Sexual problems, loss of libido and impotence are the most reported issues in men, owing to the growing dependency on sedentary lifestyle packed with intense work load and stress. But before getting all worried and anxious and beating yourself up with the thought that this might be a life-long battle, worry not as you definitely don’t have to suffer long. Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old remedial science brings you a bounty of foods, herbs, spices and minerals, which are pivotal in treating and managing sexual woes in a jiffy. Sanctified with powerful aphrodisiac and libido stimulant qualities, one such powerful herb that treats a whole lot of male sexual problems is Akarkara.
What Is Akarkara?
Akarkara, that goes by the botanical name Anacyclus pyrethrum, is a small perennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. The plant is mainly native to Arabia, and distributed widely in North Africa, Mediterranean region, Spain and India. In the Indian subcontinent, it is found along the Himalayas, in Jammu and Kashmir, Bengal and in other Northern regions. This herbaceous perennial plant resembles a lot like chamomile species in habitat and appearance. It thrives well in alpine regions and rocky gardens.
Akarkara is a small, hairy, stem less, herbaceous plant of perennial origin that normally grows to about 3-4 feet. Roots of this plant are almost cylindrical, tapering and often coffered with a tuft of grey hair. It usually exudes an aromatic odor with a pungent taste. From the outside, the roots are brown and wrinkled, with bright black spots. The plant has numerous stems with downy branches that lie on the ground and rise erect towards the ends. Each of the stem mainly bears one large flower, with a yellow-colored disk. Leaves are alternate, smooth and pinnate in shape. They are pale green in color with deeply cut segments. The beautiful blooms have white colored petals with purple tinge beneath. Fertile flowers are followed by obovate achene.
Akarkara is known by different names in different parts of the world. Some of its common English names include Algerian pellitory, Longwort, Mayweed, Mount Atlas daisy, Pyrethrum root, Roman pellitory, Pellitory, Pellitory of Spain, Roman pyrethrum, Spanish chamomile.
In the Indian sub-continent, it is usually known as Akarkara, Akkal Kara in Hindi, Akkikkaruka Akkravu, Pellerrai in Malayalam, Akarkara, Pailitari in Punjabi, Akkalkara, Akkal Kadha in Marathi, Akarkora in Bengali, Akkirakkaram, Akkalkara, Pellittari in Tamil and Akarakaramu, Akkalakarra in Telugu.
Ayurveda knows it by the following Sanskrit terms including Agragrahi, Akulakrit, Akarakarabhah, and Akarkara.
Although, the exact biochemical composition of anacyclus pyrethrum is not well known, yet some studies suggest that akarkara root contains alkaloid pellitorin (pyrethrin) and alkyl amides. Alkyl amide in the akarkara roots is chiefly made of tyramine amides and isobutylamides. Alkyl amides have libido stimulant and neuroprotective properties. The aerial parts of akarkara plant mainly contain anacyclin. Other active constituents include inulin, sesamin and hydrocarolin.
Imbued with powerful apphrodisiac, libido-stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, androgenic, analgesic, spermatogenic, anti-convulsant, carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-amnesiac, adaptogenic, anti-pyretic, muscle-relaxant properties, Akarkara is extensively used for the treatment and management of sexual problems, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, toothache, bleeding gums, digestive disorders, fever, asthma, indigestion, constipation, rheumatic arthritis, bleeding, stress, anxiety, etc.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Akarkara
Ayurveda, the holistic science of herbal remedies has extensively mentioned Akarkara time and gain in several ayurvedic scriptures and journals for various indications which include, Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Balya (improves muscle strength), Vayasthapana (prevents ageing), Jvara (useful in fever), Kasahara (Relieves cough, Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Amahara (treats indigestion), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Vajikaran (improves libido), Anulomana (improves breathing), Vamana (prevents nausea and vomiting), Dahahara (relieves burning sensation), Prameha (manages diabetes), Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders), Gulmajit (useful in abdominal tumours), Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups), Kantya (relieves sore throat), Triptighno (relieves pseudo-satiation), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Vamanopaga (treats emesis), Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding), Pandu (treats anaemia), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Varnya (improves complexion), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Kanthya (improves voice) and Pushtida (good for nutrition).
