By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
It is interesting to note that master Chakrapanidatta has explained the Rasayana and Vrushya chapters towards the end of his Chakradatta treatise. This is unlike master Charaka who has placed them right at the beginning of the Chikitsa sthana i.e. the section of Charaka Samhita which deals with treatment of diseases. Chakrapani has interposed these two chapters in between ‘Visha Chikitsa’ i.e. chapter dealing with treatment of poisons and chapters dealing with Panchakarma. So, interestingly visha chikitsa is placed before rasayana and snehana i.e. oleation, an important pre-operative therapy done before Panchakarma cleansing therapies is mentioned after Vrishya adhikara. While the poisons take away one’s life, Rasayanas would rejuvenate, resuscitate, replenish and bestow longevity.
Read – Rasayana Therapy (Anti Ageing, Rejuvenation) Meaning, Definition
With this introduction, I would like to highlight the concept of Rasayanas and specialties related to the mentioned topic as explained by Chakrapani.
Rasayana in Chakradatta
Concept of Rasayana in Chakradatta
1. Basics of Rasayana
Meaning and definition of Rasayana
That which destroys / delays ageing and diseases is called Rasayana.
Time of administration
Rasayana should be administered to a person who has undergone cleansing of his body through panchakarma therapies. It should be administered in a time period ranging from beginning of the youth to end of middle age or beginning of old age.
Read – 13 Important Benefits Of Rasayana Treatment
Shodana before Rasayana
Need of cleansing therapies before administration of Rasayana –
When coloring is done on a dirty canvas it doesn’t look attractive, in fact the color doesn’t catch up with the canvas due to the dirt in it. Similarly the Rasayana administered to a person who has not undergone body cleansing will become useless since it will not have any effect on a dirty body. Therefore it is mandatory to give Rasayana to a person who has undergone body cleansing.
Read – Right Method Of Rasayana Therapy – Dr CR Agnives
2. Simple to make and use Rasayanas
Powder of 2 fruits of Haritaki i.e. Terminalia chebula should always be consumed with the powders of below mentioned (any one)
- Guda – jaggery
- Madhu – honey
- Shunti – ginger
- Pippali – long pepper
- Saindhava Lavana – rock salt
Benefits – Bestows longevity of around 100 years
Read – Charaka Chikitsasthana 1.1 Abhaya Amalakeeya Rasayana
Here seasonal use of Terminalia chebula is emphasized.
|Name of the season||Terminalia chebula should be used with|
|Shishira – later winter||Powder of long pepper|
|Vasanta – spring||Honey|
|Grishma – summer||Jaggery|
|Varsha – monsoon||Rock salt|
|Sharad – autumn||Sugar|
|Hemanta – early winter||Ginger|
Triphala Kalka Rasayanam
Paste of Triphala is applied inside a new iron vessel and left overnight. Later this paste is mixed with honey and water and consumed. After the medicine gets digested, lot of fat should be consumed.
Benefits – Regular practice of this rasayana will bestow longevity of life devoid of any diseases, for approximately hundred years.
Read – An Ancient Way Of Using Triphala As An Anti Ageing Remedy
- 1 fruit of Terminalia chebula with honey and ghee – after the digestion of the food, early in the morning
- 2 fruits of Terminalia bellirica with honey and ghee – before food
- 4 fruits of Embelica officinalis – with honey and ghee – should be consumed after food
Benefits – This should be practiced for 1 year. By doing so, the person will live for 100 years, devoid of ageing and diseases.
Powder or paste of 5, 8, 7 or 10 fruits of Piper longum should be consumed mixed in honey and ghee for 1 year.
Benefits – This formulation bestows all benefits of Rasayana.
Read – Vardhamana Pippali: Long Pepper Fruit With Steroid Like Action
One of the below mentioned should be consumed regularly –
- Juice of Mandukaparni i.e. Centella asiatica
- Powder of Yashtimadhu i.e. Glycyrrhiza glabra mixed in milk
- Juice of the whole plant of Guduchi i.e. Tinospora cordifolia
- Paste of Shankhapushpi i.e. Convolvulus pluricaulis
Benefits – Bestows longevity, cures all diseases, enhances strength, digestion capacity, color and voice. Among all the four, Shankhapushpi is said to be a best brain tonic.
Read – Shankhapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis – Benefits, Dose, Side Effects
Powder of Withania somnifera should be given for 15 days with milk, ghee, oil or lukewarm water.
Benefits – Nourishes thin subjects and makes them bulky and strong.
Read – Ashwagandha Withania somnifera Uses, Dose, Side Effects, Research
The powder of Bhringaraja i.e. Eclipta alba should be consumed mixed with powder of Emblica officinalis and sesame.
Benefits – It makes the hairs dark and black, gives pleasantness of the senses and enables the patient to enjoy disease free longevity of life for 100 years.
Palasha Kshara Bhavita Pippali Rasayanam
Long pepper should be triturated with the alkali water of Butea monosperma and fried in ghee. Three fruits of such long pepper should be consumed before and after food with honey.
Benefits – Cures cough, tuberculosis, edema, dyspnea, hiccough, throat disorders, piles, irritable bowel, anemia, chronic fevers, rhinitis, abdominal tumors and gout. It also bestows the benefits of rasayana.
Read – Kshara: Properties, Types, Preparation Method As per Sushruta
The powder of roots of Argyreia speciosa should be triturated in the juice of Asparagus racemosa for 7 days. When it gets dried, it should be consumed with ghee for a period of 30 days.
Benefits – It is a brain tonic and increases memory. One will not suffer from premature graying of hairs and hair fall.
