Chyawanprash; 52 Herbs for daily detox and rejuvenation

The Rishi and The Princess
The intriguing story of Rishi Chyawan is documented in the ancient epic tale of India, the Mahabharata. Rishi Chyawan was a great seer. He was fully enlightened and thus carried no desires in his heart, except for union with the cosmic divine. It is said that he sat immobile, his senses fully retracted into the silent self-referral bliss of meditation, for numerous years, until one day, Sukanya, the young and beautiful daughter of King Sharyati, found him and accidentally awoke him from his yogic trance. The aging rishi and the young princess were soon wed. However, their conjugal bliss was overshadowed by the rishi’s old ascetic body.
It is then told that the celestial twin physicians, the Ashvinis, came to the rishi’s help.Physicians to the gods, they had garnered the entirety of Ayurvedic knowledge for the benefit of mankind and the celestial realm. They prepared a mixture that contained the best of what Mother Nature offered in terms of divine healing, balancing, and rejuvenating altogether 52 herbs, and presented it to Rishi Chyawan. Rishi Chyawan ate it, and it restored his body to its original youthful glow and functionality in no time! And the rishi and the princess lived happily ever after….
  The recipe became known as Chyawan’s Prash, or the herbal mixture of Chyawan, renown for its tonic and rejuvenative powers.
Vaidya’s Story
“The sweet taste and rich aroma of home-made chyawanprash infuses my early childhood memories spent in the village of Vaidyachak (“Vaidya’s village”) in Jharkand, NorthEast India. My father used to prepare Chyawanprash for our family members, as well as his patients, from scratch. I used to watch him select the herbs, prep them, and, finally cook them.

 

Years later, when I studied Ayurveda formally and learnt of the countless benefits of all the herbs that go into the Chyawanprash formula, I had the desire to share it with all my ayurvedic patients, specially after moving to the West. That’s how, several years ago, I initiated the process of sourcing and gathering the best quality wild-crafted herbs that would go into the preparation. I wanted to make sure that I incorporated every single ingredient that was mentioned in the original formula without compromise of quality.
Finally, a few months ago, everything came together, and I put together this “avaleha,” or “liquid preserve,” just the way my father used to make it! I am very happy to say It smells and tastes just as good as I remember it!
How does it work?
Chyawanprash is Ayurveda’s gift to us. It brings together the best of all the “divyaushadhi,” or divine herbs, in a recipe that is not only balancing, but is a delicious addition to daily diet. It’s no accident that it is considered India’s national tonic!
The preparation of these 52 herbs and plants involves seven stages and is complex because the herbs that are used have different properties that need to be prepared in distinct separate steps before being combined together, in order to get the full benefit. The original creators of this formula, the Ashwin Gods, taught the way of infusing the different groups of herbs together, based on how they can be categorized property-wise. The herbs that go into the mixture can be grouped into three:
  • rasayana or rejuvenative herbs
  • detoxifying and cleansing herbs
  • immuno-modulatory herbs
Deriving the lipid and water soluble fractions of these herbs, while infusing their balancing properties into the base of the alma berry paste (amalaki) is thus a challenging process that has to go through different time-sensitive steps. But when it is done properly, when the powerful molecules have been duly prepared and mixed in with the organic sugar and honey, the formulation is fully potent and active, benefiting the body as soon as it touches the oral mucosa. Once in the stomach, it detoxifies traveling through the gaps of the tissues and nourishing all the aspects of the physiology.

 

Chyawanprash is a daily tonic that is good for all age groups all the time – except infants and children age 5 and under. The original formula contains ghee, cane sugar, and honey. Please note that the addition of ghee, honey, and sugar is  necessary as they help coat the herbal molecules and deliver them to the deeper tissues. They are added as balancing ingredients because the original formula is very potent with its concentrated content of herbs and amla. They are not flavoring agents. And since they are consumed in conjunction with the dozens of herbs that are in the formula, they body is able to process and metabolize them fully. You will not make ama from the ghee, the sugar, or the honey – no one should experience discomfort or imbalance from the sugar and fat content. However, if you have fat and sugar sensitivities or prefer to avoid consuming either or both, I have put together a Chyawanprash Syrup that contains no added fat (ghee) and no added sugar (honey or raw can sugar). For those who have concerns consuming fat and/or sugar, this will be the ideal way to get the rejuvenative benefit of all the rasayana and other herbs that are part of the original formula.

What do Charak Samhita Sutra-s say about Chyawanprash?
According to the Charak Samhita, verses 70-74, Chyawanprash has countless health benefits!
Verse 70 says that:

Chyawanprash is a  great tonic for the lungs, it can take care of chronic cough, and helps alleviate breathing trouble. It supports and helps older physiologies, helps reverse aging, and it nourishes the growth of children and young adults.

Verse 71 says:

Chyawanprash supports the vocal chords; nurtures all seven tissues; nourishes the heart; pacifies Vata dosha;  nourishes the blood; takes care of excessive thirst. It helps the urinary tract; nourishes the reproductive fluid, and pacifies the aggravated dosha-s in the urinary tract.
Verse 72 says:

It can be consumed as a food item, as a dessert, after your midday meal. Do not eat at night as it can be too energizing and may interfere with sleep. Consuming chyawanprash as part of your daily diet will rejuvenate all age groups, making the old young again, and the young stronger!
Verse 73 says:

Increases intelligence; boosts memory; enhances glow and complexion of the skin; keeps the body disease-free; lengthens the life-span; strengthens all five senses. Chyawanprash supports and promotes marital or conjugal bliss, strengthening both male and female physiologies! It also supports the digestive metabolic fire; increases overall radiance; pacifies apana vata.
Verse 74 says:

This verse tells us that chyawanprash could also be used as part of the “kayakalpa” protocol. “Kayakalpa” literally means restoring youth to the body inside and out! There are two kinds of kayakalpa mentioned the Charak Samhita. One is called “Kuti praveshik” which is a protocol that is carried out indoors, under strict supervision. The other is “vaat tapik” or outdoors. The indoors protocol is more efficient, and the consumption of Chyawanprash is recommended for this protocol. This verse says that whoever uses Chyawanprash as a rasayana for the reversal of aging, will get all the benefits of kayakalpa – removal of old age, rejuvenation, reclaiming beauty, strength, youthful skin, etc. This verse confirms that Chyawanprash can be used on a daily basis, safely and effectively, for daily rejuvenation; or as a clinical preparation taken under supervision with specific dosage requirements when conducting “kayakalpa” treatments for the ultimate cleansing and renewing protocol that Ayurveda can offer.