Men’s Health with Dr Ralph Esposito (EP#3)

by Farley D January 04, 2021 68 mins read

Men’s Health with Dr Ralph Esposito (EP#3)

Our first guest to the podcast – Dr Ralph is in the house! In today’s show, Mason and Dr Ralph explore all things men’s health and sexual dysfunction (and what you can do about it to get your sex drive rocking) and look at the tonic herbs that can 10x a man’s sexual health. Dr Ralph is a medical consultant and research analyzer in New York and shares the most common health complaints he sees from his male patients. The guys cover erectile dysfunction, pornography, tips to resensitize the male body, sperm health and how it’s important to converse with your partner on these topics to regain a healthy sex life. The interaction between chemical neurotransmitters and molecules is explored and how they affect a male’s sexual function. Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy is weaved throughout the podcast and several herbs and practical lifestyle practices are explored to reinvigorate the male function and energy. 


“Erectile dysfunction in younger men….is alarming….it should not be an issue in young fertile men” – Dr Ralph’


In today’s episode we will cover:

  • The most common issue in men’s health and what to do about it
  • Adaptogens for daddy issues?!
  • The erectile dysfunction epidemic in young, fertile men
  • The HPA axis and how it relates to the biological chain of events in the body
  • Reishi as an immunomodulator and stress modulator
  • How men completely underestimate how strong the mind is and what role it must play in health and sexual function
  • Deer antler; the super yang herb to increase sexual vigor
  • How stress is the key factor related to psychological issues of erectile dysfunction
  • The connection between sleep, testosterone and sex drive
  • The connection between sexual dysfunction and pornography
  • The healthy nature of masturbation
  • The fact that sharing with your partner your wants, needs and desires is critical to a healthy relationship and sexual function
  • The magic of mucuna for men’s health
  • Meditation and testosterone
  • The immortal question: Is more testosterone ALWAYS better?
  • The number one anti-erection molecule and what you can do to reduce it
  • Testicular health 101
  • Colorful foods are high in antioxidants and great for testicular health
  • And heaps more.

Who is Dr Espo?

Dr. Esposito is a naturopathic physician, licensed acupuncturist and functional medicine practitioner specializing in Hormones, Integrative Urology and Men's Health. His precise and personalized style embodies a progressive approach to medicine. He has been published and is a peer reviewer in well-respected medical journals. Furthermore, Dr. Esposito has authored several medical textbook chapters and has designed education modules for health professionals specifically on urological conditions, fertility, male and female hormone dysfunction, Low Testosterone, exercise, fitness, men’s health and sexual dysfunction. He has trained at NYU Integrative and Functional Urology Center. Dr. Esposito also holds a position as adjunct professor at New York University where he lectures on integrative medicine.



Dr Espo’s site
Dr Espo’s insta 
Schisandra - The 7 Sexy Benefits  
HPA axis H-P-A- what?
Reishi - The Queen
DUTCH test
Deer Antler


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Check Out The Transcript Here:


- Hey everybody it's Mason here, and welcome to the SuperFeast podcast. We're the specialists in tonic herbalism and medicinal mushrooms. That takes us in many directions, many wonderful directions as we create extraordinary health for ourselves, and for our families of course. And today it takes us deep into the world of men's health. I've got my friend and just generally a man that I really, really respect in this men's health world, Dr. Ralph Esposito. We call him Dr. Espo. He's a specialist in integrative urology and men's health over in New York. He's got a bachelor in nutrition and dietetics, and he's got premedical studies as well. Holds the position of adjunct professor at NYU, which is badass, and obtained a naturopathic medical degree and a master's in acupuncture. So, yes of course we are gonna be diving deep into tonic herbalism today and how that relates to men's health. Dr. Espo being a trained Chinese herbalist has got a lot to contribute on that matter. And I really enjoyed jamming out about different protocols that we take here at SuperFeast, and what he's up to. It was also nice to send him out a couple of herbs and get him trying some of ours, and it was, got some beautiful reviews which was nice, but not surprising. But we dived deep into a number of more taboo men's health issues today, so that's including pornography and erectile dysfunction. We'll kinda get a little bit into, yes the physicality and the chemical reasons why that would be happening in the body, but we get into the emotional aspects and also the psychology, of course. We look at how we can obtain healthy and balanced levels of sex hormones and yes, testosterone, we talk about it just so we can really ensure that us as men are ultimately living nice, long, healthy lives. It's a beautiful conversation whether you're a man, whether you're a woman, tune in. There is a lot to learn, and everybody should have this information in their repertoire, enjoy! Hello everybody and g'day Dr. Espo, how are you, man?

- Hey, thanks for having me, man, I'm excited.

- Yeah, my pleasure. I'm really excited as well. So this is a special one for the men and the boys in the SuperFeast family. We're gonna be diving into men's health and also, I'm sure, just a beautiful one for women to hear a little bit more about like what, you know, the real guts of what it takes

- Yeah.

- For a man to be super healthy. So where are you at the moment?

- I'm in New York. Couldn't you tell my accent?

- Yeah, I should be able to, like, you roam all over the place a little bit, don't you? You're a little bit all over there.

- Yeah, yeah.

- I watch your Instagram.

- Right, but I'm in New York and it's kinda where I reside, and I try to heal all the men in New York, which is a big task, but I'm trying.

- Okay, sweet, let's start there. You're in the metropolis, right?

- I am.

- You're in the Big Apple, and there are a lot of men there, I'm sure it's a bit of a melting pot of men's health issues, sexual issues,

- Oh yeah.

- Hormone issues, so you've got a clinic there, right?

- I actually work as a medical consultant and a lead research, or a research analyst in a practice, so I work actually with another doctor, and we consult together. So all of our patients get my brain and his brain, and so yes, kind of, in an indirect sense. So it's a very unique model.

- Yeah, sweet, can I, let's just quickly touch on that because I liked that you're obviously very integrated in yourself

- Yeah.

- And you see a lot of integrated doctors holding all the integration within themselves, and one thing is a giant next step in, well you know, whether it's clinical practice, or do you know, just in men's health, is integrating different minds, different specialties, so yeah, what made you make that step? I like it, it's really humble.

- I actually love it. It's amazing because I get to super-focus on every single patient that I see, and the medical doctor that I work with, he realizes that he can hire another medical doctor, he can hire somebody else, but he wanted somebody who would actually challenge his thoughts and challenge his model of medicine, which is what I have been striving for since I, you know, started naturopathic medical school. I thought, I need to find a way to kind of change this system, and he is, like, open arms and really just wanted somebody else who can offer a different view and a different aspect into hormonal and men's health, but overall as well. So basically every patient that we see, I have a say or an input as to what my take is on the labs and the history, and then on top of that, I do research. And none of it is primary research, so I'm not conducting experiments, but I'm actually going, I would say forehead deep into all the research on a particular condition or on a particular drug. Like, for example, you know what's very popular now are SARMs, selective antigen receptive modulators, which are kinda trying to phase out a lot of steroids, and men are trying to use this one now, and the research is pretty limited, but it's my job to know everything that we can possibly know about it, and then it benefits the practice as a whole.

- Oh man, I love it. And I think it's really healthy, I mean, just in terms of people listening to this, you know, possibly they've been, you know, forehead deep or balls deep, in like that

- Yeah.

