As we age, hormone levels change, Vata Dosha (the element that controls movement) becomes more predominant and Agni (digestive fire) can become weaker. For men, these factors have a direct affect on the prostate gland. Maharishi AyurVeda takes a holistic approach that helps nourish all the factors that affect prostate health.
The prostate is a gland that is found in men at the neck of the bladder. When semen is ejected, the prostate secretes an alkaline fluid that helps protect the semen from acidic fluids within the vagina.
This gland is usually the size of a largish walnut. Because of its position, if it becomes enlarged the prostate can cause discomfort through restricting urine flow.
50% of men in their sixties are found to have enlarged prostates and this enlargement is found in up to 90% of men in their seventies or eighties. The prostate gland can also become cancerous and prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
Even though problems with the prostate gland seem to be confined to those over 40 years of age, the root of these imbalances start much earlier in life.
The good news is that when you follow the right diet and routine, and take appropriate herbal supplements, you can keep your prostate healthy.
Prostate problems from the Ayurvedic perspective
From the perspective of Ayurveda, enlargement of the prostate and other prostate problems are caused by lack of balance in Vata Dosha (the body-principle responsible for movement) and in particular in Apana Vata (a sub-Doshas of Vata responsible for elimination of waste and sexual function). This lack of balance is caused by:
- Habitually suppressing the natural urge to urinate – this can cause the urine to become more concentrated, which can have an irritating effect on the prostate.
- Suppressing the urge to defecate, which can add pressure to and irritate the prostate
- Over-indulging in sex or suppressing the sexual urge
- Consuming too much dry food or very cold food.
- Under-eating or over-eating.
- Old age – Vata Dosha increases with age.
Poor digestion, leading to a toxic build-up called Ama.
Other causes of prostate problems include:
- Not drinking enough water during the day, which leads to lack of fluids in the body. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (though avoid very cold or iced water as this disturbs Vata).
- Too much alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Alcohol creates an over-production of urine, which aggravates both Pitta and Vata Doshas.
- Sitting for long periods without taking a break or stretching can overheat and create imbalances in your reproductive organs.
- Lack of daily exercise, particularly exercises that aid blood-flow in the genitals, like walking, swimming and yoga.
- Eating a diet that creates Ama (digestive impurities) in your body. Your daily diet should contain spices and herbs that purify the urine (such as turmeric, cumin and fennel). These spices prevent the toxic build-up of Ama that can lead to imbalances or infection.
- An unbalanced daily routine can cause Ama to build up and disturb your immune system and in your hormonal glands, such as the prostate. For example, watching TV late into the night, or being on shift-work, can lead to insufficient quality sleep, and cause a build-up of toxic Ama. So can having an irregular meal routine.
- The later part of life is known as the Vata Kala (or Vata time of life) in Ayurveda and Vata Dosha increases as we age. By nature Vata dosha is irregular, dry, and moving and can cause the digestion to become irregular. This irregularity of digestion contributes to more Ama being produced and to spread throughout the tissues.
- An added complication can arise if you also have an imbalance in Shleshaka Kapha. (Kapha is the body element governing its stability and structure, and Shleshaka Kapha is a sub-Dosha of Kapha that governs lubrication of the joints, body fluids, and moisture balance in the skin.) Any Ama that accumulates in your body fluids, due to dietary mistakes, can get mixed with the Shleshaka Kapha, creating a toxic brew called Shleshma. This will lead to Ama becoming mixed with urine, which will lead to irritation and possibly inflammation within the urinary tract and the prostate.
The Maharishi AyurVeda solution
Maharishi AyurVeda helps support health on all fronts by:
- balancing Apana Vata, the sub-Dosha of Vata related to the downward flow of energy such as occurs with urination
- stopping Ama from being produced
- supporting the immune system,
- cleansing the urine, nutrient fluid, blood, muscle and fat tissues of Ama
- cleansing Shleshaka Kapha of toxic Shleshma.
Maharishi Ayurveda tips for prostate health
- To keep your urine from becoming over-concentrated, between meals drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can add purifying herbs to the water to help flush out toxins, dissolve Ama and purify your urine:
- Bring two litres of water to the boil.
- Add three basil leaves, half a teaspoon of fennel seeds, half a teaspoon of coriander seeds, and six pumpkin seeds or six fresh cucumber seeds.
- Boil for about few minutes and pour the water into a flask.
- Keep drinking the water throughout the day, but stop after 7 pm.
- If you have a prostate problem, avoid fluids at night – a full bladder at night can put pressure on the prostate and disturb your sleep with the need to get up frequently to urinate.
- Make sure your bladder is completely empty each time you urinate. If your prostate is enlarged, the urethra (urine passageway) will become more narrow than usual. If you are in too much of a hurry while urinating, some urine may remain in the bladder. This is not a good for your health, as your urine will become more concentrated each time you urinate. So, take plenty of time to ensure your bladder is completely empty
- Avoid or at least reduce alcohol consumption, as it creates imbalances in the blood tissue. The same goes for caffeine, as both create abnormal urine production and can irritate and create inflammation in the bladder
- If your job involves having to sit all day, take frequent short breaks to stretch or take short walks. This will help restore the normal flow of blood, nutrient fluid and energy to the prostate area
- During cold weather, take care to keep your neck, head and body warm. Urine retention occurs when your body temperature drops and this will aggravate the prostate. Keep your body temperature within a moderate range, neither too hot nor too cold
- Keep your bowel movements regular. Constipation creates an obstruction in Apana Vata, which in turn creates pressure on your prostate. It also tends to increase Ama in your blood tissue, and creates excessive dryness in the whole pelvic region. To help with regular elimination, try:
- Stewed apple in the morning for breakfast with stewed figs, raisins, or prunes.
- Add more fibre and cooked vegetables to your diet.
- Have 2-4 teaspoons of psyllium seed husk with warm milk or water at night before going to bed
- Or take 2-4 Herbal Cleanse tablets before bed with water.
- Daily Abhyanga (full body oil massage) balances Apana Vata, which has a balancing effect of the prostate. Massaging the hands and feet in particular has a balancing and preventive effective. Use Rejuvenation Massage Oil for Men, as it contains herbs and oils that support the male physiology.
- Good quality sleep is of primary importance. If you find difficulty falling asleep, take a combination of Blissful Sleep Basicand Blissful Sleep Vata If your sleep often interrupted, take Blissful Sleep Basic combined with Blissful Sleep Pitta. If you feel heavy and sluggish in the morning, take Blissful Sleep Basic and Blissful Sleep Kapha together.
- Eat foods that are Tri-Doshic (balancing to all three doshas). This includes:Soaked walnuts and soaked almonds
- Turmeric (also a good blood cleaner)
- Basmati rice
- Kitchari (see recipe)
- Avoiding foods that aggravate any one of the Doshas: food that is too dry, too oily, too greasy, too cold, too hot, too spicy or too bland
- Avoiding extremes in your diet and lifestyle.
- Include plenty of sweet, ripe, juicy fruits in your diet. These help nourish Rasa Dhatu (the primary nutrient fluid produced from digestion), they purify your urine and they help maintain a healthy flow of urine. Sweet fruits create Ojas, a pure and subtle life energy that is extracted from food that has been completely digested. Fruits also improve immunity and enhance cellular intelligence. Fruit that is stewed until soft, balances Apana Vata as well as Pitta Dosha (the body element that governs digestion and transformation). Stewed apples or pears make an ideal breakfast when combined with prunes, figs, and raisins. Sweet, juicy raw fruits are suitable if you have a Kapha imbalance, but avoid eating raw fruit after sunset, as digestion diminishes after the sun goes down.
- The most comprehensive and rapid way of pacifying Apana Vata and removing deep-seated Ama is Panchakarma. The oil massages, heat treatments and enemas, that are part of Panchakarma treatment:
- settle the mind and reduce stress levels.
- have a calming or pacifying effect on Vata and in particular on Apana Vata.
- remove toxic Ama and Shleshma accumulated in the body tissues.
- reduce the irritation and inflammatory effects that can result from waste material not fully expelled from the bowels.
Maharishi AyurVeda prostate herbal supplement
As a man ages, testosterone levels decrease and this causes the prostate gland to enlarge. This enlargement obstructs the flow of urine and can lead to infections, which can lead to further enlargement and the spread of infections within the bladder and kidneys.
Sitting for long periods of time, and having a sedentary lifestyle, puts added pressure on the genitourinary tract. Mental stress can disturb the Doshas and further aggravate the problem.
Drugs try to address the problem by stimulating testosterone production, but they ignore other key factors and have side effects.
Maharishi AyurVeda takes a holistic approach that helps nourish all the factors that affect prostate health. At the heart of this approach is the Prostate Balance herbal formula, which delivers nutritional support over much a broader range of targeted areas than ordinary supplements. Prostate Balance helps improve the quality and quantity of reproductive fluid, it helps balanced testosterone levels, helps maintain immunity and purifies your urine. Each tablet also contains 20% of the recommended daily amount of zinc.
Prostate Balance guidelines
From the age of 40 onwards, to maintain a healthy prostate, take Prostate Balance herbal tablets 6 to 12 weeks consecutively per year. Or take Prostate Balance until you achieved the desired level of comfort.
To maintenance a healthy prostate, you can continue to take half the normal dose.
For added support for Shukra Dhatu, and to enhance semen production, take one tablet of Rasayana for Men, twice a day after eating.
For extra support of the urinary tract, take Genitrac herbal tablets. For additional antioxidant support, take one tablet of Amlaberry with each tablet of Genitrac.
Follow the related diet and lifestyle recommendations:
- Eat whole cereal as they have plenty of fibre and bran, which contain zinc.
- Drink plenty of warm or hot water to purify your whole system.
- Eat radishes, asparagus and turmeric to help purify your blood and urine.
- Use black pepper, cumin and coriander or use Prostate Balance Spice Mix in your meals.
- If your job involves sitting for long hours, take breaks and regular walks.
- Regular elimination of your bowels is important. Psyllium seed husk, Herbal Cleanse tablets and a fibre-rich diet will help.
Recommended Maharishi AyurVeda herbal supplements