Rasayana Therapy (Anti Ageing, Rejuvenation) Benefits, Meaning, Medicines

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Article is for education purpose only. Consult your doctor for any medicine advice.
Rasayana therapy is part of preventive Ayurvedic healthcare. It helps to delay the process of aging and thus helps to live longer with good strength and immunity. It is achieved by maintaining good digestion, metabolism, cardiac and mental health.

Rasayana is defined as those medicines (and non-medicines including conduct, lifestyle changes, behavior etc) which are helpful in gaining high quality dhatus (tissues) in optimum and desired quantity. Dhatus in good quality and quantity form the foundation of a good immunity and paves way for leading disease free life.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Rasayana Therapy

Important features and benefits of Rasayana Chikitsa:
Rasayana forms an integral part of Jara Chikitsa and one eighth of Ashtanga Ayurveda –
Rasayana forms an integral part of Jara Chikitsa or anti-ageing treatment (geriatrics). Jara Chikitsa forms one eighth of Ashtanga Ayurveda or 8 elite branches of Ayurveda. Thus, Rasayana too forms one eighth of Ashtanga Ayurveda and the most important one too.

Rasayanas help in formation of best quality tissues –
Rasayanas help in the formation of best quality dhatus or tissues and also supports the srotases (channels or duct system) which help in the formation and transportation of tissues and also the materials (nutrition) needed to form these tissues from one place of the body to the other.

Rasayana treatment nourish the tissues
The medicines which help in maintenance of optimum tissue health (dhatu swasthya and dhatu samya) are called Rasayanas. Rasayanas accomplish this task by regularly nourishing and fortifying the tissues. Rasayanas enrich the tissues in terms of quality and quantity.

Rasayana Chikitsa is a part of Jara Chikitsa
Rasayanas are included under Jara Chikitsa category of Ashtanga Ayurveda, but form essential members needed for comprehensive body-mind healing in each of the eight branches of Ayurveda. They are broad spectrum medicines.

Rasayanas belong to Swasthasya Urjaskara type of Bheshaja
Rasayana is included in the ‘Swasthasya Urjaskaram’ or ‘Swasthasya Ojaskaram’ category of Bheshaja (medicine).

Swasthasya Urjaskaram means ‘that which enhances or fortifies or enriches the quality and quantity of health to the optimum levels in an already healthy individual’. Thus Rasayanas are beneficial for healthy individuals also and are given with an intention of maintenance of good and optimum health and also to prevent the impending diseases by enhancing immunity. The other member of Swasthasya Urjaskaram type of medicines is Vrushya or Vajikarana (aphrodisiacs, sex medicines).
Read related: Rasayana Paribhasha – Definition of Rasayana Chikitsa

Rasayanas help in the formation of the best quality essence of tissues i.e. Ojus
Rasayanas are also called Swasthasya Ojaskara. Oja is the essence of all the tissues and reflects (represents) the optimum health and immunity of an individual. By helping in proper formation of dhatus or tissues (in terms of quality and quantity), Rasayanas (and Vrushyas) also help in forming the ojus in proper terms. Proper quality and optimum quantity of ojus reflects the availability of healthy and fortified tissues in the body. This in turn reflects the immunity and health of an individual. The terms Oorjaskara and Ojaskara are often used interchangeably.

Rasayanas help in supplying the Rasadi Bhavas to the dhatus and help in effective cure
When a medicine is taken, the rasa (taste of the herb), guna (qualities of the medicines or herbs), veerya (potency of the herb), vipaka (post-digestion effect of the medicine) etc of the herb are transported to each and every part of the body. These Rasa etc will enhance and support ayu, bala etc in the body. Rasayanas are those methods and materials which help in making available the Rasadi gunas present in a medicine (bheshaja) to each and other cell of the body and bringing about enhancement of ayu (lifespan), bala (strength and immunity), veerya (potency, vigor) and vaya sthairya (stability of age, anti-ageing property).

Rasayanas are predominantly preventive and partially curative in nature and action
Bheshaja or medicines are of two types i.e. Swasthasya Urjaskara or preventive medicine (Rasayana and Vajikarana are part of Swasthasya Urjaskara) and Artasya Roganut or curative medicine. According to Chakrapani, the commentator of Charaka Samhita treatise, Swasthasya Urjaskara is predominantly preventive and Artasya Roganut is predominantly curative in nature. In this context, Rasayana which belongs to Swasthasya Urjaskara category is predominantly preventive in nature. It is also partially curative in nature.

Rasayana is predominantly curative in action
Gangadhara, another commentator of Charaka Samhita gives a different opinion. According to him, Swasthasya Urjaskara type of Bheshaja is of two types i.e. Vrushya (Vajikarana) and Rasayana. Among them, Rasayana predominantly pacifies the diseases and cures them. He considers both Vajikarana and Rasayana as Swasthasya Urjaskara, but among both, Rasayana is predominantly curative in nature. Therefore any medicine which is Swasthasya Urjaskara and predominantly curative in action is Rasayana. (Vrushya is also Swasthasya Urjaskara, but is comparatively less curative in nature in comparison to Rasayana).

Rasayanas predominantly destroy Jara and Vyadhi
Rasayanas are all those methods and materials (medicines and non-medicines) which destroy Jara (ageing process, delays ageing, anti-ageing) and Vyadhi (disease, disease process). By doing so, Rasayana establishes an enjoyable lifespan (enhances lifespan of each and every cell of the body, their functioning capacity and immunity) and provides longevity. They also help in eradicating the diseases. Rasayanas form essential part of prescription in the follow up of most diseases; they hasten recovery and strengthen the body.

Rasayana is good for body and mind health
Rasayanas form a comprehensive cure for both body and mind diseases. They strengthen both body and mind and hence establish health and immunity in the body apart from nourishing the tissues and providing longevity.

Rasayanas are not just ‘old age remedies’ –
It would be wrong to limit the meaning and utility of Rasayanas to ‘just old age’. The concept of Rasayana is a broad spectrum science and is applicable at all ages. They are predominantly preventive and also curative in nature. Looking at the phala shruti of Rasayanas (recommendations, appraisals and utility of Rasayanas as explained in Ayurvedic treatises), the concept of Rasayana has elaborate meaning, multiple meanings too. Their areas of utility are also multi-dimensional and broad spectrum.

Rasayana is a broad spectrum topic and covers one or more of the below mentioned fields –

  • Immunity modulators
  • Anti-ageing
  • Preventive care
  • Disease modifiers
  • Medicines for Convalescence care
  • Tissue strengtheners and rejuvenators
  • Longevity enhancers

Rasayanas are beyond medicines –
Rasayana is not just an oral medication, there are many measures which are not medicines and yet act as Rasayanas, the category of ‘adravya rasayana’.

Thus Rasayanas are of two forms –

  • Dravya Rasayana – Dravya Rasayanas include the Rasayanas in the form of food and medicines. The medicines included under Rasayana may be in the form of a single herb or formulations made up of many herbs.
  • Adravya Rasayana – Adravya Rasayanas are those which do not have the form of food or medicine (absence of physical form) but still act as Rasayanas and provide all the benefits bestowed by Dravya Rasayanas. Certain activities of life and conducts of life which enhance comprehensive health and provide good immunity, as explained in Achara Rasayana can be considered as Adravya Rasayanas.

