Being second installment of the paper presented by Femi Kusa at the training seminar of the National Integrative Medicine Practitioners Association held at the Water Parks Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, on October 8, 2014.
There are too many herbs which do this job that we cannot mention them all here. So are proprietary such as NGE parasite formula (milk thistle and Jerusalem artichoke), Parasite cleanse, Olive Leaf Complex, the Amazon stablemates, Amazon AF (for Candida), Amazon AV (viruses) Amazon AP (Skin parasites and Flat worms) Oregano oil pan d’arco and colloidal silver. Faciolopsis, a flat worm often picked up from the egg of the adult worm in the intestine of infected animals not thoroughly cooked before it is consumed, may trail wood alcohol or nickel to the prostate gland. An infected prostate gland may be unable to contribute enough quality secretions to the semen, and this may affect sperm quality and fertility. “In Nigeria, the intestine of animals is a popular culinary delicacy called Round-about” because of its structural features. I stopped eating it, long before I read of its havocs from Dr. Holda’s book on electronic or frequency destruction of germs, when I realized many cooks do not rid it completely of its fecal contents.
I always like to engage this question from the angle of thyroid gland health. The thyroid surrounds the neck and is responsible for the body’s metabolic rate. This is the rate at which the body functions. This rate can be low, normal or high. When low, a person afflicted by it is said to suffer from hypothyroidism. When it is high, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism makes the body over combust. Nutrients are over consumed, the patient may become thin, the heart may overwork, beat too fast and exhibit symptoms of palpitations. Many doctors mistreat the hypertension induced by hyperthyroidism as plain hypertension, without realising that one log of wood has fallen on another, and that removing the upper one alone will not necessarily remove the log below. hypothyroidism, on the other hand, makes the sufferer not only physically sluggish and lethargic, but also similarly downgrades all bodily processes and functions, including fertility. So many factors may cause hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism. One of these may be insufficient Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland in the brain, or simply from the havocs of the halogens. The halogens are a group of gases (chlorine, fluorine, bromine etc) which have the same chemical structure as iodine, one of the nutrients the thyroid gland requires to function normally. When the halogens attach themselves to the receptors of the thyroid gland, they block iodine absorption and this creates iodine deficiency in this gland. Goitres may result or may not. Overtime, the body goes downhill. Sea kelp and other iodine-containing sea plants do help. The patient is to avoid cabbage and other gastrogen – containing plants, such as cauliflower, Brocoli spouts, Breoli, because gaststrogens, like Buggleweed used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, slows down the thyroid gland. These gastrogen containing plants are also known as the cruciferous vegetables. There are many proprietary medicines which can help. Among these are Tyroset, Laminaria, Magnesium, Triple iodine Complex and SDGs.
Tyroset is a combination of kelp, L-Tyrosine (an amino acid) and spices which support thyroid health. Laminaria is an extract of brown sea weeds rich in minerals and iodine. Triple iodine complex is similar to iodoral, which appears to be scarce world-wide. Iodoral was wonderful for many low-thyroid cases and auto-immune diseases. It came in tablets which contained 50mg of iodine or 12.5mg of it in addition to potassium iodide. Many people were scared of iodine at 50mg per dose. But a doctor who educated me about it said he took it for two years running when he was developing goitre. Members of his family took it for about one year. He believes all serious diseases in which the immune system has been depleted require iodine at about 50mg dosage. In Triple Iodine Complex, the iodine dosage is 12.5mg. Then, there are the SDGs. Composed largely of Lignans which have been found to build immunity, they offer good help in hypothyroidism.
When many people are down in the thyroids, they are sent by their doctors to laboratories which are to determine the levels of certain thyroid supportive substances in their blood. But often times, these tests do not capture the entire picture of what is going on in this organ. Worried about this unreliable check, a doctor named Broda Barnes decided to develop a reliable self, home test now named after him. Reporting the Broda Barnes Basal Body Temperature Test (BBT), James F. Balch, M.D., Co-author of PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING, and Mark Stengler, M.D., say in their PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NATURAL CURES:
“Basal Body temperature is one of the most effective tools for diagnosing hypothyroidism, and it is easy to take and record your temperature at home. The night before you begin the recording, assemble the following: A thermometre, if not digital, shake it down to 96 degrees Fahrenheit or lower; Pen or pencil; Paper; Clock, watch or stop watch.
