Men's Health and Men's Herbs

Explore our herbs and superfoods specifically tailored to support men’s vitality and health.

For thousands of years medicine men and ‘wise women’ have known that herbs possess remarkable healing properties. Today, empirical evidence gathered over the centuries is being backed-up by scientific studies: ancient wisdom is meeting the data of the white-coated lab technician. In addition, herbs from all over the world are now easily available, and at Indigo Herbs you’ll find them cost-effective too.

There are many herbs to support men’s health, and unlike synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, they rarely have side-effects. Whether you want to relieve stress, boost your sexual drive, sharpen your mental faculties, or increase your physical resilience for training, there is a herb to fit the bill. Check out the list below to see which herbs best suit your situation.

Although herbs can work wonders on their own, they function most effectively when used as part of a healthy lifestyle – a balanced wholefood diet, detoxification, regular exercise, relaxation, adequate sleep, and emotional/spiritual fulfilment.

Today’s man wants to take responsibility for his health and a good place to start is nutrition. Superfoods are nutrient-dense plants such as berries, seeds, algae, mushrooms, seaweeds and grasses. Used as a daily supplement, added to juices or smoothies, sprinkled on yoghurt or cereal, or made into raw-food energy bars (go on, experiment!), they can quickly transform your diet from 2-star to 5-star.

All our botanicals are pure, high-quality and ethically sourced.

 

Ashwagandha

(Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha Benefits

Used for thousands of years to promote male vitality, Ashwagandha can have far reaching effects on proper hormone function and long term health. Its stabilising effect on male hormones is well documented, with studies showing that it increases luteinising hormone (which stimulates testosterone production) and significantly raises serum testosterone levels. Ashwagandha’s positive effect on male reproductive hormones could be the reason it is said to give the “strength of a stallion”.

The natural side effect of increased testosterone is an increase in libido, earning Ashwagandha its reputation as an aphrodisiac. It is also mentioned in the ancient Hindu text the “Kama Sutra” as a potent sexual stimulant.

A well-known adaptogen, Ashwagandha lowers cortisol – the body’s main stress hormone. Cortisol is “catabolic”, meaning it breaks down muscle mass. The lowering of this hormone leads to an increase in muscle mass, great for intense sessions at the gym, and drastically improves recovery time whilst reducing muscle soreness.

Ashwagandha is the perfect herb for the modern man who may be juggling a stressful job with raising a family and intensive training sessions at the gym.

 

Astragalus

(Astragalus membranaceus)
Astragalus

Traditionally prescribed in Chinese Medicine for male infertility, Astragalus has now been scientifically proven to increase sperm motility in a study conducted by the Institutes of Traditional Medicine and Clinical Medicine.

It is a powerful immune booster, with the ability to stimulate the body’s NK (natural killer) cells and increasing the production of “interferon”, which helps to improve resistance to viral infections.

Astragalus also slows down the aging process and revitalises the entire body, by stimulating the production of stem cells in the bone marrow.

 

Brown Rice Protein

(Oryza sativa)
Rice Protein

Ideal for the vegan man, Brown Rice Protein is just as effective as Whey Protein in supplementing body composition and exercise performance.

There is a window of around 30 minutes after a workout when your body can absorb the amino acids in protein faster than any other time. This makes Brown Rice Protein a fabulous addition to your post workout smoothie. It is a complete protein (containing all of the essential amino acids) and is especially high in leucine - a particularly helpful amino acid that slows the degradation of muscle tissue and may decrease food intake and body weight.

 

Catuaba Bark

(Erythroxylum catuaba)
Catuaba

The name Catuaba is a Guarani word that translates as “what gives strength to the Indian”. It is the Amazon’s most famed and sought after aphrodisiac, with numerous songs composed by the Tupi Indians in praise of its libido enhancing effects and ability to treat erectile dysfunction. Also known as Brazilian Viagra, Catuaba contains “yohimbine”, thought to be the active compound that provides a stimulatory effect to the libido.

It is also used as an overall energy booster, for stimulating the nervous system, sharpening memory and focus and to combat fatigue. 

