Ask The Herbalist: Causes of Men's & Women's Health

We reached out to one of our local, recently graduated Clinical Herbalists, Shelly Olson - owner of SO Herbal, to help define general health complications among the sexes. Shelly and I were in the same herbal courses, taught by local Herbalist Nicholas Schnell through North Star Herbal Studies program located in Four Winds Natural Healing Center.

Early on, I had to stop my herbal courses, however my education continued as my wife is also a Clinical Herbalist and I will forever be exchanging theory and ideas with her, learning and being pulled deeper into the Herbal world. Shelly continued her education through the 3-year intensive and has now received the official title as Clinical Herbalist - ready to change the world and help clients from every walk of life. 

Help us welcome Shelly into the herbal community as we highlight her practice with an introduction to the different (general) causes of men's and women's health concerns:

"Thank you to Prairie Star Botanicals for asking me to write my first ever blog post! I have to say when I read these questions, I had to re-read them a few times to understand how I was going to answer them. I have taken several anatomy and physiology classes in my years of school, so I have a pretty good understanding of how the body works. I also just recently graduated from an herbalist program with more of a Traditional Chinese Medicine lens, which allows for a different perspective when looking into disease and illness. When answering the prompted questions, I decided to go for more of a surface level approach of my understanding of the beautiful creation we call the human body.

What are the internal factors vs the external factors that can cause health imbalances?

First let’s define health. Health is simply a state of being free from illness or injury.

Internal factors are things happening INSIDE the body. Things like: cell development, organ function, tissue states, system functions, water intake, nutrition (what you eat vs what you actually absorb), and hormones.

External factors are things happening OUTSIDE the body. Such as: our environment, geographical location, pollution, social activities, sports, things/people we listen to, substance abuse, food we have access to, and stress.

What role does the Liver have in influencing men’s and women’s health?

A heathy Liver’s function in both men and women is the same. The job responsibility of the liver is to process and break down blood and send nutrients out to the proper location while filtering out toxins. The liver also produces bile, which helps digest fats and carry out waste to be excreted.

Are health issues caused by the same factors for men and women or different factors?

To be honest, I couldn’t answer this question conclusively with a black and white answer. Sure, there is likely research to show that men’s health issues could stem from a testosterone imbalance, which men biologically have a higher amount of than women. I’m also sure we could find research proving women have more estrogen-based health issues that aren’t seen in men, as estrogen levels are biologically higher in women. I believe that health issues are individual and indicative, of the person as a unique being. We are all made up of similar structures, but our constitutions (the individuals body condition that makes them susceptible to certain diseases), diets, geographical and environmental factors, nutrition, exercise, etc. are all going to be so vastly different. Not to mention the world we are living in with the stressors of work, family, politics, surgery, etc.

There are biological differences in how men and women’s bodies function, and understanding those is the basis to my approach with each client. In this blog post I want to reference the biological differences between a man and women’s body biologically, vs gender identity. Every human body is so beautiful and worth exploring to be able to function at its utmost capability, based on individuality. Understanding each unique individual allows for a clear picture of how to help, and that is my absolute favorite part.

My practice is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am the owner of “SO Herbal” that operates within Emerald Healing Arts and Apothecary. I offer consultations, herbal parties, custom teas, tinctures, and more! To schedule a consultation with me please visit my website: SoHerbal or feel free to email, call or text 402-871-9336

Like and follow on social media: Facebook @So Herbal, Instagram @thatssoherbal" - Shelly Olson, owner of SO Herbal, Clinical Herbalist

Although we are different sexes, we are all so similar, more so than we may realize. Everybody, no matter who you are or what path in life you walk, we are all influenced by the same factors that affect our health - chemical imbalances, nutritional imbalances, stress, exhaustion, lifestyles and habits, friends and family, and this barely scratches the surface. The important piece to take away from this, is that we all need to be recognized as unique individuals and our health needs reflect our individualized lifestyles. 

Health is not a "one-size-fits-all" situation, not even a one-size-fits-MOST situation. One herb or medication or surgery or lifestyle does not work for everyone. We all have complicated constitutions, which brings a desire to understand what works specifically for each unique individual - different practices will work better for me while other practices will work better for you.

Reach out to one of our local Herbalists to schedule your personal consultation for your specific health needs, in person or over the phone.

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