‘Vajikarana’ comprises of two words ‘vaji’ and ‘karana’. ‘Vaji’ means ‘horse’ [Vachaspatya] and ‘karana’ means ‘doing/making/effecting/causing’. The term vajikara means strengthening, stimulating or producing virility. The procedure which makes a person virile like a horse is called vajikarana. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/4/51] It is one among the eight branches of Ayurveda. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 30/28] It is a preventive healthcare technique [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 1/1/3-5] as well as a curative therapy for various sexual disorders.
Etymology and derivation
Term vajikarana is derived from the root ‘vaja’, which means ‘reproductive fluid’ or semen. That which transforms an infertile person to fertile is called vajikarana. [Vachaspatya]
Vajikarana, vrishya, vrisha, urjaskara, ojaskara, kamotejaka, pumstva and shukrala.
Principles of aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana)
Aphrodisiac effect can be attained through the following principles
- Strengthening (apyayana)
- Purifying (prasadana)
- Increasing (upachaya)
- Generating (shukrajanana)
- Strengthening (apyayana): It is indicated in conditions were the quantity and quality of reproductive fluid (shukra) is less naturally like in a male below 25years.
- Increasing (upachaya): If the quantity of reproductive fluid is less as in middle aged person.
- Generating (shukrajanana): If the quantity of reproductive fluid (shukra) is extremely low as in old age.[Dalhana on Su.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/8]
In healthy condition: Healthy young person who indulge in sexual activities frequently and old persons who are desirous of copulation.
In diseased condition: If person become lean due to excessive copulation, impotent and having less reproductive fluid. [Su.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 26/3]
Prerequisite for aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana)
Before aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana) one must undergo purification therapies. If the body channels are not cleared, the active principles of the drugs may not reach their target sites. The purification therapies make the body channels clear and thus the person can attain complete benefit out of aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana). [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/1/50-51] The purification can be attained by the administration of decoction and unctuous enema. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/4/9]
Properties of drugs having aphrodisiac (vajikarana) effect
The drugs used for aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana) should possess the following properties
- Sweet (madura)
- Unctuous (snigda)
- Life promoting (jivanam)
- Nourishing (brimhana)
- Heavy to digest (guru)
- Causing mental happiness (mano harshana) [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/4/36]
- Increases strength [A.S. Uttara Sthana 50/64]
Methods of aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana)
Virility (vajikarana) can be achieved through the following means
- Daily habits
- Psychological factors
- Therapeutic measures
Diet having aphrodisiac effect
Aphrodisiac effect is achieved either by increasing the amount of reproductive fluid or by proper functioning of reproductive fluid. The drugs which increase the amount of semen are Withania somnifera (aswagandha), Asparagus adscendens (musali), sugar (sarkara) and Asparagus racemosus (satavari). [Sha.Pu.4/15] The drugs which initiate proper functioning of semen are milk, black gram (masha), fruit pulp of Semicarpus anacardium (bhallataka phalamajja) and Phyllanthus embilica (amalaki). [Sha.Pu.4/16]
Aphrodisiac (vajikarana) effect can be achieved by intake of ghee and milk daily. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/3/20] Habitual use of diet consisting of equal part of ghee and roasted corn flour [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 25/40] enhances virility. Milk [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/107], honey [Su.Sa.Sutra Sthana 45/132], coconut water [A.S.Sutra Sthana 6/23], sugarcane juice[A.S.Sutra Sthana 6/49], crude sugar, sugar candy and white fine sugar[A.S.Sutra Sthana 6/55], barley (yava) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/10] and wheat [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/11] have aphrodisiac effect.
Shashtika rice (a rice variety) along with milk, ghee, sugar and honey [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/2/27], powder of Glycyrrhiza glabra (yashtimadu) with ghee and honey followed by milk [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/3/18-19] increases the virility.
Meat soup [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/33], meat of rooster [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/77], animal marrow and fat [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 27/295] enhances virility. Kulira fish (a fish variety) is considered as most potent in increasing virility (param vrishya) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/91]
Solanum americanum (kakamachi) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/103], Pueraria tuberose (vidari) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/120], Benincasa hispida (kushmanda) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/124], grape [A.S.Sutra Sthana 7/154], dry ginger[A.S.Sutra Sthana 12/30], ginger [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 27/296], Sida cordifolia (bala), Abutilon indicum (atibala), Sida cordata (nagabala) [A.S.Sutra Sthana 12/43], black gram [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 27/24], Phoenix sylvestris Roxb.(dates) [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 27/127], Mucuna pruriens (kapikacchu) [Sha.Pu.4/14] etc. are some of the drugs which promotes virility.
