Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH – Ayurveda Definition

Benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH is swelling of Prostate gland. It is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The prostate gland enlarges in all men as age advances. BPH is very common and affects one third of men who are over 50. A person suffering from BPH does not have the increased risk of prostate cancer.

The famous ayurvedic text Yogaratnakara defines BPH as


Which means “ Below umbilicus (NAABHI), there is a hard gland which is little bit bulged and changes its place some times and some times stays stationary. This gland is like “Ashteela” (A small stone used to sharpen swords). This gland when affected by vitiated vata causes a disease called “vataashteela” (or benign prostate hypertrophy or benign prostatic hyperplasia)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH – Causes and Symptoms

Causes of BPH According to present medical concepts the actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown.

But the causes of BPH are very well explained In ayurveda which is based on tridosha theory.The causes of vataashteela or BPH are explained as follows

Causes for vataashteela according to dosha theory:

vataashteela is caused by vitiated vata or vayu and apaana vayu ( a subcategory of Vayu) ( APAANA VAYU is located in two testicles, urinary bladder, phallus, umbilicus, thighs, groins, anus and colon. Functions of apana vaayu are Ejaculation of semen, voiding of urine, stools, elimination of menstrual blood and expulsion of fetus. )

The vitiation of vayu and apaana vayu is caused by
Controlling the urge of urination
Controlling the urge of defecation
Over indulgence in sex.
Consuming dry, very cold and less quantity of food
Old age
General weakness
Physical and mental overexertion.

Symptoms of BPH
Difficulty in starting to pass urine ( hesitancy ),
A weak stream of urine,
Dribbling after urinating
The need to strain to pass urine,
Incomplete emptying of bladder.
Difficulty to control the urination urge.
Having to get up several times in the night to pass urine,
Feeling a burning sensation when passing urine.
Passing urine mixed with blood (indication of infection)

Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or vatashteela are described as follows.


The vitiated ashteela gland when enlarged is called as “vatashteela”. This enlarged gland causes

Obstruction to easy flow of urine.
Obstruction to Easy passage of stools and gas
Bloating of Stomach.
Pain in bladder.

When the above mentioned symptoms are noticed then one should seek proper medical advice.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH – Self care (Self help)

If symptoms are mild, the following methods can be tried for relief:

Vata gets vitiated when natural urges are controlled. Hence do not control the natural urge of passing urine. Urinate when you first get the urge. Go to the bathroom even if you do not have urge.

Alcohol, tobacco, coffee increase vata and vitiate it. Hence avoid alcohol, tobacco and coffee, especially after dinner. Vata gets normalized and vitiation comes down when body is warm. This can be accomplished with regular exercises and keeping the body warm.

Mental exertion leads to increase of vata. Avoid mental exertion at work place and at home. Avoid foods which cause constipation as constipation causes vitiation of vata.

Other general tips

Avoid drinking fluids from two hours before going to bed.
Avoid cold and cough medications that contain decongestants or antihistamines. These medications can increase BPH symptoms.
Avoid drinking excess amount of liquids. Distribute the intake of fluids throughout day.

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