientific research has begun to validate the traditional uses of these herbs, with Saw Palmetto, Ginseng, Turmeric, Ginger, and Cayenne showing potential benefits for prostate health, energy, inflammation reduction, joint health, and more.

By incorporating these masculine herbs into daily routines, individuals can potentially enhance their vitality, resilience, and sense of connection to their innate masculine essence.

If you want to know more about how we support Men’s Health and Wellbeing at Optimal Health, please email our Care Team: careteam@optimal-healthgroup.com.

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