MUIH Competencies: Integrity, Inquisitiveness, Mindfulness, Community and Discernment
In this course students will continue to identify the various tools and techniques available to the modern herbalist in relation to specific health interventions. Through exercises in formulation and continued exploration of literature in the field, students will hone their skills in developing strategies for specific clients, including the selecting herbs and the integration of dietary, herbal and behavioral recommendations. Students will continue to develop critical thinking skills in relationship to health assessment and strategies and be able to expand on their strategies to recognize and enhance the importance of rapport and relationship.
I gained some valuable insight from this course that have helped me construct my intent as a practitioner.
I want to stay grounded and be a beginner with each client. Being grounding will insure I am in the present moment and ready to receive the client. Being a beginner puts me in the mindset to fully listen, learn, and intake what the client is going through and what they wish to achieve with my services. Being in this state will diminish assumptions, judgement, and inattention. I will be able to receive each client as a new, unique and individual being with no presumptions of treatment. I will begin to learn who and what they are all about and see them as unique; therefore, offering them a unique herbal treatment option. All the tools I take away from this class will then be utilized to insure I am offering an individualized plan that addresses all their unique concerns.
LEAD WEEK CASE STUDY:
Part of the course was to take lead of the Formula Form. I presented a formula that was created for a hypothetical client. This created a real sense of community with my fellow classmates. We discussed the client, case and formulas. We shared tips, research and knowledge in a round-table fashion. It was a great way to get to know my classmates, gain more views and create a network to lean on. To follow is one of my presentations.
A 38-year-old male in good health. He and his wife are trying to conceive and have been unsuccessful. Wife is taking fertility treatments. Client may have low sperm count with possible sterility. He would like to try a natural approach to boost his sperm count and start treating possible sterility issues. Client is 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 165 pounds. He is very active and considers himself an athlete. His training is intense and includes cycling, running, swimming and weights. He sleeps about 6 hours per night and works a full-time job. In warm months, he likes to compete in races and triathlons. Diet includes lots of sports drinks, protein, smoothies, and race foods like gels and goos. He is presenting hot, and dry energetics. Skin if dry and flaky; tongue is scalloped, red and cracked.
The client’s goal is to incorporate herbs that will support his fertility, sperm production and overall reproductive health so that he and his wife can get pregnant.
I would like to provide the client with a formula that supports healthy fertility function and sperm production. Equally important is the goal of a soothing adrenal tonic that helps his body combat stress since he tends to challenge his body to extremes with intense athletic workouts and races. Herbs should be nutritive, supportive and easy to incorporate into his training regimen.
Support the endocrine, reproductive, cardiovascular, and nervous systems
Male tonic – Korean Ginseng
I chose a powder formula, so it is used as a nutritive food. He can put this blend in smoothies, yogurt, drinks, applesauce and nutbutter balls and incorporate it into his training diet.
“Sexual Fertilizer Powder”
1.5g Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng) – adaptogen, male tonic, cardiotonic (Bone, 2013), enhances erectile function. Human studies show it enhanced erectile function in traditional usage (de Andrade, 2007). Caution with acute states and with CNS stimulants. Over stimulation may occur. Caution with hypertension. Avoid with warfarin, MAOI antidepressants (phenelzine) (Bone, 2013).
1.5g Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – Endocrine normalizing adaptogen, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, sperm count enhancing (Winston, 2014). Clinical trial shows enhanced sperm counts and motility and improved testosterone levels (Ahmad, 2010). No major safety issues.
1g Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) – tonic, aphrodisiac, fertility agent (Bone, 2013) Caution: Saponins can cause/aggravate reflux. Caution in patients with pre-existing cholestasis (Bone, 2013).
1g Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) – sexual tonic, adaptogen fertility enhancing (Bone, 2013) Caution: Saponins can cause/aggravate reflux.
0.5g Maca (Lepidium meyenii) – sexual tonic, fertility enhancing (Winston, 2014). Clinical trials show it enhanced positive feelings of sexual enhancement, but more study is needed (Zencio, 2009). Caution in pregnancy and breast feeding; Extracts from maca might act like estrogen.
Take 5.5g three times daily. Can be mixed into smoothie, yogurt, food of choice or made into nutbutter balls. (total daily dose is 16.5g)
5.5g three times a day = 16.5g
16.5g x 0.15 = $2.48 per day
1-month = $74.25
I would like to suggest two lifestyle changes: eat more cooling plant foods and avoid being overheated in the genital area. Cooling foods can include watermelon, cucumbers, celery, daikon, lettuce, mushrooms, lemons, pears, etc. Because the client exercises intensely, overheating may reduce sperm count; therefore, it is suggested that the client incorporate loose-fitting, breathable clothing into his workout wardrobe, avoid hot tubs and saunas, and create a pre-intimacy routine that allows relaxation, cooling-down and connecting time with his wife.
Ahmad, M., Mahdi, A., et al. (2010). Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertil Steril, pp989-996.
Bone, K. M. (2013). Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. London: Churchhill Livingstone.
De Andrade, E., de Mesquite, A., et al (2003). Study of the efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Asian Journal Andrologia, March, pp 241-244.
Marieb, E. (2015), Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology. New York: Pearson.
Winston, D. (2014). Herbal Therapeutics. NJ: Herbal Therapeutics Research Library.
Zenico, T. Cicero, A. et al. (2009). Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii extract on well-being and sexual performance in patients with mild erectile disfunction. Andrologia, pp 95-99.