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Ayurveda’s Answers to Infertility

Ayurveda’s Answers to Infertility
Fertility needs a boost
There has been a significant rise in infertility cases over the past few decades. In today’s world, infertility is often the result of diverse influences such as mental and emotional stress, pressures of modern life, medical complications, hormonal disturbances and poor dietary habits. Many couples suffer from infertility, and are unable to find a solution. This becomes a source of psychological trauma.

Infertility can be primary or secondary in nature. Primary infertility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected sex. Secondary infertility is when there has been a pregnancy in the past, but conception is no longer possible.

It is a myth that infertility is always related to women. Infertility can affect both men and women.

What causes infertility?
Various causes are attributed to causing or increasing the risk of infertility in men and women.

Causative/risk factor in men Causative/risk factor in women
Health problems, medicines, alcohol, drugs, trauma, infection, testicular failure, long standing radiation treatment or chemotherapy, environmental toxins including pesticides and lead, smoking and age. Abnormal functioning of the ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure, uterine fibroids, ageing, smoking, alcohol, weight gain or loss, emotional stress, poor diet, athletic training, sexually transmitted diseases and health problems leading to hormonal changes.

Infertility: The Ayurvedic perspective
Ayurvedic treatment for infertility dates back several years, and is a renowned form of alternative medicine. The benefits of Ayurvedic treatment go far beyond a trouble-free pregnancy. They encompass various healing mechanisms that treat male and female infertility, right from the root causes.

According to Ayurveda, the reproductive health of men and women depends on the health of the body and reproductive tissue or the ‘shukra dhatu’. The shukra is a constant chain of metabolic processes, beginning with the digestion of food, and progressing to the transformation of food to nutrients, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, and finally, to shukra tissue. Thus, the health of the shukra tissue is dependent on the overall health of the individual. A special branch of Ayurveda termed ‘Vajeekarana Vajeekarana’, which implies making one as potent like a horse, deals with reproductive health in particular. According to Ayurveda healthy sperms, ova and uterus all contribute to effective conception.

Ayurveda proclaims that the right lifestyle comprising proper diet, sleep, meditation, pranayama and yoga will keep the body fit and disease-free. Couples should nurture positive feelings and learn to manage tension and anger.

Ayurvedic treatment helps alleviate the root causes of infertility, and enhances ovulation, fertilization, sperm production, sperm motility and the capacity to prevention abortion.

Ayurvedic compositions for specific disorders
Reduced sperm count: An Ayurvedic preparation made of Musali, Nagkeshar, Kapikachu, Badam, Ela and Tvaka are Vrushya & Dhatu paustik in nature. This Ayurvedic preparation is known to improve vitality and vigour in men. In addition, Ashwagandha is also recommended as it improves sperm count and acts as a nervous tonic with anti-anxiety properties.

Erectile dysfunction: An Ayurvedic preparation made of Suddha Shilajit, SwarnaBhasma, SafedMusali (Chlorophytumtuberosum), Kunkuma/Saffron (Crocus sativus), Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera), Atmagupta (Mucunaprurita) and Goksura (Tribulusterrestris) helps in treating general weakness, decreased vigour and erectile dysfunction while enhancing energy levels.

Premature ejaculation: A composition referred to as ‘Kamini Vidravan Ras’ is a unique and potent Ayurvedic concoction for restoring vigour and vitality in men, and reducing symptoms of premature ejaculation. It is known to be both effective and safe.

General weakness in men: An Ayurvedic formulation made of Suddha Shilajit, SwarnaBhasma, SafedMusali (Chlorophytumtuberosum), Kunkuma/Saffron (Crocus sativus), Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera), Atmagupta (Mucunaprurita) and Goksura (Tribulusterrestris) helps in curing general weakness and low sex drive.

Infertility in women: An Ayurvedic composition made of Ashoka (Saracaasoca), Dhataki (Woodfordiafruticosa), Musta (Cyperusrotundus), Utpala (Nymphaeastellata), Amalaki (Emblicaofficinalis), Haritaki (Terminaliachebula), Bibhitaka (Terminaliabelerica), ShvetaChandana (Santalum album) and Shvetajiraka (Cuminumcyminum) helps in treating infertility.

General weakness in women: A composition of Ayurvedic ingredients such as Dashmula, Bilva (Aeglemarmelos), Shayonaka (Oroxylumindicum), Gambhari (Gmelinaarborea), Patala (Stereospermumsuaveolens), Agnimantha (Premnaintegrifolia), Shalaprani (Desmodiumgangeticum), Prishniparni (Urariapicta), Brihati (Solanumindicum), Kantakari (Solanumsurattense), Gokshura (Tribulusterrestris)], Pushkara (Inularacemosa), Amalaki (Emblicaofficinalis), Yashti (Glycyrrhizaglabra), Rasna (Pluchealanceolata), Pippali (Piper longum), Puga (Areca catechu), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Draksha (Vitisvinifera), ShvetaChandana (Santalum album), Lavanga (Syzygiumaromaticum), Nagakesara (Mesuaferrea), Dhataki (Woodfordiafruticosa), Tvak (Cinnamomumzeylanicum), Sukshmaila (Elettariacardamomum), Tvakpatra (Cinnamomumtamala), Pippali (Piper longum) and Madhu helps combat general weakness and fatigue in women, improve appetite, and provide stamina and glow.

Irregular and heavy menstruation: A composition of ingredients – Shodhita Loha (Purified, herbal processed Iron), ginger, black pepper (Piper nigrum), long pepper (Piper longum), Haritaki (Terminaliachebula), Vibhitaki (Terminaliabellierica), Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Emblicaofficinalis, Yavani (Trachyspermumammi), Vidanga (Embeliaribes), Mustaka (Cyperusrotundus), Eranda (Ricinuscommunis), Dhataki (Woodfordiafruticosa), honey and jiggery – is useful to rebuild haemoglobin. Dashamula, known to be vatashamak, helps reduce abdominal pain. Ashok Chaal, also called Shreemitra, along with Dhataki Pushp, GhritKumari, Hareetaki and Daruharidra are very effective during heavy menses.

Foods that enhance fertility
Some foods are known to specifically boost vigour and fertility.

  • Fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy proteins, moong daal, almonds, walnuts, juicy fruits, dried fruits, asparagus, broccoli, rice pudding, spices such as ajwain (bishop’s weed), cumin and turmeric.
  • Split black gram cooked with equal parts of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fennel
  • Bananas cooked in ghee, cinnamon, and cardamom is a tasty and wholesome dessert for people with strong digestion
  • Garlic, fish, nuts, potatoes and eggs

 

Nutrients that enhance fertility

  • Vitamin C in fresh fruits ensures the potency and quality of sperms. Fruits such as lemon, sweet lime, oranges and mangoes are rich in nutrients as well.
  • Garlic is a known aphrodisiac and improves blood circulation
  • Consuming fish is known to improve fertility and boost sperm quality. A fish diet is rich in fatty acids.
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts increases the female sex-drive and also prevents miscarriages
  • Potatoes are rich in Vitamin B and E, and improve the release of ova.
  • Eggs form a nutritious food source that boosts fertility. Eggs contain Vitamin B12 and folate, which minimises birth defects. They are also rich in antioxidants and carotenoids that are known to boost female fertility

 

Ayurveda recommends certain fertility enhancing herbs such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Kaunch (Mucuna pruriens), Bhilawa (Salmalia malabarica) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). These help in improving the quality and quantity of reproductive fluids.

Foods to avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Foods containing preservatives and other chemicals
  • Caffeine and diet soda
  • Refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta and rice

 

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