Prostate Protection: For Men of a Certain Age
By John Peterson, MD
From the ayurvedic perspective, the Baby Boomers are entering the Vata time of life. Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. It's a good time to slow down a bit and invest in creating a daily routine, so important for keeping Vata in balance. In addition to eating meals and going to bed about the same time each day, it's important to take the time to go to the bathroom when Nature calls. And Nature just might be calling more often for you now.
Ah yes, the aging process! For men it often involves the prostate gland, located just beneath the bladder and surrounding the first part of the urethra, the conduit for urine and semen. As we get older, the prostate tends to get larger (benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH) causing decreased force and flow of the urinary stream, residual urine, urinary dribbling and leakage, and frequent urination, especially at night. Traditional medical evaluation includes a manual prostate check and a blood test called PSA (prostate specific antigen) to rule out prostate cancer. The PSA has become a bit controversial because of its questionable accuracy.
Pharmaceutical companies are making a killing with drugs that open the urethral channel or shrink the prostate gland. From the ayurvedic point of view, causes of BPH include ama (impurities caused by incomplete digestion of food or experiences), inadequate diet and routine, suppression of natural urges, sexual over- and under-indulgence, and disturbed fat (meda dhatu) metabolism.
Ayurvedic recommendations include maintaining a good daily routine and frequently sipping on Organic Pitta Tea or warm water laced with coriander, fennel and cumin. Coconut water is also good. Do not lift excessively heavy weights or over-exercise. Your diet should include asparagus, zucchini, artichoke, pumpkin and squash along with sweet juicy fruits such as pomegranate, grape, apple, pear, melon, plum, kiwi, and berries, all ripe. A half-cup of cooked whole quinoa contains 3 mg of zinc, essential to prostate health.
Avoid excessively spicy or oily food, leftovers, canned food, preservatives, excessive salt and drinking too much mineral water. The ayurvedic texts recommend avoiding excessive travel, wakefulness at night, swimming in polluted water, riding horses, and excessive sexual intercourse, especially after a big meal. In our present culture, regular long distance driving is a definite risk factor.
The MAPI herbal preparation Prostate Protection includes a sophisticated combination of herbs that balance testosterone production, maintain the size and health of the prostate, purify the urine, reduce inflammation and irritation, enhance immunity, and normalize cell production.
Important herbs in the Prostate Protection formula include Kachnar (Orchid Tree or Bauhinia variegata) and Guggul (Indian Bedellium), which clear ama from the blood, muscle, and fat tissue, and help maintain the normal size of the prostate gland by supporting balanced cell production. The combination of Guggul and Zinc is a traditional ayurvedic remedy for balancing the size and health of the prostate.
Another group of herbs supports Shukra Dhatu (reproductive tissue) and maintains testosterone production, including Small Caltrops (Tribulus), Country Mallow (Heart-leaf Sida or Bala), and Shilajit (Mineral Pitch). Bala and Zinc together help balance the amount of testosterone and improve sexual desire.
White Sandalwood, Small Caltrops, Heart-leaved Moonseed (Indian Tinospora or Guduchi), and Spreading Hogweed (Boerhavia or Punarnava) enhance the flow of urine, and ease irritation and burning. Mineral Pitch (Shilajit) and Barley help maintain the purity of the urine.
Heart-leaved Moonseed, Turmeric, and Zinc enhance immunity in the prostate area. Guduchi, Zinc and Turmeric enhance immunity in the genitourinary tract. Turmeric and Guggul are also powerful anti-inflammatory herbs.
Zinc is an important mineral for prostate health. The prostate needs ten times more zinc than any other organ. In fact, some Vaidyas think that one of the reasons so many American men suffer from prostate enlargement is because the food we eat is over-processed and lacking in essential minerals such as zinc. Maharishi Ayurveda recommends eating organic fruits and vegetables, including the South American whole grain quinoa. Zinc is included in Prostate Protection, combined with a number of herbs to help support the body's normal healing response.
As in every MAPI formula, Prostate Protection also includes secondary herbs to balance the primary herbs that are targeted for the prostate. This removes the possibility that the formula improves the prostate but creates an imbalance elsewhere. Also, the intelligence of whole herbs is contained in MAPI preparations, not just isolated active ingredients.
You might want to check out other MAPI products that can be useful for men during this stage of life. For extra help in maintaining vitality and enhancing semen production, try taking one tablet of Rejuvenation for Men after lunch and supper. For improving the flow and purity of the urine, you could take Organic Genitrac in addition to Prostate Protection.
Finally, I want to recommend the Vata-balancing value of incorporating abhyanga (oil self massage) and the daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique into your daily routine. For a more thorough discussion of the ayurvedic approach to prostate health check out the archived articles.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.