Formulation Contaning Akarkara
Enriched with potent biochemical components and incredible therapeutic properties, Akarkara offers a traditional herbal remedy for various health anomalies. Be it in the form of churna, kwath, gutika, lehyam, rasa or tailam, the magical benefits of the incredible Pyretheum can be employed via all. One such incredible ayurvedic formulation containing Akarkara is Divya Yauvanamrit Vati.
What Is Divya Yauvanamrit Vati?
Divya Younamrit Vati, also spelled as Divya Yauvanamrit Vati is an ayurvedic proprietary medication used for the treatment of problems related to the men’s health. It is a natural remedy prepared from several herbs that are known to possess strong medicinal properties that enhance the health of men. These herbs produce an action on the blood vessels, heart and the brain to produce the desirable effect. It is mainly used to boost the male power, vitality, and vigor, treat erectile dysfunction, and loss of libido. It is also used for treating general debility and reduced strength and stamina.
12 mg Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) – Withania Somnifera
12 mg Shuddha Kaunch – Mucuna Pruriens
12 mg Bala – Sida Cordifolia
12 mg Musli – Chlorophytum Arundinaceum
12 mg Jaiphal (Nutmeg) – Myristica Fragrans
12 mg Akarkara – Anacyclus Pyrethrum
12 mg Judbestar
17.5 mg Javitri (Mace) – Myristica Fragrans
8.25 mg Shatavari – Asparagus Racemosus
5.5 mg Vang Bhasma
5.5 mg Shuddha Shilajit
2 mg Shuddha Kuchla – Strychnos Nux-Vomica
1.75 mg Babul – Acacia Arabica
0.25 mg Swarna Bhasma
0.25 mg Praval Pishti
Wash all the plant parts to remove impurities.
Dry them completely under direct sunlight until there is no remaining moisture.
Macerate the plant parts in a grinder till it becomes powdery.
Mix all the aqueous ingredients together and add all the powdered herbs to it.
Add the excipients one by one.
Again, dry this semi-solid coarse mixture under direct sunlight to remove moisture particles and till it becomes powdery.
Use your palm to make small circular balls or vatis using the powder.
Store it in a glass container in a cool, dry place for future use.
Health Benefits Of Akarkara
Remedies Male Sexual Disorders
The herb is primarily indicated for improving men’s health. Akarkara has powerful spermatogenic and apphrodisiac properties that are extremely beneficial for treating erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, oligospermia (i.e., low sperm count), hypospermia (i.e., low volume of semen), asthenozoospermia (i.e., sperm motility), teratospermia (i.e., abnormal sperm shape) and enhances spermatogenesis (i.e., sperm production). The herb containing natural antioxidants improves the production of male hormones like testosterone and luteinizing hormone. It effectively stimulates blood supply to the penile tissue and induces erection. Being a natural adaptogen, it also helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety and stimulates the hormones for increasing libido. It also increases virility and stamina in men.
Take this herb alongside Ashwagandha and Kaunch Beej (Mucuna Pruriens) powder for proper management of ED altogether and sustain erection for longer duration.
Uplifts Dental Health
The powdered root of Akarkara is extremely beneficial in inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Not only does prescribed use of akarkara help in treating bleeding gums and healing minor wounds but also helps in cleansing the mouth, enhancing salivation by improving secretions in the gastrointestinal tract. Be it swollen gums, gingivitis, or pyorrhea the roots of this incredible herb play a crucial role in maintaining good oral hygiene. The tincture made from the dried root can be applied using a cotton wool or rubbed on the gums to relieve the aching of a decayed tooth.
Gentle massage of Akarkara root powder with camphor helps in toothache. A paste of akarkara root powder and mustard oil can be used in the treatment of pyorrhea.
This powerful formulation holds high value in improving the general stamina and energy level of the body. The active ingredients in this herb reduces weakness and fatigue and improves the vitality of the body. It also improves the function of the adrenal glands which in turn helps in reducing the stress levels.
Treats Childhood Apraxia Of Speech (CAS)
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is an uncommon speech disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements while speaking. as the speech muscles don't perform normally because the brain has difficulty directing or coordinating the movements. Akarkara being a nervine and brain tonic, helps in treating this condition slowly.
A gentle massage of the tongue with 125 mg of Akarkara root powder mixed with honey helps improving speech in children. Its effects increases further when 125 mg Vacha (Acorus Calamus) is also added in this mixture.