Jara Chikitsa

Jara Chikitsa deals with measures, medicines, treatments and formulations which bring about delay in ageing process and also helps in maintenance of health in old age, apart from providing strength and immunity at the dusk of age and also curing the diseases manifested at senility. Most of the measures and medicines used in Jara Chikitsa can be clubbed under the category of Rasayana. Thus Rasayanas are the medicines (and non-medicines including lifestyle practices, behavior patterns etc) which form the bulk of Jara Chikitsa and are comprehensively used in prevention and cure of many ailments.

Jara Chikitsa can also be considered as Ayurvedic part of Geriatrics. Rasayana being a broader area, Geriatrics can be said to be a part of Rasayana.

Rasayana meaning, derivation

Meaning and Word Derivation of the term Rasayana (Nirukti)
The word Rasayana can be split into two components i.e. Rasa and Ayana.
Rasa Rasa actually means the essence of nutrition (ahara rasa) or the first tissue formed in the chronology of tissue formation (dhatu utpatti krama) from the nutritive juice i.e. Rasa Dhatu. In this context, Rasa means Rasadi Dhatus i.e. all the 7 dhatus. They are Rasa (lymph, plasma), Rakta (blood, cellular part of blood), Mamsa (muscles), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (semen).

Ayana Ayana means channels or passage ways or tracts of the body.
‘That which is beneficial for the Rasadi Dhatus (all the tissues) and also good for the ayanas or passageways through which these tissues flow from one part of the body to the other (passageways through which the nutrients to these tissues are transported) is called Rasayana’

In short, the medicines beneficial to the rasadi dhatus and their ayanas are called Rasayanas.
The medicines which will destroy Jara (ageing) and Vyadhi (disease) are called Rasayanas.
Read related: Right Method Of Rasayana Therapy – Dr CR Agnives

Rasayanas – materials and methods of conducting Rasa, Veerya etc principles of the medicine into the body
The materials and methods which form the passageways (ayana) for the Rasa (taste), Veerya (potency, strength), Vipaka (post digestion effect) and Prabhava (impact, effect of herb or medicine) located in a bheshaja (medicine) to gain entry into our body and enhance our Ayu (life span), Bala (strength), Veerya (vigour) and Vaya Sthairya (longevity of life) are called Rasayanas.

Discussion
Any herb or medicine that we take will possess rasa, guna, veerya, vipaka and prabhava. The medicines act on the virtue of one or more of these qualities. When a medicine or herb is taken, the rasa veerya etc of the herb are conducted and transported to each and every part of the body or made available at their site of action (target tissue or organ). These Rasa etc will enhance and support ayu, bala etc in the body. Rasayanas are those methods and materials which help in making available the Rasadi gunas present in a medicine (bheshaja) to each and other cell of the body and bringing about enhancement of ayu, bala, veerya and vaya sthairya.

Rasayana as preventive and curative

Rasayana therapies are both preventive and curative medicines
Rasayana is a subject which belongs to both swastha (healthy) and atura (diseased), i.e. Rasayana can be taken both by healthy and diseased individuals. In healthy people Rasayana helps in maintenance of health and in the diseased it helps in curing the diseases.

That which has the capacity to destroy Jara (ageing process) and Vyadhi (disease) is called Rasayana.

Tatva chandrika defines Rasayana as that which halts the manifestation of disease in the form of ageing or senility. If Jara is a vyadhi, Rasayana prevents or delays its manifestation. Rasayanas produce vishishta rasa (or specialized or high quality rasa or rasadi dhatus) and thus have the capability to abort or delay the ageing process.

Rasayana therapy – sources for best quality dhatus or tissues
According to Arunadatta, the commentator of Ashtanga Hridaya, Rasayana is defined as all those methods and measures which help in begetting the best quality tissues.
Yogendranath is also of the same opinion as that of Arunadatta.

By Dr Raghuram Y.S MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Rasayanas are the rejuvenating medicines. Ayurveda treatises have explained various rasayana formulations which improves life span by improving immunity and curing diseases.

Rasayanas From Bhavaprakasha

Bhavaprakasha has given a brief account of Rasayana in chapter 37 i.e. Rasayana Adhikara of Bhavaprakasha, Uttarakhanda. The Rasayanas related to the diseases, i.e. vyadhihara Rasayanas are explained in related chapters dealing with treatment of those diseases.

Salient features of Rasayana in Bhavaprakasha

  • The chapter of Rasayana has been explained in brief.
  • The ‘Rasayana Adhikara’ chapter is explained at the end of the treatise and after the chapter of Vajikarana.
  • Vamshalochana and Punarnava have been given the status of Rasayana.
  • Manjishta is also said to be a Rasayana and is mentioned a substitute for Brahmi, in its inavailability.
  • Rasayana has been mentioned to provide immortality and salvation.
    Read – Rasayana Therapy (Anti Ageing, Rejuvenation) Benefits, Meaning

Features of Rasayana

  • Delays ageing
  • Cures diseases
  • Provides longevity
  • Eye tonic
  • Nourishing and bulk promoting
  • Aphrodisiac

Benefits of Rasayana

  • Longevity
  • Good memory
  • Good intellect
  • Good health
  • Youth
  • Strength to body and sense organs
  • Luster

Conditions for administration of Rasayana

Rasayana is administered to a person only after undergoing body purification therapies (Panchakrarma). Rasayana doesn’t bestow good results in an unpurified body just like the colors don’t catch up attractively when painted on a dirty canvas.
Read – Right Method Of Rasayana Therapy – Dr CR Agnives

Sanskrit Verses

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Important Rasayana formulations

Shitodakadi Rasayana

The below mentioned provide longevity when taken individually, before food or 3 parts of each of them mixed together –

Chaturvidha Rasayana

Below mentioned are the single herbs which are used as best Rasayanas –

  • Juice of Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri (if Brahmi is not available, Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia can be taken because it is also a good Rasayana)
  • Juice of Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Paste of roots and flowers of Shankapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis
  • Powder of licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra

Any one of these formulations shall be taken early in the morning.

Benefits –

  • Bestows longevity
  • Cures diseases
  • Enhances strength, digestive capacity, color of the body and voice
  • Enhances intellect (Shankapushpi is the best among the lot)

Vamshalochana Rasayana

Bambusa bambos mixed with powder of long pepper and rock salt. All these should be mixed in honey and consumed.

Triphala Rasayana

Powder of fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis should be taken mixed with sugar.

Ritu Haritaki

Bhavaprakasha treatise has also explained the use of Terminalia chebula in different seasons with change of vehicles in the form of Rasayana.

Powder of Terminalia chebula should be consumed with the below mentioned vehicles in the said seasons –

  • In monsoon – with rock salt
  • In autumn –sugar
  • In early winter –ginger
  • In late winter –long pepper
  • In spring – honey
  • In summer –jaggery

Many other treatises also have explained this seasonal use of Haritaki as Rasayana in a similar way.
Read – Haritaki – Terminalia chebula Uses, Side Effects, Ayurveda Details

Punarnava Rasayana

Fresh plant of Boerhavia diffusa should be plucked and grinded so as to prepare its paste. 24 grams of this paste should be consumed fresh with fresh milk for a time span of 15 days, 3 months, 9 months or 12 months, everyday. A person who regularly consumes this Rasayana becomes young in spite of him being old.

