The other day we were discussing how clinics addressing infertility issues were thriving in India. Stressful lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and general environmental degradation and pollution have contributed to making infertility a major issue. Burning of plastics and burning of chlorinated medical waste release dioxins into the atmosphere which are lethal as far as fertility of men are concerned. Indiscriminate use of pesticides also add to the problem. Dioxins can reduce female fertility and also reduce the sperm count in men. In fact, dioxins have an estrogen-like effect on the body and causes feminization of men. So while we can only attempt to address the causes of the problem by using less plastics and pesticides, we also need to find solutions to the problem of infertility.
Ayurveda has a well worked out routine to help women conceive. Of course, this has to be tailored to the needs of every individual.
There are certain herbs which are commonly used such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) Poonaikali (Mucuna pruriens) Bhilawa (Salmalia Malabarica) Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) and Kumari (Aloe Vera) which are very helpful in generally toning up the uterine system.
Many of these herbs are found in classical formulations such as Sukumari Lehyam, Ashwagandhadi Churanam, Shatavari ghrtam etc., The vaidya diagnoses the general condition of the couple and prescribes certain ayurvedic medications. In addition to the medications, ayurveda uses the panchakarma treatment to detoxify and purify the body to make it receptive for reproduction.
My faith in ayurveda’s ability to help infertile couples has been due to the fact that I have seen many allopath practitioners consult my vaidyar for the problem as she has been successful in helping many childless couples.
There was one couple who comes from a family of allopathic physicians. Father, mother, uncles and aunts are well respected physicians in US. The girl had a peculiar problem, where she would conceive but have a miscarriage soon after. After her fourth miscarriage the girl’s mother who is an allopathic physician consulted her sister an ayurvedic physician and took her advice. The girl conceived, carried the pregnancy to full term and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. She is now the proud mother of three boys. And for all her pregnancies she consulted her aunt, the ayurvedic vaidyar.
A very senior allopathy health official in the government similarly consulted my ayurvedic vaidyar when his daughter-in-law was unable to conceive. Following the panchakarma treatment and medications helped her conceive. However, due to some embarrassment the family did not tell anyone that ayurveda helped the girl conceive.
In addition to helping with infertility, ayurveda also prescribes a routine for women who would like to conceive and who have no particular problem. It is a kind of detoxification routine. The treatment is intended to produce healthy offspring, and to ensure that the delivery is normal.
Today, when gynecologists resort to Ceasarean sections at the drop of a hat, ayurvedic physicians try their best to deliver babies naturally and avoid any unnecessary surgical interventions such as episiotomies. Delivering a child naturally is fast becoming a dying art and it is up to us to look out for physicians and vaidyars who are willing to deliver babies naturally.
The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu, and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at Sheelarani.email@example.com. Earlier articles can be accessed at www.arogyamantra.blogspot.com