- In solely the natural world or the medical world and it's just a really nice maturing that everyone, I think, can take on a little bit more inspiration to integrate the way that they see health, and start branching out, and as you said, with your partner there, a medical doctor who's really open to being challenged, I love that. That's actually really good. I think there's quite a bit of good research around how good challenge, when it doesn't come from an egoic I'm gonna win and beat you and debate you space, is really good for testosterone at the same time.

- Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely.

- I love it, man, and I think that's, my last couple of years, I've gone down being very hardcore only natural protocols, natural healing, and you know, in one sense, you get indoctrinated within yourself and dogmatic in yourself in that approach,

- and it's been nice for me

- Yeah. to open up my world view and see, you know, not just say, oh those people are just naturally wrong 'cause they're in the medical world, but just have a little bit more empathy and start going, you know what, we can probably have some conversation here for the benefit of our society and everyone else.

- Absolutely, and the best thing is is when people, I always tell people you need to speak to all the languages, and if you are in your bubble of just natural medicine, then there's no way for you to communicate with somebody else and even try to convince them that your way or your thought process is valid. Because if you can't speak the same language, then you just are speaking gibberish and then you get nowhere.

- Oh man, I love it so much. So you're seeing a lot of patients. Let's start diving into the common themes that you get from the men that you see, in terms of sexual dysfunction, hormone dysfunction. Off the bat, what's the most common complaint or reason that you have people coming to you?

- So I would say one of the most common issues in men's health right now is a combination of, and this is more on the statistical level, is pelvic pain, so like prostate pain or testicular pain. Sometimes men are a little bit ashamed of saying where the pain is, so they'll say, you know, my testicles hurt or my penis hurts or I feel pressure between like my groin area. That's pretty common, but what I'm noticing a lot more, and this is not even patients, I'm seeing this among friends and colleagues and the thousands of people who are constantly reaching out to me on social media, is erectile dysfunction in younger men. And that's alarming to me because erectile dysfunction should not be an issue in young fertile men in their 20's, 30's, and 40's, 50's, it shouldn't even be an issue. You know, men throughout their whole life should be able to perform sexually, but I'm seeing now, a lot more often now, which concerns me a little bit. I wanna figure out exactly why this is happening.

- And what have you brought up so far?

- So when I look at erectile dysfunction in younger men, the one thing that I would ask is, are you able to get an erection even if you're not trying to have intercourse with somebody? So what I would basically say is, if or when you masturbate, are you able to maintain and achieve orgasm and erection? And if you are, does that happen when you're actually with a physical sexual partner? And if he answers no, then that mostly tells you that there's a psychogenic aspect of this erectile dysfunction. Or basically, when they say it's all in your head, well, unfortunately, it's partially in your head. And men, and actually people completely underestimate how strong the mind is. So when I see those two combinations of yes, I can masturbate but I can't have sex with my girlfriend, wife, or other partner, then I'm thinking there's a psychological issue going on here. And it doesn't have to be like you're psychologically disabled or have some type of mental disorder. But it starts in the psyche, it starts in the brain, and that's when I started digging deep into what could be caused there.

- And when you start digging in, what are some of the leading factors that you start finding?

- Yeah, so everybody's stressed, and living in New York, I mean, I don't know how often, you know, listeners are in New York, but you come into New York and it's high pressure, it's high intensity. We get things done, and you know, we're, you know, always going and rushing. Have you been to New York, by the way?

- No, I haven't. I'm like

- Oh my God.

- I'm super stoked to get there. It's happening next year, for sure. It's happening next year.

- I know, it has to.

- Yeah.

- Absolutely. And when you're here, let me know, we'll hang out.

- Yeah, absolutely.

- But it's the hustle and bustle. And the thing is, is that people don't understand there's a difference between physical stress and a perceived stress. So I wake up in the morning and the perceived stress is okay, let me check my phone, I have 22 emails. You know, did I get an email from this patient or did I get an email from, you know, my attorney, or whatever issue comes up, that is a perceived stress, right? So that's a psychological stressor. The other types of stressors are I wake up in the morning, man, I'm having knee pain, back pain, I have a headache, I don't feel energized, so you know, then you start worrying about why you don't feel energized. Lack of sleep is one of the biggest issues that I see, and it's superly underestimated because people don't realize that is the one thing that all throughout evolution, it is the one thing that has never changed ever. We have always needed sleep. And you know, when people underestimate sleep, they tend to focus on all the other things, like okay, well, it must be my diet or it must be a lack of hormones. But if you just adjust the sleep part, that's a huge factor, and then when you get into the psychological part of it and we were talking about this offline, recently, you know, pornography is a real issue. And I don't think people want to acknowledge it, but it certainly is something that we need to pay attention to.

- And so let's just dive into that briefly around the pornography issue. So that is going to especially come in as a factor when someone, obviously they've got, they've got healthy penile function, they've got a libido, but then when they get there with their partner, it's gonna be, something's gonna be in their head and it's gonna stop them from performing there, and you're gonna find erectile dysfunction. What's, you know, I know that it seems like some obvious factors, but you know, from a, you know, just from psychological perspective

- Yeah.

- Why is that happening?

- There, I try to make the comparison to food, or even drugs. So people who are addicted to addictive drugs, typically like amphetamines or morphine, so like opioids, which are highly addictive and there's a big issue here in the states, but even like cocaine and heroin, these are very addictive drugs because they impact our neuro transmitters. This also applies to food as well. So that's why a lot of people are very much addicted to sugar and fat because when you combine those two, they trigger different parts of the brain that are reward centers or reward areas of the brain. Well pornography actually does something very, very similar, and a lot of the research is showing that men who watch a lot of pornography have a decreased reward sensitivity. So basically, they watch more porn, they're seeing the pornography and they think, this stuff is stimulating, I mean, think about it. It's like you're stimulating your brain in order to have a response. As time goes on, they start becoming desensitized and they start seeking more extreme types of pornography. So the typical two intimate partners doesn't do it for them. Then they need more of the bondage type of stuff, and then they become desensitized, and that has a lot to do with dopamine levels. And dopamine is a reward hormone, and we create more dopamine and then our receptors become desensitized, and that can create issues in the bedroom because now, you're going into the bedroom and you're expecting this woman who has like a perfect body, and then you're expecting to be like the guy who has the perfect body, who's very well-endowed, and the images do not connect, and then the body says, well this is not what I want. I want something better, and really, it's all your imagery and that creates the issue with being able to perform.

- So let's break that down into some solutions, steps. Do you kind of, do you generally have patient by patient recommendation of how to wean off that? Do you like the cold turkey? You know, what's the strategy there with the pornography, and then let's move into, you know, like really nourishing the body and the capacity to, you know, our dopamine levels et cetera. I know we've spoken about mucuna before. Let's go into, kind of like the herbal treatment side of things. So yeah, kinda throw those two things at you.

- Absolutely. So in terms of the lifestyle thing, that is gonna be the biggest factor. And to answer, your question is do I have them go cold turkey? Yes, I do unless the person certainly has some type of attachment, right? Just like how you wouldn't stop somebody cold turkey from taking, you know, pain medication or sometimes even cigarettes, they take, it's easier to wean them off. Some people can go cold turkey and just say hey, not doing the cigarettes anymore, not doing the drugs anymore, not doing the pornography anymore. But it really depends on how reliant they are on it. But I have not seen somebody yet who has been so dependent on pornography that it actually, causes a change in their lifestyle when they stop. So yes, I just tell 'em you need to stop, and the great things to do is sometimes, like if you have on your browser, you can block certain sites. So I just tell them hey, if you use you know, these two or three websites, just block 'em. Just go home, block the websites, because it's kind of like when you have cookies in the cabinet. If you put the cookies really close to your reach, it's really easy to splurge and have four or five cookies, right? And it's really easy to just type in, but if you block it, now you have to go the extra step to unblock it so that you can actually get access to it. And that sometimes is enough of a barrier for people to stop getting, you know, or to stop watching pornography. So that's what I tell people. And I actually tell them to stop masturbating.

