~ by the use of this medicine, Chywana, who had become exceedingly old became young once again ~ Chraka Samhita 1st century B.C
Chyavanaprash holds supreme position amongst all Rasayanas in ancient Ayurvedic texts and here was are, over 6,000 years later, and it is still one of the most popular and most-recommended Ayurvedic remedies.
The first recorded recipe for Chyavanaprash is found in the Caraka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic texts of Internal Medicine. In it, Chyavanaprash is noted for being superior to all other herbal rejuvenative tonics and is “beneficial for allaying cough, asthma and other respiratory ailments; it nourishes the weak and degenerating tissues, promotes vigour, vitality and is anti-aging”.
The Word Chyavanaprash comes from two words. The first stems from the name of Sage Chyavana who created this remedy. According to one theory ~ there are three good ones ~ he was 140 years old when after a lifetime of extreme spiritual practice that left him unwell, he decided to create something that would allow him to regain his youthfulness and vitality. From this intention he went on to create the most revered Rasayana in Ayurveda.
The word Prash in Sanskrit is significant in expressing the importance of the process of consuming Chyavanaprash. It is to be taken artfully, preferably licked off a spoon, and with a deliberate awareness. In Ayurveda, the more aware you are, the better quality of life you will have.
WHAT IS RASAYANA
Before there was anti-aging there was Rasayana, one of eight-branches of Ayurvedic Medicine aimed at prolonging life and nourishing our tissues to prevent cellular aging, increase mental ability, generate vital energy and boost digestive health and immune function.
And before there were nutritional supplements, there was Chyavanaprash. Its staying power is in its effectiveness and very unique benefits like protecting the body from oxidative damage.
Chyavanprash is rich in vitamins, trace nutrients, minerals like iron, manganese, calcium and zinc, carotenes (in a fat base!!!), antioxidants, protein and dietary fiber. It is in itself is a functional food.
CONSUMING CHYAVANAPRASH WITH DELIBERATE AWARENESS
How To Honor The Artful Consumption Of Chyavanaprash…
- When you open your jar, inhale deeply and allow your senses to be awakened by your Chyavanaprash. When you go in with your teaspoon and pull it out, admire its rich dark hue, it’s texture and aroma.
- Take one teaspoon in the quietude of early morning, before sunrise, after cleansing the mouth and on an empty stomach.
- Chyavanaprash has all six rasas (tastes); sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent and all five Mahabhutas (earthly elements that comprise any and every substance); earth, water, air, space and fire. Knowing this, close your eyes and let Chyavanaprash swim on your tongue before swallowing. Can you taste all the rasas? Can you sense the five earthly elements? What do you like about it? What does it remind you of?
- Follow with warm water or warm nut milk.
This awareness can take all but 30-seconds and this is all you need to propel your day in a slower and more thoughtful direction. Awareness keeps you present, not thinking about the wrongs of yesterday or contemplating what could go wrong tomorrow or later that day… This is a great way to begin your day.
WHEN TAKING CHYAVANAPRASH ALSO:
- Take chyavanaprash before yoga or exercise for the vital cellular energy needed to convert all your seven tissues but without interfering in the elements that will be activated with your yoga / exercise routine.
- Can be taken year-round. It consists of ingredients which help nullify seasonal symptoms and strengthen where needed.
WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
Chyavanaprash is a herbal, ghee and honey concoction with a thick and dense jam-like consistency. It has upwards of 45/50 ingredients that over thousands of years had to be amended to suit modern times; geographical locations, season impairments, extinction or limited herbs/plant matter. The finished product is a scientifically precise and thoughtful blend of materials that work synergistically to bring homeostasis (harmony, balance, vitality) to the entire body without disrupting any of its natural processes along the way. These ingredients nourish, strengthen and maintain a healthy digestion, immunity, respiration, ocular region, heart, blood, skin, brain/nervous system and urogenital system.
The prized ingredient is Amla AKA Amalaki AKA Indian Gooseberry, in itself a most powerful Rasayana and most useful for maintaining homeostasis in the body. Amalaki rejuvenates and protects all doshas but favors alignment with Pitta and pays special attention to maintaining Pitta subdoshas of the heart, eyes, skin and liver.
Amalaki helps remove heat and toxins from the liver while sour rasa benefits the heart and the amalaki’s cold veerya (physical potency) soothe tired, sensitive and inflamed eyes, cooling inflammation and strengthening the entire ocular region. The rich Amalaki juice travels toward the skin to rejuvenate it and create a lustrous glow.
Amalaki also imparts memory, balances intellect and thoughts and is a most mighty and impressive respiratory tonic treating chronic cough, asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. It has also been shown in studies to stimulate the pancreas and aid in insulin secretion. Results
of one study suggest that Amalaki has both anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties and has high potential as a successful plant/food alternative therapy in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
Amalaki is known for its benefits as a hair tonic. It adds lustre, shine and strength to the hair and being a Rasayana and slowing the aging process, you may notice, like I do, that your hair is slow to grey. I color mine every 6-7 months.
The best Chyavanaprash product is very thoughtfully made with attention to every detail of the processing. Though many herbs from classical texts may not exist, it does not matter when one is working with a Ayurvedic pharmacologist who has a passion for quality of ingredients science and technique, which can still be administered in the classical form. There are many Chyavanarash on the market and I have been lucky enough to have come across one of the absolute best which only means now you have access too.
I am excited for you to begin incorporating Chyavanaprash in your daily routine. Definitely let us know what you think.