Traditional Research | Gentle-Man™

Milky Oat (Avena sativa)*

One of the great nerve trophorestoratives. It gently and gradually helps to restore emotional balance and a calm demeanor. It is useful for anxiety, depression or irritability. Animal studies show that milky oat can enhance stress response, improve learning and decrease social avoidance2.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)*

One of the most esteemed Rasayana or rejuvenative herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a calming adaptogen that also enhances testosterone levels and libido3. In a human clinical trial, it enhanced libido and sexual performance as well as improving many parameters associated with aging4. Withania has also shown the ability to reduce the effects of chronic stress and alleviate depression and anxiety5-7.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)*

Black Cohosh is often referred to as the menopause herb, but this is not really accurate. While it has some benefit for relieving menopausal symptoms in women, one of its most effective uses is for hormonal depression, which includes andropausal depression in men.

Mimosa bark (Albizia julibrissin)*

Known in Chinese medicine as He Huan Pi or Collective Happiness Herb, the name is fitting as it is one of the most effective mood elevators known. It can be used for depression, chronic grief and “broken hearts”. Animal studies8,9 show that it has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects.

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)*

Saw Palmetto is mostly known for its beneficial effects on the prostate gland. It not only reduces symptoms of BPH, it also helps relieve “Grumpy Old Man Syndrome”, which is exacerbated by increasing levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw Palmetto can inhibit conversion of testosterone to DHT by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase10.

Pulsatilla (Pulsatilla vulgaris)*

Pulsatilla was a popular remedy of the Eclectic physicians. It is used in very small amounts for hormonal depression, anxiety, irritability, moodiness and “fly off the handle” anger. A closely related Korean species of Pulsatilla has been found to have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects in animal studies11, 12.


1. Meletis C and Barker J. Holistic Approaches to Treating Andropause. Alt Comp Ther 2004 10(5):241-246.

2. Schellekens C, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Wullschleger C and Heyne A. An Extract from Wild Green Oat Improves Rat Behaviour. Phytother Res 2009 Oct:23(10);137-7.

3. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK et al. Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality by Regulating Reproductive Hormone Levels and Oxidative Stress in Seminal Plasma of Infertile Males. Fertil Steril 2010 Aug;94(3):989-96.

4. Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996.

5. Anon. Monograph of Withania somnifera. Altern Med Rev 2004; 9(2):211-4.

6. Bhattacharya SK and Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic Activity of Withania somnifera: An Experimental Study Using a Rat Model of Chronic Stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2003 June;75(3):547-55.

7. Gupta GL and Rana AC. Protective Effect of Withania somnifera dunal Root Extract Against Protracted Social Isolation Induced Behavior in Rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2007 Oct-Dev;51(4):345-53.

8. Kim JH, Kim SY, Lee SY and Jang CG. Antidepressant-like Effects of Albizzia julibrissin in Mice: Involvement of the 5-HT1A Receptor System. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2007 May;87(1):41-7.

9. Jung JW, Cho JH, Ahn NY et al. Effect of Chronic Albizzia julibrissin Treatment on 5-hydroxytryptamine1A Receptors in Rat Brain. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2005 May;81(1):205-10.

10. Winston D. Saw Palmetto for Men and Women. Pownal VT: Storey Books, 1999.

11. Han CK, Choi WR and Oh KB. Cognition-enhancing and Neuroprotective Effects of Hederacolchiside-E from Pulsatilla koreana. Planta Med 2007a Jun;73(7)665-9.

12. Han CK, Park YH, Jin DQ et al. SK-PC-B70M from Pulsatilla koreana Improves Scopalamine-induced Impairments of Memory Consolidation and Spatial Working Memory. Brain Res 2007b Dec 12;1184:254-9.

13. Ellingwood F. The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Sandy OR: Eclectic Medical Pub, 1986 reprints of 1919 edition.

14. Winston D and Maimes S. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief. Rochester VT: Healing Arts Press, 2007.

15. Seidlová-Wuttke D, Jarry H, Pitzel L and Wuttke W. Effects of Estradiol-17beta, Testosterone and a Black Cohosh Preparation on bone and Prostate in Orchidectomized Rats. Maturitas 2005 Jun 16;51(2):177-86.

16. Chen T and Chen T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art Medicine Press, 2004.

Herbal Therapeutics Research Library, David Winston (RH) AHG

©2012 Herbal Therapeutics Research Library. All rights reserved

*Disclaimer: The information on historical, ethnobotanical and phytotherapeutic uses of herbs and traditional formulas contained herein is based on the experience and research of the author. It is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should be done under the direction of a health care professional. The publisher and author are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the information discussed. Should you have any questions concerning the appropriateness of any preparation mentioned, the author strongly suggests consulting a professional health care advisor.