“Place these items on your bedside table within easy reach of your usual sleeping position. When you wake up in the morning, place the thermometre under your ampit and lower your arm over it. Hold the thermometre tightly in place for 10 minutes. You need to be still for the entire seven to 10 minutes, as even a small movement can disturb the reading. When the 10 minutes are over, note your temperature and record it, with the date on the paper. Repeat this procedure for three days. If you are a menstruating woman, you should begin taking your temperature on the second day of your period.
“After three days, take the average of the readings. If it is below 97.7 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit (the normal range for a basal temperature), you probably have an underactive thyroid”.
Dr. Balch and Dr. Stengler say this test captures mild to moderate cases of hypothyroidism which are not sighted by blood tests. That is why, according to them, some people are told by their doctors that nothing is wrong with them, although they continue to experience some of the following symptoms.
“Fatigue, aparthy, depression and irritability, weight gain, ache and pains, sensitivity to cold and heat, constipation, menstrual problems (irregular periods), recurring infections, high cholesterol, hair loss, dry skin and hair, brittle, peeling nails, infertility, insomnia anxiety and panic attacks, poor memory and concentration, low libido, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, lowered immunity, carpal tunnel syndrome, Reynaud’s phenomenon, water retention, dry eyes or blurred vision, eye brow loss (outer one-third), anaemia and easy bruising, slow healing, coarse voice, tingling hands and feet”.
The long list isn’t surprising. For more than 200 diseases have been linked to hypothyroidism. In fact, about 26 prominent doctors in the United States discuss in a book on the thyroid gland that they routinely treat the gland as foundational treatment of any disease they have to cure.
Before I address some proprietary medicines which may help to boost sperm count, normalize morphology (shape) and motility (swimming capacity), I would like to mention some university research studies on common nuts and pepper which are said to do the job as well. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers studied walnut. They divided 117 men with count, morphology and motility problems into two groups. One group was given handfuls of walnut two times a day for six weeks. The other was given none. After six weeks, the problems had cleared in the group which ate walnuts but persisted in the group that did not eat it. This suggested that essential fatty acids in walnut did the trick. This is interesting because essential fatty acids have been found to also correct hypothyroidism. This is one reason it is advisable to eat oily fish, such as Titus or Sardine, or take Omega-3 fish or flat seed oil supplements.
In a study carried out on Grains of paradise, which the Yoruba of South-Western Nigeria call Atare, and known also as Alligator pepper, researchers at the University of Lagos report it to be a sperm booster. Also, the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) says that chewing alligator pepper improves sperm count while the leaf juice improves female fertility and regulates menstrual flow. The NNMDA reports, also, on walnut tree and cissus polnea, a parasitic root the Yoruba call Ogbolo (d.m.m). They are said to correct male infertility factors in south-west Nigeria. They not only possess anti-microbial activities which may cure some STDs, they also correct male and female infertility. When I was Editor of the Guardian newspaper in the 1980s, I sought on the Natural Health pages to pass on information that, before the debut of Viagra on the world market our forefathers in South-Western Nigeria had used the Ogbolo root for male sexual vitality. e.g dried the pulp to powder and added it to water or food and consumed. I got one of our reporters, DECLAN OKPALAEKE, a microbiology graduate from the Lagos State University (LASU) to run a kitchen experiment which I designed. Water extract of this root was given to about 24 men who were encouraged to check their sperm profile every month at two laboratories. Almost all of them recorded phenomenal sperm count increases each time they went for a check. About four had a check. About four had static or near static results. It turned out that they suffered from one infection or the other. When the laboratories saw what was happening, they referred some of their sperm-problem clients to us. When they took this extract, their conditions improved or normalised.
Some of them became fathers before we could call Jack Robinson. I took the results to the 70th yearly conference of the pharmaceutical society of Nigeria (PSN) held at the Lagos Airport Hotel. But the PSN showed no interest. Next, I took it to HEALTHCRAFTS, a natural medicine company in the United Kingdom which employed an orthodox doctor as a marketing officer. This doctor, a woman, had been married for years without a child. Neither she nor her company showed interest. I got Mr. Okpalaeke to present the report to the African Journalist of The Year Award, and it won First Prize placement with a purse of N1.5 million, a lot of money in the 1980s. With the help of Mr. Adeleke of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Phamacognosy department, I tried to stabilise the pulp as powder or preserve in alcohol. The processes were cumbersome and expensive, and I gave up the venture. Today, I am happy when I see itinerant agbo (herb potion) hawkers sell it as Afato (sperm generator). A seed long sown has sprouted. One day, Nigeria’s teeming money bags may invest in pharmaceutical factories to produce it.
