School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Reproductive health also correlates to the generation of new cells within the body. When the reproductive system is strong, the whole body is strong and capable of regeneration. That's why it is important to keep the reproductive tissues healthy and vital, not just for reasons of fertility and reproduction. When there is an imbalance or weakness in the reproductive system, overall health can suffer. On an esoteric level, the concept of reproduction also captures all that you create in this life, both internally and externally.
The main role of the male reproductive system (shukra dhatu) is to create and transport sperm. Coiled structures located in the testes, known as seminiferous tubules, are the site of sperm production. The sperm mature in the epididymis and are ejaculated as a result of muscular contractions through the vas deferens and then the ureter. The vaginal canal (yoni) receives the sperm, which then travels through the cervix, swimming towards the fallopian tubes. Here, the sperm are looking for an egg that has been produced by the ovaries (anda). If an egg is present and successfully fertilized, it remains in the fallopian tube for a few days until it implants itself in the uterus (garbhasaya). Here, the embryo will develop over a period of nine months of pregnancy, provided conditions are right.
For the sperm to successfully make this journey, find an egg and fertilize it, the sperm must be strong enough, numerous enough and surrounded by enough protective fluid to survive the harsh environment of the vagina. The female must have released the egg at the proper time so that it is ready to be fertilized. For successful fertilization to occur, the timing must be right and both the male and female reproductive organs must be strong with clear, unobstructed channels. The uterine lining must also be favorable for implantation of the newly formed embryo. And, the woman must be capable of nourishing the embryo to term.
Once digestion is strong, the ama is cleared from the blood and other imbalances are rectified, the reproductive tissues have a better chance to receive proper nourishment. All tissues must be in excellent condition to ensure optimal health of the reproductive system. Ojas is the term Ayurveda uses to describe the "quality of the flesh." It is the most refined product of digestion and contributes to strength, vitality and vigor. A person must have good ojas to reproduce. This is accomplished by eating nutrient rich foods appropriate for one's body type (prakruti). Some foods can actually build ojas, including milk (used to feed a growing baby), almonds (nuts and seeds in general as they are produced by plant reproductive organs), ghee, and most fruits (the reproductive organ itself of the plant).
Many people weaken their reproductive organs through sexual encounters outside of true, total, self-sacrificial love - often for many years.The essence of chastity is waiting for what you truly want. Chastity is not celibacy. Celibacy is abstinence from sex. But chastity means only having sex with the partner you are truly meant to be with. Chastity is a passion for what is perfect. Creativity takes tremendous energy, and is often wasted by time and energy spent in half hearted endeavors. To be chaste means to invest in something (a person or any endeavor really) with a full heart, completely and totally. A person who is chaste guards their creative energy until it can be fully expressed and thereby preserves their vigor.
As mentioned previously, weak digestive strength, agni, will lead to the formation of digestive toxins, ama, in the blood stream. This can irritate the reproductive tissues, affect reproductive hormones and clog the reproductive channels. The reproductive system also has to contend with environmental and chemical toxins that are in the blood. In Ayurveda, the health of the mind also impacts the health of the body. An imbalance in the mind, such as repressed emotions, fear and lack of confidence can all affect the quality of the reproductive tissues.
Once ama is cleared, the next step is to eat a diet rich in foods that support and nourish the reproductive tissues. Juicy, sweet and dense food, like coconut, mango, dates, almonds and ghee, all nourish reproductive tissues and build ojas. It is also crucial to avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes. Along with eating foods supportive to the reproductive system, a rejuvenative tonic can help strengthen the tissues and support fertility. Kapikacchu can be used to increase fertility in both men and women. It increases sexual vitality. Ayurveda recommends it to reduce infertility, impotence, and premature ejaculation. Read on the learn what tonic is most suitable for Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
If sperm count is low, ojas building foods such as almonds, other nuts and seeds, and whole organic milk should be included in the diet. Ashwagandha benefits sperm count and male fertility. It can be mixed with a glass of warm milk as a rejuvenating drink. A self massage with ashwagandha/bala oil also imparts strength on the whole body. Avoid food that is very bitter or spicy, as excessive intake of these tastes can affect sperm count.
To stimulate libido, ama first needs to be cleared. Again, triphala and CCF tea can be used. Any stagnation in the body should be cleared and circulation improved. Regular exercise and a daily stimulating dry brushing massage can help Kapha dominant people in particular, while gentle self massage is more appropriate for Vata. Proper hydration levels and electrolyte balance must be restored by sipping warm water throughout the day, or room temperature coconut water. Emotional issues, such as low self-confidence, should also be addressed. Building confidence depends upon numerous mental health factors including past traumas. A personal must be humble to be truly confident, as pride creates shame, and a false confidence easily shattered.
Find Ayurvedic health remedies In these main areas:Male Reproductive Health
Pharmacological Actions Affecting Reproductive Health
ABORTIFACIENTAn abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion. These herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy.
|An abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion. These herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy.|
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
|Herbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.|
BUILDS-SEMENHerbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.
|Herbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.|
EMMENOGOGUEHerbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.
|Herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.|
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
|Increases production of breast milk.|
MALE-TONICGenerally increases male reproductive strength and stamina.
|Generally increases male reproductive strength and stamina.|
PROMOTES-FERTILITYAn herb that promotes fertility. Generally used by women who wish to become pregnant. These herbs may also help with menstrual problems of deficiency, such as amenorrhea (lack of a period).
|An herb that promotes fertility. Generally used by women who wish to become pregnant. These herbs may also help with menstrual problems of deficiency, such as amenorrhea (lack of a period).|
PROMOTES-VIRILITYEncourages virility and potency.
|Encourages virility and potency.|
PROSTATE-TONICAn herb that aids the prostate, especially for those at risk for prostate cancer or BPH.
|An herb that aids the prostate, especially for those at risk for prostate cancer or BPH.|