Regimens with aphrodisiac (vajikarana) effect
Speech with affection, comfortable touch and pleasant music [Su.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 26/6] acts as agents which promote virility.
The best agent to make a person virile is the sexually exited partner. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 2/1/4]
Therapies with vajikarana effect
Diets that should be avoided during aphrodisiac therapy
All salts except rock salt [A.S. Sutra Sthana 18/17] [A.S. Sutra Sthana 12/17], buttermilk [Su.Sa.Sutra Sthana 45/84], food items which are bitter in taste [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 27/4] and spicy (katu) [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 26/51] should be avoided. Food taken in deficient quantity [Cha.Sa.Vimana Sthana 2/7] also have a negative impact over virility.
Time of administration of aphrodisiac medicines
Aphrodisiac medicines should be used along with morsel of food (sagrasa). [A.S. Sutra Sthana 23/22]
Benefits of aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana)
The person who underwent aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana) gets quick sexual stimulation, can indulge in sexual act vigorously for a longer duration, quality and quantity of reproductive fluid can be maintained even in old age and ultimately the person will get healthy progeny. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 1/1/9-12]
Importance of concept in preservation of health and prevention
Aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana) is considered as a measure to improve the health of the healthy. [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 1/1/13] After the treatment of diseases, aphrodisiac therapy (vajikarana) should be done to maintain the tissues in their equilibrium and thus to prevent its recurrence. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 7/48-49]
Importance of concept in management of disease
Diseases of reproductive fluid (shukra), like impotency [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 30/193], can be treated with aphrodisiac formulations (vajikarana). [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 30/146] Aphrodisiac therapy results in the nourishment of body. [A.S.Sutra Sthana 24/19] So it can be used to treat the disorders caused by the depletion of body tissues.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is considered to be the main cause of oxidative stress and is believed to the important cause of idiopathic male infertility and sexual dysfunction. The oxidative stress may also leads to the sperm DNA damage which is having a negative impact over reproductive outcome.
Natural antioxidants by reducing the oxidative stress, significantly increase sperm motility and sperm counts in infertile men. Mucuna pruriens (kapikacchu), Tribulus terrestris (gokshura) and Withania somnifera (aswagandha) enhances the sexual function by increasing testosterone levels and regulating nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor (Nrf2) signaling pathways. It also decreases the ROS levels.
In an experimental study, the rats treated with Mucuna pruriens (kapikacchu), Tribulus terrestris (gokshura) and Withania somnifera (aswagandha) combination shows increased seminal vesicles and ventral prostate weight. The sperm motility and sperm counts were also increased by 30 - 40% than the control group. FSH, LH and testosterone levels were also improved. Lowest levels of serum and testicular tissue malondialdehyde (MDA), which is an end product of ROS mediated lipid peroxidation, were found in the group treated with Mucuna, Ashwaganda and Tribulus combination. NF-kB levels were also found to be lowest in the group treated with the above medicines.
Withania somnifera (aswagandha) is found to be effective in stress induced sexual disorders in rat models. It produce gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) like effect and prevents the over firing of nerve cells. It reduces the cortisol levels also and thus brings calming effect.
In a study conducted on 41 individuals, Withania somnifera (aswagandha) is found to be ineffective in providing relief to psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
Cow’s ghee administered after therapeutic purgation (virechana) in 32 infertile patients with oligozoospermia, shows 80% increase of total sperm count, 41% increase in sperm motility, 12.58% increase in normal form of sperm and 45.22% increase in semen volume. It also shows 41.69% decrease in abnormal forms of sperms. An increase of FSH, LH and testosterone levels was also reported after the treatment along with improvement in generalized debility, sexual weakness, sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, frequency and duration of coitus. Ghee possess anti oxidative properties as it contains abundant amounts of Vit A and E.
Asafoetida in low doses improves the viability, motility, count and morphology of sperms but higher doses may have adverse action. In a study, rats treated with asafoetida shows significant increase in epididymal sperm count. Improvement in sperm morphology and viability was also reported. Mobility of sperms was found to be decreased after treating with asafoetida. Histological study shows an increase in germ cells and signs of spermatogenesis.
Lower doses of Syzygium aromaticum have a stimulatory effect while its higher doses have an adverse action on male reproductive parameters like count, motility and morphology of sperms.
Puga Khanda, an Ayurvedic formulation is found to improve the seminal volume, total sperm count and motility. It also shows better improvement in sexual desire, penile erection and penile rigidity. Its ingredients Areca catechu, Asparagus racemosus, Pueraria tuberosa, Tribulus terrestris, cow’s milk, ghee etc have aphrodisiac and antioxidant properties.
