By Intisar Seraaj
Since June is Men’s Health Month and when Father’s Day occurs, we spoke with a couple of our foster dads. They live active lives, from working challenging jobs to being involved with their foster and adoptive children. It takes a lot of energy to be a parent and especially a foster parent—physical and emotional energy. Whether you’re taking your child to a visitation with their biological family or attending their treatment plan meeting, foster parents need all their energy! When your whole body is functioning properly, that’s possible. While we do recommend getting regular checkups, maintaining your health in between checkups will hugely help to keep you in pristine condition. You can do that with healthy eating, routinely checking your body, exercise, and taking herbs and supplements. Plus, still being in a pandemic has made it even more important to take your health seriously and strengthen your immune system. To help, we put together a list of 10 herbs that are good for men’s holistic health.
It has more than “4,000 years of traditional use in its native regions of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.” Ashwagandha is an “adaptogenic” herb, which means it stabilizes the physiological processes, encourages learning and memory retrieval, and promotes homeostasis. It’s known for helping people cope with stress in a healthy way, for its aphrodisiac properties, encourages a healthy inflammatory response, and promotes normal sleep patterns. It’s also referred to as “Indian Ginseng,” as it can be used in conditions of weakness, thinness, impotence, and premature aging.
“The flowers of the Linden tree have been used since the Middle Ages to promote perspiration in order to break fevers and as a gentle sedative to calm nervous anxiety and insomnia. Native Americans used linden for colds, fevers, and nervous headaches.” This plant is also good for cardiovascular health, colds, and sore throat.
The Hawthorn tree is known as a symbol of love. So, it makes sense that this herb is well known for its ability to support many different aspects of heart function and cardiovascular health, including emotional aspects like grief and a protector of emotional boundaries. “Hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle, increases exercise tolerance, and supports a normal heart rhythm. It’s also been found to reinforce the heart’s pumping capacity, support coronary blood flow, and provide antioxidant protection to the heart.”
“Maca is a root that grows in the high elevations of the Andes Mountain range.” It’s known as an adaptogen, broadly contributing to overall wellbeing and a healthy mood. Some of its benefits include brain and cognitive support, stress relief, energy booster, and its use as an aphrodisiac. It’s also been traditionally a part of people’s standard diet if they live in harsh conditions that include extreme cold, rugged terrain, low oxygen, intense sunlight and strong winds.
Cordyceps is a mushroom found in the Himalayan foothills of Tibet and Bhutan. These mushrooms are used for their adaptogenic and immune-supporting properties, as a way to balance the body during times of stress, to improve respiratory issues, resolve fatigue, repair impaired reproductive function, regulate intestinal bacteria, and strengthen libido.
Skullcap is a member of the mint family and traditionally used for relaxation, promoting a good night’s rest, improved mood, and muscular rest. It also restores nutrition uptake to the nerves, supports heart health, and can be used as a sedative to treat conditions like anxiety and convulsions. Skullcap has a myriad of other uses in Western and Asian medicines such as to treat insomnia, dysentery, high blood pressure, hemorrhaging, respiratory infections, anti-inflammation, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and diarrhea.
This plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia but has been cultivated in North America since the early 19th century. Valerian is a plant that’s roots are most commonly used for sleep disorders like insomnia, to promote healthy sleep, anxiety and stress.
The fruit of the Saw Palmetto tree is used to make medicine, which is commonly known for its support for healthy sexual function and prostate-related conditions. It’s also used to treat male-pattern baldness, helps regulate testosterone levels, and reduces inflammation and improves urinary function.
Milk thistle is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family and is native to Mediterranean countries. Traditionally used to alleviate problems with the liver and gallbladder, milk thistle helps the liver regenerate and protect itself from toxins. Some have seen this herb provide heart benefits by lowering cholesterol levels and help people with type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis.
Senna is a large flowering plant that’s a natural laxative used for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, anal or rectal surgery, tears in the lining of the anus, hemorrhoids, and weight loss. It’s native throughout the tropics, with a small number of species in temperate regions. This plant is not intended for long-term use.
Please speak with your doctor or health practitioner before utilizing any of these herbs. Seeing dads take care of their health is a great model for their children’s future holistic success too. So, we hope this list gives you some tools you need to maintain your best health and energy while raising your children!