What is Chyawanprash?

Chyawanprash is a mixture of herbs made in edible oil to give a jam-like consistency. It is numerous benefits in promoting the health of an individual and also delicious. Chyawanprash has been used in Ayurveda for centuries to boost overall vitality and protect against disease. It's a sweet paste that was created by twin Ayurvedic experts to help the great seer Chyawan Rishi restore his vigor. Thus the word 'Chyawan' denotes the name of rishi, which also signifies the 'degenerative change.' 'Prasha' denotes a drug or foodstuff that is suitable for consumption. These days, people use chyawanprash as a daily immunity booster and as a respiratory tonic. 

Chyawanprash is mostly used as a dietary health supplement. It helps boost energy, as a health tonic, rejuvenator, and many other uses. It is one of the better-known formulations among Ayurvedic literature, which is placed under 'Rasayana' too.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for immune system

Chyawanprash ingredients

Composition of Chyawanprash:

Ayurvedic and ancient literature have reported that chyawanprash is prepared using more than 40 herbs. The main active constituent of Chyawanprash is Amla. Other additional herbs include raw, unheated honey, sugar, ghee, sesame oil, and preservatives such as potassium sorbate. All these herbs work synergistically to support overall immunity, lung health, and respiratory system. Chyawanprash is made by combining precise proportions of ayurvedic herbs and traditional Ayurvedic techniques to enhance bioavailability and the assimilation of all vital nutrients.

According to Vedas, the original composition of Chyawanprash is made with a variety of herbs that belong to different classes, like Ashtavarga, Dashmula, Chaturjata, which are involved in ayurvedic chyawanprash preparation.

See: Boost your immune system with Ayurveda

Chyawanprash health benefits

Chyawanprash is considered to be a rejuvenating Rasayana. A person regularly consuming Chyawanprash can benefit in various ways. Chywanprash improves longevity by promoting anti-aging effect, improves memory, intellect, fights of diseases, promotes young age, luster, complexion and voice, immunity, strengthens physique, and sense organs.

1.      Pradhana Dravya (the main constituent): Emblica Officinalis or Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, makes the major constituent of chyawanprash.

2.      Samsadhana Dravya (processing constituents): These constituents help in processing the main ingredients i.e., Amla. These ingredients also include Draksha (i.e., Vitis vinifera), Pippali (i.e., Long Pepper), Bala (i.e., Sida Cordifolia).

3.      Yamaka Dravya (lipid media constituents): These constituents act as carriers/vehicles which promote penetration of all the constituents into the Amla.

4.      Samvahaka Dravya (preservative constituents): Preservatives like sugar syrup or raw, unheated honey is used to preserve the ingredients of chyawanprash from disintegrating.

5.      Prakshep Dravya (flavoring constituents): These are also known as balancing herbs or constituents. They help in balancing the Dhatus (tissues) and Doshas of the body.


There are many health benefits of chyawanprash:

Anti-aging property: Chyawanprash is rich in antioxidants, Amla the main constituent of Chyawanprash is a powerhouse of Vitamin C. The antioxidative properties of Chywanprash produce anti-aging properties by scavenging the free radicals that damage the cells. It also provides cellular nutrition, promotes longevity, and thus helps delay the aging of cells.1.

Immunomodulatory property -Scientific studies have proved the efficacy of Chyawanprash as an immunity-boosting supplement. Chywanprash can help reduce symptoms of disease caused by seasonal influences, by modulating IgE and immunity markers.7. 

- Anti-allergic effect - Chyawanprash promotes anti-allergic effects by decreasing the levels of plasma histamine and serum immunoglobulin E (IgE)  that are involved in triggering an allergy in an individual.1.

- Cognition and memory - Chyawanprash, with its antioxidant properties, helps improve brain function. Regular consumption of Chyawanprash may help enhance the activity of a certain type of brain cell (cholinergic neurons).2,3

- Cleanse the digestive system: Chyawanprash stimulates digestive fire without aggravating pitta dosha. The warming spices present in Chyawanprash like cardamom, saffron, long pepper fruit, and cinnamon present in Chyawanprash helps tonify Agni. Thus it helps in cleansing of the alimentary tract and clearing of the digestive system.4.

- Lower Cholesterol & triglycerides: Research studies have concluded that the Saponins constituents of Chyawanprash are known to block the cholesterol absorption in the body. Black sesame oil, another ingredient in Chyawanprash, contains healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated acids (PUFAs), which support weight loss, help reduce cholesterol levels, and reduce blood pressure.5.

- Reduces Colon Cancer Risk: The antioxidant properties of Chyawanprash can help fight against colon cancer. Chywanprash consists of licorice that has a good concentration of Saponins. Saponins are known to exert cytotoxic effects and induce apoptosis on the cancer cells, thus reduces the risk of colon cancer.5 

- Prevents recurrent colds and allergies: Chyawanprash is rich in herbs and minerals that boost immunity and help fight various seasonal or nonseasonal respiratory disorders, rhinitis, and recurrent cold and allergies.7.

- As a liver tonic: Chyawanprash contains several herbs like Amla (Emblica Officinalis), Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) that makes it a potent liver tonic. Chywanprash supports the liver in removing the excess of ama or toxins from the blood and boosts the production of Ojas.1, 3.

- Effects on Doshas: Chyawanprash helps in balancing all the three Doshas of the body. This formulation is beneficial for balancing all types of Doshas and can be used throughout all seasons of the year.6.

- Hair, skin, bones, and teeth: The vitamin C constituent of Amla rejuvenates the skin and helps improve the complexion of the skin. It also promotes hair growth and provides strength to bones and teeth through the absorption of calcium.2.

See: Ayurvedic Diet

Summary

The ayurvedic herbs present in Chyawanprash is found to be effective in improving the overall health status of an individual who consumes it regularly. It boosts immunity in individuals and enhances cognitive ability, and helps fight various disorders. Chywanprash reflects the Rasayana concept of Ayurveda. 

See: Ashwagandha for sleep before bed

References

1. Narayana, D.B. & Durg, Sharanbasappa & Puthiyedath, Rammanohar & Mahapatra, Anita & A R, Aramya. (2016). Chyawanprash: A review of therapeutic benefits as in authoritative texts and documented clinical literature. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 197. 10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.078. 


2. Rawat, Neha & Roushan, Rakesh. (2019). Chyavanaprasha Rasayana; Trusted Armour Against Diseases-A Critical Review. 8. 304-310. 


3. Sharma, Rohit & Martins, Natália & Kuca, Kamil & Chaudhary, Ashun & Kabra, Atul & Rao, Meda & Prajapati, Pradeep. (2019). Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement. 


4. Manjunatha, S & Jaryal, A & Bijlani, R & Sachdeva, U & Gupta, S. (2001). Effect of Chyawanprash and vitamin C on glucose tolerance and lipoprotein profile. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology. 45. 71-9. 


 5. Kasar, Rahul & Laddha, K.S. & Chaudhary, Jayesh & Shukla, Anil. (2007). Chyawanprash-truth or myth. Pharmac, Rev. 1. 185-190. 


6. Madaan, Alka & Kanjilal, Satyajyoti & Gupta, Arun & Sastry, J.L.N. & Verma, Ritu & Singh, Anu & Jaggi, Manu. (2015). Evaluation of the immunostimulatory activity of Chyawanprash using in vitro assays. Indian journal of experimental biology. 53. 158-163. 


7. Kasar, Rahul & Laddha, K.S. & Chaudhary, Jayesh & Shukla, Anil. (2007). Chyawanprash-truth or myth. Pharmac, Rev. 1. 185-190. 


See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

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