We are all fascinated with aphrodisiacs—the substances or activities that help build our
strength and staying power in the bedroom as well as our overall vitality. In Ayurveda,
the study and use of these is significant. The Sanskrit term for aphrodisiacs is vajikarana,
which means "that which imparts the strength of a horse". Aphrodisiacs can be applicable
whatever one’s personal situation. Reproductive fluid, called shukra, circulates throughout
the body and is responsible for courage, activity, love, delight and vigor, according to the
ancient Indian medical texts, the Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita.
The Charaka Samhita best sums it up as follows: Vajikarana are used to give strength to
the weak, to enhance pleasure in the strong and to boost performance in all.
There are two main reasons given for the taking of aphrodisiacs: to ensure good progeny
and to increase enjoyment of sex. Note that regarding the latter, the texts are even more
specific: it is to enhance one’s ability to give pleasure to one’s partner.
In all cases, it follows that aphrodisiacs work best in one who already enjoys good health.
Thus, it may be best to begin by taking rasayanas. True to the adage that you should
clean your pot before cooking in it, one may be required to detox prior to even taking
rasayanas. This of course brings a host of side benefits, including good health, strength,
courage, and delight of the senses.
There are two primary categories of aphrodisiac substances: foods (pathya) and herbs
(aushadha). Since both categories are subject to the Ayurvedic laws of taste—energetics,
action, and effects—let us start with taste.
According to Ayurveda, there are three sets
of substances, qualities, and actions for both
men and women to enhance sexual desire,
performance and enjoyment. These are:
These are the ways to increase nourishment to
the body and mind in general. While rasayana
is a long-term (and slower) approach, rejuvenation
is essential for creating a healthy, confident
approach to one’s sex life and sexual expression.
Directed more specifically towards sexual ability,
vrishya nourishes and replenishes the body.
These are the more specific remedies and
activities. There are two types of vajikarana: those
which increase vitality (along with desire), and
those which increase performance (including the
ability to last longer for men).
Encouraging Love, Delight and Vigor.
BY ARUN DEVA