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Editorial – August

Sexuality is not only limited to progeny, but is a beautiful way for social intimacy recognized for human life. It is highly influenced by culture. Sexual expression sway around beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors generated from culture. Still, physiology and psychology are pivotal. Psychologically, stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, feeling of guilt, concerns about performance etc. are common problem in both male and female. These all are responsible for the frazzled status mind resulting in diminishing libido. American’s Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) considers arousal, not only as a physical genital phenomenon, but subjective excitement/pleasure. Reasons are obvious that psychological treatment of depression increases the libido (Philips and Slaughter, 2000).

Many of herbs used in Ayurveda for treatment of sexual problems have shown anxiolytic and antidepressant activities viz., Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Bala, Atmagupta, Datura, Bhanga etc. Shatavarin, present with Shatavari is a steroidal saponin and, it is proven for antidepressant effects. Even glycowithanolides present with Ashwagandha is observed with anxiolytic-antidepressant effects. Ephedrine present in Bala has alpha- and beta-adrenergic activity. Atmagupta is natural source of L-dopa, that affects serotonergic neurons mediating the anxiolytic effects. Anxiolytic effects of scopolamine present in Datura is dose dependent while phytocannabinoid cannabidol have shown acute anxiolytic effects.

Kaamsutra clearly mentions the pleasure of sexuality is based on instinct and that should be devoid of depression or anxiety. Mana is clearly said in core for desire and performance and, Mana of person suffering from depression or anxiety will not work properly in sex. Indian philosophy believes sex as source to achieve salvation, but in controlled way following Dharma. Even controlled way is only possible without depression or anxiety. A supervised training by psychologists may improve the condition of sexual life affected due to depression or anxiety.