Bhringaraja Rasayana

The fresh juice of Eclipta alba should be consumed for a period of one month. Only milk should be taken as diet. The persons taking this Rasayana are said to enjoy longevity of 100 years enriched with good strength and potency.

Shatavaryadi Rasayana

Equal quantity of below mentioned herbs should be taken and made into paste / powder by pounding them together –

  • Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
  • Munditika – Sphaeranthus indicus
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Hastikarna – Leea macrophylla
  • Talamuli – Curculigo orchioides

This should be mixed in honey and ghee and consumed.

Benefits –

Ashwagandha Rasayana

One should consume Withania somnifera for 15 days with milk ghee, oil or warm water, everyday. This will enrich the body with potency and make it strong in the same way like the rain water nourishes and enriches the crops of grains.

Loha Guggulu

12 grams of powder of  below mentioned ingredients should be taken everyday mixed with honey or ghee –

  • Purified ash / calx of iron – 48 grams
  • Purified Commiphora mukul – 144 grams
  • Trikatu – powder of long pepper, black pepper and ginger taken together – 240 grams
  • Triphala – powder of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis taken together – 384 grams

The person consuming this Rasayana will become devoid of all diseases and is said to gain immortality (longevity).
Read – An Ancient Way Of Using Triphala As An Anti Ageing Remedy

Rasayana – the pathway for salvation

The person who regularly consumes Rasayana, will not only obtain longevity of life, but also will get the virtues and auspicious pathway of obtaining the (grace) of Gods. He will ultimately find his destination at the abode of indestructible Brahma i.e. creator, i.e. he will find salvation – the ultimate freedom from cycle of life and death. 

Rasayanas Explained In Yogaratnakara

Yogaratnakara treatise has given a short description of Rasayana in Rasayana Adhikarana chapter. Only few formulations have been explained along with basics of Rasayana. The chapter is put up after Vajikarana Yoga and Rasavaikruti Yoga.

Qualities of Rasayana

Any medicine which has the below mentioned qualities, is called as Rasayana –

  • Delays ageing
  • Destroys diseases
  • Bestows longevity
  • Wholesome for eyes
  • Stoutening
  • Aphrodisiac

The person who regularly consumes various kinds of Rasayana will not only obtain longevity but will also be bestowed with divine qualities and will become equivalent to Gods and sages. He will also unify with the divine creator.

Benefits of Rasayana

  • Longevity
  • Good memory
  • Intelligence
  • Optimum health
  • Youth
  • Physical and mental strength
  • Radiance

Read – Achara Rasayana – Behavioral Therapy For Calm Mind And Long Life

Method of taking Rasayana

A wise physician should administer Rasayana to a person who has been administered with oleation, sudation and body cleansing through Panchakarma therapies. It should be administered to young persons (after 16 years of age) or middle aged (up to 70 years) persons.

Rasayana should not be given to a person whose body is not purified. Just like the color doesn’t catch up or look attractive when painted on a dirty canvas, the Rasayanas too will not show their effect when administered to a person who has not undergone purification therapies.

Sanskrit Verses

Important Rasayana Formulations

Vaya Sthapana Rasayanas – Methods to preserve and maintain the freshness of youth

The below mentioned should be taken individually or mixed in twos, threes or all together, everyday early in the morning. This will preserve the youth. They are –

Mandukaparnyadi Yoga

The below mentioned should be consumed daily, early in the morning –

Sl NoYoga / FormulationBenefits
1Juice of Mandukaparni i.e. Centella asiatica1.longevity, 2.cures all diseases, 3.enhances strength, digestion capacity, color and voice 4.enhances intelligence 5.are immune modulators and anti-ageing
2Powder of Yashtimadhu i.e. Glycyrrhiza glabra
3Juice of the whole plant of Guduchi i.e. Tinospora cordifolia
4Paste of Shankhapushpi i.e. Convolvulus pluricaulis

Among all the four, Shankhapushpi is said to be a best brain tonic.

Siddha Triphala Rasayana

Triphala churna i.e. powder of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis should be consumed with any one of the powder of Bambusa arundinacea, long pepper, rock salt or sugar.

Ritu Haritaki

Similar as explained in Bhavaprakasha treatises

Punarnava Yoga

Fresh Boerhavia diffusa, approximately 24 grams in quantity should be ground and consumed mixed with milk for a fortnight, 2 or six months or for 1 year continuously. This bestows youth and makes even an old person look young.

Bhringaraja Rasa

Juice of Eclipta alba should be consumed for a period of 1 month along with ‘only milk’ diet. This will bestow enormous strength and vigor and a lifespan of 100 years.

Shatavaryadi Churna

The powder of the below mentioned herbs taken in equal quantity should be consumed with ghee and honey –

  • Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
  • Mundi – Sphaeranthus indicus
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Hastikarni – Alocasia macrorrhiza
  • Palasha – Butea monosperma
  • Musali – Chlorophytum borivilianum

Benefits –

  • Makes one free from diseases, death (untimely death) and old age (premature ageing)
  • Provides strength and vigor, vitality
  • Provides extreme wisdom with which the person will glow daily and appear similar to god

Ashwagandha Yoga

  1. Powder of Withania somnifera should be consumed with milk, ghee, oil or warm water for 15 days. This will stouten the thin person in a similar way as increase in supply of water quickly nourish and enable the grains to grow into a rich crop.
  2. The powder of roots of Withania somnifera should be mixed with milk and consumed for one month. Alternatively it should be processed with milk, mixed with honey and ghee and consumed for one month. This will help in retaining youth i.e. even an old person will look young. This should exclusively be consumed in late winter season.

Read – Ashwagandha Withania somnifera Uses, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Amalakyadi Yoga

Equal quantity of the below mentioned ingredients should be mixed in honey and consumed at bed time –

  • Powder of Emblica officinalis
  • Sugar
  • Powder of sesame
  • Powder of seeds of Butea monosperma
  • Ghee of cow

Benefits – The person consuming this formulation will become free from premature graying of hairs and wrinkling of skin. He will regain youth and become strong as an elephant. He will become as intelligent as Brihaspati.
Read – Amla Benefits, Dose, How To Use, Side Effects, Home Remedies

Krishna Tiladi Yoga

Black sesame seeds and tender leaves of Eclipta alba should be consumed for 1 month keeping on diet of ‘only milk’. The person consuming this formulation will enjoy longevity of life and will not suffer from any diseases. His hairs will become dark black and attractive.

Swarnabhasmadi Yoga / Sitadi Yoga

Ash of gold, iron and purified sulfur mixed together in equal proportions should be consumed with anyone of the below mentioned to enjoy the benefits of rasayana.

  • Sugar + powder of Acorus calamus
  • Sugar + powder of Emblica officinalis
  • Powder of Triphala + ghee

Dhatri Tiladi Yoga

Equal quantity of Emblica officinalis, sesame and Eclipta alba should be powdered and mixed together. This formulation should be consumed daily. This makes the hairs black, opens up and brings clarity in sense organs and will make the person disease-free until death.

Guduchyadi Yoga

Equal quantities of powders of the below mentioned ingredients should be mixed together and consumed with ghee. This formulation is memory enhancer.

  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Apamarga – Achyranthes aspera
  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes
  • Shankhapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis
  • Vacha – Acorus calamus
  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Ginger– Zingiber officinale
  • Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus

Brahmyadi Yoga

The powder prepared by mixing equal quantities of powders of below mentioned ingredients is said to be good for voice.

  • Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri
  • Vacha – Acorus calamus
  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Vasa – Adhatoda vasica
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Honey
  • Rock salt

Loha Guggulu

IngredientBotanical / modern nameQuantityBenefits
Loha BhasmaAsh / calx of Iron1 pala = 48 grams apprProvides longevity
GugguluCommiphora mukul3 pala = 144 grams appr
TrikatuPiper longum Piper nigrum Zingiber officinale5 pala – 240 grams appr (all together)
TriphalaTerminalia chebula Terminalia bellirica Emblica officinalis8 pala – 384 grams appr (all together)

Read – Trikatu Churna Benefits, Dose, Remedies, Side Effects

Other Rasayanas

The below mentioned formulations also bestow the benefits of Rasayana when taken regularly. They are –

Vardhamana Bhallataka Yoga

Purified Semecarpus anacardium when taken in method of stepladder increase and decrease destroys premature wrinkling and graying, increases intellect and promotes longevity.

Amalaki Rasa

Juice of Emblica officnalis taken daily is rejuvenator and aphrodisiac.

Gandhaka Rasayana

Taken in 12 grams dose is a good rasayana.

Oils

  • Eranda Taila – castor oil
  • Nimba Beeja Taila – Neem seed oil
  • Jyotishmati Taila – oil of Celastrus paniculatus
  • Palasha phala taila – oil of fruits of Butea monosperma

Rasayanas From Sahasrayogam

Sahasrayogam treatise has described only few formulations which carry the name Rasayana and other formulations which bestow the benefits of Rasayana though not carrying the name Rasayana.

Khadiradi Rasayana

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 46

a. Chief ingredients:

  • Khadira sara – extract of Acacia catechu – 768 grams
  • Bilwa mula – roots of Aegle marmelos – 192 grams
  • Daruharidra – Berberis aristata – 192 grams
  • Aswagandha – Withania somnifera – 192 grams
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis – 192 grams
  • Raisins  – Vitis vinifera – 288 grams
  • Water – 1 drona – 12 kg, 288 grams

Boil the above said ingredients in specified quantity of water until one forth of it remains. Filter the decoction and add

  • Jaggery – 768 grams
  • Sugar – 192 grams

Prepare them into semi-solid, jam like consistency. To this add 192 grams of ghee.

Finally add 96 grams each of the powders of the below mentioned ingredients should be added to the confection prepared above.

  • Maricha – Piper nigrum
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Ginger – Zingiber officinale
  • Cardamom – Elettaria cardamomum
  • Dalchini – Cinnamomum verum
  • Tejapatra – Cinnamomum tamala
  • Jatiphala – Myristica fragrans
  • Clove – Syzygium aromaticum
  • Japatri – Leaves of Myrista fragrans
  • Sandalwood – Santalum album
  • Talisapatra – Abies webbiana
  • Licorice – Glyzyrhiza glabra
  • Cumin – Cuminum cyminum
  • Krishna Jeeraka – Carum carvi
  • Yavani – Trachyspermum ammi
  • Coriander – Coriandrum sativum
  • Kakoli – Lilium polyphyllum
  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes
  • Aswagandha – Withania somnifera
  • Sitalchini – Piper cubeba
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Musali – Chlorophytum borivilianum
  • Balaka – Pavonia odorata
  • Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica
  • Lotus flower –Nelumbo nucifera

After the above said preparation cools, add 16 pala i.e. 768 grams of honey, stir well and keep.

Actions–

  • Potent blood purifier
  • Used in treating cough, dyspnea, Vata disorders
  • Cures wasting disorders, tuberculosis, back pain, worm infestations
  • Good for health

Kukkuta Rasayana (Kodikulambu)

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 36

96 grams of cock meat is boiled with salt and water. The bones are removed and meat is pounded.

Later coconut milk extracted from 8 fruits (or 384 grams) and 384 grams of sugar are added, boiled till jam like consistency is obtained.

To this add powder of 48 grams each –

  • Hingu – asafetida
  • Chavya – Piper retrofractum
  • Trikatu – Piper longum, Piper nigrum and Zingiber officinale together
  • Pippali mula – Roots of Piper longum
  • Bala mula – roots of Sida cordifolia
  • Garlic – Allium sativum
  • Cumin – Cuminum cyminum

Finally 96 grams each of ghee and oil are added and mixed well.

After the preparation cools by itself, 1440 grams of honey is added and mixed well.

Indications –

  • This preparation is a good Rasayana
  • Cures colic, hernia and abdominal tumors
  • Good remedy for spleen enlargement and abdominal disorders

Kushmanda Rasayana

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 2

Two preparations of Kushmanda Rasayana are explained in Sahasrayogam. In both preparations, ash gourd is the chief ingredient.

Preparation 1

Jam should be prepared by boiling together fresh juice of ripened ash gourd and jaggery, each in 3072 grams quantity.

To this preparation, the pieces of ash gourd which remain after expressing the juice is fried in 768 grams of ghee and added.

Later the powders of the below mentioned ingredients are added in 48 grams quantity each –

  • Cardamom
  • Clove
  • Pepper
  • Ajaji (Cuminum cyminum)
  • Ginger
  • Tamalapatra (Cinnamomum verum)
  • Long pepper

To this, sugar 384 grams is added and mixed well.

Indications –

Preparation 2

Jam should be prepared by boiling together fresh juice of ripened ash gourd and jaggery, each in 4800 grams quantity.

The pieces of ash gourd left out after expressing the juice is boiled over the vapor and then fried in 768 grams of ghee. This is added to the jam.

Later the powders of the below mentioned ingredients are added in mentioned quantities –

  • Long pepper – 96 grams
  • Ginger – 96 grams
  • Cumin – 96 grams
  • Trijata – Cardamom, Cinnamomum verum and Cinnamomum tamala together – 24 grams
  • Coriander – 24 grams
  • Pepper – 24 grams

After the above preparation gets cooled on itself, 384 grams of honey are added and stirred well.

Indications –

  • It is a good Rasayana
  • Provides strength to the chest region
  • Enhances intellect, memory
  • Provides strength and immunity
  • Cures cough, hiccough, fever, dyspnea, bleeding disorders, injuries / chest injuries, tuberculosis and wasting disorders

Madanakameswari Lehya / Chaturjatakadi Rasayana

Read more here

Madhusnuhi Rasayanam / Cheriya Madhusnuhi Rasayanam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 12

Ingredients –

a. 12 grams powder of each of the below mentioned –

  • Dwi Kundali i.e. Guduchi and Guduchi mula – Tinospora cordifolia and its roots
  • Triphala – Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis
  • Katu Traya – Piper longum, Piper nigrum and Zingiber officinalis
  • Trijata – Cinnamon, cardamom and Cinnamomum tamala
  • Yavani – Trachyspermum ammi
  • Rock salt
  • Vidanga sara – thick extract of Embelia ribes
  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Bharangi – Clerodendron serratum
  • Chavya – Piper retrofractum
  • Roots of Piper longum
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Black cumin – Carum carvi
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
  • Varahi – Dioscorea bulbifera
  • Aswagandha – Withania somnifera

b. Madhusnuhi – Smilax china – equal to all the above ingredients (in quantity)

c. Sugar, ghee and honey – equal to all the above ingredients

Jam is prepared with the above mentioned herbs. It is administered early in the morning.