- Oh, so you tell 'em, is that what, what were you just saying, sorry?

- I actually tell them to stop masturbating.

- Oh, okay.

- And not for a long term, because actually there is some research showing that masturbation can be healthy for men, especially if they're not sexually active. But I do tell them, if this is something that's interrupting your life that you are, you know, you're in the middle of your duties and you have to, you're like oh my God, I really wanna go watch porn or masturbate, then I tell 'em, you know what? Then just stop it all for, you know, a few weeks, and then you can reintroduce it. Because really what we're trying to do is just re-sensitize the body, and it's a very easy process, but it takes a lot of willpower.

- I think it's amazing as well, as we were talking about before we jumped on, just how many people are talking about this right now and how many people have responded to your posts on Instagram, I saw that post, I saw the story. Just, you know, you're just kinda like getting it out there. It's like yeah, it's been taboo, it's definitely not anywhere near as taboo as it was a couple of years ago to actually talk about this, and whenever I've seen this, and you know, like from our last conversation, just hearing what like, you know, just talking to friends or your partner or, like, of what you're working with and what you're moving through, I think that's really healthy and I think it's a huge part of emerging masculinity now, to be able to talk about that, you know, what you're dealing with. Ultimately, I think that's gonna be amazing for sex hormones.

- Oh yeah, absolutely. And this is the thing is if you're able to talk with your partner and say hey, you know, I am really attracted to this type of pornography. If you speak with your partner, you guys can work together to figure out what turns each of you on and what can get your, 'cause really what we're talking about is how do we activate those nerves or create more of a sensation that is pleasing to the body? Like, for example, when some people go for a massage, like, I don't like to be touched on my feet, okay. So when I go for a massage, if somebody touches my feet, I'm like please, that's like not relaxing. But then when they start massaging my upper back, like my traps and shoulders, it's very relaxing and it's definitely, you know, it's something that can lead to more comfort in the bedroom. And that's the same thing with pornography is that you can say hey, I really like this type of stuff and it may be a little bit extreme because a person has been desensitized and they seek this behavioral-seeking behavior, or reward-seeking behaviors. But if you talk about it, then it's like hey, I think something's going on here. Let's work on it together. But I wanted to mention a statistic to you that's really interesting, and I haven't told this to anybody or I haven't discussed it with anybody, so I'd love to see your impression.

- Breakin' news, breakin' statistics.

- I'm breaking the news.

- Right here on the SuperFeast podcast.

- I actually am doing a presentation with a colleague of mine, Dr. Carrie Jones, who is the medical director for the DUTCH test, and we're doing a presentation on sexual dysfunction. And during my research, I found that in 2001, in Europe, 13% of men between the age 40 and 80 had erectile dysfunction. And you would say, okay, 13%, 40 to 80 years old, that might be a normal statistic. Let's just say that's a normal statistic. In 2011, 14 to 28%, up to 28% of men between the age of 18 and 40, so younger than 40, had erectile dysfunction.

- Far out. But like environmentally, what is going on? What is going on?

- It's almost double of what men 40 to 80 years old were experiencing in 2001, 2002. And pornography first started becoming easily accessible on the internet around 2005 to 2007. So they were able to find the timeframe where that change happened.

- Oh my gosh, insane. You just can't ignore it, and that's why I like, you know, jumping into this. Don't worry everybody, we're gonna be jumping into herbs and talking about all this good stuff and nerding out, but you just can't avoid it when you're talking about men's health and sexual dysfunction. And even if it's not affecting you directly, it's just good to know this because at some point, we're bringing back, you know, there's one thing I like about you is you're really empowering people. It's like, yeah, you've got your own practice and you have patients, but it bridges to bringing the wisdom and the law back into the home or into a friendship group or a community so it doesn't need to always be like gosh, I better go the doctor 'cause this is going on. It's just like, more common is gonna be the conversation around well, you know, maybe it's gonna be herbalism

- Maybe it's gonna be

- Yeah. around pornography, and that's really empowering because that's gonna get back into our culture the medicine endogenously that's is gonna be able to get those crazy statistics. They are insane statistics. Like that was like, you know, people don't believe me when I was doing the markets years ago. It's how I kinda got SuperFeast off the ground, doing like three years of markets. And I'd get so many boyfriends dragged along by the girlfriend going, go and listen to Mason and he's really good and you know. And then they'd be like eh. And I'd just kind of be chatting, and I'd always, I'd drop the little, you know, I did the little facts about, like, you know, how health has got a lot to do with like, you know, a nice strong libido, you know, a good sexual function, and just like slide it in there, not talking at them.

- I know what it's like

- Yeah. to be in the beginning stages and you don't want to be threatened or challenged or anything thrown in your face. And anyway, they'd walk off, and seriously, people don't believe me, but I reckon it was like, I don't know, you know like 20% of the time, I'd get guys creeping back in either that week or writing to me on Instagram or something like that,

- Yeah.

- Going, do you really think that that's true, that we should have like really rocking libido and you know, we should be like, you know, rock hard down there? I'm like dude, yes! Absolutely, yes, so often, and it just got more and more and more and more over the years. I just had a guy literally, you know, like mid-20's, a guy write to me just going like man, I need something for my libido, I'm kind of ready to get onto this. Lay it out for me.

- Yeah.

- What should I be doing?

- Huge conversation, that's why I like having this chat, so man, I'm glad that you're putting that together and putting that out there.

- Thanks.

- We were talking about, you were talking about the dopamine, the reward receptors. For me, this kinda seems like a, it's like a short-term and long-term treatment and aspect of lifestyle

- Yeah.

- When it comes to libido. So I'd like to hear a couple of things, and I know you like mucuna, I love mucuna as well, the velvet bean, the herb. I think SuperFeast is, you know it from, it's one of the main ingredients in our Neural Nectar, and we will have it as an individual herb soon. I'll let you guys all know when that happens, but yeah, give us a little download on this herb in terms of why you like it and use it.

- I love mucuna or dopa bean, it depends on whoever, you know, however you wanna call it. I love it because it's an herb that has such a high level of dopamine, and it amazes me how we can find this in nature at such a high level where even some people are using it for Parkinson's Disease because it's a issue with dopamine production, what happens is, or dopamine synthesis, and as an end result is people are using this herb mucuna as a therapy to help them. And if you look on the forums and even in some of the research, it does show that this herb actually can be very helpful. Now why would I use it for men's health? What does men's health have to do with Parkinson's? Well in fact, when you have low levels of dopamine, it can increase your production of prolactin. And why does that matter? Well prolactin is a hormone that a lot of women might be familiar with, and it helps with lactation, right? Pro, lact like lactation, it produces or helps promote lactation. We don't want that in men, right? But what prolactin can do is it'll decrease something called LH, and LH is a hormone that makes your body make more testosterone. So I really love this herb because it actually is treating the possible cause of why you're unable to perform or have enough libido or have enough testosterone levels, because you have other things going on in your brain that are desensitizing your body to make testosterone. And it's just so fascinating, and it's so cheap too, that it's, you know, compared to pharmaceutical drugs, and there really are not pharmaceutical drugs that can treat similar to how this herb does, so it's one of my favorite herbs and it's very benign and it tastes pretty decent too.

