Erectile Dysfunction in Ancient era and Ayurveda

by Dr. Diksha Tiwari on Sep 17, 2021

Erectile Dysfunction in Ancient era and Ayurveda

Erectile dysfunction is by no means a modern phenomenon. Man's preoccupation with potency, or the lack thereof, has been present throughout the ages. Erectile dysfunction (ED) happens when a man has ongoing problems getting and keeping an erection. Without treatment, ED can make sex difficult.

In Ayurveda, Erectile Dysfunction is defined as:

संकल्पप्रवनो नित्यं प्रियं वश्यमपि श्रेय्यं  ||
न याथी लिंगशैथिल्यथ कड़ाचिद्यति वा यादी  |
श्वासारथाः स्वाइनगात्रश्च मोघसंकल्पपचेष्टितः  ||
मल्लानाशिश्नश्च निर्बीजाह स्योडेटत क्लेब्यलक्षनम्  ||

This means even though a man has a strong desire to perform a sexual act with a cooperative partner, he cannot perform a sexual act because of looseness (absence of erection) of his phallus (penis). Even if he performs sexual acts with his determined efforts he does not get an erection and gets afflicted with tiredness, perspiration, and frustration to
perform sex.

Many of the historic civilizations attempted to clear up ED with several distinctive, diverse, and unsafe remedies. A lot of these treatments are harmful to your body to such an extent that they can completely ruin your physique and the tiniest hope of treating your Erectile Dysfunction.

Talking in order the first civilization to attempt the cure of Erectile Dysfunction is the Ancient Chinese civilization. The healers back then provided the potion formulated from 22 ingredients and combined it with acupuncture practices.

The well known Egyptian Civilization who were considered way ahead and modern of their times due to various marvels that is evident till age were not so modern when it came to Erectile Dysfunction. The Egyptian Papyrus Ebers, a medical Egyptian document dated 1600 BC, lists 811 prescriptions for various ailments, including impotence. According to ancient Egyptians, a person suffering from ED had nothing to do with physiology rather was the evil spell cast of the man and the only way to cure was by rubbing the mixture of baby crocodile heart and wood oil over the penis of the spelled man.
The ancient Greeks mythology suggests impotence in adult life was caused by sexual anxiety in childhood and Romans attempted the cure by extracting some potion from dead Spanish fly.

The worst narrative was set at Dark Age when the women were tortured and sometimes burnt alive for giving ED to a man.

From the 13th to the end of the 17th century, particularly among the upper classes, impotence was the only grounds for divorce. Indeed, in canonical (ecclesiastical) law, it was considered a deadly sin for an impotent man to marry.

The oldest reference to impotence in India was made in the Samhita of Sushruta, around the eighth century BC. An attempt was made to describe the causes of the condition, suggesting at least four, i.e. voluntary, congenital, praecox and diseases of the genital organs.

Causes of ED according to Ancient Ayurveda:

Erection requires a sequence of events. Erectile dysfunction can occur when any of the events is disturbed. Nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, around the penis and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and around the corpora cavernosa constitute this sequence of events. Injury to any of these parts which are part of this sequence (nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, fibrous tissue) can cause ED.

Lowered level of testosterone hormone: The primary male hormone is testosterone. After age 40, a man's testosterone level gradually declines.

Even sushruta has illustrated this response of the body to the element “शुक्र”, he has said:

" यथा पयासी सरपिस्तु गुडाशचेकशो रसो यथा शारेरेशु तथा शुक्रम नृनाम विद्याध्विशग्वारा "

This means "The shukra ( the element which helps in reproduction) is present all over the body.

Various other reasons for ED according to Ayurveda are:

  • " शोक, चिंता, भय, त्रासती.... " which means that erectile dysfunction or Impotence occurs due to grief, fear, anxiety, and terror.
  • " नारीनामारसामजनत्वाती..." means disliking for women.
  • Overexertion - physically and mentally

Treatment of ED as per Ayurveda:

  • Consuming herbal preparations and herbs such as Ashwagandha, Kaunch Beej, Safed Musli.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours a day.
  • Avoiding the consumption of alcohol, tobacco.
  • Practicing Yoga and Meditation to overcome mental exertion and to cope up with stress.
  • Massaging the body with a herbal oil gives relief from physical exertion and also acts as an aphrodisiac.

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