 

Damiana

(Turnera diffusa)
Damiana

Used for centuries by the ancient peoples of South America, Damiana leaves were not only prescribed as an aphrodisiac, but also as a tonic for overall health.

Especially indicated for alleviating problems of achieving and maintaining erections, Damiana also works to relieve stress and anxiety related to fears of inadequate sexual performance. Studies have shown that consuming the plant works to slow down the digestive tract and instead rushes oxygen to genital areas. This helps men to achieve erection much more easily and maintain it for longer periods of time. Yet another study claims that use of Damiana leads to greater sensitivity in the erogenous zones, especially the genitals, which in turn may help a person to experience greater sexual pleasure.

With a calming effect on the nervous system, Damiana is said to produce a mild euphoric effect on the mind and has been used traditionally as a mood enhancer by the Aztecs and Mayans. It is also said to provide an energy boost and increase stamina which might be linked to its aphrodisiac uses as well as helping to combat fatigue and lethargy.

 

Ginkgo Biloba

(Ginkgo biloba, Salisburia adiantifolia, Salisburia macrophylla)
Ginkgo Biloba Benefits

The way Gingko Biloba is beneficial to men’s health is twofold. It promotes blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body supplied by capillaries. This enhanced blood flow can help to improve brain and heart health as well as sexual health. Heart health and sexual health are closely connected because good blood flow is needed to achieve and maintain an erection.

This improved circulation increases blood flow to the muscles, making it a great supplement if you are pumping up at the gym.

If you are working an office job and suffer from the “3 o’clock slump”, Gingko Biloba will help your brain run more smoothly during the afternoon. A recent study by Purdue University determined that men who took Gingko Biloba each day for 3 weeks were 20 percent more productive in the afternoon than those who weren't taking the supplement.

 

Goji Berries

(Lycium barbarum)
Goji Berries

Goji berries / Wolf berries are known as the ultimate tonic for longevity, within the Chinese medicine tradition. They are thought to nourish Yin energy in the body, having a cooling and nourishing effect on the whole system. They are the perfect daily tonic for modern living, which is said to create too much heat, fire and Yang energy in the body. Goji berries have been used in traditional Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese medicine for 1000s of years, where it has also been used as a male aphrodisiac.

 

Gokshura

(Tribulus terrestris)
Tribulus

Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris) is rich in “saponins” – phytochemicals that have the ability to increase the body’s testosterone levels naturally. This makes it a great herb for bodybuilding, training and a powerful sexual tonic.

As an aphrodisiac, Gokshura tops the chart of herbal Viagra. Studies have shown that Gokshura elevates the luteinising hormone (LH), increasing the levels of free testosterone in healthy males. This in turn will increase sexual desire and libido, improve the quality of sperm whilst making it more nimble, in some cases it will help to remedy erectile dysfunction and it has been proven to be helpful in cases of premature ejaculation. This herb will stimulate the production of sex hormones without affecting other bodily systems.

As a bodybuilding or training supplement, Gokshura is hard to beat. Of the aforementioned saponins, it contains one steroidal saponin in particular – protodioscin – which is thought to be the active nutrient responsible for this herb’s popularity amongst athletes. This muscle building compound is also renowned for increasing strength and enhancing athletic performance.

Other health benefits men can expect from this versatile herb include; restorative sleep, positive mood, pain reduction and protection of the cardiovascular system.

 

Horny Goat Weed

(Epimedium sagittatum)

Behind its comical name, Horny Goat Weed stands as a time tested aphrodisiac that increases libido in both men and women and improves erectile function in men. This is thought to be due, in part, to the flavonoid “icariin”, which is also responsible for the best known health benefits associated with this herb.

Firstly, icariin has been found to have the ability to boost the successful transmission of Nitric Oxide, the primary chemical transmitter for the successful and ample delivery of blood delivery to the penis tissue. Secondly it increases the natural circulation of free form testosterone around the body, not only boosting libido – testosterone is crucial to the health of the prostate and plays a dominant role in the production of healthy sperm.