Actions–

  • It is a good Rasayana
  • It enhances digestion capacity and destroys ama, increases taste
  • Destroyed wasting disorders and tuberculosis caused by vata, pitta, increased dryness and kapha
  • Cures diabetes, abdominal tumors, colic
  • Enhances quality and quantity of tissues
  • Provides strength

6. Brihat Madhusnuhi Rasayanam / Valiya Madhusnuhi Rasayanam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 40

This Rasayana too is prepared using the main ingredient as Madhusnuhi i.e. Smilax china, just like Madhusnuhi Rasayanam, hence the name. The word Brihat describes its immense potent action and extended benefits in comparison to the Valiya Madhusnuhi Rasayanam.(Read more here)

Mathala Rasayanam / Dadima Rasayanam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 34

This formulation is prepared with pomegranate as the main ingredient among many herbs used. Though the formulation being a Rasayana has been mentioned in its name, the same has not been specified in the list of benefits. It has been considered as Rasayana probably because of its broad spectrum usage in curing many diseases.(read more here)

Changeri Rasayana

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 39

Ingredients –

648 grams each of –

  • Juice of Changeri – Oxalis corniculata
  • Decoction of Musta – Cyperus rotundus

12 grams each of powders of –

  • Jatiphala – Myristica fragrans
  • Ginger
  • Dipyam – Trachyspermum ammi
  • Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica
  • Ahiphena – Papaver somniferum
  • Chutasthi
  • Shalmali niryasa – resin of Bombax ceiba

The herbal jam should be prepared with the above said ingredients and taken with curds or honey.

Indications – It is effectively used in the treatment of diarrhea and intestinal disorders.

Pippalyadi Rasayana

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 43

Ingredients:

  • Powder of Piper longum – 648 grams
  • Sugar – 324 grams
  • Powders of Embelia ribes, ginger, Clerodendron serratum, cumin seeds,  Piper retrofractum, and black pepper – 192 grams each
  • Powders of roots of long pepper, Plumbago zeylanica, calx of iron and Eclipta alba – 96 grams each
  • Powders of cinnamon, cardamom and Cinnamomum tamala together – 48 grams
  • Powder of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis – 48 grams
  • Powder of Myristica fragrans – 48 grams
  • Powder of Takkola – Illicium verum – 48 grams
  • Honey – 1296 grams

The herbal jam should be prepared with the above mentioned herbs, allowed to cool, added with honey and kept in heap of grains for 15 days. Later it can be used. It is said that Ashwin twins, the celestial twin physicians had formulated this Rasayana.

Benefits –

  • It is a good Rasayana
  • Cures cough, dyspnea, tastelessness, vomiting, abdominal tumors and piles
  • Effective remedy for 11 types of swelling, anemia, intermittent fevers, rhinitis and loss of voice

Agastya Rasayanam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 15

This formulation is a praised medication said to be formulated by sage Agastya. Terminalia chebula and dashamula are the chief ingredients of this Rasayana. (read more here)

Gadhaka Rasayanam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 23

Ingredients –

  • Powder of purified sulfur – 288 grams
  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes – 144 grams
  • Ginger, pepper and long pepper – 24 grams each
  • Cinnamon, cardamom, Cinnamomum tamala, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis, Pluchea lanceolata, Psoralea corylifolia and Eclipta alba – 16 grams each
  • Loha bhasma – calx of iron – 16 grams

The formulation should be prepared by mixing the above said ingredients properly. They should be added with ghee, honey and jaggery and administered in a dose of 12 grams. After the digestion of the medicine, milk diet should be administered. It should be taken for a maximum course of 40 days. During this period, sour and salty substances shall be avoided by the patient.

Benefits –

Gandeera Rasayana

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Lehya Prakaranam, 35

Gandira Rasayana is an important Rasayana used in treatment of jaundice, anemia and other disorders, explained in Sahasrayogam. The whole plant of Gandira (Euphorbia neriifolia) is used as the main ingredient, hence the name.

Ingredients

Roots, flowers and branches of Gandira / Snuhi – Euphorbia neriifolia – 1 tula

Dashamula – ten roots of the below mentioned herbs – ½ tula (all together)

  • Shalaparni – Desmodium gangeticum
  • Prisniparni – Uraria picta
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum
  • Kantakari – Solanum xanthocarpum
  • Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Agnimantha – Clerodendron phlomidis
  • Shyonaka – Oroxylum indicum
  • Patala – Stereospermum suaveolens
  • Gambhari – Gmelina arborea

Triphala – three below mentioned fruits – ½ tula

  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Bibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis

Draksha – Vitis vinifera – ½ prastha
Bark of Kutaja Twak –Holarrhena antidysenterica – ½ prastha
Vidanga – Embelia ribes – 1 kudava
Bhallataka – Semecarpus anacardium – 1 kudava
Musta – Cyperus rotundus – 1 kudava
Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica – 1 kudava
Patha – Cissampelos pareira – 1 pala
Danti – Baliospermum montanum – 1 pala
Sathi – Hedychium spicatum – 1 pala
Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata – 1 pala
Murva – Marsdenia tenacissima – 1 pala
Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica – 1 pala
Water – 16 times the quantity of all the ingredients put together

Sanskrit Verses

Read – Similarities between Rasayana and Pathya (Healthy Diet)

Method of preparation

Boil the above said ingredients in water until one forth of liquid remains. Filter the decoction.
Add 9600 grams of sugar to this. Prepare syrup with this and heat until the ingredients acquire jam like consistency i.e. until they get semisolid state.
To this, the below powders of below mentioned ingredients should be added and mixed well –

  • Loha Bhasma – calx of iron – 768 grams
  • Powder of Pippali Choorna –Piper longum – 384 grams
  • Root powder of Pippali – Piper longum – 48 grams
  • Maricha – Piper nigrum – 24 grams
  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes – 24 grams
  • Elavaluka – Prunus cerasus – 24 grams

Preservation –

After the confection is prepared, it is preserved in earthenware after smearing ghee over its inner walls. After preserving the medicine for one month, it will be ready to use.
Read – Which Form Of Ayurvedic Medicine Is Very Effective?

Benefits –

Gandira Rasayana is highly effective in treating –

  • Jaundice
  • Anemia and liver disorders
  • Heart diseases
  • Gout
  • Intermittent and irregular fevers
  • Diabetes
  • Tastelessness and anorexia
  • Dyspnea
  • Cough
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Worm infestation

Formulations which do not carry ‘Rasayana’ in their name but their ‘Rasayana-effect or ‘benefits fitting into the definition of Rasayana’ has been mentioned in the list of benefits

  • Ashwagandhadi Lehyam – Lehya prakarana, 10
  • Bahusala Guda – Lehya Prakarana, 20
  • Chyavanaprasa avalehya – Lehya prakarana, 21
  • Kameshwari lehya – Lehya prakarana, 42
  • Abhaya modaka – Lehya prakarana, 45
  • Sukumara Ghrita – Ghrita Prakarana, 5
  • Kalyanaka Ghrita / Mahakalyanaka Ghrita – Ghrita Prakarana, 28, 29
  • Mahakushmanda Ghrita – Ghrita prakarana, 31
  • Mahapaishachika Ghrita – Ghrita prakarana, 44
  • Panchagavya Ghrita – Ghrita prakarana, 51
  • Amritaprasha Ghrita – Parishishta Prakarana, 23
  • Swadamshtradi Ghrita – Parishishta Prakarana, 24,
  • Ashwagandhadi Ghrita – Parishishta prakarana, 32
  • Ashtamangala Ghrita – Parishishta prakarana, 37
  • Maha Mayura Ghritam – Parishishta prakarana, 39
  • Narasimha Choorna – Choorna prakarana, 91
  • Saraswata Choorna – Choorna prakarana, 92

Rasayana Paribhasha

Rasayana Paribhasha – Definition of Rasayana Chikitsa
Rasayana is an important branch of Ayurveda which falls under the category of Jara Chikitsa (old age care and treatment, treatment of age induced disorders, anti-ageing treatment). Jara Chikitsa forms 1/8th of Ashtanga Ayurveda, i.e. 8 elite branches of Ayurveda. Rasayana can be coined as ‘Ayurvedic Geriatric Care System’.