Enhances Fertility And Libido
Akarkara offers a one-shot traditional remedy for boosting libido and improving fertility in men. It showcases strong aphrodisiac properties that not only helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety but also stimulates the production of testosterone that increases fertility and libido. It plays a key role in increasing virility and stamina in men. Consuming formulations of akarkara alongside milk before sleeping has been known to increase blood circulation in the genitals which thereby improves the production of male hormones like testosterone and luteinizing hormone, thus improving the motility and quality of sperms in male.
Relieves Pain And Inflammation
The abundance of anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Akarkara makes it the ultimate choice for providing relief from pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Being a natural vasodilator, it is also used to treat painful muscle spasms, sore muscles, arthritic conditions, and other inflammatory situations. Application of powdered paste of it’s root is extremely effective against Rheumatoid arthritis which is known as Amavata in Ayurveda, an ailment that stems due to the vitiation of Vata doshas and accumulation of Ama in the joints.
Shields From Intestinal Troubles
Akarkara is a traditional remedy for improving gut health and treating a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhoea, flatulence, peptic ulcer, esophagitis, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, indigestion, and stomach pain. The carminative nature of the herb helps in breaking down the food particles in the stomach and intestine, enhances the secretion of the digestive juices and thereby increases the absorption of essential nutrients through the intestines. It helps to eliminate abdominal gas and in turn reduces abdominal distension, bloating and gaseous cramps. Being a potent laxative, it also helps in free passage of stools thus treating constipation.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Akarkara is a traditional remedy to increase the functioning of the brain. The presence of bioactive small molecules called dibenzo-alpha-pyrones prevents the breakdown of the brain chemicals needed for memory hence enhancing memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Being a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking akarkara root extract or other formulations have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities and are thus used for treating Alzheimer’s and other psychotic conditions.
Remedies Stress And Anxiety
Being a powerful adaptogen, Akarkara is highly significant in treating different types of psychotic problems like depression, dementia, etc. It stabilises the Vata and Pitta doshas in the body which in turn keeps the serotonin levels under control and helps to reduce various symptoms of anxiety which includes uneasiness, restlessness, cold hands, and feet, etc.
The potent antidepressant properties of the herb also help in calming the mind, reducing all sorts of physical and mental stress, irritability and improving energy and stamina.
Combats Respiratory Issues
Sanctified with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, Akarkara holds high significance in treating a host of respiratory troubles. It is extensively used for treating the common cold, sore throat, cough and flu symptoms. It also thins and loosens the rheum particles within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus. It is also beneficial in treating bronchitis and asthmatic conditions.
Tincture prepared using the root extract of the plant, black pepper and long pepper is used to treat common cold and cough effectively.
Effect On Doshas
Akarkara is hallowed with Katu Rasa (i.e., pungent taste). It shows Tikshno (i.e., sharp) and Rukhsha Guna (i.e., dry quality). It inherently portrays Ushna Virya (i.e., cold potency) and Katu Vipaka (i.e., pungent metabolic taste). Being dry and sharp, it pacifies vitiated Kapha (earth and water) and Vata doshas (i.e., air) whereas having a pungent metabolic taste and hot potency, the herb detoxifies the Pitta (fire and air) doshas. Owing to the essential properties and doshas, the herb has a positive effect on the various Dhatus (i.e., body tissues) which are Rasa (i.e., Plasma), Rakta (i.e., Blood), Mamsa (i.e., Muscles), Asthi (i.e., Bones) and Shukra (i.e., Reproductive Fluids).
The effective therapeutic dosage of Akarkara may vary from person to person depending upon the age, body strength, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is firmly recommended to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner as he or she would evaluate the patient’s indications, past medical conditions and prescribe an effective dose for a specific period. It can be taken alongside honey twice a day, to mask its pungent taste or as suggested by the health care provider.
Although this ayurvedic herb has been studied and researched extensively and is extremely beneficial in treating umpteen health conditions, it is still necessary to consume the formulation in the prescribed amount as suggested by the ayurvedic practitioner or doctor. An excess of it may lead to certain side effects including excessive salivation, mouth ulcer, heart burn, acidity, burning sensation, aggravated ulcer condition etc. Akarkara can induce uterine contractions and stimulate menstrual flow or uterine bleeding. It can also reduce milk flow during the breast-feeding period in new moms. Hence, it is advised to avoid it during pregnancy and lactation.