Many women today use wild yam root to reduce the symptoms of PMS and alleviate discomfort associated with menopause. It is often taken to help with menstrual or uterine cramps. Wild yam root also promotes the secretion of bile and may help to alleviate liver ailments. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties that could make it useful against rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.
Scientists in Texas studied fifty patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome who had received some form of medical treatment without experiencing enduring success. Subjects who consumed health supplements including a dioscorea (wild yam) complex experienced, according to the researchers, "a remarkable reduction in initial symptom severity, with continued improvement in the period between initial assessment and the follow-up."
In the years following the European conquest of Central and South America, Damiana herb has been associated with improving sexual function in both males and females.
In Holland it is renowned for its sexual enhancing qualities and positive effect on the reproductive organs. The pharmacology of the plant suggests that its alkaloids could have testosterone-like actions.
Damiana herb is a major component of countless herbal remedies, aphrodisiacs, love potions and impotence cures.
Curiously, damiana herb is also a pleasant mood enhancer that leaves many people with a feeling of happiness and well-being.
Eleutherococcus, also known as Siberian Ginseng is of a different family from Panax (American, Korean, Chinese, Asian) Ginseng - and has some similar and some different characteristics, though all are referred to as Ginseng.
It strengthens the adrenal and reproductive glands. Enhances immune function, promotes lung functioning and stimulates the appetite. It is useful for bronchitis, circulatory problems, diabetes, infertility, lack of energy, and stress, and it is used by athletes for overall body strengthening. In fact, athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng.
Siberian ginseng helps address prolonged exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and long-term stress. The herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic ailments. As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps to maintain well-being. It is also used to address impotence.
Licorice Root stimulates the production of digestive fluids and bile, soothes ulcers, helps reduce intestinal inflammation, and supports the healthy function of the kidneys, liver and bladder—allowing one to experience a soothing, healing effect while undergoing natural colon cleansing. Its action in soothing ulcers is unique. Rather than inhibit the release of acid, licorice root stimulates the normal defense mechanisms that ward off ulcer formation. Specifically, licorice root improves both the quality and quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract; increases the life span of the intestinal cell; and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining.
Licorice Root has been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. By enhancing cortisol activity, glycyrrhizin helps to increase energy, ease stress, and reduce the symptoms of ailments sensitive to cortisol levels, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In the 1800s, licorice extract was a common remedy for a type of persistent fatigue known as neurasthenia, the condition now known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
The phytoestrogens in Licorice Root have a mild estrogenic effect, making the herb potentially useful in easing certain symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), such as irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Although the glycyrrhizin in Licorice Root actually inhibits the effect of the body's own estrogens, the mild estrogenic effect produced by licorice's phytoestrogens manages to override this inhibiting action. In addition, the phytoestrogens in licorice root may help to minimize menopausal symptoms by compensating somewhat for the natural decline in a woman's estrogen levels following menopause.
Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornata) has diuretic and restorative properties and may help with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, PMS, urinary problems, impotence, hives, infertility, nervous system disorders, swelling and discomfort from rheumatism and arthritis. Sarsaparilla also helps with skin problems including psoriasis, acne, rashes, and hives, syphilis, increases energy, and may enhance physical performance.
Sarsaparilla is a valuable herb with many uses. Its most important use is in glandular balance. It contains important natural hormones for men and women alike. Sarsaparilla helps with the following: natural testosterone and progesterone, helping hair to grow, and especially of great value in hormone regulation in both men and women, hot flashes, sexual problems, and impotence. It can be used as a natural steroid for the production of testosterone, being of help for both sexes in body building.
Sarsaparilla helps with inflammation; it is an excellent blood purifier and is used as a remedy for liver problems and skin disorders. Sarsaparilla helps with gas and increases the flow of urine. Many people see a dramatic increase in sexual desire. It thus qualifies as an aphrodisiac and libido booster. It can also increase the metabolism and helps breathing. It is also used for various skin ailments, urinary problems, and to help maintain one's youth and energy.
Finally, sarsaparilla has been shown to be extremely beneficial for psoriasis sufferers. In one study, a group of 75 sufferers were given sarsaparilla tablets and 62% reported noticeable improvements. (New Eng J.Med 1942, 227,128)
In addition to helping to free up bound testosterone, saw palmetto has been proven to help the prostate in two additional ways. First, it inhibits the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which causes natural testosterone to be converted into a substance called dihydrotestosterone, which stimulates the growth of prostate tissue. Secondly, saw palmetto has been proven to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on prostate tissue.