The powder of the roots of Leea macrophylla should be consumed with ghee or honey.
Benefits – It is a good rejuvenator and strong aphrodisiac, is a brain tonic and bestows strength. It also bestows longevity.
3. Rasayanas with more ingredients and which need time for preparation
Dhatri Churna Rasayana
Powder of Emblica officinalis should be triturated for 7 days with the juice of its own fruits. Ghee, honey and powder of long pepper and sugar are added to it. The vessel is sealed and kept concealed in the heap of ash for 1 year. Later it should be removed and consumed.
Benefits – Destroys premature graying, diseases, enhances color, intellect, memory, strength, speech and valor.
Read – Amla Benefits, Dose, How To Use, Side Effects, Home Remedies
The powder of the below mentioned herbs should be taken mixed with ghee –
- Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
- Apamarga – Achyranthes aspera
- Vidanga – Embelia ribes
- Shankhapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis
- Vacha – Acorus calamus
- Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
- Kushta – Saussurea lappa
- Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
Benefits – Brain tonic, enhances memory
Read – Shatavari Asparagus racemosus Uses, Research, Side Effects
Saraswatha Ghritam – prepared in ghee base is a brain tonic, strengthens and brings clarity in voice, improves color and complexion, cures diseases like skin diseases, piles, abdominal tumors, cough, diabetes etc. It is a good aphrodisiac and also improves strength and digestive power.
4. Metallic preparations
Loha Rasayana – specialty of Chakradatta
Loha means iron. Chakradatta has given a detailed account of iron being used as Rasayana in the context of ‘Rasayanadhikara’. The textbook gives detailed explanation of –
- Method of choosing the right kind of iron,
- Quantity of water, decoctions and other ingredients / liquids needed for processing iron
- Method of processing iron with decoction of Triphala, milk etc
- Additives to be added to the processed iron to remove the impurities of iron
- Quantity of ghee to be used to process iron,
- Method of preparation of ash of iron
- Fuel to be used to prepare the ash of iron
- Different methods of making loha paka
- Putapaka method i.e. concealed heating method of preparing iron ash
- Types of loha paka and their usage, benefits,
- Method of using iron as rasayana
- Dosage of iron ash
- Vehicles to be used along with loha rasayanas
- Rules and regulations while taking loha rasayanas
- Method and ingredients of food, use of meat, fruits and vegetables while taking loha rasayana
- Graduated method of taking iron rasayanas
- Amrutasaraloha and its benefits
- Qualities of various kinds of iron
Read – Benefits Of Eating On Leaf Plates And Metal Plates – Reasoning, Research
Easy iron formulation as Rasayana –
Iron ash mixed with powder of Triphala and Trikatu will delay ageing and destroy diseases.
Copper preparations too have been highlighted in the context of Rasayana.
Important copper preparations are –
- Rasatamradi Rasayana – prepared with purified mercury, copper, mica and other ingredients. This should be consumed with powder of long pepper, Embelia ribes and black pepper. It is highly effective in curing diseases like colic, gastritis, swelling, irritable bowel, tuberculosis, abdominal disorders etc. It is also a good rejuvenator.
- Tamra Rasayana – It should be taken early in the morning mixed with powders of Triphala and Trikatu followed by drinking of buttermilk. It is said to effectively cure irritable bowel, tuberculosis, pitta diseases, colic, gastritis, piles etc apart from being a best rasayana.
Shilajit is known by various names – mountain tar, rock tar, mineral pitch, mineral wax, black asphaltum etc
Just like iron, Chakradatta has also given a detailed account of Shilajit in terms of its types, properties, examination of shilajit, method of triturating, therapeutic uses, and method of using, dose and vehicle.
Benefits – When Shilajit is used with ash of iron along with milk, it bestows longevity.
5. Herbo-mineral preparations
At the end of the chapter, Chakradatta has explained couple of herbo-mineral preparations which are effectively used in the form of Rasayana. They are –
- Shiva Gutika – It should be consumed along with one among the milk, meat soup, pomegranate juice, fermented medical liquids, honey or cold water. It cures wide array of diseases when consumed for duration of at least 1 year. It cures diseases like gout, tuberculosis, sexual disorders, piles, intestinal disorders, respiratory diseases, diseases of disturbed metabolism, head ache, insanity, epilepsy, skin disorders, jaundice, diarrhea, bleeding disorders, diabetes, obesity etc. It is a best rejuvenator, aphrodisiac, brain tonic, memory enhancer and strengthener. It bestows longevity.
- Amruta Bhallataka – It cures piles and all anal disorders, is a good hair tonic, strengthens vision, enhances strength, voice quality and digestion capacity. It enhances lifespan.
Features of Rasayanas
Salient features of Rasayanas explained in Chakradatta
- We can see lot of use of Terminalia chebula, Emblica officinalis and Triphala being used as Rasayanas in various combinations, as in other treaties.
- Use of Terminalia as a Rasayana in all seasons with combination of different herbs has been highlighted.
- Paryushita Jala i.e. water which has been stored overnight has been advised to be taken early in the morning. This is said to act as Rasayana and is a remedy for many diseases.
- Jala Nasya i.e. nasal instillation of water at the end of the day has been said to be beneficial for eyes. It is said to cure rhinitis and cough, cure premature graying of hairs and hair fall.
- Elaborate explanation of iron being used as Rasayana is a specialty of Chakradatta.
- Copper and Shilajit too have been used as Rasayanas.
- The purification methods of minerals like iron and copper before use has been elaborated. This shows the extensive knowledge of metallic toxins during Chakrapani’s time.
- Graduated use of iron has been explained so as to tap the Rasayana effect.