4 Asian herbs to build muscle and improve performance Chinese and Indian ancient medicine has been developing wisdom of herbs for centuries. The Ayurveda tradition and Chinese herbalists have studied plants and trees, shrubs and weeds, to discover what help nature can offer to our health. Some of these plants come from the heights of the Himalayas, where roots need to draw all the nutrients it can from the rocks. Some of these plants grow in open sight, often ignored and sometimes classed as weeds. Are there herbs offered to help muscle performance and is there any scientific proof to support its ancient origins?
The answer is yes. There are four herbs in particular that can help with muscle growth and improve strength, speed and agility. The herbs work by boosting the bodies blood flow and testosterone levels. The herbs that could help are Ginseng, Hemp, Long Jack and Tribulus Terrestris. Each of these herbs can also help with sexual virility – so helping your performance in more ways than one!
Here is some more detail on each of these herbs, so you can choose which of the herbal extract will best suit you.
Ginseng is a group of herbs known as adaptogenic herbs. Ginseng root extracts have been used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners because it has been seen to benefit the central nervous system, enhance sexual performance and accelerate a person’s metabolism. There are many types of ginseng: Panax, Siberian and American. The different ginsengs offer many layers of “warmth” – or stimulation.
As an adaptogen, the herb offers therapeutic and restorative effects – experts call this a balancing of the bodies homeostasis. The herb aids the body’s battles against physical, chemical and biological stressors. Ginseng helps to normalize the body – which doesn’t sound promising until you consider the imbalance to hormones caused by ageing. Testosterone levels drop and estrogen levels rise in both men and women. Also, exercise causes a physical stress to muscles – literally ripping them and therefore encouraging the muscles to grow stronger when they heal – and ginseng helps with this recovery.
You need to make sure that you are purchasing true ginseng. Siberian ginseng is not a “true” ginseng and some herbs, such as Ashwagandha, call themselves the Indian ginseng, when in fact they are only similar to the “true” ginsengs. Therefore, it is a good idea to do your research and seek advice before purchasing your ginseng.
The recommended dosage for ginseng for erectile dysfunction in particular is 3 grams, taken in three doses of 1000mg.
Hemp oil is quickly growing to become the next big thing in sports supplementation. Hemp has been used for thousands of years in different cultures to treat many different alignments. Once considered a sacred herb, science has now confirmed hemp to contain a potent beneficial substance called CBD, Cannabidiol. Not only is CBD in hemp oil a potent anti-inflammatory, it also helps to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is catabolic and can break down muscle mass, so anything that can be done or taken to reduce levels of cortisol will indirectly help increase muscle protein synthesis. It was once difficult to find good sources of quality CBD oil but you can now even buy cbd oil amazon.
Anecdotal evidence, which suggests that Long Jack is a potent aphrodisiac, is strong. It is also known as Tongkat Ali and Eurycoma longifolia. It is also sometimes referred to as Malaysian Ginseng. The herb offers impressive anti-estrogenic effects, with similar impact to the pharmaceutical Tamoxifen. This is important to muscle gain and performance because aromatase in men causes the lowering of testosterone. This can make it difficult to lose weight and to create muscle. It can also cause erectile dysfunction and a loss of libido.
One of the tongkat ali benefits is the ability increase of testosterone – though the anecdotal evidence for support of sexual performance is pretty convincing. It makes sense that it should work to improve sexual performance – as the extract also prevents testosterone from binding with SHBG and therefore making more available for the body for sperm production and libido.
So, in simple terms, Long Jack allows the body to naturally regain its testosterone levels. Extract from the bark and the roots, if taken over a period of time, can really help both sexual performance and muscle mass and strength – though only for those taking part in a strength training program. Taking a dosage of 500mg twice a day over several months will offer the best results.
This is a plant from the Ayurveda tradition and the root and the fruits are extracted to help with male virility. It tends to be the root that is used as a libido and sexual performance enhancer and it is the fruit that is best used to increase protection of the body’s organs.
Tribulus Terrestris is an adaptogen, which means it has a balancing effect on the body. The anti-stress effects of the fruits are particularly effective for protecting the body from the everyday harm of ageing. Most of the scientific evidence suggests this is particularly effective for cardiovascular protection. However, when the body is balanced, so are the hormones. Therefore, the herbal extract helps to balances the testosterone and the estrogen in the body. This is what helps the body to naturally heal itself, whether it is the muscles or the ability to perform sexually.
Dosage of the extract could be up to 5 – 6 grams of the root powder and 2 to 3 grams of the fruits.
The benefits of natural herbs
The benefit of these herbs over drugs – whether as part of a hormone replacement therapy or sexual performance stimulus – is the lack of side effects. Pharmaceutical products can have major negative impacts on the body. In complete contrast, this group of potent herbs tend to have many other healing benefits for the body – including protection for organs, reduction in fat and improving health of the heart.
Asian herbs are powerful tonics. Whether it is ginseng, long jack or Tribulus Terrestris or even other testosterone boosters such as Icariin – there are multiple ways to improve muscle growth and sexual performance. As we age, our ability to lose fat and gain muscle is reduced. Our testosterone levels can also start to impact performance, especially if our hormone levels are particularly low. Therefore, it seems only right that we seek out a solution to our problems.
The scientific community have created hormone replacement therapies and drugs such as Viagra or Steroids to promote similar effects. However, these therapies actually cause major risks to health in the long term. These herbal extracts offer a natural, long term solution with limited contra-indications. It seems to make sense to give these Asian extracts a chance.
Author: Simon Harrison