Saturday, August 25, 2012

Increasing Vitality with Herbs

Traditional Chinese herbalists have for centuries recommended Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) or ren shen in Mandarin Chinese, to improve vitality and sexual wellness for both sexes. Panax, a well-known adaptogen, is said to reduce fatigue and stress as it strengthens the body. Sexual performance could be complicated by stress if it manifests as heart weakness, blood sugar imbalances or poor circulation. In 1997 a professor at Yale University's School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., reported that Chinese ginseng stimulates nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter that mediates a variety of bodily actions including blood vessel dilation, blood pressure regulation and blood clot prevention. [ 1 ] Nitric oxide activates an enzyme that relaxes smooth muscles, allowing blood to flow. When this happens in the corpus cavernosum, an erection is possible. Viagra, the sexual potency drug, also allows nitric oxide to relax smooth muscles in the penis but the drug comes with side effects. While Viagra emphasizes sexual performance, ginseng is said to tone the entire endocrine system for a more holistic beneficial effect. Not all sexual problems are related to weakness and exhaustion. Inflammation and pain can build up, making sex uncomfortable. By holding in stress and anxiety, poor circulation can manifest as discomfort in the groin. Even in the absence of problems, increasing circulation in the sexual area improves vitality, particularly for those who may have stagnant lifestyles or who may hold in their emotions. One of the best traditional Chinese remedies for prostate and lower abdomen discomfort is called Kai Kit Wan, which contains cow soapwort (Vaccaria seqetalis) or wang bu liu xing; peony bark (Paeonia suffruticosa and P. moutan) or mu dan pi; astragalus (Astragalus spp.) or huang qi; patrinia herb (Patrinia villoea) or bei jiang; hogfennel root (Peucedanum praeruptorum) or qian hu; licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) or gan cao; costus root (Saussurea lappa) or mu xiang; and akebia (Akebia trifoliata) or mu tong. Chinese herbalists say the formula works because the two forms of peony increase circulation to break apart congestion pain, astragalus reduces water retention and builds strength, and hogfennel root and licorice relax smooth muscles to redirect the action of the other herbs to the sexual area. This combination is said to condition and promote prostate function and to increase blood circulation in the genital area, lower abdomen and inner thighs, creating a sense of opening, ease and healthy circulation. Such a combination has traditionally been used long-term to correct chronic prostatitis, painful or bloody urination, and testes pain. An herbal combination such as this, which allows blood to flow freely again, can release constriction and reduce discomfort. I recommend taking it with zinc for prostate conditions. There is no one diet for all people. Each individual is requires different foods to health. Patients who I have counseled and guided in the above principles, are always gratified and amazed at the sense of renewed inner harmony and balance they experience. As a result, their symptoms clear up, even faster with the use of herbs, they feel calmer, more energy, decreased cravings and generally feel more in control of their lives and eating. They lose or gain weight if needed and have increased endurance and productivity in their lives.

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