Rasayana is a word which covers many meanings. Rasayanas are the medicines which help in formation of best quality tissues (dhatus) and also support the srotases (channels, duct system) related to specific dhatus. Rasayanas help in distribution of qualities of a herb or formulation including rasa, veerya, guna etc and makes them available to all the tissues.

Rasayana is a broad spectrum science and covers many aspects of healing and treating. It is predominantly preventive medicine and also a curative medicine to an extent. It is included under Swasthasya Urjaskara type of Bheshaja (medicines) i.e. medicines (and non-medicines) which help in maintenance of health in an already healthy individual.

Anti-ageing medicines, immune-modulators, disease modifying medicines, rejuvenators, health boosting medicines, all these can be clubbed in the category of Rasayana group of medicines.

Rasayana Paribhasha, Definition of Rasayana

  1. Rasayana defined in terms of being the source of ‘best quality tissues’

Rasayana therapy, the source of best quality tissues
According to Charaka – ‘All the methods and materials which help in begetting the best quality Rasadi Dhatus are called Rasayanas’.

The methods and materials include dravya rasayanas (the rasayanas in the form of consumable medicines, diet etc) and adravya rasayanas (the rasayanas which do not have shape but still serve the purpose of rasayana, example, the conducts and behaviors of life called Achara Rasayana etc).

Therefore, any medicines, non-medicines or food substances which provide the best quality tissues and in turn a comprehensive health and immunity are called Rasayanas.

According to Arunadatta, the commentator of Ashtanga Hridaya – ‘Rasayanas are those methods which help the rasa and rakta to obtain the best qualities (others say that ‘any drug or medicament which eradicated jara and vyadhi is called rasayana’)’.

Rasayana includes all the methods of obtaining the best rasadi dhatus. In this context Rasa Rudhiraanam not only includes rasa and rakta but also includes all the tissues of the body.

Yogendranath Sen Ji has a similar opinion and tells – ‘All those methods which help in acquiring (begetting) the best qualities of rasadi shukranta dhatus (dhatus beginning with rasa and ending with shukra i.e. all the tissues of the body) are called Rasayanas (all those methods which induce the best qualities in the rasadi dhatus)’.

  1. Rasayana defined as the destroyer of ageing and diseases

Rasayana therapy, delays ageing and destroys disease
According to Sharangadhara, – ‘The Rasayanas are those which destroy Jara (old age, ageing) and Vyadhi (diseases)’.

Among the Ashtanga Ayurveda or 8 limbs (branches) of Ayurveda, Jara Chikitsa (treatment of old aged people, anti-ageing treatment) is an important branch. As the name indicates it is a branch which deals with handling the ‘old age and old age related health issues’. Old age or ageing is an inevitable factor but Rasayana allows graceful ageing. By strengthening the structural components of the body i.e. dhatus, it not only delays ageing process of the tissues it also helps preventing many diseases. This is a preventive dimension of Rasayana.

On the other hand, Rasayana is also curative in nature (Vyadhi Hara Rasayana). Rasayana, being a bheshaja (medicine) is both preventive and curative in nature. By strengthening the dhatus and enhancing the immunity Rasayana helps in preventing as well as curing many ailments. Rasayanas are prescribed as ‘recovery medicines’ in the follow up of treatment protocol of any disease, they help in quick recovery from a disease. Thus, Rasayanas are also immune-modulators; they also promote longevity and rejuvenate the tissues. They are good for balancing body-mind health.

  1. Rasayanas defined in terms of those which ‘nourish the tissues’ and ‘distributes the active principles of medicines to the tissues’

Rasayanas nourish the tissues & makes the qualities of medicines available to the tissues to optimum levels
According to Dalhana, the commentator of Sushruta Samhita – ‘That which nourishes the passageways (srotases, channels of the body, transport channels and ducts) of the Rasadi Dhatus (all the tissues) and thus help in proper formation and circulation of dhatus is called Rasayana’.

Discussion The body tissues are carried and conducted from the place of manufacture to the place of need via srotas i.e. channel or duct system of the body. The srotas are present in all parts of the body. The body itself is said to be an abode of millions of srotases. Each corner of the body is connected to each corner through srrotases. These srotases are made of dhatus.

The srotas also carry the tissues in the stage of transformation (parinamam aapadhyamaanaanaam dhaatoonam abhivaahini bhavanti) from one place of the body to the other. Thus, the srotas not only transport the dhatus but also help in their formation and transformation. For the dhatus to be at the best of their health and protect the body, they should be present in optimum quality and desired quantity. For this to happen they need to be nourished and enriched from time to time through the srotases.

This indicates that the health of dhatus is dependent on their respective srotases. Rasayanas are those methods and materials (medicines and non-medicines) which support and nourish the dhatus and their srotases and help in formation of best quality dhatus. In short, the medicines beneficial to the rasadi dhatus and their ayanas (ducts, srotases) are called Rasayanas.

Dalhana also defines Rasayana as – ‘That which nourishes the passageways through which the rasa, veerya, vipaka etc of an herb or medicine are made available to the body tissues is called Rasayana’. (This part has been discussed in the context of Nirukti in the above said passages).

Thus, Rasayana is good for each ayana (each cell, each channel), it nourishes the sroto mula (origin of srotas or place of manufacture of dhatus) and srotases (the conduction system in the body, channels, ducts), enables the cells of the body to indentify the nutrition available to them, selectively intake them and make use of it. Similarly it helps the cells to identify, intake and make use of the medicines and their rasa, verya etc properties to the maximum possible extent.

Acharya Shiva Das Sen Ji also has a similar opinion as that of Dalhana –
Rasa is said to be the Karana (causative factor, origin) for the Karya Rupi (effect) Raktadi Dhatus. Therefore the term Rasa indicates and includes all the dhatus (tissues) beginning with the rasa and ending with shukra dhatu.

The pathways or methods of begetting the best quality and quantity of rasadi dhatus are called Rasayana.

Alternatively, the methods of obtaining rasa, veerya, vipaka etc of the bheshaja or the methods or passageways through which the best quality of rasa, veerya etc of bheshaja are made available to the rasadi dhatus is called Rasayana.

  1. Rasayana defined as preventive and curative medicine, that which prevents the disease in the form of ‘senility’

Rasayana therapy is preventive as well as curative medicine, prevents the disease in the form of Jara or senility
According to Shiva Dasa Sen – ‘Rasayana is a subject which is related to both Swastha (healthy individual) and Atura (diseased, patient)’. Rasayana is beneficial to both sectors of people. Rasayana helps in eradication of Jara (old age, ageing) in Swastha (healthy individuals) and destroys Vyadhi (diseases) in Atura (patients).