- Yeah, I think it tastes really good as well. It particularly really tastes amazing with cacao and hot chocolates

- Yes.

- And now like just the fact it grows like right across the equatorial belt. It's just available in so many places, and it's, you know, like some of it's working with like the Taoist herbal tradition. Yep, bang, you see it like, you know, you see in the south of China and through that area, it's used there heavily, through Central America of course it's used heavily.

- Yeah. Been to a couple of mucuna operations over in Cost Rica, which was magic

- Wow.

- And it's just, it's really nice to see that this is getting out there, and I put it in the Neural Nectar, yeah, for the fact that, you know, that's the brain blend, for that fact that it is amazing for those neurotransmitters and it's amazing for balancing mood but often people forget that when we're dealing with that, you know, whether it's mental stress, whether it's the marrow of the brain, the neurotransmitters, the kidneys are governing that marrow

- Yes.

- And so you're going to find there is a kidney organ effect, and that's one thing like people don't realize, and I love that you bring it up that mucuna testosterone, but basic kidney adrenal function

- Yes.

- It's so amazing for it, and so, that's right, I'm a big fan as well. I'm in love with that herb, it's kind of why, one of the reasons I wanted to get it in that Neural Nectar, I wanted to get it into my mum who's healing from, she like six years ago had an aneurysm, so she's got a brain injury

- Wow.

- And she's consistently healing, so I wanted to that in her, you know, in her diet, and so she's pretty much got that going in everyday, circulating, but every day.

- Nice.

- But then for me personally, I wanted it in my diet, so I got it in there, a nice big dose in that Neural Nectar which is yeah, always makes me happy. And like, that's another thing.

- And it's a gene kidney herb.

- Yeah.

- You know, like, it's a gene-keeping herb and let's bridge over now 'cause I know you've studied TCM

- Yep.

- And you were mentioning about, kinda like the two types of stress that people are waking up with, and I'd love to just dive into that 'cause we have a lot of people, you know, coming to us and saying

- Yeah.

- You know, I'm anxious and I'm stressed. They'll kind of, they'll show that they've both got that like mental stress and physical stress, or maybe it's just gonna be one or the other. You mentioned that wake up in the morning, sore knees, sore lower back, tight, gene deficiency, kidney deficiency, obviously a huge organ-based physiological-based aspect

- Yeah.

- Of having strong men's health. What do you do in those instances?

- Boy, so what do we do in those instances trying to correct the waking up and those stressors?

- Yeah, those stressors, that physical stress.

- I'm gonna give you the answer most people would like to hear, and then I'm gonna give you that I think is most effective. The answer that most people wanna hear is, you know, what can I take to reduce these stressors? And my favorite is certain adaptogens, schisandra, which is an excellent adaptogenic Chinese herb ashwagandha, another one of my favorite adaptogen herbs. It's really, you know, ashwagandha's also called, the latin name, withania somnifera and somnifera, somnolence is kind of relaxing. So I like to have people to take those herbs and have 'em calm down. But really the best thing that I could tell you to do is upon waking, meditate.

- Yeah.

- And that's the one thing that I don't think people wanna hear, and it's the one thing that people are less likely to wanna do, and they think it's weird, but it has the most beneficial aspect in terms of improving your outlook or your approach to these physical and psychological stressors. Now why do I say both? Because you can control your pain by the way that you manage your perception of it. So meditation is kind of like working out a muscle, it's like when you go to the gym, and a lot of men will get this, you go to the gym, you work out your biceps, and the second you go home, your biceps are no bigger than they were, you know, the day before. It takes weeks and months of doing bicep exercises and leg exercises and running to get better at it and you get more endurance to get bigger muscles. The brain, for some reason, people think it's completely different, but in fact it's actually the same. In order to train your brain to function and to manage stressors, you need to train it, you need to practice, and meditation is exactly that. So people tell me, well I did meditation and I felt relaxed for like five minutes and then it went away. I said yeah, of course, but do it every day for a prolonged period of time, and your ability to adapt and respond to those stressors is going to be immensely better but it takes time.

- Man, I love it so much. Now, I wanna kinda talk about that adaptogen thing because despite the fact, 'cause this is one of the main reasons why, like, people are like, oh, what do you do at SuperFeast? Well like tonic herbalism. Well like oh, are they adaptogens? Well like yeah, many of the tonic herbs happen to be adaptogens, not all adaptogens are tonic herbs

- Right.

- Because there's this depth of practice and intention in that type of herbalism verse what's going on. I think it's especially, I don't wanna say bad, but especially, you know like this way in the US and around New York and LA that everyone's just like, oh my God, what do you got? Sore neck? Take adaptogens. Oh, you've got daddy issues? Take adaptogens. Oh, you've got, like, you know, you got like no libido? Oh, adaptogens, adaptogens, adaptogens, I love adaptogens, I put adaptogens on everything. And we're really, I like I'm personally really trying to just make sure that I get adaptogens like slotted in to their place in a modern lifestyle that isn't on a pedestal, and I love the fact that you're saying that like dude, these work. Like, you look at the data and I get why everyone's getting, and I personally did as well, cracked out on how amazing these, oh my gosh, are you telling me that some people, those markers go up and others go down and it just helps your body and your constitution learn to come back into harmony better and better and better and better over time? That's amazing. But that's kinda like the cherry on top

- Right.

- To the roots of a beautiful lifestyle, right? I mean, the fact that you brought up meditation. I'll throw in the caveat that I've kinda learned for me, meditation at night is when I will do it because

- Compliance

- Cool.

- Is everything, you know? Which is like, it's like, I always, whenever I'm you know laying down protocols, I'm like, you know, take it all worth a grain of sea salt guys, because you're gonna have to work this into your flow. But that spaciousness first thing in the morning

- Yeah.

- Rather than grabbing the phone and getting into it, see for me, it's more like I'll, a lot of the time do a standing meditation in the morning that's like it's a little bit more active, and just in, I'll bring up for me and my experience of what it's done for my kidney, adrenal, whole organ system and therefore my sex organ function is it's been a big practice for me to release my tail on my lower back down and really release the tension from my lower back, which I've found was just really huge for me, the stress in general. But I feel like it's had a lot of effect on my sexual health and my sexual vigor, just like releasing stress and breathing in through my kidneys and through that area, so I will throw my weight behind that recommendation that getting up and having a practice, like a practice where your stress comes down, and do you talk about the HPA axis much, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis?

- Oh yeah, it's probably you know, I would say the most commonly talked about topic that I do with colleagues and patients. And it's hard, the thing is it's really hard to explain to somebody, you know, why your brain stressors are impacting your body. But when you create that axis, you're creating a chain of events, and that is just, it's not something that, you know, is theoretical, this is how, this is biology, this is physiology, this is in textbooks. I mean, there's no way that I could possibly make this stuff up, this is how the body functions. The thing is, how do we test? And that's how a lot of people get concerned, is like, okay, well how do I know that that's an issue? Well, there's two things. We can look at your symptoms, we can look at certain like things like blood pressure and certain blood markers. We can look at cortisol levels, we can look at all that other stuff, but sometimes if you just go ahead and listen to the person and try to treat them, and say you know what, this really makes most sense if we take this approach because of symptoms X, Y, and Z. Like, for example, if somebody was really high strung, I would probably do more of a sedating type of herb rather than if somebody was really, really, like kind of depressed, I wouldn't wanna put them into like a low mood type of thing.