Horny Goat Weed can also benefit men in the gym, increasing lean muscle mass, improving muscular “pump” and enhancing levels of stamina and endurance.

 

Mucuna / Kapikachhu

(Mucuna pruriens)
Mucuna pruriens

Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, Chhatrapati Medical University in India found that Kapikachhu supports the normal function of the male reproductive system, in particular supporting normal levels of male fertility. This appears to be related to the ability of this herb to; increase libido (men and women), increase sperm count, enhance blood circulation to the genitals, strengthen and tone the sexual glands and release bound up testosterone – increasing the level of bio-available testosterone.

Kapikachhu is also especially beneficial to brain health, its primary compound “levadopa (L-dopa)” is a precursor to dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Whilst dopamine is most commonly associated with pleasure, it actually plays a critical role in muscle control. L-dopa is synthesized in the brain into dopamine, and is often used as a treatment in Parkinson’s disease. By raising low dopamine levels, Kapikachhu can have a positive effect on motivation, attention span, the ability to relax and general mental well-being. 

 

Muira Puama

(Ptychopetalum)
Muira Puama

Also known as “potency wood”, Muira Puama has long been used by the Amazonian people to manage a variety of age related conditions. It is marketed in Brazil as a “body stimulant, energetic tonic and aphrodisiac”. It can be especially useful in supporting healthy erectile response and restoring libido in men suffering the effects of fatigue or age related complaints.

Muira Puama contains “sterols”, the building blocks of sex hormones such as testosterone. One study found that this herb relaxes the corpus cavernosa – a sponge like area that holds blood during an erection. This relaxation allows more blood to flow to the penis, producing a stronger and firmer erectile response. Dr Jacques Maynberg conducted two studies at the Institute of Sexology in Paris, where he gave men stricken with low libido and diminished erectile capacity Muira Puama for two weeks. In both studies between 60% - 70% of the men reported a notable increase in libido and an improvement in their ability to maintain an erection.

In addition to its aphrodisiac qualities, Muira Puama has been used for stress management, nervous system stimulation and as a general overall health tonic.

 

Nettle

(Urtica dioica)

The humble Nettle Root is proven to be extremely beneficial to men’s health, in particular, that of the prostate. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) afflicts many men as they age. This benign enlargement of the prostate comes with some unwelcome symptoms such as the frequent urge to urinate, especially at night. Many studies have shown that Nettle Root is effective in reducing the size of an enlarged prostate as well as alleviating the symptoms associated with it. Scientists are not entirely sure why nettle alleviates some of these symptoms, however many clinical studies infer that Nettle contains phytochemicals that inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that causes BPH.

DHT is also the hormone mainly responsible for hair loss. According to Dr Marty Sawaya Nettle Root may, by blocking DHT production, also prevent age related hair loss in men.

Nettle also supports free testosterone in the body – free testosterone is usable testosterone (as opposed to bound), Nettle Root can work with the sex hormone binding globulin, making testosterone more available for the body to use. A good balance of free testosterone in the body is known to foster better overall health. 

 

Pumpkin Seed Protein

(Cucurbita pepo)
Pumpkin Seed Benefits

Aside from providing a good serving of high quality, complete, plant based protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder can have a beneficial effect on the health of the prostate. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (or enlargement of the prostrate gland) is common in men over 50 years of age. Over stimulation of the prostate cells is caused by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The phytosterols found in pumpkin seeds have been found to inhibit the production of DHT, leading to a decrease in uncomfortable symptoms.

Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder is also high in zinc – an essential mineral in the treatment of BPH.

 

Saw Palmetto

(Serenoa repens)

Also known as “old man’s best friend”, Saw Palmetto is, indeed, an exceptionally beneficial herb to the gentleman over a certain age. It has been shown to slow down the production of the enzyme “5-alpha reductase” – an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Whilst DHT is important as it plays a role in male development, it is also responsible for many common health issues such as loss of libido, enlarged prostate (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) and hair loss.

Because Saw Palmetto inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT, the body retains normal levels of testosterone. This in turn will keep the libido functioning normally, hold weight in check and slow down hair loss.