Jara (old age, senility) is also a Vyadhi (naturally occurring disease, inevitable disease).

According to Tattva Chandrika – ‘Rasayana is that which prevents a disease called Jara from manifesting. This happens because Rasayana enables the formation of a special type of enriched and fortified Rasa which further nourishes and enables in the qualitative and quantitative formation of Rasadi Dhatus’.

The whole equation is responsible for eradicating or halting the jara or ageing process. Thus, Rasayana helps in preventing or postponing the ageing factor and makes one look and feel young (though it doesn’t alter the biological age). It also keeps the person healthy and immune, prevents many diseases which might occur towards the dusk of life and enables one to enjoy a disease free and healthy old age, i.e. graceful ageing.

Thus, Rasayana can be considered as ‘Ayurvedic Geriatrics’.

  1. Rasayana defined in terms of that which ‘stabilizes the lifespan, strength and vigor, fortifies them’

Rasayana therapy fortifies and stabilizes the lifespan, strength and vigor
That which nourishes the Rasadi Dhatus is called Rasayana. The pathways or methods through which the Ayu (life span), Bala (strength, immunity), Verya (potency, vigor) etc are stabilized, strengthened and fortified through the rasa, verya, vipaka and prabhava of a bheshaja (herb, medicament) are called Rasayana (Dalhana).

Synonyms of Rasayana

Actually the synonyms of Rasayana have not been specified in Ayurvedic treatises. But as already said, Rasayana is a Swasthasya Urjaskara type of Bheshaja (medicine). There are many synonyms for Bheshaja (which describe bheshaja or give multidimensional meaning of the same). So by mathematical equation, the synonyms of Bheshaja are also the synonyms of Rasayana, since Rasayana is also a Bheshaja.

The paryayas or synonyms of Rasayana (Bheshaja) are as below mentioned –

Synonyms of Rasayana

1. Chikitsita

Rasayana explained in terms of being methods and materials used to eradicate the diseases
Chikitsita is a word which explains Rasayana or Bheshaja as ‘materials and methods capable enough to root out the disease and disease process’ (i.e. Rogapanayana Sadhanam).

All the materials and methods (karana) which get involved (indulged, used, administered) in the activities (treatment) leading to eradication of diseases are called Rasayanas (i.e. Roga Nivrutti Janaka Vyapara Karanam).
Read related: 13 Important Benefits Of Rasayana Treatment

2. Vyadhiharam

Rasayana explained in terms of ‘destroyer of disease’
That which destroys (hara) or eradicates or expels a disease (vyadhi) from the body is called Vyadhi Hara.

3. Pathyam

Rasayana explained in terms of being ‘wholesome and supportive to the channels of the body
Pathya means wholesome diet or food. Pathya is that which is beneficial for Patha or srotas (channels of the body which transport tissues and nutrients). Rasayanas are also wholesome to the ayana or srotas i.e. channels carrying rasadi dhatus (tissues of the body or nutrients to the tissues). Therefore Rasayanas can be called and considered as Pathya.

4. Saadhanam

Rasayana explained in terms of tools or weapons of ‘disease destruction’
Saadhana means tools, weapons or equipments. Since Rasayanas are used to destroy or eradicate the diseases, they can be considered as Sadhana or tools for ‘disease destruction’.

5. Oushadham

Rasayana explained in terms of being a ‘medicine’
Medicines are needed to treat the diseases. The diseases comprehensively treated with medicine will get expelled from the body and will no longer bother the individual. All medicines or oushadhas are the tools of effective disease removal.

Thus all the Chikitsitas (materials and methods used to destroy the disease process) can be called as Oushadhas or medicines. Rasayana is a Chikitsita (as mentioned earlier) and is also used for disease destruction. Therefore Rasayana is a medicine or Oushadha.

6. Prayaschityam

Rasayana explained in terms of that which ‘burns the troubles’
That (those) which act as agni (fire) in the conditions of dukha (grief, troubles, diseases, discomfort) is called as Prayaschityam. Here, dukha is a word which denotes both physical and mental discomfort, i.e. physical and mental diseases or disturbances. Rasayana, in this context acts like a fire which burns all the physical and mental diseases and makes one healthy and strong. The term Chitya in Prayaschitya denotes agni or fire.

7. Prashamanam

Rasayana explained in terms of being a pacifier of diseases
Rasayana helps in pacifying the diseases and or morbidity of the doshas. Therefore Rasayana is also called Prashamanam (Prashamana = to pacify).

8. Prakriti Sthapanam

Rasayana explained in terms of that which ‘establishes normalcy’
Prakriti means normalcy or harmony or equilibrium. Sthapanam means to establish. That which establishes the normalcy or equilibrium of tissues in the body, stabilizes them, strengthens them, fortifies them and build up the strength and immunity of the body is called Rasayana.

9. Hitam

Rasayana explained in terms of being beneficial as a nutrient
Hitam means beneficial. Since Rasayana is a nutrient and nourishes all the tissues of the body, it is said to be beneficial for the body.

10. Bheshajam

Rasayana explained in terms of that which eradicates the diseases
Since Rasayana eradicates (expels) the disease (rogapanayana) it is a Bheshaja or medicine since both Rasayana and Bheshaja does the same thing. Rasayana is a Swasthasya Urjaskara type of Bheshaja.

Nivrutta Santapiya Rasayana for stress

The Rasayanas which relieves grief are grouped under the category of ‘Nivrutta Santapiya Rasayanas’ by Master Sushruta. Santapa means grief, pain, anguish, inflammation, burning sensation / heat within or affliction. These Rasayanas are explained in chapter 30 of Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana.

The author assures that just like the Gods live in heaven being devoid from grief and distress, the man too lives on the earth being devoid of grief and distress after consuming the Rasayanas mentioned in this chapter.

Ineligible people for Rasayana Therapy

  1. Person not having self control / control over his senses (Ajitendriya)
  2. Lazy person (Alasi)
  3. Poor and helpless person (Daridra)
  4. Careless (Pramadi)
  5. Busy person (Vyasani)
  6. The person who has committed sins (Papa krud)
  7. The person who disrespects the medicines (Bheshaja apamani)
    Read – Achara Rasayana – Behavioral Therapy For Calm Mind And Long Life

Reasons for failure of Rasayana Therapy

  • Ignorance (Ajgnana)
  • Not starting to consume Rasayana (Anarambha)
  • Instable mind (Asthira chittatva)
  • Poverty, unable to procure medicines (Daridrya)
  • Dependency (Paradhinata)
  • Being non-righteous (Adharma)
  • Non-availability of medicines (Aushadha alabha)

Other medicines resembling Soma in property

Soma is an herb which has been explained in depth as a Rasayana in Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Chapter 29. It is said to cure the naturally occurring diseases like ageing process etc.

The below mentioned 18 herbs are Soma like in strength and effect–

  • Ajagari
  • Shweta Kaapoti
  • Krishna Kaapoti
  • Gonasee – Arisaemia species
  • Vaarahi – Diascora species
  • Kanya – Aloe indica
  • Chatra – Trichodesma indicum
  • Atichatra – Type of Trichodesma indicum
  • Karenu
  • Ajaa – Saussurea gossipifolia
  • Chakrakaa – Dolichos biflorus
  • Adityaparni – Polynisia isasandra
  • Brahmasuvarchala – Herpestes monnieria
  • Shravani – Sphaeranthus indicus
  • Mahashravani – type of Sphaeranthus indicus / Commiphora mukul
  • Golomi – White variety of Durva grass / Acorus calamus
  • Ajalomi – type of fern
  • Mahavegavati

The method of consuming these herbs and the benefits bestowed by them are said to be similar to that of Soma.

