According to Ayurveda Shukra is the 7th dhatu or tissue. It supports male fertility and sexual energy. Shuddha Shukra or pure shukra dhatu improves fertility and sexual function in men.
Shukra Dhatu in Ayurveda
Shukra which is also addressed as ‘dhatu’ in general, has to be nourished well with good diet and lifestyle. Healthy shukra dhatu keeps the mans fertility and sexual energy up.
In this article we have tried to explain the meaning of shukra dhatu, its kshaya or reduction in quality and quantity. Texts of Ayurveda explain treatments for shukra kshaya. Let us know the details.
Table of content
- What is shukra dhatu ?
- What are Functions of shukra dhatu ?
- Shuddha shukra lakshana (pure semen).
- Dooshita shukra lakshana (unhealthy semen) .
- What is shukra dhatu kshaya ?
- What are treatments for shukra dhatu kshaya ? (dhatu Pushti)
- What are Shukra vriddhi laxanas (symptoms of increased shukra dhatu) ?
- How shukra imbalance affects health of men ?
- Relationship between majja dhatu (bone marrow) and shukra dhatu (semen)
According principles of ayurveda the 7 dhatus from rasa dhatu or lymph to shukra dhatu get nourishment from previous dhatu. The core nutrients of majja dhatu (bone marrow) help in production of Shukra dhatu. Thus the nutrients from majja dhatu flow to shukra dhara kala and get metabolised by shukragni to form shukra dhatu. Shukra dhatu flows through shukravaha srotas to up keep the functions of male and female reproductive system.
Shukra means ‘pure’ . Functions of this dhatu is mainly controlled by Kapha dosha.
According to texts of ayurveda this tissue is pervading all over the body (sarva shareera gathaha). This spread is explained as follows
Importance of Shukra dhatu:
As shukradhatu is end product of dhatu parinaama or formation of dhatus, it is considered as essence of all dhatus. Hence its level in body has to be maintained very carefully by consuming nourishing foods and leading a healthy life.
Shukradhatu has to be protected to keep body healthy. Practicing healthy sexual life, consuming healthy food and leading a healthy lifestyle help to protect this tissue. Or else it leads to reduction in quality and quantity of this tissue.
Functions of shukra dhatu are as follows
Functions of shukra dhatu in Men
It is the main tissue for production of sperms and seminal fluid. The sexual function and fertility of men is dependent on this dhatu. Development of secondary sexual characters like beard, hoarseness of voice, moustache, under arm hair, hair on chest and body all are initiated by this tissue. Strong muscles, well built body are all contributed by healthy shukra dhatu. The androgens especially testosterone in men constitute shukra dhatu
Functions of shukra dhatu in women
Shukra dhatu in women help in production of eggs and improve fertility. It controls menstrual cycle. It is the reason for secondary characteristics in women like development of breasts. It lubricates vaginal canal.
The shukra in women gets secreted during sexual activity.
The estrogen and progesterone in women collectively constitute shukra dhatu in women. When this dhatu gets imbalanced in women, it leads to female infertility or vandhyatva. It can also cause PCOS or PCOD in women.
Shukra dhatu in Children:
Children will have shukra in dormant stage . This is compared to buds of flowers which have hidden fragrance in them. The visible shukra appears when children reach adulthood.
A pure and healthy shukra or semen looks like a crystalline jelly with odour of honey. It is sweet in taste and appears like oil and honey.
Unhealthy semen or abnormalities in semen lead to infertility in men. According ayurveda unhealthy semen is known as dooshita shukra. When vitiated doshas affect semen, the semen loses its ability to fertilize egg.
The semen and its contents are referred as “beeja” in ayurveda. The Sanskrit word “Beeja” denotes seed. Acharya Charaka while explaining semen and its vitiation by doshas, gives the following example.
Yathaa beejamkaalaambukrimikeetagnidooshitam |
Na virohati samdushtam tathaa shukram shareerinaam ||
This denotes that “The seeds of plants loose their potency when affected by altered climate, insects, forest fires and non availability of water. Like wise the beeja (semen and sperms) in human beings get affected by doshas and loses its potency to produce offspring.”
When vitiated vata affects semen, the semen becomes frothy, thin and loses its stickiness. The volume of semen decreases and semen becomes thin. The sperm count reduces and the ejaculation is painful.
The semen affected by vitiated pitta looks yellow in colour and has offensive odor. The ejaculation is accompanied with burning sensation in penis. In this condition number of healthy sperms reduces.
When vitiated kapha affects semen, it increases stickiness of semen and takes long time to liquefy. The motility of sperms get affected due to presence of kapha.
Some times due to injury in genital tract and increased sexual intercourse lead to ejaculation of semen with blood stains
Vayu which gets aggravated due to suppression of sexual urge causes clumping of semen. This type of semen is known as “avasaadi” type of semen in ayurveda.
Shukra kshaya Laxanas: (Symptoms of decreased shukra dhatu )
Difficulty in ejaculation of semen. :
When there is reduction in shukra dhatu men fail to get strong erection and also they feel it very difficult to ejaculate semen. Since this dhatu is the main support for all reproductive functions in men, its undernourishment causes male health related problems.
Ejaculating little quantity of semen after a painful coitus :
During malnourishment of this dhatu there will be vitiation of vata. Hence dryness and pain prevails throughout body. The quantity and quality of semen reduces. Low volume of semen is main feature of shukra dhatu kshaya or decrease.
Shukra dhatu energises body and up keeps the strength. Reduced strength in this tissue leads to fatigue and weakness. Anemia sets in. Muscles become very weak and man becomes very tiered even after little exertion.
