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General characteristics

General characteristics

The word orchitis refers to an inflammation or swelling of the testicles. The term originates from the Greek word for testicles, orchis, named for their oval shape. Orchid plants are supposedly so called due their testicle shaped roots.

Orchitis can affect one or both testes and the inflammation can arise in the actual structures themselves or in the delicate tubes and coil like structures such as the epididymis. Orchitis can also be connected with prostate swelling or problems or in response to urinary tract infection. Orchitis usually occurs in response to infection such as mumps, sexually transmitted diseases (common symptom of chlamydia and gonorrhoea), direct injury, blood supply problems (such as varicosities and torsions), other bacterial infections (such as brucellosis and tuberculosis), cysts, rarely tumour, after vasectomy or similar surgery, inguinal hernia and is usually observed to be accompanied by a decrease in testosterone levels (testosterone acts as an immune like protector to the male reproductive system).

Symptoms can include pain, redness, heat and swelling of one or both testicles, fever, nausea, a feeling of heaviness in the testicles, blood in the semen, discharge from the penis, pain during sex, pain in the testes when walking and painful urination.

Healing objectives should include determining the cause of the orchitis and treating that, clearing accumulations with dispersing herbs, improving blood and lymph flow to the testes and using herbs to relieve symptoms.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Try drinking a daily juice of 9oz of carrot juice, 5oz of celery juice and 2 oz of parsley juice which helps to cleanse and regenerate the reproductive area.

Eating cold pressed coconut oil and olive oil can help to raise testosterone levels and therefore raise the immune response in the testicles. Try half a teaspoon of each twice daily.

Include plenty of raw garlic and onions in the diet as they help protect against oxidative damage (free radicals) in the testes.

Eat organic food wherever possible to protect against the effects of growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides. Many of these substances interfere with the healthy activity and normal levels of hormones.

Foods rich in vitamin B (whole grains), vitamin C (citrus fruits, berries, sweet peppers), vitamin A (dark green leaves), foods rich in essential fatty acids (oily fish, nuts and seeds) and the minerals zinc (shellfish, pumpkin seeds) and magnesium (dark chocolate, dark green leaves, onions) are all good for the reproductive system and the general health of the testes.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Angelica root or dong quai are warming circulatory stimulants that bring blood and vitality to the whole reproductive area and help relieve inflammation and pain. Use 20 drops of either tincture 3 times daily.

Saw palmetto berries are an excellent all round tonic to the reproductive system, in particular the glands such as the gonads. Take a teaspoon of powder twice daily or a teaspoon of tincture 3 times daily.

Herbs such as cleavers, pasque flower (1-2ml of tincture 3 times daily), burdock root, mullein flowers, dandelion root, poke root and figwort are very good cleansers of the lymphatic system and for dispersing lumps, bumps and inflammations in the tissues. Figwort and poke root should be used with caution as theiy have powerful actions. See their individual entries in the plants section for dosage and timing.

Celery seeds can be taken as a tea to help soothe inflammation and pain and improve blood flow.

Immune boosting herbs such as echinacea can be taken to improve immunity when infection is present. Take a teaspoon of tincture up to 5 times daily.

Turmeric powder is anti-inflammatory and can help relieve pain. Try a half teaspoon of powder up to 3 times daily.

Comfrey leaf tea can make a good compress for inflammed testicles.

Crampbark can help to relieve any pain caused by muscle tension/spasm.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Apply an ice pack to the scrotum to relieve inflammation, heat and pain.

Wear underpants that support the testes well. This can help relieve the weighty feeling the testicles have during orchitis.

Avoid lifting heavy weights and straining when orchitis is present.

Warm castor oil packs placed over the scrotum will help to disperse any accumulations, improve circulation and relieve pain. Soak a cloth in warm castor oil and leave on for 20 minutes or so. Place a hot water bottle or similar over the pack to keep up the warmth and therefore penetration of the oil.

Some men have gained relief from orchitis and epididymitis pain by doing exercises called oblique bends which also may help to break up congestion.

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