Infertility is a term doctors use if a woman hasn't been able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. If a woman keeps having miscarriages, it is also called infertility. Female infertility can result from physical problems, hormone problems, and lifestyle or environmental factors. Not surprisingly 35-40% of all infertility is caused by female infertility.
A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes in their lifestyle, diet and took nutritional supplements had an 80 percent success rate.
Interestingly and sometimes factually these complex issues can be countered simply through Ayurveda. “A favourable season, a fertile land, enough irrigation and a healthy seed are required for a sapling to take shape.” Susruta considered by all as the father of Surgery used this allegory to explain the prerequisites for a healthy pregnancy. The earliest references of infertility treatment formulations can be found in Charaka Samhita, supposedly the oldest known Ayurveda school of thought
Ayurveda believes that if there are any obstructions in the body then the reproductive system becomes deficient and it is necessary to undergo rejuvenation to re-establish the health of the reproductive tissues before going ahead with treatment plan.
'Obstructions' may be such problems as an
- Impaired digestive system
- Excess weight
- Fibroids etc.
One of the initial chapters of ayurvedic text book contains a list of herbs with direct Pharmacological action.
Prajasthapana (sustainers of pregnancy) – herbs that are procreative or useful in begetting child.
These drugs promote strength and conceiving by removing Doshas to female reproductive system. These drugs are also having Rasayana properties, which improve the quality of all body elements. These herbs can be used all together or individually or in permutation combinations of each other on the patient's condition. In short, Prajasthapan mahakashaya can be used in all conditions involving obstruction in the path of conception and help in fixing or lead to excellence in progeny.
Know these plants in detail:
is known as Indravaruni (Sanskrit), Chitrapala or Bitter apple. Medicinally root, bark and leaves are used. Citrullus colocynthis shows mild stomachic, bitter tonic, diuretic and antilithic property. It is used in fertility treatment even though its properties as antifertility treatment agent are also discussed.
Bacopa monnieri Pennell
Bacopa is an important medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, where it is also known as "Brahmi". Bacopa has traditionally been employed as a neurological tonic and cognitive enhancer, and it is currently being studied for its possible neuroprotective properties.
Cynodon dactylon Pers
Cynodon dactylon, also known as dūrvā grass, Dhoob, Bermuda grass originated in the Middle East. Durva grass is loaded with medicinal uses that can be used as home remedies. Durva grass is used as antiviral and antimicrobial agent. Bermuda grass is effective in case of prolonged menstrual durations. It is suggested that to control heavy menstrual period, one has to take the juice of bermuda grass and honey 3-4 times a day.
Emblica officinalis Gaertn
Emblica officinalis (Amla) is an ayurvedic herb which has all parts, including the fruits, used for preventative and therapeutic purposes. Emblica exhibits strong antioxidant activity. The fruit is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C, containing approximately 20 times the vitamin C content of an orange. It has the ability to increase Ojas, meaning that it enhances energy, immunity and fertility.
Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) is a widely used shrub in folk and ayurvedic systems of medicine. The stem of Tinospora cordifolia is one of the constituents of several ayurvedic preparations used in general debility, dyspepsia, fever and urinary diseases. This plant supports normal function of the immune system.
Terminalia chebula Linn
T. chebula possesses antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antidiabetic, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antiulcer and wound healing properties. It also prevents cardiac damage and is used for the treatment of kidney disease. It is a mild, safe and effective laxative in traditional medicine. T. chebula and its phytoconstituents have therapeutic effect with no toxicity.
Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth
Picrorhiza is a plant that grows in the Himalayan Mountains. Ayurvedic medicine, use the root and rhizome (underground stem) for treatment. Picrorhiza is used for digestion problems including indigestion, constipation, and ongoing diarrhea. Other uses include treatment of infection, scorpion stings, epilepsy, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sida rhombifolia Linn
The stems are used to treat rheumatism and tuberculosis. It is also reputed as anthelmintic and sedative. The roots are used in epilepsy, neurological problem, and fever and heart diseases. Fruits are known to be antibacterial and antifungal.
Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl
The plant is used against dysentery. Wood paste is used in mouth and tongue sores. Leaves are smoked to relieve headache. Seed paste is used in stomatitis and leprosy. The root yields aromatic oil, used in the treatment of stomach disorders. The leaves are warmed and applied to rheumatic joints.
A general consensus among ayurvedic practioners is that this can be sub grouped as:
- NS/HormonalAntistress activity producers (Citrullus & Bacopa)
- Immunomodulators /Antioxidants/Anti-inflammatory (Picrorhiza, Emblica, Terminalia, Tinospora)
- Improve uterine musculature (Sida, Cynodon dactylon).
Infertility is slowly approaching epidemic levels. A lot of this can be put down to stress and improper dietary and activity routines. Ayurveda can play a great role if used judiciously in bringing back this lost rhythm in the most complex transaction in human creation which pregnancy is…