- Yeah, okay.

- So you really need to talk about the HPA axis and try to explain to people, because also, when you teach them that the brain is connected to your adrenal glands, but then how do your adrenal glands connect to your thyroid? And then how does your thyroid connect to your testicles? And then how do your testicles connect to your liver? And why is it that my gut is involved? And when you connect all of them together, it makes sense and the puzzle pieces come together and it's really a remarkable thing when people can just realize wow, that makes sense and I buy into this.

- Yeah, I love it, and that's what it did for me as well. It brought it like really down to something that I could sink my teeth into, and I learned about it through studying adaptogenic herbalism, you know, basically if in the end, going like, in the end, adaptogens are working on this axis, you know?

- Yeah, exactly right.

- They're like this is the axis that it's working on, but as you said, it's a good piece to the pie and I just wanna make sure that we throw that out there because I'm sure we'll dive into some herbalism, we just wanna make sure that we, you know, everyone has context of how to use these. But I will throw back, I was like, so what I personally have liked to do as well, I just wanted to like see what you were onto, what you think of these. With my nighttime protocol with herbalism and doing my nighttime meditation, last night was Yin yoga with, my partner Tammy happens to be an awesome Yin yoga teacher, she does Taoist, she studied with Paul Grilley

- Wow.

- Taoist Yin yoga, which is magic to have that in the house, love it.

- Wow, lucky you.

- Yeah, absolutely like you mean, so that was my nighttime practice, really coming into stillness, and then a reishi mushroom in chamomile. We call it the sleepy reishi tonic. Having one of those before bed, I'll do probably like two or three times a week when I'm like, I'm feeling really high-strung, because as I've got a little bit older, I've been feeling the relevance of the deep sleep states coming into basically everything that we're talking about. You muck up, you know, you get an excess of stress, you're gonna be affecting your body, you're gonna be affecting your adrenals, you're gonna be affecting your liver, your testicles, your gut, so on and so forth. That will in the end affect men's health fully, so are you at like, have you gotten much into that herb as a mental stress herb, as a Shen spirit tonic?

- The reishi mushroom?

- Yeah.

- You know, I use reishi mushroom more as an immunomodulator than I use it as a stress modulator, but I'm not surprised that it does work that way because a lot of the times when we try to, 'cause what does cortisol do? Cortisol will rev up the immune system because it's a response to, or I'm sorry, it'll try to suppress the immune system. Right, so when cortisol levels are really high, it'll suppress the immune system and it causes a dysfunction. And the reishi mushroom, I use it as an immunomodulator so I use it in a lot of autoimmune conditions, but in the end, those are stress modulated as well.

- Dude, I would say power to you. Reishi mushroom in autoimmune conditions, yes. I just wanted to say that, sorry.

- Yeah, obviously we're on the same page here. So you know, I have never used it for as a relaxing herbal tonic, especially the chamomile, which is an amazing herb. But I definitely will try that, but more on an immunomodulator level, which again, still fits into this same root cause as to what are we trying to do?

- Yeah, I love it, man. So then like I just wanna run this one by you, then like I know you're into like the schisandra. Now I get up in the morning, this is my whole thing, like, 'cause schisandra's such a Yin herb and such a potent beautiful tonic adaptogen. I don't know, like, it's so amazing for the liver which is why, like one of the reasons I kinda get up, I get my, we've got grapefruits kickin' at the moment

- Nice.

- And so I'll get grapefruit, a little bit of warm water to dissolve a big teaspoon of schisandra berry in there, and because like I like that going through and cleansing my liver, I call it like, I don't know if you have the product Mr. Sheen, but I call it like a herbal Mr. Sheen to go through and scrub up the, you know, it was just a

- Yeah.

- Kind of like an advertising guy that was all shiny and sparkly and would go and clean up your toilets and all that kinda stuff.

- We have Mr. Clean.

- Okay, so it's like a tonic herbal beauty berry Mr. Clean going through and like you know helping, not driving detoxification but just enhancing those two phases of detoxification through the liver, which I really love. I don't like aggressive herbs all the time, but the sexual fluid protection and sealing of schisandra is one of the main reasons why I have it in that morning lemon or grapefruit water. Nice warm water and just throw that down. I like starting my day like that in my like detox water.

- Right.

- You know, I might put my MSM or something in there as well and then after I've kind of finished my water protocol, that's when I get onto my mushroom or gene tonic herbs, and so that's when I'll be doing like deer antlers, cordyceps, gene blend, those kinds of herbies and then I leave the reishi to night, to nighttime 'cause we use it a lot of time in treatment for, you know, people going through chemo, people with extreme immune deficiencies, people that can't hold white blood cell counts and that kinda thing. I know you know what like, this is kinda of what your world, right? We use it 'cause the Taoists saw it as a tonic and as was something you use over a lifetime as like especially as like the ultimate spirit tonic, the ultimate toner of Shen and calming the mind and integrating the mind with the body, which makes sense when you know what it does for nervous system and immune system modulation

- Right.

- So that the spirit and the wisdom could come through, which when we're talking about men's health, I see as a huge bonus just because we've got so much ego and false masculine ego running around, and one of the things I bet you is that you know, back in 2001, those egos running wild, like living in the mind, living in the story, this is what masculinity is, they would've been in that 13% in Europe from 40 to 80.

- Right.

- They would've been dealing with erectile dysfunction.

- Do you agree with that? I know that's like speculating.

- Well, I definitely think there's a big change in what's the definition of masculinity, I mean, it really depends on who you ask, right? Because you talk about masculinity you know 60 years ago and it's like, it's a guy who works really hard. And now, we see masculinity as something completely different. Like on Instagram, who is a masculine guy on Instagram? Is it the guy who has like a six-pack abs, this guy's who's really macho and strong, or is it the guy who has, you know, a cowboy hat? I really, I think the perception of what people are seeing has a big impact on what they perceive to be their own masculinity, or even just how they're raised, and I think the biggest issues are, like you were talking about, the Shen and the mind, right? And the Shen is also a manifestation, so in Chinese medicine, the Shen is a manifestation of the heart. Right? And well, can we say that men have less "heart" in this new society? I mean, that could be possible, you know, because it's possible that men are now not really doing what they enjoy. They're working just to make money, and I actually spoke to somebody the other day, they said yeah, nobody's going into medicine anymore, they're going into finance. Or they're going into, yeah, because finance is where all the money is in America, right? Medicine is not a money-making industry as much as finance is, and then I asked him, I said, well do you enjoy your job? No, I don't but I make a lot of money. And that really does impact the Shen and impact the heart, right? And that's where these herbs can really come back into play and when people, and I'm not saying these herbs are gonna make your heart stronger, but they actually can, in Chinese medicine, and TCM, they believe that the heart was where we held all of our emotions, right? But in western medicine, we believe that the brain is really where we hold all of our emotions, right? Like the norepinephrine, the serotonin, the dopamine, right, all of that other stuff. But when you translate it, these things are definitely working on the brain. The schisandra is definitely working on the brain. The mucuna is definitely working on the brain. These adaptogens are working on the HPA axis, so are these guys who are now, in 2011, having all these ED problems, is it because they have a different perception of how their, what their masculinity is? Or really is it, is that they are not very comfortable with themselves? And that is where I think TCM can address all the factors and where these herbs impact, you know, multiple different systems. So I'm not sure if I answered your question, but it was a really good question.