This tissue when healthy makes man look healthy. When its strength is reduced the early ageing symptoms like dry skin and wrinkles appear on face and body
Impotence or erectile dysfunction :
Sukra dhatu when loses its strength, the male sexual function also takes a back seat. Erectile dysfunction or Impotence sets in and fertility decreases. Volume of semen may reduce to zero and there may be no ejaculation at all.
Causes for Shukra kshaya or decrease of shukradhatu (semen):
Old age, Mental stress and worries, chronic diseases, under nourishment and excessive indulgence in sex or increased ejaculation of semen like masturbation leads to shukra kshaya or reduced quantity of semen.
Ayurveda recommends Vajikarana therapy as treatment to overcome dhatu kshaya. This therapy includes vrushya and vajikarana herbs which increase this dhatu. Herbs like ashwagandha, kapikacchu or mucuna, gokshura or tribulus, safed musli, vidari kanda, shatavari, black musli or talamooli , amla etc help to increase this dhatu. These herbs have to be used after undergoing an ayurveda detox for men. One has to follow an ayurveda daily routine or dinacharya to prevent reduction of sukra dhatu.
Ayurveda Lehya or lehyam for shukra dhatu pushti
Ayurvedic pharmacology texts recommend dhatu pushti preparations in form of lehya or lehyam. Vajikara Lehyam or vajikara rasayana is one such preparation which helps in dhatu pusti. This is a vajikara rasayana which contains shukrala herbs to nourish and strengthen this dhatu. It is a dhatu vruddhikara medicine.
When shukra increases beyond limits, it produces ati kaama or increased libido or interest in sex and shukraashmari (seminal calculus). Increased dhatu prevents men health conditions like Impotence, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and motility. It improves fertility of men.
Do You Know Imbalance of Shukra Dhatu can Affect Men Health?
It is a known fact that men and women have different type of reproductive anatomy and physiology. Still there are some curious facts which you have to know before going through this article. Testosterone also known as male hormone is present in both men and women. Men secrete a lot of it and women secrete it in a very little quantity. Oestrogen which is a female hormone is also present in both and follows the same path but vice versa. Women secrete more of oestrogen hormone and men secrete a very little amount. Any imbalance in these two hormones can cause infertility in both genders.
The same fact has been described by Ayurveda as
Shukra dhatu can be taken as combination of oestrogen and testosterone which is present all over body and all body organs respond to this. It is just like how ghee is present in milk in invisible form and jaggery is present in Sugar cane in the same way. When there is an imbalance in Shukra Dhatu both genders suffer problems. Let us see how the imbalance of Shukra Dhatu affect men health.
Based on principles of Ayurveda obesity occurs when kapha dosha goes off balance. Vitiated Kapha also affects male reproductive system causing imbalance of Shukra dhatu. Imbalanced shukra dhatu affects the levels of testosterone. Various researches have shown the following facts.
- Obesity is a major cause of low testosterone levels
- 75% of men who are obese and whose BMI is more than 40 kg/m2 were found to suffer with hypogonadism.
- The link between obesity and low testosterone levels is found in men at all ages, even in young men and teenagers.
- In elderly men obesity occurs due to decline in testosterone levels.
Low Sperm Count and Low sperm motility:
When this tissue gets imbalanced it can lead to production of unhealthy sperms which are low in count and less motile. This type of semen which contains unhealthy sperms is discussed in detail in Texts of Ayurveda. Health experts opine that imbalanced testosterone levels can cause low sperm count and low sperm motility.
Imbalance of this tissue is the main reason for erectile dysfunction or claibya. Ayurveda acharyas describe various types of erectile dysfunction. Among them Jaraja Claibya (erectile dysfunction due to old age) and claibya due to atisthoolathwa (Erectile dysfunction due to Obesity) are directly linked with imbalance in testosterone hormone.
Charakacharya in his ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita says that vitiation of jala bhuta or Water factor in body causes prameha or diabetes. When we consider pancha mahabhuta structure of shukra dhatu, it is made up of Jala and Prithvi (earth factor) mahabhutas. This confirms the link between imbalanced shukra dhatu and diabetes. Doctors say that it is possible that some of the lifestyle factors that increase the risk of diabetes also increase the risk of low testosterone.
Variations in Ejaculate Volume:
When Kapha dosha vitiates this tissue the volume of semen increases with decreased quality of sperms. When Vata dosha vitiates this, the volume of semen and sperm count decrease. These vitiated semen are known as dooshita Shukra or Unhealthy Semen
Depletion of this important factor causes Dehalasya (tieredness), Hridklama (depression or mental fatigue), Nirasakti (loss of interest), Nidraheenata (Insomnia), etc. Various medical researches show that plummeted testosterone levels can cause diminished ability to concentrate, as well as irritability and depression.
Relationship between majja dhatu (bone marrow) and shukra dhatu (semen)
According to Ayurveda this tissue (semen) is produced by nourishing part of majja dhatu (bone marrow).
A healthy majja dhatu leads to a healthy sukra dhatu .
Ayurveda explains this as follows
This means Majja dhatu nourishes body and helps to maintain its functions. Majja dhatu strengthens body, fills bones and nourishes this important tissue.
According to modern sciences, scientists are trying to establish relationship between bone marrow and sperms. In a BBC report scientists have successfully made immature sperm cells from human bone marrow samples.
Doctors have published papers about “Recovery of spermatogenesis and successful conception after bone marrow transplant for acute leukaemia:” ( https://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/1/83 )
According to Chinese medicines theory .Marrow is formed from the overflowing kidney semen that is stored in the bone cavities. Kidneys produce marrow and the bones are the dwelling places for the marrow. Therefore, both semen and marrow are the most treasured part of the human body, and the Chinese compare the most valuable things in the world to them.
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Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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