In addition, studies have shown that saw palmetto contains compounds that directly inhibit inflammation.
And finally, aging muscles also tend to lose suppleness and vigor. When saw palmetto is used regularly, muscles plump up.
The benefits of addressing impotence with muira puama have been studied in two human trials in France, which reported that muira puama was effective in improving libido and addressing erectile dysfunction. In a Paris, France, study among 262 male patients who experienced lack of sexual desire and the inability to attain or maintain an erection, 62% of the patients with loss of libido reported that the extract of muira puama "had a dynamic effect," and 51% of patients with erectile dysfunction felt that muira puama was beneficial. It may not be Viagra, but studies show it helps. In other recent clinical research, muira puama extracts have been reported to have in vivo adaptogenic, antifatigue, antistress, and CNS effects in humans and animals. Other studies show that it may play a role in reducing body fat percentage, increasing lean muscle mass and lowering cholesterol in humans and animals with long-term use (and with no toxicity noted).
Both men and women need and produce natural testosterone in their bodies -- although in differing amounts. It is testosterone, in both men and women, that is responsible for:
Unfortunately, once we reach our thirties, available natural testosterone levels for both men and women tend to begin diminishing with age. Interestingly enough, in a 1986 clinical study, it was documented that it's not actual natural testosterone production that decreases as we age; but rather, it's the amount of free circulating testosterone that decreases -- as more and more of it gets bound to albumin and becomes unavailable for the body's use. These changes happen in connection with a natural substance called "sex-hormone-binding-globulin" or "SHBG."
Fortunately, wild oats can reverse this process, increasing free testosterone levels an astounding 105% on average!!
In addition, SHBG binds not only natural testosterone, but all of the sex hormones including estradiol (one of the "active" estrogens found in both men and women). Normally, this binding serves as a storage system for excess hormones, but in men there is an additional problem.
SHBG also has an affinity for prostate tissue. In effect, SHBG can serve to bind estrogen to cell membranes in the prostate. This causes an increase in PSA secretion -- a prime factor in future prostate problems. Wild oats and nettles work together to reverse this binding process, thereby reducing the likelihood of prostate problems.
Kola nut is a stimulant in its own right, but also serves to "drive" other herbs into the blood. In addition, kola nut helps increase oxygen levels in the blood.
Fresh ginger root has a long history of use in herbal medicine. Ginger root helps control temporary nausea, which makes it useful in morning sickness during pregnancy, as well as in intestinal activating and detoxing formulas, and in liver cleansing programs. Ginger root is also a strong COX 2 inhibitor. In the Far East and India, ginger root is renowned for its aphrodisiac properties.
Tribulus terrestris has been used by weight lifters for years, especially during the last 10 days prior to competition. Active components are plant steroids, flavonoids, alkaloids, and glycosides. Tribulus has been shown in at least one study to increase levels of natural testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and steroids without any harmful side effects. Some may find increased stamina beneficial for developing muscle size and strength.
Other positive changes observed in a number of cases were a reduction of cholesterol and positive psychological effects such as improved mood and increased self-confidence. No adverse effects were noted in any of the clinical studies. Additional research using animals demonstrated no adverse effects on the central nervous or cardiovascular systems. Administration of Tribulus had a mild diuretic effect in several cases in the human trials.
Puncture weed has long been used in Asia as a stimulant to help address sexual "deficiency."
Nettles, or urtica dioica, is an herbal extract of nettle root that has been used in Germany for more than a decade to address enlarged prostates and has been shown to reduce symptoms by 86% after 3 months of use. Urtica does this by inhibiting the binding of a testosterone-related protein to receptor sites on prostate cell membranes. Nettle is particularly effective when used in combination with saw palmetto. Whereas saw palmetto protects against prostate enlargement caused by DHT, nettle root is required to inhibit the proliferation of prostate cells in response to estrogen and SHBG.
Kapikachhu (Mucuna Pruriens), heralded as an aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic herbal medicine, offers many benefits. It:
In fact, by supporting healthy, natural testosterone levels, you are supporting anabolic metabolism — increasing your tendency to burn fat and to build muscle.
Plus, Kapikachhu offers a natural way to replenish your supply of L-dopa the precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is often associated with pleasure, yet it plays a critical role in muscle control. Full-blown dopamine deficiency is known as Parkinson's. And that's not all, research shows mucuna pruriens extract is beneficial for reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels and enhancing mental alertness — all without stimulating the central nervous system.
Wild crafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or wild" habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. It means the plants are uncultivated, and harvesting takes place wherever they may be found. Ethical wild crafting means that the harvesting is done sustainably.