Life Long Wellness with Ayurvedic Herbs
By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa
The Ayurvedic sciences of rejuvenation (rasayana) and aphrodisiacs (vajikarana) are well researched, practical areas of health maintenance that anyone can use to stay well and sexy throughout a long life.
Literally translated as “the path of juice,” the rasayana branch of Ayurveda aims to nourish, restore, and balance the body functions which have been taxed by the wear and tear of daily life. Signs of aging are all marks of lack of “juice,” from arthritis with lack of joint fluids, to fatigue with lack of endocrine hormones, to menopause difficulties with vaginal dryness.
Ayurvedic rasayana practices are directed toward strengthening, purifying, and nourishing body tissues to bring back the glow of youth, replacing that “juiciness.” Rasayana is intended to boost overall health, produce quality tissues, eliminate senility and lengthen life, and to increase memory, intelligence, youth, skin luster, voice quality, and beauty. Rasayana regimes act to increase tissue mass, digestive power, endocrine function, elimination of wastes, brain function, immunity, and homeostasis.
Gokshura fruit herb (Tribulus terrestris) is a well known Ayurvedic herb for adults. It is, in fact, an Ayurvedic standout for sexual building in men or women, and has a particular affinity for the urogenital tract. The name literally means “cow scratcher,” a reference to its prickly seed. Gokshura is highly esteemed as a vajikarana and rasayana medicine. It is sweet and cold, so it is appropriate for fire tattva conditions. As a long term stamina tonic, it balances the air tattva. Gokshura promotes mental clarity, and in fact, I often recommend it for depression with exceptional clinical effect. This seed contains harmine alkaloids, which may explain its sedative properties. It may be taken with ashwaganda as a tonic in air tattva disorders. The seed pod is cardioactive, so it dilates the coronary artery and improves coronary circulation, as well as lowering blood pressure.
Gokshura is a vajikarana remedy par excellence. A common ingredient in aphrodisiac formulas, scientific studies confirm the effect of increasing sexual functions. One contemporary Ayurvedic aphrodisiac product combines, along with gokshura, 22 other multipurpose herbs, many of which actually are herbs with targeted aphrodisiac effects, including saffron, shankpushpi, jyotishmati, jatamansi, ashwaganda, and nutmeg. In the treatment of spermatorrhea and impotence, equal parts of gokshura, sesame seed, kapi kachu and ashwaganda may be consumed with honey, ghee, and goat’s milk, 3 grams total, on an empty stomach, twice daily. Gokshura is sometimes combined with guggul, triphala, and trikatu in a traditional Ayurvedic compound formula called gokshuradi guggul, used to support the proper function of the genitourinary tract and balance all the tattvas. For general health benefit, use 5 grams of gokshura powder, in capsules or stirred into ghee, per day.
Kapi Kachu Seed
Kapi kachu seed (Mucuna pruriens) is one of the most popular aphrodisiacs and long term building tonics of India and it is a constituent of more than 200 indigenous herb formulations. It is one of the primary remedies for erectile dysfunction, postmenopausal symptoms, and low libido in either gender. After the discovery that the seeds contain l-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, a potent brain chemical important in mood, sexual function, and proper erections, it has recently been getting attention for increasing libido. L-dopa is an effective inhibitor of the hormone prolactin, which can cause erection failure. To give this potent tonic herb a go, use 2-6 grams in capsules.
Yoga uses tonic, adaptogenic herbs to sustain stamina year after year. This use of daily, food-like tonic herbs is probably the single greatest difference between the health maintenance systems of yoga and that of Western medicine. Many people find these herbs to be the backbone of their stamina program. Perhaps you can, too.
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogaraj, D.N.-C., R.H., studied Ayurveda with Yogi Bhajan for over 30 years. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, where he serves as Senior Research Scientist and Chief Medical Formulator for Yogi Tea. His recent book is The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs. Read his Yogi Blog at http://www.yogiproducts.com/well-being/. You can find more information about Ayurvedic herbs in The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs by Karta Purkh S. Khalsa. To purchase Ayurvedic herbs, visit www.a-healing.com.