- Yeah, I don't know if I really had a question, I just wanted to delve into that a little bit because, I mean, coming into like a men's health conversation, many people would expect us to be like cordyceps, deer antler, testosterone, but we gotta blow it wide open, right?

- Yeah.

- We gotta this

- Yeah.

- Out of a compartmentalized conversation, one that's just really, you know, driven by the reductionist, you know, society in which we, you know, we're kinda like emerging from and kind of blossomed out there to something that's a little bit more holistic, that's actually gonna make an impact. On that, can we go into testosterone a little bit, 'cause I love the concept of having nice strong levels of testosterone. I'd also like to talk to you about whether it is all about increasing testosterone or whether we can come at it more holistically.

- Right. What an amazing question that I am always looking at the research on testosterone levels. I mean, I get emails from multiple different sources every day about like all the new and latest research on testosterone. And the answer is well, if the question is is more testosterone better? I think when we take men who have low testosterone and we put 'em in a range that is not low testosterone, yes, they're better. But if your testosterone levels are at the upper level of normal or even above normal ranges, is that better than being mid-range? And unfortunately, the answer to that is I don't know. And the reason why is because testosterone is not always the answer. Now, I have been, or I've experienced with patients who were on testosterone replacement therapy and still didn't have any benefit in their vigor or their libido or their sex drive or their erections, and that's where the social aspect comes into play. Because if you don't have that connection with your partner, then you start getting nervous. Then you start questioning yourself, and the number one thing, the number one anti-erection molecule is adrenaline.

- Oh wow.

- Yeah, it'll basically vasal constrict, shut down blood flow to your pelvic area into your penis, and it makes it more difficult to have an erection. But testosterone does the opposite. Like, adrenaline is so powerful and so strong and it's so acute that it can have a detrimental effect on the body.

- Yeah, right.

- Now in terms of improving testosterone levels, does that make you better able to perform? Most of the time yes, but it is not always the answer. And that's when you have to start looking into is my body, because again, you need a vascular response, a hormonal response, and a neurological response in order to have an erection. And most people think it's hormones and blood flow. Enough testosterone and a good hard to get blood to the area. Good luck if your nerves are not functioning or if your nerves are all haywire and stressed out. It's just not gonna happen. So testosterone is a big, I mean, I could go, we could talk three days about testosterone on its own, but you know, the answer really is more is typically better, but not necessarily always a solution.

- Where does testosterone fit in other sex hormones in men, in ratios within sex hormones in men? Is that a more sustainable conversation to be having?

- Yes, so you want to always have to look at estrogen levels. And as men, our estrogen levels should not be elevated and that's because we just have a different hormonal system, right? Our body has, as men, because we have an X and a Y chromosome, our genes are more sensitive to testosterone. We have more receptors for testosterone or androgyns, less so than for estrogen or female hormones, right? Like progesterone and estrogen. So what I like to look at is I like to make surelevels are low. I look and make sure cortisol levels are not too high, and cortisol levels can be high and elevated during a certain time, like exercise, but I also want testosterone to be elevated during that time as well. You have to look at other hormones like LH and FSH which really tell your body to make testosterone or not. If that's really low, then the issue is not your testicles, it's your brain. But if those are really high and you're not making testosterone, then the issue is more of your testicles and less so in your brain, right? 'Cause the brain's responding. I posted about this before, and I said your brain is screaming at your testicles, make testosterone, and sometimes they just don't wanna respond.

- Okay.

- But then we have to look at your adrenal glands, and your adrenal glands make a lot of the precursors to make testosterone, so then you have to go on that aspect and say okay, well where is there a kink in the system here? And you have to address those aspects and try to figure out are these ratios, are these levels normal? And that is really, so one of the things that I like to use is the DUTCH test, which is dried urinary hormonal test which tells you which is the best way to test your cortisol levels. Your blood cortisol levels are not very accurate because they're just a point in time, and cortisol changes. It increases in the morning and then decreases at night, or so it should. And saliva samples don't really give you a lot of that information, so I like to look at the urine and then I compare everything there together and try to figure out what might be the culprit here.

- Yeah, far out. So I've got that adrenaline's a cock blocker, and that if you're constantly on, constantly stressed, constantly fighting, battling the system, battling to make a wager, if you've got like, have you heard the term like, you know, we're like little Aussie battlers here, you know, we're just like, we're working hard and so I see that like, that's, generally you're gonna see it there's gonna be like raised adrenaline, raised cortisol when you're in those stages, and so we've kind of looked at like bread and butter of getting good sleep, meditation. You can have, I always think like because I know like we work and work and work and gonna be like, let's drive this into the lifestyle. I really like the practice of blowing it out in terms of just how can you get your perception rolling out decades and thing, where am I going? Where's my trajectory going? And in a feeling sense or in an intention sense, where do I wanna go? And if I'm going to start a practice or if I'm gonna have a lifestyle that is going to peel away stress and then start building up my nerve health, my capacity for my Shen to be in my heart, have balanced emotions, moods, have my adrenals be not producing too much cortisol and therefore able to produce the precursors to testosterone and other beautiful sex hormones, and also have great testicular health, I'm gonna need a lifestyle that I'm gonna be able, that's gonna be sustainable to do for decades that is going to then unveil this symphony of health. So I just hope everyone, 'cause I know you come from that angle, I definitely come from that angle, I hope the guys listening and the women listening as well, that it just like, just take deer antler. You know, just, you know, you just meditate, just meditate, and I'm sorry, I didn't meant to make that a naggy voice, laides. But I know like that's like, it's not sustainable. We gotta think like, you know, just like with mediation, I had to be like just real with myself. I'm not gonna, I just wasn't gonna sit in the morning.

- Right.

- I wasn't gonna do my 20 minutes in the morning. Nighttime, it was super accessible, or sometimes, you know, it's body surfing in the morning, super accessible for me to spend 45 minutes out there, you know?

- Nice.

- And just be in my stage and be in my zone. Get through my thoughts, balance my emotions, analyze or, you know, just like reflect on how I've been in the last few days and where I wanna go. Or diary, you know journal entering, whatever it is, it's so dynamic. There's, I mean, there's no solution here, right? So we've broke that down and so we've like the sleep and meditation are huge parts of it, getting, ensuring that the adrenals are functioning correctly. Let's cover, like I want to just like nerd out a little bit on testicular health.

- Yeah.

- Strategies, herbs, I mentioned deer antler. I'm like dying to here like your take on deer antler, especially in this conversation where we're not just pedestaling herbs

- Yeah.

- And not just saying this is a herb to drive up testosterone. I'd like to hear your angle on this little, this herby, and generally practices to treat the testicular dysfunction.

- Yeah. So number one thing is keep your cell phone out of your pocket.

- Oh, nice one.

- Keep your cell phone out of your pocket, get your laptop off of your lap, or if you have to, kind of like what I'm doing here, it's on like a little desk that is completely separate from my pelvic area. You wanna make sure that you are keeping the electronics away from your pelvic area, from your testicles, because that can definitely affect your sperm health. You have to make sure that you're eating foods that are very colorful, high antioxidants. So schisandra berry, right, which is great, but also I like hawthorn berry which is a great cardiovascular herb, pomegranate, most berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, organic, of course because those herbs tend to be, or those fruits tend to be highly sprayed here in the states, I'm not sure how it works in--

- Same, same here. And they hold a lot of pesticides, right?

