As Valentine's Day approaches in the dead of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) and following 2.5 years of global instability, it might feel difficult for many of us to feel lit up by life, let alone by our own libidos! And of course, Ayurveda knows that the two of these are inextricably linked; that an uplifted vitality will inevitably lead us to feel turned on in every aspect of our lives and especially in the bedroom.
In Ayurveda, there is an entire class of medicine dedicated just to the healing, strengthening and sustenance of sexual vitality, called Vajikarana Cikitsa. Karana means 'cultivating' and Vaji refers to the sexual potency of a 'horse,' while Chikitsa means 'therapy.'
The focus of Vajikarana therapy is primarily to increase one's store of Ojas, the vital energy that gives us the power, inspiration and ultimately, the vitality to live our lives from a place of empowerment, possibility and excitement. The second aim of Vajikarana Chikitsa is to, through the increase and maintenance in levels of Ojas, support the sexual vitality of a patient, and thus increase their fertility and likelihood of successfully having children. In fact, the health of the reproductive organs and the level of one's fertility is considered a direct indicator of one's health, as the reproductive tissues are the last to be built and nourished in the body's process of turning the inputs (Ahara) that we take in (food, water, breath emotions, information received through the sense organs), into the bodily tissues (Dhatus).
The end goal of Vajikarana points us to the source of our capacity to feel turned on by Life and to see all the, literally, endless possibilities for making love to every moment. This may sound silly, but truly, when your body is over-flowing with Ojas, with vitality, you will feel sexy in your own body, captivated by possibility and thus, abundant in your appetite for sexual intimacy with yourself and/or a partner. Not only this, but if you and your partner are trying to conceive, an abundance of Ojas in both of you, resulting in healthy sperm and ovum, will increase the chance of conception and lead to vital and healthy progeny. You will also be protected from developing diseases of the reproductive organs in the future. And these therapeutic measures will assist a couple in extending the duration of their love-making.
When it comes to Ayurvedic 'sex therapy,' what's not to get excited about?!
So, what are some of these Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs, you might be hungrily asking?
For many, the best way to begin your journey towards greater sexual health and vitality is by first, beginning with a period of cleansing. As most of the treatments prescribed in Vajikarana therapy are building in nature (Brahmana), if the body is already overwhelmed with toxicity (Ama), this state will be made worse and the aphrodisiac effect will not be successful.
A simple and almost effortless Ayurvedic Cleanse, is a kitchari cleanse, which is a one-pot, mung bean and rice stew, which if eaten as a mono-diet for a period of 3 or more days, will have a scraping (Lekhana) effect, removing built up waste from the body and the mind. You can begin your journey towards cleaning out the old with either our Kitchari Kits, an at-home meal kit that only requires you to add veggies, oil and a kitchen, or with our more supported option, The Kind Cleanse, in which an individualized kitchari cleanse is designed for you and all meals delivered fresh to your door (in the Toronto area), with ongoing support & guidance offered for the duration of your cleansing period.
After a deep clearing out of the waste that blocks your vitality from flowing through, you will be ready to incorporate some of these Ayurvedic aphrodisiac herbs and practices into your life. Remember always however, that there is no aphrodisiac quite like authentic love for and connection to oneself, and to one's partner. Without this ingredient, love-making will be superficial, transactional, goal-oriented and self-focused, rather than connection-focused. So, before you try any of these suggestions, connect deeply to Love, which actually pervades yourself and the container of your relationship.
Vajikarana for Women
The ancient Ayurvedic texts noted that the ultimate cause of low Ojas and thus a lack of oomph in every area of your life, is due to too much Vata dosha in the system. Thus, Vata-reducing practices are recommended, such as daily Abhyanga, Nasya, and other Vata-reducing practices.
Women can also benefit extremely well from the use of tools like crystal Yoni Eggs and Yoni Wands. These safe (of course, if properly sanitized) tools stem from traditional Taoist culture, and offer women the opportunity to connect to their own sexuality and to discover their own sexual empowerment, to reduce stress, release blocked energy and/or pain held in the pelvic area, reduce PMS symptoms and menstrual pain, bring balance to hormonal levels, increase sexual appetite, improve sensitivity and pleasure during intercourse, and more. Our Obsidian Yoni Wands can be found here, a full range of certified authentic Yoni Eggs here, and both can be found in our Goddess Gift Kit plus our Ayurvedic vaginal lubricant, the Sacred Yoni Elixir.
Herbal recommendations can include:
1. SHATAVARI: Meaning 'she who possesses 100 husbands,' this root, taken with warmed milk and honey, is a hormonal-balancer, a stress-buster and increases a woman's capacity for love-making. Shatavari can be found here as a single herb or in our Wild Woman Potion.
2. ASHWAGANDHA: This adaptogenic superhero means 'smells like a horse' in reference to its effect of gifting the patient with the power of a stallion. Ashwagandha is a nervous system tonifier, and allows one to literally adapt to stressful situations in life. It is building, nourishing, and lubricating. In a 2015 study, a group of women were given a 300mg extract of Ashwagandha and compared to the placebo group, they experienced 'increased arousal, sexual lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction.' Ashwagandha can be found on its own here or in our Adapt to Life Potion and Wild Woman Potion.
3. BALA: Meaning, 'strength,' imparts just that to the patient and can be found in our Vata Abhyanga Oil, where it will be absorbed through the skin, into the bloodstream and eventually, the reproductive organs.
Vajikarana for Men
1. KAPIKACCHU (Mucuna): Considered possibly the strongest aphrodisiac herb in Ayurveda, it offers nutritive and nourishing properties, calms Vata imbalance, balances all three Doshas, and increases sexual virility and libido. Kapikacchu can be found on its own here or in our Lover's Potion & Adapt To Life Potion.
2. PINE POLLEN: While not a traditional Ayurvedic herb, Pine Pollen (actual pollen from mature pine trees) is known for its ability to support optimal hormones, optimal testicular and prostate health, eliminating harmful synthetic estrogens that are unknowingly absorbed into the body, and to increase sexual drive and performance in men. Pine Pollen can be found in our Mighty Man Potion.
3. ASHWAGANDHA: This root is also excellent for men, in its capacity to both calm and energize the system, increase testosterone levels and increase sperm motility and count by improving healthy adaptability to stress.
While these are just a handful of simple, and more commonly-known herbal suggestions, Ayurveda offers many more, and you can of course receive more personalized recommendations and dosage instructions by booking a one-on-one Ayurvedic consultation with Tiffany here.
It is our right to feel enchanted, excited and even aroused by life and by the possibility for emotional, physical and sexual connection! There is no reason to settle for a sense of chronic flatness and dissatisfaction in any area of life. Ayurveda teaches us to treat our Ojas first, and then all inspiration flows forward from there. So do give some of these herbal suggestions and practices a try, because you deserve to live a life that feels energized, impassioned and juicy!