The person desirous of taking any of these Rasayanas should enter a special cottage built for the purpose of consuming Rasayana after having conducted fire sacrifice and other auspicious rituals. He should select the herb which yields maximum latex among the mentioned ones. 192 grams of the latex of any of these herbs should be consumed in one sip. The roots which don’t yield latex should be consumed in the quantity equal to 3 times the length of forefinger.
Read – Right Method Of Rasayana Therapy – Dr CR Agnives

  • Shweta Kapoti should be consumed along with its roots and leaves.
  • Gonasi, Ajagari and Krishna Kapoti should be consumed in fist-full quantity along with its thorns. They should be cut into small pieces, cooked in milk and filter it. It should be consumed in a single sip after having conducted fire sacrifice and the processed milk added with ghee.
  • Milk of Chakraka should be consumed at one instance.
  • Brahmasuvarchala should be consumed mixed with food for 7 days.
  • The other mentioned herbs should be taken in a quantity of 240 grams should be processed in 3 kg 73 grams of milk and reduced to 768 grams. This should be filtered and consumed in single dose.

The dietetic protocol is similar to that explained for Soma. For body massage, only butter shall be used. Other in-cottage measures are similar to Soma.
Read – Kuti Praveshika Rasayana – Rejuvenation Therapy In Health Chambers

Benefits of consuming Rasayana

These elixirs will gradually make a person young, strong like a lion, smart and good looking, of good memory and having a life span of 2000 years.

These persons, wearing bracelets, earrings, crown, divine garlands, sandalwood and clothes, and with unfailing determination would roam in the high sky, above the clouds.

The movement and velocity of the persons consuming these Rasayanas are similar to that of birds and water filled clouds. The intellect nurtured by these Rasayanas adorns high quality.
Read – Sadvritta In Ayurveda – Code Of Conduct For Healthy Life

Features of mentioned Rasayanas

Ajagari – has five brown colored leaves, with variegated ring like patches of various kinds over them, appears like snake and measures 5 aratni in length. 1 aratni is the distance between the elbows to the tip of the little finger.

Shweta Kapoti – does not have leaves, is of gold colored and snake shaped. Its roots are of 2 fingers in length. It is red at its extremities.

Gonasi – is a bulbous plant. It possesses 2 leaflets. The roots are red in color and are marked with black ring like marks. Its length is of 2 aratni and resembles projecting snout of a cow.

Krishna Kapoti – is soft in texture, hairy and latex yielding plant. It has appearance, color and taste similar to sugarcane.

Varahi – is bulbous and has a single leaflet. It is enormously powerful and appears like broken pieces of collyrium / black antimony in appearance. It has a shape of the hood of black cobra.
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Chatra and Atichatra – are bulbous and are found to be attached to Shweta Kapoti plant. They are capable of arresting death and decay and also destroy Rakshasas (malignant spirits).

Kanya – has 12 leaflets. These are beautifully colored and resemble feathers of a peacock. It is bulbous and exudes golden colored juice.

Karenu – its bulb resembles an elephant and exudes abundant milky juice. It has 2 leaves which resemble leaves of Butea monosperma.

Aja – is a bulb which resembles the udder of a she-goat. It is abundant in milky juice. It grows in the form of a bush. It is white colored like a moon, a conch shell or a flower of kunda i.e. fragrant oleander.

Chakraka – is white colored and grows in bushes. It has flowers of variegated colors, resemble kakadani plant i.e. Abrus precatorius. It is said to be highly efficient in warding off decay, ageing and death.

Aditya Parnini – grows from its roots and doesn’t comprise of a bulb. It has five red colored leaflets resembling the rays of the Sun. The leaflets are as soft as linen and they always point in the direction of the Sun.

Brahma Suvarchala – is gold colored, yields abundant milky juice, resembles a lotus plant, grows in marshy lands and spreads in all directions.

Mahashravani – is bushy plant, bears flowers resembling water lily and fruits resembling the color of collyrium. Its stem measures 1 aratni in length. The leaves are 2 fingers in length. It is golden colored and yields abundant milk.
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Shravani – almost resembles Mahashravani but is tinged with yellow color.

Golomi and Ajalomi – are bulbous and are hairy in appearance.

Vegavati – its leaves emerge from its roots. Its leaves are severed like those of creeper of Hamsapadi i.e. Adiantum philippense. Even in the absence of wind, they move about violently. It also resembles the creeper of Shankapushpi i.e. Convolvulus pluricaulis in terms of all its features. It looks like the skin cast of a snake and grows at the end of monsoon i.e. autumn season.

Recitation of hymns to pluck the plants

The first seven herbs mentioned above, having the shape of a serpent, should always be plucked and collected after reciting the below mentioned hymn.

‘We appease thee with the holy energy and dignity of Lord Mahendra, Rama, Krishna and Brahmanas and of the cows. Exert your beneficial virtues for the good of mankind.’

A wise physician in fact should enchant all these Rasayana herbs with this hymn. Soma and Soma resembling Rasayana herbs cannot be procured by those who are devoid of devotion, lazy, ungrateful and indulged in sinful activities.

The Gods following the creator Lord Brahma, after having consumed the nectar, placed the remaining part of the nectar in the moon, Soma herb and other herbs mentioned in this context having qualities and benefits similar to Soma. Therefore Soma and the other mentioned herbs have nectar like effect and act like Rasayana.
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Habitat of Rasayana Herbs

Brahma Suvarchala – is grown in and around the waters of Lake Devasunda and Sindu River (Indus).

Aditya Parnini – are grown in the same regions at the end of the winter.

Gonasi and Ajagari – are grown at the beginning of rainy season in the same habitat.

Karenu, Kanya, Chatra, Ati-Chatra, Golomi, Ajalomi and Mahashravani – found in spring, in the lake of Kshudraka – Manasa in Kashmir.

Krishna-sarpakhya and Gonasi – in the same place as Karenu etc plants, during spring season.
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Shweta Kapoti – grown on the ant-hills which cover a region of 3 yojanas on the western side of river Kaushiki and to the east of Sanjayanti.

Vegavati – grown on the Malaya hills and on the Nala-bridge.

Any one of these medicaments should be taken in the month of Kartika, after having observed fasting under the auspices of the full-moon. The dietetic regimen and conduct are same as explained for Soma Rasayana. The benefits too are similar.

The Soma and other medicinal plants may be procured from the summits of the Arvuda Mountains. The cloud-rending summits of these mountains are the favorite places of the Gods and which abound in holy pools and fountains which are frequently visited and inhabited by Gods, the Siddhas and the holy sages. They are the mountains which have large hollow caves which are reverberated with thundering roars of the lion. The mountains are surrounded by swift coursing rivers on all sides, the waters of which are tossed by sportive elephants of the forests.

These ambrosial plants should be sought for in the rivers, holy forests and hermitages, also in lakes and on the hill tops, since this world is a bed of gems and is known to behold within them the priceless treasures in all the mentioned places.

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