- Exactly.

- That's quite like pesticides have a strong affinity for the sexual organs as well, right? Am I making that up?

- I don't know if they have a strong affinity for the sexual organs. I do know that they can cause changes in sperm motility, sperm function, so certainly yeah, I would imagine so. Typically, the heavy metals though like lead tends to accumulate in the testicles, and that can be a cause, so lead is found in a lot of like industrial settings. So you really wanna make sure you're not exposing yourself to a lot of lead in that aspect. So those are the basics, in terms of making sure your testicles are healthy enough. There are a lot of other supplements that I like to use as well like CoQ10 is great, zinc, NAC is a supplement that helps increase glutathione levels so it's very strong in protecting your endogenous antioxidant production, but another one I love is silymarin.

- N-acetylcysteine.

- That's right, N-acetylcysteine. And another one I like is silymarin or milk thistle. Have you ever experimented with that?

- Oh yeah, I use milk thistle quite often. More for my liver.

- Yeah.

- But didn't really get the connection with the testicular health.

- Yeah, well the reason why is because it increases glutathione levels.

- Oh, yeah, okay.

- So, and your testicles can be under a lot of oxidative damage. I mean, there's a reason why they're outside the body, because they're very sensitive to heat and they can be, they're sensitive organs, right? So we need to protect them. But also, you'll notice that most the time when our body is stressed, either with a physiological stressor or a psychological stressor, the first thing that goes is your sexual function because it's not mandatory. What needs to work is your heart, your brain, your liver. Those are the things, or your kidneys, right? And those are the things that need to function. So but if you look at it in a TCM perspective, the kidneys, right, are mostly have to do with your sexual health, right, your gene, okay? And when you are overstressed, the kidneys can be very taxed, so I wanna make sure we're doing a lot of kidney tonifying which is where deer antler comes in because it is a super young tonifying type of herb, especially for the kidneys. And in fact, when I was in school, my professors would stare at me and they'd say don't take deer antler because it's gonna make you, like, super vigorous and you're gonna be, you know, you're young and you don't need all of that buzz and vigor and energy. And I was like, oh my God, I need to stay away from deer antler. In fact, there was a football player, an American football player here in the states who was suspended because he was taking deer antler and they said, this is a banned substance, you can't take this. Well, why is it a banned substance? Well, maybe because it works.

- Yeah.

- Right?

- It's got the growth factors. I mean, that happened here, I think the Cronulla Sharks were using a bit of isolate, and they're NRL team, a rugby league team. Isolated growth factors from deer antler,

- Not even

- Right.

- The whole supplement. But yeah, we tell our athletes no, I'm sorry, I know you want it, generally because they wanna repair their tissue, right?

- Yeah.

- It's not even for anything, but at the same time, it's a holistic herb, I don't get it. But yeah, we tell 'em stay away, so it's interesting it's happening over in the states as well.

- Oh yeah, it's been going on for a while, and there are a lot of companies that are encapsulating it and giving it out, and I hadn't tried it until SuperFeast, which is, actually, I've been trying it recently and I'm like wow, this is, like, my professors may have been quite right. Like, this stuff really does invigorate, and I do a lot of TCM, so I check my pulse and I'm like wow, my kidney pulses are feeling a little bit better, so that's where the deer antler comes into play because it definitely, it's a kidney tonifying herb and that is basically the essence of how our male organs function.

- That's something interesting, when I was like diving into my study around deer antler, and I took it, again, when I was in my early 20's and kinda found I didn't need that much. I, like you, I was like, this isn't so relevant but what kept on drawing me back is the fact that, you know, in TCM, kidneys governing the bone marrow and I kept on coming back to bone marrow being such a substance of, you know, just for general vitality and longevity and having a nice, you know, like long happy life. And deer antler being that herb that governs and tones and modulates in a sense that marrow, like modulates not directly but allows the body to modulate the production of the marrow. I kept on coming back to it and I think I generally go through like a jar a year. I don't really, you know, I'm not necessarily a native all the time. I'm back into heavy training at the moment, so I've been back on the deer antler for that reason, that the kidney Yang has so much to do with repairing tissue and organ tissue within the body, and even bone tissue. That's why I love it so much, why I recommend it so much. I brought it into the range when I had a lot of men going through andropause, and women going through menopause that just couldn't get over the line. You know, they're just so deficient within their kidney gene that that was just the one herb that was just like would kick 'em off, you know? I would use all the ashwagandha, all the gene herbs, and no plant matter could do it, they needed a little bit of animalistic energy, herbal energy

- Yeah.

- To kick it off. But I kept on coming back to it because when you look at the tonic classification, it's actually also a Yin gene herb.

- Right.

- So very good for nourishing, for blood production, and for generally nourishing the tissue of the kidneys and the whole kidney system. But it's also a Chi tonic, so it would bring in circulation but it's also a Shen tonic and so it's one--

- Oh, I didn't know that.

- Yeah, well and that's where the TCM classification can be different from the way it's used as a tonic when it comes to that intent. But I've found it keeps me really accountable for having a meditation practice and for having a practice where I'm bringing movement through my spine so that energy, all that Yang kidney energy can actually circulate and become creativity or actually have the opportunity to get up and tone my Shen, calm my mind.

- Right.

- Because otherwise, it just gets all built up and just so you get like, the association is like wow, that's a lot of testosterone, right? And so I'm glad you're liking it.

- Yeah, absolutely. And it's funny that you mention that because the kidney and the heart in TCM are paired organs, right? So they very much communicate with each other and it's still, I'm fascinated how the Chinese have put this together and now in western medicine we're like yeah, well, if you are not emotionally connected, it can impact your sexual function. If your, you know, sexual function is impacted and it certainly does, and any man who's had a sexual dysfunction certainly knows it takes a shot to the ego, and that's the heart and kidney connection there and trying to eat venison, which most people don't even, you know, put two and two together, but it's super accurate when you look at a TCM perspective.

- That's a really, really good astute observation there, and I think that's one that I constantly need that reminder constantly need to be delving in and feeling into my organs to get out of my head when it comes to treatment protocols

- Yeah.

- And also, I can relate, you know, for like, you know, guys listening to this that maybe are dealing with erectile dysfunction or sexual issues or maybe they're just thinking for the future, ensuring that yes, you've got, you know, the mind is happy with the protocols and makes sense that the research is there that gives me a clue working on the HPA

- Right.

- Working on the testicles, or maybe, maybe it's time to cut out pornography or whatever it is, but then taking that in and getting a physical perception or a spiritual perception or an emotional perception of what's actually going on in your body. That's always been really relevant for me and again, it's why I think you're rad in terms of the amount you know, like, you're sifting through all the research but you've done like so much work in like, you know, the TCM connections of, you know, like the spiritual connections of these organs, emotional connections of the organs, how they pair up. It's just so many practical bridges

- Yeah.

