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For Men Only? The Male Herbal.
With the recent advent of the men's consciousness movement, it makes sense that an herbal designed for men's health needs would not be far behind. Actually, I was surprised at the amount of material it contains, having seen herbalist Green's smaller booklet on this subject about a year ago. This greatly expanded version contains a considerable amount of the author's subjective musings and opinions on various subjects beyond that of the title: environmental issues, animal rights issues, and an Earth/Gain philosophy of holism that permeates the entire book.

With philosophical consistency, the author eschews rely use of pharmacological data based on animal testing. Despite its admittedly anti-scientific, anti-medical bias, this book contains a number of challenging assertions ("Green's Hypotheses") that many HerbalGram readers will find amusing and/or stimulating: 1. "Herbs that are traditionally used to nourish and tone female sexual organs and functions likewise nourish and tone male sexual organs and functions." 2. "The predominant avoidance and lack of the daily bitter flavor experience in western diet is a subtle, primary cause of male and female sexual organ and immune system deficiencies." 3. "The lack of simple exercise in both sexes is a second cause of male and female sexual organ and immune system deficiencies."

There are sections on specific male problems, Green's tips on general health care, and herbs that traditionally are known to contain specific benefits for males (e.g., saw palmetto for prostate inflammation, chaste tree berries to lower libido, and many others). However, the majority of the herbs Green writes about (with numerous accurate line drawings) are the herbs one would expect to find in any herbal: dandelion, scullcap, chamomile, cayenne, ginger, corn silk, and many more. Characteristically, however, the author puts a male "spin" on each herb, stressing the various urinary or other male-related action.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.