Fertility Foods- Customs and Ayurveda
Fertility foods – foods that boost fertility have been constantly being talked about.
The role that some foods and herbs play infertility is well known to most of us- some through word of mouth, some that are shared by our grandparents and elders.
Some are myths are others are researched information.
Ayurveda and Fertility-
Our Indian folklore and ancient Ayurvedic literature speak about fertility foods and rare herbs such as Shilajit and Ashwagandha – which are natural aphrodisiacs.
Other common fertility foods such as Garlic, onions, Milk, eggs and almonds also boost fertility.
With the advent of westernization, we are now aware of and also have access to foods such as celery and avocados. These are also known to improve fertility.
A recent study by the University of Western Australia and Monash University has proved that Mango, our very own tropical fruit, has endless benefits for boosting sperm health.
Eating Mango improves the health as well as the movement of sperms to a great extent.
Mangos are full of antioxidants and a miracle food for good health. Mango Leaf Green tea has suddenly become a fad in many countries.
Now when this comes from a western country we give it more credibility. But it is essentially saying what our ancestors have been believing and propagating for a very long time.
Customs and Ayurveda-
In order to make the science of Ayurveda simpler for the common man, certain traditions developed.
These traditions are today being frowned upon or not given much importance because anything that is not scientific is not of much value today.
These customs now appear as rules and our critical minds do not accept anything that is rule-bound.
We now rely upon the western countries to tell us things like Yoga and Meditation is good for us, what foods we must eat at what time of the day.
Our Rishis and Munis in our olden times used to tell the same things and follow the same things and lived for over 100 years.
Now, let us look at the wonders of the humble Mango and the Mango tree itself!
Our custom is to hang Mango leaves at the doorstep during an auspicious occasion such as a Marriage.
Mango leaves are also a part of the marriage ceremony. In some parts of our country, there is a tradition where the groom has to chew mango leaves early in the morning, followed by water and sweets and then head to the marriage ceremony.
Few crushed mango leaves tied to the wrist of the groom stay on till the end of the ceremony. This shows the importance that Mango leaves play in our ceremonies and customs.
Traditionally, marriages were a path to progeny, of continuing the family lineage. It is no surprise then if you note the close connection between mango leaves and marriages. Since we already know how Mango is a fertility food for males.
Ayurveda and Woman’s health-
Another such custom is to eat the fruit of a Mahua(महुआ) tree.
The Bride does this on the day of the marriage. If you read up on ancient Ayurvedic literature, the Mahua fruit finds its reference in helping lactation in women.
The fruit of the Mahua tree has been considered a fertility food and is extremely helpful in boosting lactation and milk supply.
Mother’s Milk is the best food for a baby. It is the first source of nutrition and well being. Today, there are many alternatives to breastmilk in the form of formula.
This supplements the supply of nutrition when a mother is not able to breastfeed for some reason. However, doctors also consider this as a last resort to breast milk.
It is always best to give breastfeeding a try before going for other alternatives. Breast milk is free of contamination. It contains the right amount of antibodies and nutrients for the growing baby.
It also improves the bond between the mother and the baby.
Boiling Mahua fruit in milk and drinking the same boosts breast milk to a great extent. It is no surprise then, that the Mahua fruit is an integral part of our traditional customs of marriage.
It is good to have a scientific mindset. Having a scientific mindset means that you question things, you try to find answers and logic behind all information.
And when you think scientifically, you will realize that many of our customs and traditions are far from superstition. Indian culture is one of the oldest.
Our saints and Brahmins were one of the most learned people on earth. Yet, we have become conditioned to overlook their contribution.
Today, the rate of Infertility in India is growing at a rapid rate and the infertility rate of urban India is at par with the rate in some western countries, around 10-14 %.
Do you think that this is fair for the land which is the origin of the Kamasutra? I urge you to question this obsession towards the west and trust our grandmothers and elders to provide us with the answers to our problems.