Some people find use of such stuff inconvenient, and would rather have proprietary supplements. These abound in the market. I never fail to suggest Zinc to men and women. It is a fertility mineral and antioxidant. About 80 percent of the Zinc in a man’s body is found in the prostate gland, underscoring its importance not only for this gland but for fertility and virility as wells.
Hormonal imbalance may cause testosterone deficiency, which may affect Leydig cells of the testes which produce sperm. Also, the patient may be Vitamin E deficient. Vitamin E is not only an antioxidant and oxygen conserver, its deficiency has been found to cause shrinkage or atrophy of the testes, and , in extreme cases, its death. Often, I find that zinc, Vitamin C (10,00mg three times a day), Vitamin E and L-Arginine, an amino acid, L-carnitine and Co-Enzyme Q10 do the trick. The better should be the job where the patient consumes Walnut, if it is in season and alligator pepper, which is always in season.
L-Arginine is needed for the production of protein and helps rid the body of ammonia, a poison. We should remember that the sperm essentially has protein, in fact one of the finest grades of protein in the body. Besides, it stimulates the release of insulin, which helps sugar conversion to energy, a lot of which the sperm require of serious importance is the value of L-Arginine in the production of Nitric Oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessel. This enhances blood circulation. Blood is required to flow unhindered from the heart to the penis, for turgidity to occur without which the sperm cannot be well delivered into the portals of the vagina.
Thus, it helps to correct erectile dysfunction. A 1999 study published in the journal BJU International, showed that 50 men were given either five grammes of L-Arginine daily or a placebo. Six weeks after, the L-Argunine group showed improvement but the placebo group did not. Like Viagra Silderiaful Citrate), L-Argininue is believed to boost Nitric Oxide action and , thereby, relax blood vessels which supply blood to the penis. This helps these vessels to dialate, stock more blood and produce an erection. Viagra blocks an enzyme (PDE5) which destroys Nitric Oxide, wheras L-Argine makes Nitric Oxide. L-Arginime, for this reason, has reportedly helped cases of angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, intermittent claudication (pain in the ankles), dementia, cold, male infertility, migraines, sexual dysfunction in women, pre-enclamsia, interstitial cystitis. Since alligator pepper also works for fertility, I wonder what taking it with L-Arginunime will produce. Camerounian researchers have reported that Alligator pepper stimulate testosterone production. They suspect flavones present in alligator pepper may be responsible. They found, also, that extracts of alligator pepper caused an increase in testicular cholesterol after eight and 15 days of therapy. They are pleased with this effect, as they say, because cholesterol is the primary factor for androgen and testosterone production. Of interest to the researchers, also, was the fact that, after eight days of therapy alligator pepper stimulated secretions of the testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles and maintained it for 15 days afterwards. Their conclusion was to be expected: the findings confirm the use of Alligator pepper in Traditional Medicine (TM) as a solution for fertility problems in men, particularly if they are caused by insufficient or poor quality secretions of the sexual glands.
As stated earlier, one of these secretions is Fibrinogen. It combines with secretions of the prostates gland to form a coagulate substance which hold sperm and semen together. If it did not, the sperm may not travel to their target, the egg in the fallopian tube, as a fighting bunch, and could move along individually like a flock without a shepherd. This coagulate should dissolve within 15 and 20 minutes of deposition of sperm in the Vagina. If it dissolves too early, the bunch may disintegrate too early. This, I was told by one doctor, is what some women often complain about when they say their husband’s sperm is “watery”. Of course, the “watery” sperm can’t get far; they flow back. I find that L-arginine and Zinc help this condition. Dissolution of the coagulate too late may pose its own problems as well. For it may not release those factors in the semen such as prostaglandins to thin down mucus in the vagina and cervix gateway to the uterus, and this may also cause reflux.