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Men’s Health: puberty and prostate

Whole Naturopathy / Herbal Medicine  / Men’s Health: puberty and prostate
men's health

Men’s Health: puberty and prostate

With Father’s Day this month, it’s a great time to talk about men’s health. We’ll take a look at two conditions: teenage acne and Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These are both caused (at varying degrees) by male hormone imbalance.

Androgens are a group of hormones of which testosterone (the predominant male reproductive hormone) is the most common. Testosterone levels increase for young men in their late teens, and the excess androgens contribute to acne. The sebaceous glands which secrete oil onto the skin, produce androgens, along with other glands, and in excess are converted to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone which promotes acne. Research has found herbs such as Serenoa repens (Saw palmetto) effective in treating hormonal acne, especially when combined with other androgen regulating herbs is. As a naturopath, I would also address elimination of waste products, inflammation, the liver (as detailed below) and any other factors contributing to the acne.

BPH is increasingly common in men as they age and is estimated to be present in 70% of men over the age of 70.  Due to hyperproliferation (excess growth) of prostate tissue, the enlargement of the prostate gland obstructs urinary flow, resulting in poor urinary flow, increased urgency, and incontinence.

Similarly to with teenage acne, excess androgens are a major culprit in contributing to hyperproliferation of prostate tissue. This enlargement of the prostate gland also leads to BPH and prostate cancer. Once again Saw palmetto is an important herb in regulating androgen levels, and additional benefits have been found when used in combination with Urtica dioica (stinging nettle).

Recreational lifestyle activities which reduce stress can also be helpful as chronic stress increases inflammation, leading to many disease states. Exercise can help by increasing blood flow and also reducing stress.

Naturopathic treatment of hormonal imbalance often includes strengthening and detoxifying the liver. The liver is where hormones are metabolised, are transformed into different forms, and excess hormones are removed from circulation. If the liver is not functioning well, this process will be impaired. Prescription drugs, alcohol, exposure to toxins, and poor diet all contribute to reduced liver function. Herbal medicine is highly effective in improving the liver, but below are some tips to get you started.

To improve liver function:

  • Increase dietary fibre, particularly through vegetables
  • Increase ‘green leafy’ vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc
  • Eat bitter foods such as roquette (rocket), and sour foods such as fresh lemon juice.

Here at Whole Naturopathy, we can treat your hormonal imbalance naturally with herbs formulated specifically for you, together with dietary changes that will best target your health issues.


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