According to Ayurveda, reproductive health depends on the shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissues. For a healthy conception, the sperm, ovum and uterus need to be healthy. Of late there have been growing instances of infertility.
Ayurveda lists the main causes for infertility as:
• Eating spicy, salty and hot foods, which increase pitta and destroys shukra (semen);
• Overindulgence in sexual activities;
• Controlling sexual urges for long duration
Fertility Problems arise when the reproductive tissues are not properly nourished. This can happen where one consumes incompatible food, or the reproductive tissue is damaged by infection or trauma, by giving birth, system imbalances and malnutrition, stress, and also when there is a disruption of natural biological rhythms.Ayurveda looks at issues affecting fertility for both males and females.
Male fertility includes problems such as those affecting the sperm, erectile dysfunction, and obstructions such as varicocele and prostatis. A variety of tonic herbs are known to help against this and can be prescribed based on the situation. A woman’s fertility is much more complex, hence Ayurveda divides a woman’s menstruation cycle into three phases corresponding with the respective doshas; viz Kappha, Pitta & Vata.
Ayurvedic treatments can include consumption of aloe vera, daily self-massage, consumption of saffron, ginger, and rose water. There are also Ayurveda yoga techniques that may benefit a couple’s fertility, such as pelvic floor exercises which strengthen the pelvic region, increase the strength of genitals and orgasms, and improve blood circulation.
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Certain foods and herbs, called vrishya, specifically enhance the shukra dhatu in both men and women. These include asparagus, broccoli, rice pudding, cumin and turmeric. Some grains, such as quinoa, enhance estrogenic activity and support the hormonal activity of both men and women, and needs to be cooked with a little ghee, salt, and spices such as cumin before consumption. Even fruitslike papaya and pineapple make ovulation easier. For men, asparagus has testosterone-enhancing quality, and almonds and dates promote better development of the shukra tissue.
Alternatively, there are massages such as Sarvanga Dhara, which stimulates specific marma points on the body, increases one’s sexual desires, and improves reproductive bodily functions. However, it is best to consult an Ayurvedic physician before any such treatments are started. Itoozhi Ayurveda, the leading Ayurveda Hospital in India conducts effective fertility treatments for the affected.