Chyavanprash has long been hailed as an anti-aging Ayurvedic superfood. It is a synergistic blend of around fifty herbs loaded with nutrients and minerals.
The formulation derives most of its superpowers from the predominant ingredient, Indian gooseberry (Amalaki), and loads of other Ayurveda herbs. This bioactive rich health supplement
with its antioxidant potential, helps prevent oxidative damage thus helping in immuno-modulation and restoration of health.
Classes of herbs in Chyavanprash
Chyavanprash contains four classes of herbs
- Dashamula( The class of herbs containing 10 roots)
- Chaturjata( 4 aromatic herbs)
- Ashtavarga(a rare group of herbs that are currently unavailable but are substituted with equally efficacious botanicals
- General class of other Ayurveda herbs
Key ingredients of Chyawanprash
A natural source of Vitamin C, Amla/Amalaki is loaded with amino acids, minerals, and several bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, tannins, etc., It can help prevent free radical-mediated oxidative stress and this nature of the herb is responsible for the anti-aging potential. It is also among the most well-known Ayurveda Rasayana (rejuvenative) herbs.
Known as Guduchi in Ayurveda, this botanical is an adaptogen with immunomodulatory prowess. Numerous pharmacological studies have demonstrated the positive effect of this herb on inflammation and immunomodulation. The biologically active phytoconstituents of the plant such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, and many more significantly contribute to its hepatoprotective activity.
Shatavari, as it is known in Ayurveda is a Medhya, the plant which increases intelligence and promotes learning and memory and is a Rasayana for women. It improves female reproductive health by bringing in hormonal balance and increases the antioxidant levels in the body.
One among the dashamulas( 10 roots), Tribulus terrestris or Gokshura helps in boosting energy and vitality. Also, a potent aphrodisiac, the saponins of this herb can improve muscle strength and performance in sports. The herb is also touted for its benefits in improving male reproductive health.
Also called Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, it is classified as a Medhya Rasayana, in Ayurveda, a rejuvenator of the brain. The herb is rich in withanolides and numerous amino acids. It is a proven adaptogen (that which helps to maintain homeostasis during stress) and a nootropic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and immunomodulator. Ashwagandha has also been shown to improve the quality of sleep and mental alertness.
Pippali or long pepper is used as a Rasayana in Ayurveda and is used in the treatment of respiratory disorders and works well for digestive complaints. Piper longum has an excellent pharmacological profile with its ability to act in multiple conditions and the phytochemical piperine is a major bioavailability enhancer that can improve the absorption of many essential plant compounds.
Bala as it is called in Ayurveda is an ancient herb used for imparting strength to bones, muscles and joints. The root of this plant is a good source of Ꞵ-sitosterols and is known for its immunomodulatory effects. This herb works as a tonic to improve strength and is also well-known aphrodisiac.
Indian kudzu or Vidarikanda is a general tonic in Ayurveda that can improve muscle mass. The beneficial effects of puerarin, a glycoside found in Pueraria tuberosa, for various medicinal purposes may be due to its wide spectrum of pharmacological properties such as vasodilation, cardioprotection, neuroprotection, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory actions.
Sesame oil or Tila taila in Ayurveda is considered to be the best of the class of cooking oils. It is high in unsaturated fats and is a source of Vitamin K, vitamin E, lecithin, and phytochemical sesamin that offers nutritional benefits to the body. One tablespoon of sesame oil contains about 40mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. Sesame lignans are a high source of antioxidants and can control the free radicals that cause aging. Also, sesame oil increases leptin levels in circulation, a hormone that regulates body weight.
Cow ghee is considered a premier Medhya Rasayana(which can improve intellect) in Ayurveda and has the property of Vayahsthapana (longevity enhancers) and Ojo Vardhana(enhances the essence of tissues). It contains antioxidants like vitamin E and beta carotene besides many other nutrients.
While Chyavanprash contains more herbs, the above herbs are noteworthy. It is essential to understand that Chyavanprash is predominantly composed of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) but the other herbs in the formulation act synergistically with Amla, giving it the ultimate therapeutic effect.
Health Benefits of Chyavanprash
- Premier Rasayana for promoting vigor and vitality
- Nourishes tissues and supports metabolism
- Improves digestion and corrects gastrointestinal functions
- Strengthens the immunity and functioning of the respiratory system
- Offers superior antioxidant effect and works as revitalizing tonic
- Behaves like an adaptogen offering protection to the body from stressful situations
- Relaxes the nervous system by acting as an anxiolytic and anti-depressant
- Boosts memory and cognition with its nootropic potential
- Strengthens the endocrine system and is a good aphrodisiac
- Improves the growth of hair, enhances skin defense, and helps in countering the effects of aging
Chyavanprash- A nutraceutical
Phyllanthus emblica or Amla has a high percentage of vitamin C(445mg/100gm), which constitutes the main ingredient of Chyavanprash. The fruit of this tree is a reservoir of various nutraceuticals like calcium, vitamin C, lysine, minerals, methionine, nicotinic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, tryptophan, and has an immune-boosting efficiency against multiple diseases.
Chyavanprash is reported to have a high vitamin, mineral, fiber, protein, and energy content with low fat. It contains iron, zinc, copper, and manganese in addition to vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and carotenoids.
Several essential phytoconstituents like flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, antioxidants, phenolic compounds, are found in Chyavanprash that help in the prevention of oxidative damage.
Our favourite and recommended Chyawanprash is 365Veda's Chyavanprash
Why should intake Chyavanprash be followed by milk?
Chyavanprash is an anti-aging formulation and milk is the perfect combination for achieving that benefit. Milk according to Ayurveda is rejuvenating and a promoter of strength and vitality. Also, the formulation works effectively in managing the doshas of vata and kapha and with the intake of milk, even the pitta gets balanced thus making it a great way to balance all three doshas.
Milk also assists in carrying the rejuvenating qualities of the formulation to deeper tissues thus helping in greater absorption of its nutrients.
If someone is lactose intolerant, they can follow the intake of Chyavnparash with a cup of warm water.
When to consume Chyavanprash?
Chyavanprash can be consumed by people of all ages in any season since its contents serve to mitigate the negative effects of changing weather and climatic conditions. It should be taken on an empty stomach in the early morning. 10gm of Chyavanprash once or twice daily is the recommended dose.
People with known allergies to herbal drugs, irregular glucose levels, pregnant, and lactating mothers should avoid its intake. It is best to consult your healthcare practitioner if you are on any prescription medications that interact with herbal drugs.
Written by Dr.Varsha Prabala B.A.M.S, MD(Ayu)
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