Sperm count and semen volume is found to be significantly increased by administration of Ficus religiosa (ashwata) fruit powder after therapeutic purgation in 20 patients with oligozoospermia.
List of theses done
- Rajareddy G (1999): A comparative pharmaco therapeutic study of erandamula and kapikacchu bija with special reference to vrsya karma. Department of Dravyaguna Vigyan. IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Santosh Bhatted (2002): A comparative study of role of vajeekarana drugs administered orally and by basti in the management of klaibhya with reference to erectile dysfunction. Department of Kayachikitsa. IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Prakash Mangalasseri (2002): A clinical study of shukragata vata w.s.r to premature ejaculation & its management with Akarakarbhati yoga yapana basti Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Sanjay Gupta (2006): A clinical effect of Baladiyapana basti and vajikarana yoga in the management of sukradushti w.s.r to oligoasthenozoospermia. Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Basil Cardozo (2006): A clinical study on physo-somatic management of sukra avrita vata (premature ejaculation) with rasayana yoga and shirodhara. Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Jithesh C Padariya (2010): Effect of pushpadhanva rasa and swayamguptaikshurak bheeja choorna on kshinashukra (oligozoospermia). Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Nakul A Jethva (2011): A Clinical Study on the Effect of Virechana Karma and Amalaki Rasayana in the Management of Kshina Shukra w.s.r. to Oligozoospermia. Department of Panchakarma, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- BGSM Sumanasinghe (2016): Experimental evaluation of vrishyakarma (Aphrodisiac activity) of leaf of Clitoria Ternatea Linn. (Aparajita). Department of Dravyaguna Vigyan. IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Jitendra Varsakiya (2015): A comparative study of Ashwattha phala churna and shveta palandu swarasa bhavita yavani in the management of ksheena shukra W.S.R to oligozoospermia. Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Vasava Ankitkumar Amarsinh (2017): A comparative clinical study of churna ratnam and svaguptadi churna in the management of ksheena shukra W.S.R to oligozoospermia. Department of Kayachikitsa, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Nikunj M (2012): A comparative study of vrishya basti and kulinga (Blepharis edulis) after virechana karma in the management of kshinashukra w.s.r to oligozoospermia. Department of Panchakarma, IPGT&RA Jamnagar
- Jadav Hasmukh Bhavanbhai (2014): Management of premature ejaculation (shukragata vata) with erandamool basti and vanari kalpa- A clinical study
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- Monier-Williams, Monier-Williams Sanskrit- English Dictionary, 1st edition; Oxford University Press, vajikara, Page 938.
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- Sahin K, Tuzcu M, Orhan C, Gencoglu H, Sahin N, Akdemir F, Turk G, Yilmaz I, Juturu V. MAT, a Novel Polyherbal Aphrodisiac Formulation, Enhances Sexual Function and Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway While Reducing Oxidative Damage in Male Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 29;2018:8521782. doi: 10.1155/2018/8521782. PMID: 29853975; PMCID: PMC5949178.
- Mamidi P, Thakar AB. Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal. Linn.) in the management of psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Ayu. 2011 Jul;32(3):322-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.93907. PMID: 22529644; PMCID: PMC3326875.
- Varsakiya JN, Goyal M, Thakar A, Donga S, Kathad D. Efficacy of Virechana (therapeutic purgation) followed by Go-Ghrita (cow ghee) in the management of Ksheena Shukra (oligozoospermia): A clinical study. AYU 2019;40:27-33.
- Bagheri SM, Yadegari M, Porentezari M, Mirjalili A, Hasanpor A, Dashti RM, et al. Effect of Ferula assa-foetida oleo gum resin on spermatic parameters and testicular histopathology in male wistar rats. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2015;6:175-80.
- Mishra RK, Singh SK. Reproductive effects of lipid soluble components of Syzygium aromaticum flower bud in male mice. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2013;4:94-8.
- Baragi PC, Bhat S, Prajapati PK, Baragi UC. Clinical evaluation of V.r.sya effect of Pūga Kha.n.da on sexual health and seminal parameters. Ancient Sci Life 2013;32:134-8.
- Varsakiya JN, Goyal M, Thakar A, Patel B. Role of Virechana and Ashwatha Phala Churna in the management of Ksheena Shukra (oligozoospermia): A pilot study. Ayu. 2016 Apr-Jun;37(2):113-119. doi: 10.4103/ayu.AYU_71_15. PMID: 29200749; PMCID: PMC5688833.