Over population is a national problem whereas sexual debility is an individual problem which is commonly treated in Ayurvedic clinical practice. Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is due to salty and altered dietary as well as behavioral aspects leading to heavy stress. Though there is no ray of hope in modem medicine for the treatment of such problems but in Ayurveda and other alternative systems of medicine there is great hope with trusted prescriptions which were formulated, tried and tested by ancient physicians and have been in use for centuries.
Reproduction is the natural way of propagation of living things. For continuity of life air, water, food and reproduction are the essential things. For reproduction and expression of intimacy sexual act is a part of human life. Malfunctioning of the sexual organs in man leads to several psychological problems and causes distress to him and his spouse and also creates social problems. When we go through the ancient and medieval literature of all the cultures we find several measures for the prevention and cure of problems related to sex. Alternative systems of medicine have dealt with this subject in detail.
The authors have clearly presented in this work the concept of disease and management of sexual problems as explained in Ayurveda, Unani, Chinese and Tibetan medicine and have also recorded useful plants and formulations of both herbal and mineral origin. Though standard medical terminology prevalent in the alternative systems of medicine has been used, the theories and treatment modalities have been explained in very simple terms which can be understood even by a common man. A word of caution has been included at the outset that this book is not meant for self diagnosis and treatment of sexual problems. It is advisable for the general public to consult and discuss their problems with a qualified physician and follow his instructions.
Even though there are several books on the subject of aphrodisiacs, this work can be considered as both unique and authentic, as it has covered the concept and treatment of sexual debility and use of aphrodisiacs in all the major alternative systems of medicine.
I am thankful to the authors for giving me this opportunity to write preface for their first book ‘Aphrodisiacs and treatment of impotence in alternative systems of medicine’ and congratulate them for their efforts in bringing out this book in a simple language and in brief.
For the propagation of human race there are four basic things which are essential — air, water, food and reproduction. Sexual activity as an intimate expression of love and a mode of procreation is an integral part of all the cultures. The malfunctioning of this important activity leads to various psychological problems and distress. Drugs supporting the sagging libido or sexual performance which is not up to a desired level or enhance the sexual performance are called aphrodisiacs. But if the sexual capability of a man is malfunctioning or not functioning at all, then this clinical condition is called erectile dysfunction or impotence. There are various approaches to treating this condition in alternative systems of medicines according to the theories on which the system is based. In this work we have dealt with Ayurvedic, Unani, Chinese and Tibetan medicine. The theories on which each of these systems is based has been presented in detail and analyzed to better understand the concept behind their treatment. The reason why these systems look complicated to those who are used to allopathic diagnostic and treatment methods is that, allopathic medicine treats the disease where as the alternative systems of medicine provide holistic treatment. They not only aim to eliminate the cause of the disease but provide support to various organs and systems that boost up the health and well being of a person.
Another important difference is that allopathic system identifies the cause of a disease in terms of pathogens, free radicals, system malfunctioning due to vitamin or mineral deficiencies etc., where as alternative systems talk of yin and yang, organ deficiencies, blood stasis, hot or cold effects, production of wind and phlegm, imbalances of vata, pitta and kapha etc. Even though their diagnostic approaches and treatments may seem weird from allopathic point of view, their efficacy cannot be undermined. There are various instances where allopathic medicine seems helpless, where as alternative medicine provided complete cure without any side effects.
Allopathic medicine considers semen as the secretion of reproductive organs and sexual debility does not have a direct bearing upon the general health of an individual. In all the alternative systems of medicine utmost importance is given on the preservation of semen. It is considered as the promoter of life and its preservation is essential for a healthy life. Its importance can be well understood by the following quote from Hathayoga — “ Ejaculation of semen (biridupatena) invites death (maranam), and restoration of semen (biridudharanat) promotes life (Jivanarn). Hence there is no fear of death (Kala bhayam) till semen (bindu sthira) is preserved in the body (detie)”. (Hathayoga pradipika).
It is sukara (semen), it is brahma (the supreme God), it is amrita (panacea), all lokas (worlds) rest in it (smith), and nothing can go out of it (Kathopanisad). Unani System of Medicine also gives utmost importance to the preservation of semen. Excessive loss of semen adversely affects vital organs like kidney, liver etc. and a balanced sexual activity improves overall health. According to Daoism tradition of inner cultivation, the retention of semen during sexual intercourse and directing this seminal (jingo) energy to the brain is a method of conserving this vital essence and a way of preserving life. By semen (Which is called the seed of heritage) the Tibetan medicine does not mean just the male seminal fluid or the female menstrual blood (by which they imply the ovum), but the vital “essence drops” that are spread throughout the body in numerous subtle channels, supporting life and consciousness.
Four major alternative systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Chinese and Tibetan medicine have been dealt with in this work under relevant headings. In each section the basic concept of impotence and aphrodisiacs of the particular system of medicine have been explained. Though the Ayurveda and Unani systems have been respectively discussed in detail, a common materia medical has been recorded because many of the aphrodisiac plants are common to both the systems. The list of aphrodisiac herbs for Chinese and Tibetan medicine has been recorded in the respective sections.
The last section of this work comprises of aphrodisiac formulations. An attempt has been made to record simple and easy to follow recopies containing herbs, spices and other ingredients of common use. Formulations recorded are of general type. It is essential that I add a word of caution here. Each person’s constitution and requirement of any drug is different and as such only a qualified physician can examine and prescribe as per the requirement of an individual.
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