In this globally emerging trend of viral & communicable diseases. Everyone is being concerned about their immunity. Ayurveda being the science of life has an aim, that is
(Reference- Charaka Samhita Sutra Sthana 30/26)
Shloka states that the basic aim of Ayurveda is to prevent the healthy person from diseases, and then treating the illness of sick people.
For maintaining the health of healthy people acharyas had mainly described Rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy). Rasayana are the drugs that promote the normal functioning of the body & also enhance strength and immunity which prevent them from various diseases.
In Ayurveda, the best way to heal from communicable, autoimmune diseases is the Rasayan therapy. The benefits of immune boosting herbal formulations including chyawanprash are well known. Chyawanprash is also a part of this Rasayana Chikitsa that is already mentioned in various Ayurvedic texts for supporting & enhancing the body’s ability to fight with the infections.
Acharya Charak had given definition of rasayana as
(Reference- Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1/1/8)
Any means by which a person is able to reach the best state of the body’s every tissue (rasadi dhatu) is known as Rasayan.
Other Acharyas such as Acharya Sushruta described rasayanas vyavsthapan means the drug having anti-aging properties. Acharya Shrangdhara had also mentioned Rasayana as a technique which helps in slowing down the aging process & beneficial in all age-related disorders.
Rasayana has several synonyms. Few of them are listed as:
- Savasthsyaojaskaram: best for maintaining the health of a fit person.
- Jaravyadhinashak: Having anti-aging qualities
- Ayurmedhabalkar: Strengthen the age, memory and body’s built.
- Vyavasthapan: Stabilizing aging process.
Benefits of Rasayana
(Reference- Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1/1/8)
Regular use of Rasayan will enhance the age, sharpen the memory and provide best retention power, state of proper health, lusture, best color of the skin, supreme quality of strength to mind and body, unique aura to the person. Ayurvedic Rasayan therapy is not only indicated for physical wellness but also fortified with essential anti anxiety, anti-stress, adaptogenic properties that will also helps in dealing or is indicated for the treatment of many mind related ailments.
Now, after knowing all the benefits one question that must arise in one’s mind: who is indicted for this rasayana therapy? Well Acharya’s had described this Rasayan therapy for healthy & diseased person for both specific and daily use.
Types of Rasayana
Acharyas had mentioned many types of Rasayan that are beneficial for maintaining our physical, mental & social health at supreme level. Lets’ know about a few of these Rasayan
1. Medhya Rasayan
The rasayan which are used for enhancing the mental ability of a person to the top. The four best medhya Rasayan mentioned by Acharya Charak in Charaka Chikitsa chapters 1 are
- Mandukaparni swarasa (Centella asiatica’s liquid extract)
- Yashtimadhu churna (Powder of Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Shankhpushpi kalka (Paste form of Convolvulus pluricaulis)
- Guduchi kwath (decoction of Tinospora cordifolia)
These herbs will help in enhancing the dhee (intelligence), dhriti (grasping power), samriti (retaining power). Also, other than these four herbs various other herbs such as brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and all other madhur vipaki and sheet virya dravya are considered as medhya & having Rasayan properties.
2. Naimittika Rasayana
These are the Rasayans which are specifically indicated for the concerned diseased condition. Few examples of these are
- Bhallataka Rasayan for kapha related disorders.
- Khadir & gandhak Rasayan for Kushta etc. skin disorders
- Haritaki Rasayan for pandu roga (anemic conditions), arsh (hemorrhoids) & gulma (abdominal tumors)
- Pippali Rasayan and chyawanprash Rasayan for Respiratory ailments & tuberculosis conditions.
- Gambhari Rasayan for pitta related and bleeding diseases.
- Medhya Rasayan for mind related disorders.
- Triphala Rasayan for skin, abdominal & eyes related diseases.
3. Aajstrik Rasayana
This particular division of Rasayan consists of those dietary items which a human can include in their daily life to achieve the topmost results of Rasayan. These include use of milk, ghee, seasonal fruits, honey, fresh water etc.
4. Achara Rasayana
This unique concept of Rasayan is given by Acharya Charka. It includes some behavioral changes that will cumulatively lead to the achievement of rejuvenating properties of Rasayan on their regular use. Some of these activities include
- Speaking the truth.
- Avoidance of alcohol abuse
- Following celibacy or avoid overindulging in sexual activities.
- Sacrifice of violence from body, mind & words.
- Follow the path of calmness , patience, and spirituality
- Avoidance of overconfidence & narrow minded thoughts.
- Try controlling the senses
- Maintain regular sleep and wake up cycle
- Respect the elders.
- Modify your behaviour according to the place & time.
Some other rasayana with multisystem benefits are
- Amlaki Rasayan
- Shilajatu Rasayan
- Pippali bardhaman Rasayan
- Punarnava kalpa Rasayan
- Dhatryadi Rasayan
- Dhatri rasadi Rasayan
- Aamlak ghrit
- Vidanga avaleha
- Agastya haritaki Rasayan
- Amlaka avleha
- Haritakyadi rasayanam
- Brahmi Rasayan
Need of Rasayan therapy in modern world: (Ayurvedic view)
For understanding this better let’s have a brief knowledge on the immunity in Ayurvedic perspective. Immunity is basically rog pratirodhak kshamata of the body, which in simple words means the ability of the body to fight & prevent the body from various diseases. Oaj is considered as the basic source of body’s immunity according to Ayurveda. Ojas is defined as the utkrisht tej of saptadhatu ranging from rasa to shukra, it means that oaj is basically the supreme end product of various body fluids that are present in one’s body.
Rasayan therapy as already discussed is any method will help in achieving the highest level of functions of various body tissues. Thus, this therapy directly promotes the body tissues which ultimately lead to build up of ojas, thus boosting immunity.
Also, these various herbs & their formulations are full of antioxidant property and various other important chemical constituents that will help in scavenging various free radicals & harmful microbes which assists in fasting up the healing process and provides rejuvenating effects.
According to WHO, health is the state of complete physical mental & social well being of an individual, not merely the absence of disease. The various Rasayan mentioned here are for maintaining physical functions, medhya Rasayan for mental health and the achara rasayana for promoting social health. So, maintain your immune system healthy & strong with these herbal supplements & lifestyle modifications advice. Stay healthy, stay safe!!