Every man needs to take an active approach to managing his own health for the better. Good habits, like regular exercise, are vital, and avoiding bad habits (or at least minimizing them) is also imperative. One of the most powerful influences on a man’s health is his diet, and as an extension of that, there are a number of herbs that can help support concerns specific to men, namely vitality, prostate health, and sex drive. Here are seven of those herbs and the positive results they can encourage.
Top Herbs for Men’s Health
1. Pine Bark
Pine bark has been a natural therapy for centuries. Recent research shows pine bark can offer nutritional support to encourage prostate health.  Pine bark has also been shown to support sperm quality and quantity, and encourage a desirable sexual response. 
Turmeric is a favorite to many and the reason is clear – it’s high in antioxidants may soothe muscles and irritated tissue. One placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that turmeric helped ease urinary difficulties in patients with prostate issues.  We actually released a liquid turmeric extract not long ago and the early feedback has been incredible.
3. Pumpkin Seed
Pumpkin seeds offer a range of nutrients that have been positively linked to prostate health, such as zinc, potassium, and iron. Research suggests these nutrients coupled with pumpkin seeds’ antioxidant action offer incredible support for the prostate. One study reported that pumpkin seed extract encouraged normal urine flow in men with enlarged prostate. 
4. Saw Palmetto
Native Americans have used saw palmetto to support urinary and reproductive health. More recent research suggests saw palmetto may help inhibit enzymes associated with prostate enlargement.  The plant may also support normal testosterone levels, one of the reasons saw palmetto is part of the Prostrex™ formula.
5. Pygeum Bark
An enlarged prostate is a common concern and finding ways to encourage a normal sized prostate are essential for normal urination. Several placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have found pygeum bark to provide certain compounds that encourage a normal-sized prostate. 
6. Stinging Nettle
You may not think so, but stinging nettle has a number of health benefits, especially for the prostate and urinary tract.  Stinging nettle encourages normal hormone levels and discourages the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, an androgen hormone that can be a factor in prostate enlargement.
Polygonum hydropiperoides, also known as smartweed, is high in antioxidants that defend and protect against free radicals.  Antioxidants are important for encouraging prostate health and some research has found that smartweed helps to soothe tissues and potentially reduce swelling. 
The Take Home
- Neuwirt H1, Arias MC, Puhr M. Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC) exert anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects on prostate cancer cells. Prostate. 2008 Nov 1;68(15):1647 54. doi: 10.1002/pros.20829.
- Ledda A, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR. Investigation of a complex plant extract for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study. BJU Int. 2010 Oct;106(7):10303. doi: 10.1111/j.1464410X.2010.09213.x.
- Hejazi J, Rastmanesh R, Taleban FA, Molana SH, Ehtejab G. A Pilot Clinical Trial of Radioprotective Effects of Curcumin Supplementation in Patients with Prostate Cancer. J Cancer Sci Ther 5: 320324. doi: 10.4172/1948-5956.1000222.
- Hong H, Kim CS, Maeng S. Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutr Res Pract. 2009 Winter;3(4):323-7. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2009.3.4.323. Epub 2009 Dec 31.
- Pais P. Potency of a novel saw palmetto ethanol extract, SPET-085, for inhibition of 5alpha-reductase II. Adv Ther. 2010 Aug;27(8):555-63. doi: 10.1007/s12325-010-0041-6. Epub 2010 Jul 10.
- Wilt T, Ishani A, et al. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD001044. PMID: 11869585.
- Tanagho ER, Mcaninch JE. Smith's general urology. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2008.
- Yang X, Wang BC, Zhang X, Yang SP, Li W, Tang Q, Singh GK. Simultaneous determination of nine flavonoids in Polygonum hydropiper L. samples using nanomagnetic powder three-phase hollow fibre-based liquid-phase microextraction combined with ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011 Jan 25;54(2):311-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2010.08.026. Epub 2010 Sep 28.
- Yang Y, Yu T, Jang HJ, Byeon SE, Song SY, Lee BH, Rhee MH, Kim TW, Lee J, Hong S, Cho JY. In vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities of Polygonum hydropiper methanol extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 31;139(2):616-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 13.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.