Throughout much of history, the measure of a man was influenced largely by his physical size, strength, and wealth. Yet in this century, we are coming to appreciate the value of a man’s integrity, spirit, and the strength not just of his body, but his mind. This is not a novel ideal, however: all of this was understood over five-thousand years ago by the practitioners of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is enjoying a strong resurgence today among the health-conscious, and as a practice offers a great deal, not only in terms of physical, but also mental well-being. Ayurvedic practitioners claim great reductions in stress, and this traditional Indian medical system may also offer answers to heart disease, cholesterol, balding, and sexual health.
In the modern world, stress appears to be one of our most debilitating problems. Arising from overwork, poor health, financial strain, relationship troubles, or work cultures, the sources of stress may seem without end. Over time, such stresses may lead to a variety of issues in physical, mental, and emotional health. Maintaining a low-stress lifestyle requires identifying not only the sources of stress in one’s life, but also a conscious plan as to how to release it.
The good news is that Ayurvedic treatments can help reduce stress and stress-related illnesses. Practitioners of yoga and Ayurveda believe that the best medicine for stress is meditation, a safe and simple way to balance one’s physical, emotional, and mental state. Meditation has tremendous physiological and psychological benefits, and practicing even a simple meditation technique for a few minutes every morning can go a long way.
Ayurveda also teaches that herbs like vidari kanda are very helpful for alleviating stress. Brahmi and jatamansi are excellent for dealing with stress-related depression. Balancing Vata – one of the three humors according to Ayurveda – is further a key to reducing stress. This can be achieved by avoiding certain foods in favor of others, as well as by bringing more consistency or routine into one’s life.
Musculoskeletal fitness and strength – still important even to the 21st century definition of masculinity – can be achieved and maintained by regular exercise and nourishing food. Yet it should be kept in mind that excessive exercise can cause debilitating imbalances in the Vata humor which can show up later in life. Herbs like bala, ashwagandha, shatavari, and kaishore guggul are excellent choices for maintaining musculoskeletal health.
Heartburn, increased cholesterol and heart disease are among the other enemies of men. According to Ayurveda, the root cause of all these problems are to be found in our diet and lifestyle. Ayurvedic insight can help a person choose the right diet to suit his specific body type and may help alleviate such problems. Triphala guggul is a very good herbal mixture to combat high cholesterol. Herbs like arjuna are good supplements for heart health, while herbs like amalaki, guduchi, neem, kutki balance the Pitta humor and may alleviate heartburn.
Vajikaran chikitsa is the branch of Ayurveda which deals with all types of physical, psychological and sexual problems like impotence, low libido, poor erection and premature ejaculation in males. Vajikaran emphasizes a disciplined lifestyle and the use of vajikaran drugs (aphrodisiac medicinal formulations) to achieve sexual health. Herbs like kapikachhu, gokshuradi guggulu, ashwagandha, yashtimadhu, shilajith, and even ghee may prove useful for sexual dysfunction. It is important to note, however that the herb formulations are decided based on each client’s history and body-type, and caters not only to the dysfunction but also to his overall health.
Balding and receding hairlines are very natural, and are observed more in men with a Pitta constitution than in others. Excessive Pitta imbalance is considered to be a root cause of hair loss. Regular use of herbs like amalaki, and applying hair oil infused with herbs like bhringaraj, japakusum, amalaki, and yashtimadhu on the scalp may help reduce hairfall. Spicy, sour and salty foods and alcohol are some of the causes of Pitta imbalances, and reducing these from one’s diet can help balance Pitta. For prostate health, Ayurveda recommends specific herbs, including shilajith, and gokshuradi guggulu.
All of the aforementioned herbs can be excellent tools when used under knowledgeable supervision. It is important that a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner is consulted before using the herbs.
A healthful diet, an active lifestyle in accordance with one’s constitution, a calm mind and the right herbs are important for maintaining health and well-being. This combination will definitely keep that testosterone going, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability!