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Low sperm count, commonly called oligospermia or oligozoospermia, is a clinical condition, in which, the sperm count in the semen is less than 20 million/mL. Low sperm count can be correlated with kshina shukra in Ayurveda, which is characterised by a qualitative and quantitative decrease in shukra (semen).

Ayurvedic treatment of oligospermia includes procedures such as snehana (oleation), virechana (purgation) and basti (enema). Herbs and medicines that are useful in the management of oligospermia and its associated symptoms include gokshura (small caltrops), ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), kapikachhu (cowhage plant), shatavari (hundred roots), shilajatu (asphaltum), shweta musli (white musli), vanga bhasma (calcined preparation of tin), mashashwagandhadi churna and mashadi vati.

  1. Ayurvedic view of low sperm count
  2. Ayurvedic treatment for low sperm count
  3. Ayurvedic herbs and medicines for Low sperm count
  4. Dietary and lifestyle changes for lo sperm count patient as per ayurveda
  5. How effective are ayurvedic medicines and treatments for low sperm count
  6. Side effects and risks of ayurvedic medicine and treatments for low sperm count
  7. Takeaway
  8. Doctors for Ayurvedic medicine, treatment and remedies for Low sperm count

As per Ayurveda, healthy semen is white, oily, viscous, sweet, non-slimy and non-burning with a honey-like odour. The total quantity of semen ejaculated at one time by a healthy individual is 59 to 118 mL. The quality and quantity of semen may be affected by a number of factors including excessive sex, masturbation, sex at inappropriate times, over-exercise, ageing, and weakness due to disease. Overeating of salty, bitter, sour, astringent or hot food items may also have an impact on semen leading to conditions such as oligospermia.

Depending on the dosha involved, diseases due to defective semen are classified into eight types in Ayurveda:

  • Vataretas, pittaretas, kapharetas: These are caused by the vitiation of vata, pitta or kapha, respectively.
  • Kunaparetas: It is caused due to excessive coitus or wound, leading to cadaver-smelling semen with an increase in semen volume.
  • Grandiretas: It is caused by the vitiation of vata and kapha dosha leading to obstructed and painful ejaculation.
  • Pootipooyaretas: It occurs due to the vitiation of pitta and kapha and leads to pus-like semen.
  • Kshina shukra: It occurs due to vitiation of vata and pitta doshas and is characterised by a decrease in the quality and quantity of semen, delayed ejaculation or blood stains in semen.
  • Moothrapureesharetas: It occurs due to the simultaneous vitiation of all three doshas and is characterised by the smell of urine or faeces in semen.

The main cause of all the eight types of defective semen disorders is improper eating and lifestyle habits. Almost all the eight types of semen defects are curable.

  • Snehana
    • Snehana involves the application of medicated oils on the whole body or specific areas on the body depending on the condition to be treated.
    • Snehana helps in liquefying and mobilising the accumulated toxins from various tissues into the digestive tract from where they are eliminated and thrown out of the body.
    • The commonly used oil to treat vitiated vata is sesame oil. Canola oil is used in individuals with vitiated pitta dosha, and flaxseed oil is used in the management of diseases due to kapha imbalance. Snehana is also helpful in the management of diseases involving an imbalance of multiple doshas like kshina shukra, thereby increasing sperm count.
  • Virechana
    • This procedure involves the induction of purgation by using laxative herbs to evacuate bowels.
    • Evacuation of the bowels also clears the aggravated doshas and ama (toxins) from the body that are responsible for many diseases. Some of the herbs used for virechana karma include senna and aloe.
    • Virechana opens body channels and improves nutritional assimilation. This increases the bioavailability of herbal and medicinal treatments and, thereby, stimulates luteinizing hormone. Lh is a reproductive hormone, which enhances the quality of semen, increases sperm count, and is considered an effective therapy in the treatment of sexual disorders due to its rejuvenating and aphrodisiac properties.
  • Basti
    • It is an Ayurvedic enema therapy that employs herbs and its combinations to cleanse the entire length of the colon and rectum.
    • Basti is primarily used for diseases due to aggravation of vata dosha alone or as the predominant dosha involved in causing the disease.
    • It is an effective treatment method to increase sperm count and treat male infertility. It is also used in the management of other conditions like arthritis, sciatica, lower back pain, constipation, rheumatism, Alzheimer’s disease and mental retardation.

