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During November each year thousands of men in Australia and around the world begin to grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men. Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne Australia back in 2003 with just 30 participants, Movember has grown to become a global movement with over 854,000 registrants raising $124 million in 2011.
The aim of this fantastic health awareness movement is to continue to change men’s attitudes to their health, to educate men about the health risks that they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment. Globally fighting prostate cancer continues to be Movember’s highest priority, though there are a number of other programs that funds raised are invested in including Beyond Blue (the national depression initiative) which works to create awareness of depression, anxiety and related conditions, and to break down the stigma, which can sometimes prevent men speaking up and getting treatment.
There are a number of complementary medicines that are specifically relevant to supporting optimal male health including fertility, prostate health, libido and mood.Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) has traditionally been used to treat a variety of conditions, but most notably to support the male urinary system. Saw palmetto was first used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in the late nineteenth century. Research in recent years has demonstrated that Saw palmetto helps to relieve symptoms associated with medically diagnosed BPH including alleviation of nocturia (excessive urination at night), improvement of urinary flow and reduction of post-void residual bladder volume or assisting better bladder emptying.Tribulus
Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) is an Ayurvedic herb that has been traditionally used for centuries in Eastern cultures as a diuretic and men’s tonic to support normal healthy libido, healthy urinary function and physical vitality. Tribulus is also beneficial as a physical rejuvenation tonic and nervous system tonic during times of stress and increased physical demand.Damiana
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a male tonic herb that was traditionally used by the Mexican Indians to support the nervous system and for its stimulating effect on libido. Damiana’s uses as an aphrodisiac has continued into modern times and is also known for helping to alleviate anxiety and nervous tension.Zinc
Zinc is perhaps the most critical trace mineral for male sexual function. It is involved in virtually every aspect of male reproduction including hormone metabolism, sperm formation, and sperm motility. Among many other problems, zinc deficiency is characterised by decreased testosterone levels and sperm counts. Although severe zinc deficiency is quite rare in this country, many men consume a diet that does not provide the recommended daily allowance for zinc (15mg). Zinc is found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
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