Sexual Problems in Men and How Ayurveda Can Help

Sexual Problems in Men and How Ayurveda Can Help

Male sexual dysfunction can include a wide range of problems that interfere with one’s ability to perform sexually. Conservative estimates suggest that up to 9% of Indian men may be afflicted by some form of sexual dysfunction, but the actual figures could be even higher. In most cases, problems go unreported because of the social stigma associated with male sexual problems. Male sexual problems can include conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or low libido.  The causes can be both physical and psychological and are again quite varied. They may be caused by low testosterone levels, conventional medications, heart disease, nerve damage, smoking, alcoholism, anxiety, stress, and depression. 

While pharmaceutical drugs can help treat sexual problems in men, they are not without risks. This is why there is a growing demand for natural treatments for male sexual disorders and Ayurveda has the most to offer.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Male Sexual Disorders

As a complete medical science with a history spanning over 2,000 years, Ayurvedic literature deals with every aspect of human health. There is in fact an entire category of Ayurveda that deals with sexual and reproductive wellness, called Vajikarana or Vrishya chikitsa. This is one of the 8 Ayurvedic specialties or chikitsas. The Charaka Samhita provides us with valuable information on the use of various formulations and techniques that can help in the treatment of common sexual dysfunctions, including male sexual problems like infertility, erectile dysfunction, and impotence. Treatment requires strict adherence to Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet recommendations, but it also recommends therapies of body cleansing, such as panchakarma. In addition, specific herbs and herbo-mineral formulations are prescribed for the treatment of sexual problems in men.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Male Sexual Disorders

Ayurvedic herbs to treat male sexual dysfunction primarily focus on rasayanas that can boost vitality and vigor. Some may be used as individual herbs and others in combinations. They are the primary ingredients in the most effective Ayurvedic medications for male sexual disorders. Here are some of the most important herbs for sexual wellness in men.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is regarded as one of the most potent herbs in Ayurveda and is an important ingredient in almost all Ayurvedic medications for male sexual dysfunction, as well as in natural bodybuilding supplements. This is because of its strong effects on testosterone levels. Studies show that ashwagandha supplementation can raise testosterone levels, also increasing sperm count and motility. The herb also improves mental clarity and lowers stress, which improves sexual performance.

Ashwagandha

2. Shilajit

Ayurveda regards shilajit as an important herb to boost vitality and vigor, effects that are backed by modern scientific studies. A study published in the journal Andrologia found that daily supplementation of shilajit over a 3 month period led to an increase in total sperm count and motility. The herb also raises testosterone levels, improving sex drive and energy levels.

Shilajit

3. Shatavari

Shatavari is best known for its ability to boost female reproductive function, but research shows that it is just as effective for male sexual dysfunction. The benefits of shatavari for men may be linked to its proven effects of improving circulation and calming the nerves – both factors can help reduce erectile dysfunction.

Shatavari

4. Safed Musli

It may not be as well known as ashwagandha or shilajit, but safed musli is important as a vajikarana herb. Studies suggest that it can have an aphrodisiac effect, boosting sex drive, with some research also showing improvement in sperm count.

Safed Musli

5. Gotu Kola

Unlike some of the other herbs for male sexual wellness, gotu kola does not work directly on sexual function, but produces similar effects indirectly. These benefits are linked to its effects on the circulatory system. Triterpenoid saponis in the herb have been found to decrease venous pressure and strengthen blood vessels. This can improve blood flow to the genitals, improving the strength and duration of erections and also enhancing pleasure. 

Because of the potent nature of these herbs, it is best not to try using the raw ingredients to treat sexual dysfunction as this can create problems with the dosage. Moreover, these herbs are best used in combination with other herbs, so it would be best to rely on Ayurvedic medications for male sexual wellness. Just make sure to adhere strictly to the dosage recommendations to reap the full benefits.

Gotu Kola

References:

  • Darshan, Ms, et al. “Sexual Disorders among Elderly: An Epidemiological Study in South Indian Rural Population.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 3, 2015, p. 236., doi:10.4103/0019-5545.166618.
  • Ahmad, Mohammad Kaleem, et al. “Withania Somnifera Improves Semen Quality by Regulating Reproductive Hormone Levels and Oxidative Stress in Seminal Plasma of Infertile Males.” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 94, no. 3, 2010, pp. 989–996., doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046.
  • Biswas, T. K., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Spermatogenic Activity of Processed Shilajit in Oligospermia.” Andrologia, vol. 42, no. 1, 2010, pp. 48–56., doi:10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x.
  • Alok, Shashi et al. “Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A review.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease vol. 3,3 (2013): 242–251. doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60049-3
  • Das, S., et al. “Standardised Extract of Safed Musli (Chlorophytum Borivilianum) Increases Aphrodisiac Potential besides Being Safe in Male Wistar Rats.” Andrologia, vol. 48, no. 10, 2016, pp. 1236–1243., doi:10.1111/and.12567.
  • Kenjale, Rakesh, et al. “Effects OfChlorophytum Borivilianum on Sexual Behaviour and Sperm Count in Male Rats.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 22, no. 6, 2008, pp. 796–801., doi:10.1002/ptr.2369.
  • Qinna, N, et al. “A New Herbal Combination, Etana, for Enhancing Erectile Function: an Efficacy and Safety Study in Animals.” International Journal of Impotence Research, vol. 21, no. 5, 2009, pp. 315–320., doi:10.1038/ijir.2009.18.

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