“Chyawanprash” comes from two words- “prash”, meaning- to prepare something, and “Chyawan”- the name of the sage, for whom it was first prepared. It usually falls under the category of drugs named Rasayana, which include rejuvenating tonics for maintaining youth and delaying aging. According to Charaka Samhita, a person who consumes Chyawanprash, gains wisdom, memory, physical beauty, disease free life, connection, active digestive fire, improved complexion, and doshas restored to their normal flow. Hence, it is often called the 'Elixir of life' due to its powerful nature.
History behind origin of Chyawanprash
Chyawanprash is claimed to have been passed down by the celestial healers, the Ashwini Kumars, to revitalise Rishi Chyawana, who had become elderly and decrepit, so they bestowed him with the secret of longevity and good health, through the consumption of Chyawanprash.
Ingredients of Chyawanprash
Chyawanprash includes four classes of herbal drugs: Dashmoola (ten roots); Chaturjata (four aromatic plants); Ashtavarga (threatened medicinal herbs), and, a general group of medicines.
The number of herbs used in Chyawanprash may vary from 25 to 80, but the main ingredients are: Amla (Embilica officinalis), Neem, Pippali, Ashwagandha, Safed Chandana, Tulsi, Elaichi, Arjun, Brahmi, Kesar, etc.
It also contains honey, ghee, sesame seed oil which aids in safeguarding its clinical efficacy.
Ayurvedic references of Chyawanprash
Chyawanprash's formula is described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts- Ashtanga Hridayam, Charaka Samhita, and Sharangdhara Samhita, which are dedicated to clinical management of various ailments.
Charaka Samhita and Sharangdhara Samhita’s versions are most the famous and effective. Between both, there are a few differences in usage of herbs, plus, Charaka has mentioned sesame oil and ghee as the fats, whereas, Sharangdhara has mentioned only cow’s ghee.
Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Bharata Bhaishajya Ratnakara, etc. have also mentioned Chyawanprash.
Nutritive value of Chyawanprash:
10 grams of Chyawanprash contains:
Calories 35 cal
Protein 150 mg
Vitamin C 2.1 to 3.4 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.5 gms
Dietary Fiber 500 mg
Total Sugars 3.5 to 5.5 gms
Total Fats 750 mg
Saturated Fat 300 mg
Phenolic Compound 535 mg
Antioxidants 280 mg
Total Alkaloids 80 mg
Total Flavonoids 20 mg
Total Sapiens 5.24 gms
Piperine 4.2 mg
Trans Fat 0 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Health benefits of Chyawanprash: It is highly recommended for all age groups from children to old people, as it supports a variety of health conditions, as follows:
- Bolsters Immunity- due to presence of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Slow ageing- due to presence of antioxidants.
- Protects from respiratory ailments.
- Aids in digestion- due to presence of antacids, fibres, antiflatulent properties.
- Supports cardiac functioning- due to presence of cardiac supporting drugs like Arjuna and Ashwagandha.
- Enhances fertility and libido- due to strong aphrodisiac properties.
- Helps in weight loss- due to abundance of flavonoids.
- Improves Skin health- due to presence of anti-inflammatory properties.
- Calms the nervous system.
- Acts as an antidepressant and tranquilliser for people suffering from depression.
- Useful in correcting male and female infertility- with Chyawanprash, the quality of rasa dhatu gets upgraded. With it, the sub tissue of it, Arthava and further dhatus from rakta to shukra will also get upgraded.
- Strengthens bones and joints.
- Improves muscular tone by enhancing protein synthesis.
- Purifies blood and removes toxins from the body.
- Lowers blood cholesterol level.
Medium/ Vehicle to intake Chyawanprash:
Chyawanprash can be taken with:
- Milk- Chyawanaprash has its effect to achieve vata and kapha balance. But it is not so effective in achieving pitta balance, so it is ideal to consume chyawanprash along with milk, to balance pitta.
- Water-- Sometimes, market available Chyawanprash may tend to curdle the milk. An alternative can be, to take Chyawanprash with water, and then drink milk afterwards, if required.
- Honey – For kapha imbalance, in diseases like asthma, cough, cold, depleted respiratory immunity. Especially beneficial in weight loss.
- Amla juice – Amla is a coolant, nullifies excessive heat.
- Gulkand – Constituted by rose petals and is cooling in nature.
- Pomegranate juice – Coolant, nullifies the stomach irritation and body heat that may be caused due to Chyawanprash.
- Coffee or tea – Good for residents of cold climate, seeking body warmth.
- Ghee – For those with good digestive prowess, seeking weight gain.
Chayawanprash consumption according to Dosha imbalance:
In Vata imbalance -
Chayawanprash with half a cup of milk, a teaspoon of ghee or sesame oil can be useful. Mix Chyawanprash with ghee or oil, make a paste and swallow with lukewarm water in the evening, just before food.
In Pitta imbalance –
Chayawanprash with half a cup of milk, a teaspoon of ghee, a teaspoon of coconut oil or a small piece of candy sugar. Afternoon is the right time to take it, as pitta is naturally dominant then.
In Kapha imbalance-
Chyawanprash can be administered with honey. A teaspoon of honey, mixed with a teaspoon of Chyawanprash with cold water, early in the morning.
- Recurrent infections
- Poor memory
- Immunological problems
- Poor digestion
- Blood disorders
- Liver diseases
- Heart diseases
How to consume:
Despite the fact that Chyawanprash is nutritious, it should not be consumed in excess. Indigestion, gas, stomach bloating, loose stools, and abdominal distention may occur as a result of excessive consumption.
Adults can have 1 tsp twice daily, with lukewarm milk or water during morning and evening. For kids, the recommended dose is ½ tsp.
- Take 2-3 teaspoon of Chyawanprash. Mix it with honey and consume it once a day before meal to get relief from cough, cold, asthma, etc.
- 1-2 tsp along with a glass of milk/water empty stomach in early morning for boosting your immunity.
- It can be taken raw, or in combination, as mentioned above, for support in respective diseases.
Note: Always consider taking prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor before taking any medication
Author- Dr. Monika Mittal
Editor- Debleena Chatterjee
- Chyawanprash as per Charaka Samhita – Chikitsa Sthana 1.1/62-74
Published By Rasayana Limited. All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Photography: Patrick Hendry