Ayurvedic herbs for low sperm count

  • Gokshura
    • Gokshura acts on reproductive, nervous, respiratory and urinary systems and has diuretic, pain-relieving, rejuvenating and aphrodisiac (increases libido) properties. It is one of the best herbs for genitourinary diseases and is useful in treating sexual dysfunctions and infertility. Gokshura is also helpful in flushing out toxins from the body.
    • It improves testosterone levels by increasing the levels of luteinizing hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This, in turn, helps improves the production of sperms and increase male fertility. (Read more: Natural remedies to boost testosterone)
  • Ashwagandha
    • Ashwagandha acts on the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems of the body and has numerous bioactive ingredients that make it  beneficial in the management of infertility, skin diseases, arthritis, insomnia and immune system problems.
    • Ashwagandha increases sperm production and is used in the management of male infertility since ancient times. It is classified as an adaptogen as it acts as an anti-stress herb and improves physical strength.
    • This herb also possesses immune stimulating properties that are helpful in preventing infections and diseases.
  • Kapikachhu
    • Kapikachhu acts on the nervous and reproductive systems and has aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, astringent (constricts body tissues) and rejuvenating properties. It is one of the best reproductive tonics and aphrodisiacs, and is thus, useful in the treatment of infertility and impotence. Kapikacchu is also effective in treating indigestion, weakness and menorrhagia.
    • It can be used in the form of a powder, decoction or confections.
  • Shatavari
    • Shatavari acts on all the systems of the body including the reproductive system and has nutritive, aphrodisiac, tonic, antispasmodic and appetising and digestive properties.
    • This herb is well-known for its immunity boosting properties but it also helps in the management of impotence, infertility, and sexual debility, especially in females. Shatavari purifies the blood, nourishes the body and increases the production of semen.
    • It can be used in the form of a decoction, powder or ghee (clarified butter).
  • Shilajatu
    • Shilajatu acts on all the tissues of the human body and has rejuvenating, antiseptic and diuretic properties.
    • It is helpful in balancing vitiated doshas, especially vata dosha and is useful for treating sexual debility and improving male fertility. Shilajitu can also be used to treat menstrual disorders, jaundice, obesity, oedema, and skin diseases.
    • It can be used in the form of powder with milk.
  • Shweta musli
    • Shweta musli is a popular herb used traditionally for its aphrodisiac properties. It is commonly known to treat erectile dysfunction and is also helpful in the management of male impotence and low sperm count. It is used as a general health–promoting tonic and for improving lactation in breastfeeding mothers.
    • This herb boosts and delays the ageing process. It has anti-ulcer, anti-stress, anti-tumour, anthelmintic, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial properties.
    • Safed musli is an important ingredient of the commonly used Ayurvedic preparation called chyawanprash.
  • Amalaki (Indian gooseberry)
    • Amla possesses aphrodisiac, laxative, rejuvenating, nutritive, haemostatic and astringent properties.
    • It is useful in the management of all the pitta diseases. In addition to oligospermia, it is also effective in treating spleen and liver weakness, mental disorders, haemorrhoids, painful urination and internal bleeding.
    • Amalaki can be taken in the form of a decoction or powder.

Ayurvedic medicines for low sperm count

  • Vanga bhasma
    • Vanga bhasma is a calcined preparation of tin, which is very effective for the treatment of sexual disorders and potentiating sexual vigour.
    • It increases sperm motility and density. Vanga bhasma is useful in the management of unhealthy shukra, night emissions and low volume of semen. It increases overall physical strength as well as the volume of semen, thereby, improving the quality of sexual life.
  • Mashashwagandhadi churna
    • Mashashwagandhadi churna is prepared from  masha (black gram), ashwagandha, yashtimadhu (mulethi), gokshura, mudga (green gram), kadli (banana tree) and milk.
    • It pacifies the aggravated vata and pitta dosha; increases physical strength; improves sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility; and helps in the treatment of infertility in men.
    • This formulation also helps in improving other parameters in infertility such as sexual desire, ejaculation, erection, performance anxiety, post-act exhaustion, self-satisfaction and partner’s satisfaction.
  • Mashadi vati
    • Some of the ingredients of Mashadi vati are masha, ashwagandha, yashtimadhu, shatavari and mudga.
    • Mashadi vati pacifies vata and pitta dosha, which are reponsible for oligospermia. It has excellent digestive power and eliminates ama from the body.
    • Mashadi vati directly acts on the shukra dhatu and increases sperm count, thus treating male infertility.

As treatments vary according to numerous factors and an individual’s prakriti (constitution), consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor for the appropriate medications and treatments for your specific complaints.

Do’s

  • Include rock salt, ghee and amalaki in your diet.
  • Perform exercise regularly.

Don’ts

  • Do not suppress your natural urges like thirst, hunger, urge to urinate and evacuate the bowel.
  • Do not overeat and over-exercise.
  • Avoid anxiety, fear and anger.

A case study involving a 33-year-old oligospermia patient, with chief complaints of general debility, fatigue, loss of weight, dizziness, pain in the penis and scrotum, and dryness of mouth, suggested the effectiveness of Ayurvedic therapy in improving sperm count and motility. The individual was treated using an Ayurvedic aphrodisiac medicine called mashadi vati for a definite time period. Significant relief was found in various symptoms like sexual desire, erection, rigidity, orgasm and ejaculation by the end of the study. Post-treatment semen analysis indicated an improvement in the sperm count and motility. 

Another clinical study indicated the effectiveness of mashashwagandhadi churna in the treatment of low sperm count. Regular administration of this formulation was reported to increase the total sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume. Improvement in sexual desire, ejaculation and erection and reduction in performance anxiety, post-act exhaustion and weakness were also noted.

Although Ayurvedic procedures, medicines and herbs used in the treatment of low sperm count are effective and safe, side effects and risks always exist. Depending on individual prakriti, a herb that works well in an individual may produce negative effects in another E.g.,

  • Virechana is not recommended in individuals with diarrhoea and poor digestion, and it should also be avoided in very weak individuals, and during pregnancy.
  • Kapikachhu and shatavari should not be used in individuals with severe chest congestion.
  • Shilajatu should not be used in individuals with high uric acid content or febrile diseases.

To avoid any side effects and risks of Ayurvedic therapy, it is best to consult an Ayurvedic physician before initiating any treatment.

Oligospermia or oligozoospermia is a fairly common condition which occurs when the total sperm count falls below 20million/mL. As per Ayurveda, the main causes of this condition are improper diet and lifestyle. An Ayurvedic physician can help in identifying the cause of low sperm count and will suggest herbal remedies and treatments along with dietary and lifestyle changes to ensure a speedy recovery. This holistic treatment not only increases sperm count but also improves the overall health and aids in producing healthy offsprings.

Dr. Hariom Verma

Dr. Hariom Verma

आयुर्वेदा

 Dr. Sarita Singh

Dr. Sarita Singh

आयुर्वेदा

Dr. Amit Kumar

Dr. Amit Kumar

आयुर्वेदा

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