- Are being made, right? And then like, I think it's awesome that you're doing that. Well, even in endocrinology, some of my colleagues would call me a hormonal expert and I'm blessed because that's just how my brain works. Like some people are great with numbers, right? Some people are great with drawings, I see networks and I see maps and it just clicks for me and I can bridge gaps, right? And when it comes to the hormonal system, it's an art. And that is just how medicine should be because you can't always measure a hormone correctly. You can't always assume that it's always gonna be correct or what you're seeing on paper is actually what presented in the body. That's why, when you asked earlier, you said, well, you know, does testosterone solve the problem? Like, more testosterone, does that make you more vigor, I have more vigor? And again, that's where the art comes in. And I say well yeah, we have to look at the testosterone, we have to look at it in the context of all. You know, even speaking about Epimedium, horny goat weed, which is a great Chinese herb. But it's gained attention in conventional medicine as a replacement for Viagra. And yes, it does work like a PDE5 inhibitor, very similar to Viagra, but in Chinese medicine, it works completely different. It actually works on the kidney health and improving the kidney Yin function, right? And well okay, so how does that work? Well it works on the kidneys and it can help improve kidney function, but you see men who try to take Viagra, or Cialis, and they are able to have an erection but they don't have a connection, right? There's an erection without a connection. And what good is having an erection if you really can't enjoy it and feel it very much? And that's why I really like these herbs because they don't just, yeah, you could take a drug and it'll make it pop up a little bit, but you want to enjoy the process and sex and a vigor and increased libido and increased testosterone. Like, I like to have my testosterone levels higher. Not higher, but I know when my testosterone levels are higher because I feel different. And it's not about aw, man, I'm ready to go out and mate, that's not what I do. I feel it, I'm like I feel like a better man, and that's what I want men to feel. And again, like you said earlier, I just want you to be able to go out and say I wanna feel and be a better man, I wanna be a better human being, I wanna be better for my wife, my partner, my family. Like that's what I'm about.

- Yeah, I love it, man. I love like that's like, it's open, it's your life.

- Yeah.

- Just go out and just like, you know, be happy. That's why I like, that's why I like Taoist, like we say I'm not a Taoist, but I like Taoism because it's like, it's a philosophy without an agenda.

- Yeah.

- It's like nice strong body, like, you know, good sexual vigor, you know, like an enjoyable sustainable sex life, strong Chi flowing through the organs, the Shen spirit coming through. Why? I don't know, so you can be a badass. So you can just enjoy yourself. You can, as you said, be a beautiful man. And obviously a beautiful, you know, anything.

- Yeah.

- Be a beautiful, you know, contribution to your community, to your planet. Bring insight through. And that's something I think the connection between like testosterone is the foundations and laying in that beautiful, rich soil, full of you know, as an analogy, full of bacterium, full of mycelium, kidneys like growing the roots down through that so much so that you can get all the blossoming, you can grow to be a nice big tree with lots of fruits that contributes to people around you. Like testosterone is like such a foundation, but at the same time, I haven't really looked into it yet. I'm sure as it circulates and hits receptors, it's got very, I'm sure it's got

- Oh boy.

- Very esoteric beautiful you know, impact on our life, long-term.

- Oh boy. You... Yes. Yes, it impacts so many different organs. Prevention of Alzheimer's, improving bone density, actually can be protective for cardiovascular disease. You know, the heart has a lot of receptors for testosterone and there's a reason why, right? For actually fighting off certain types of cancers, there's a, you know, a misnomer or a misunderstanding that testosterone causes prostate cancer. Actually, that's not true. We know that that's not true. So it has such a profound impact on the body, but that does not mean supraphysiologic levels, levels that are beyond what is typically normal physiologically is actually good. And that's when I look at the herbs and I say there's no way I'm gonna get your testosterone levels to be, you know, 2,000 or 1,500 with ashwagandha and I don't care how much deer antler you take because the body understands, has been a, has evolved with these things and it knows how to function with them and handle them, kinda like you know, how we have evolved and learned to work with bacteria. You know, have you ever seen the movie War of the Worlds?

- No, I haven't, but I know of it.

- It's with Tom Cruise. It's also after a book, and they found out in the end that these aliens, they cannot survive on Earth because they weren't compatible with the bacteria in our ecosystem. And but we are compatible with the bacteria in our ecosystem, just like we're compatible with the herbs in our ecosystem. But a lot of the times, we're not so compatible with pharmaceuticals and that's because, well, we didn't evolve with them. But we can be very elegant in how we choose to use them. But we need to be more wise in when and how.

- Beautiful, I love it so much, man. I know we can like, we'll probably have to go again for like to go on our, like, we'll maybe do like a three-day testosterone chat bender and we'll do like a live webinar and just like,

- Feel.

- We'll just like drink deer antler and Epimedium mucuna tonics and just go for three days straight talking about it.

- You say it and I'm there.

- Dude, I'm sure a lot of the men and whoever's listening is gonna wanna get a little bit more info. I definitely recommend following your Instagram. Is it just

- Thanks.

- Is it Dr. Ralph Espo on Instagram?

- @dr.ralphesposito.

- Okay, beautiful. I'm gonna put that in the show notes. Your website, 'cause I know there's a lot of, you've got a lot of resources, and anywhere else where people can dive a little bit deeper into your work.

- Mostly my website and Instagram, those are my two biggest platforms where I try to get information out and across to people. I would say those are good ways to start, and then always reach out, and I have a ton of stuff, like you should see, I use a database that stores all the research that I have. It's thousands of papers deep, so if you've read it, I've probably read it, and I have it somewhere and I'm happy to share whatever I know.

- Oh, so good. Okay, your website, what's that?


- Easy, okay.

- Easy.

- Thank you so much, we really appreciate it. I'm sure everyone here in the SuperFeast community is just like dripping with testosterone-driven appreciation for all your information, you putting the time in, so have a beautiful day there in rainy New York, is that correct?

- Yeah, well recently. I'm looking forward to some sunshine this week, but it makes such a difference. Like, oh, that's another thing too. They've found that men, when they're exposed to sunlight, they have improved sexual function and improved erectile function, so I need to find some sun.

- Needs some sun, so it's like vitamin D and just general, like, happiness exposure to sun, getting a nice basting?

- Yeah.

- I just wanna throw out like quickly, last little caveat. Saturated fat and the production of hormones. Is that relevant, is that still a relevant conversation? It's been a few years since I was in it.

- Yeah, you know I have found that a lot of the times, if you deprive men of fat, that, well, the question is if you drop cholesterol levels too low, does it decrease testosterone levels? Because cholesterol is a building block of testosterone and theoretically, that would make sense and there is one study that did show that men on statins had lower levels of testosterone. But sometimes, you have to consider are these statins, or are these cholesterol levels, when they are low, do the testicles and the adrenal glands, kind of suck them all up because that is one of their necessary building blocks? And it's really hard to say. So what I say is you need sufficient amount of fats, but having a low-fat diet does not necessarily mean you'll have low testosterone levels.

- Okay, cool, I just wanted to kinda like, yeah. 'Cause I didn't touch base on that convo for a while. Man, I love you.

- Yeah.

- Thank you so much. Anything else you wanna leave everyone with before we sign off?

- Just sleep.

- Yeah.

- Make sure you sleep.

- Everyone, go to sleep. Drink your reishi, go to sleep. Thanks, everyone!

- Yeah, man.

- Thanks, bro. Hey everybody, thanks so much for tuning in today. Now time to take that information, ground it into your lifestyle so you can amplify your health to the next level. You can really help amplify the help of this podcast by going onto iTunes and subscribing and leaving us a review. Really helps us spread this information around tonic herbs, around sovereign help, further out there to the community so we can help more people experience the best out of this life. Thanks guys, I'll speak to you next time.

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