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1/11/19

Chyawanprash - Everything You Need To Know

chyawanprash side effect contraindications


Chyawanprash is the most popular Ayurvedic rejuvenating tonic since the times of the Vedas
It is a nutritious herbal supplement that supports your immune system and improves overall health.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

1. About Chyawanprash 
2. Health benefits of Chyawanprash 
3. Clinical studies On Chyawanprash 
4. Ingredients 
5. Which Chyawanprash brand is the best? 
6. How to use Chyawanprash?
7. Contraindications and side effects 
8. How Chyawanprash is made?


About Chyawanprash


Chyawanprash has a consistency of jam and contains of more than 40 natural Ayurvedic ingredients that have proven medicinal properties.
The first historically documented formula for Chyawanprash appears in the Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic text.

This nutritive formula was named after sage Chyawana. He is mentioned in the Rigveda, where he is described as an aged and feeble person whose youth and strength was restored by the ancient Ayurvedic doctors after they prepared the first Chyawanprash for him. 

It is also known as "The nectar of eternal youth" and "The elixir of life" due to its many nutritional properties. 



Health benefits of Chyawanprash 


As a proven and rich source of vitamin C, adaptogens and antioxidants, Chyawanprash offers a wide range of health benefits.


how chyawanprash is made
Photo by Tsatoor


- Chyawanprash rejuvenates all of the seven tissues (dhatus) in the body and builds Ojas – the essence of vitality and immunity.
- It kindles Agni without aggravating Pitta dosha. It pacifies Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha.
- It contains five of the six tastes—lacking only the salty taste. Ayurveda recommends including each of the tastes in every meal to maintain balanced nutrition and good health.
- It protects the body from bacterial, viral, and fungal infection 
- It is helpful in maintaining overall health.
- Regular intake of Chyawanprash enhances the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and strengthens digestion, absorption and assimilation of food.
- Helps to break down toxins and prepare them for elimination by purifying the liver, intestines and blood. 
- Helps in weight loss by normalizing the body’s metabolism. 
- Promotes easy bowel movement.
- Normalizes the endocrine system.
- Normalizes menstruation and reduces pms.
- It promotes healthy growth of fetus in the womb.
- Enhances sexual performance.
- Increases strength and stamina.
- Regulates respiratory system.
- Prevents seasonal infections, common cold and cough.
- Chyawanprash is used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Helpful in diseases related to the urinary tract.
- Increases hemoglobin, and regulates cholesterol.
- It is a proven energy booster.
- Improves skin complexion. To achieve lustrous and glowing skin, take Chyawanprash regularly.
- It improves the oxygen supply in the tissues and slows down aging of cells.
- Reduces the chances of premature wrinkles and graying of hair.
- Strengthens hair and nails.
- Helpful in increasing longevity of life.
- Provides strength to the sense organs.
- Improves memory, learning ability and intellect. 
- Decrease chronic fatigue syndrome.
- It activates and strengthens the immune system.
- Chyawanprash is used for treating gout.
- Useful in heart related problems.
- Normalizes blood pressure.
- The herbs it contains have potent anti-stress, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant actions also. 



Clinical studies on Chyawanprash 


There are several small scale studies that show the efficacy of Chyavanprash. 

1. Effect of Chyawanprash and vitamin C on glucose tolerance and lipoprotein profile

2. Chyawanprash Awaleha: A Genoprotective Agent for Bidi Smokers

3. Comparative study of the antioxidant and reactive oxygen species scavenging properties in the extracts of the fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalis 

4. Chyawanprash: A review of therapeutic benefits as in authoritative texts and documented clinical literature

5. Effect of Chyawanprash on cognitive, autonomic and respiratory parameters in college students

6. Chyawanprash clinical efficacy and safety studies find correlation with documented authoritative texts
Evaluation of Cyavanaprāśa on health and immunity related parameters in healthy children: A two arm, randomized, open labeled, prospective, multicenter, clinical study 

7. Evaluation of immunostimulatory activity of Chyawanprash using in vitro assays


Ingredients


The main ingredient of Chyawanprash is amla, an Indian gooseberry that has the strongest antioxidant activity in the world.
It contains 75 times the antioxidant power of goji berries, 50 times the antioxidant power of raw blueberries, 44 times the antioxidant power of spirulina, 2.5 times the antioxidant power of acai berries, and 2 times the power of turmeric. 

Amla fruit is rich in Vitamin C, containing about 800 to 920 mg of Vitamin C per 100 g. that means it contains 20 times more vitamin C than oranges.

It pacifies all three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
All parts of amla are used in various Ayurvedic preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. 
Amla fruit is sour and astringent in taste, with sweet, bitter and pungent secondary tastes. Its qualities (gunas) are light and dry, the postdigestive effect (vipaka) is sweet and its energy (virya) is cooling. 

According to the traditional instructions for making chyawanprash, the amount of amla is over 100 times the amount of each of the other herbs.
When amla is cooked with certain other spices and herbs, the potency of the mixture increases.


amla ayurveda
Photo by Bishnu Sarangi


Clinical studies on amla:

1. Effect of the Indian gooseberry (amla) on serum cholesterol levels in men aged 35 - 55 years

2. Immunomodulatory effects of agents of plant origin

3. Cytotoxic response of breast cancer cell lines, MCF 7 and T 47 D to triphala and its modification by antioxidants

4. Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder



None of the Chyawanprash available in the market is authentic. There are more than 40 ingredients in the original recipe and some medicinal plants are very rare or not available at all these days. 
The exact ingredients in every Chyawanprash recipe can vary from one brand to another. The composition may vary between 25 and 80 herbs, depending on the manufacturer.  

Most common ingredients:

Amla (emblica officinalis)
Indian kudzu (pueraria tuberosa)
Long pepper (Piper longum)
White sandalwood (Santalum album)
Cardamom (Elletaria cardamom)
Malabar nut (Adhatoda vasica)
Pellitory (Anacyclus pyrethrum)
Arjuna (Terminallia arjuna)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)
Chebula (Terminallia chebula)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Grape vine (Vitis vinifera)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera)
Indian nard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Neem (Azadarachta indica)
Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris)
Bengal quince (Aegle marmelos)
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri)
White turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria)
Nut grass (Cyperus rotundus)
Pushkarmull (Inula racemosa)
Bala (Sida cordifolia)
Zebrawood (Pistacia integerrima)
Cork Swallow-Wort (Leptadenia reticulata)
Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa)
Fig (Ficus carica)
Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Ceylon ironwood (Mesua ferrea)
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
Ghee
Sesame oil
Jaggery
Honey

The original formula is vegetarian but not vegan. It contains honey and ghee.

Ghee is the most powerful ojas producing food. It increases agni, but it doesn't aggravate Pitta dosha. Ghee also strengthens memory, intelligence, decision making, Rasa dhatu (lymph) and Shukra dhatu (reproductive tissues) and increases your lifespan. Read more about ghee here: How To Make Real Ghee (Tutorial)

Honey is much more than a sweetener. It has high nutritional and medicinal value and promotes healing process. 

Raw, unheated honey combines with ghee and jaggery to carry the medicinal qualities of the herbs deep into the tissues.
Jaggery and honey added to the chyawanprash act as a natural preservatives.


Be careful and always read the labels before buying Chyawanprash.
Since Amla fruit is not available throughout the year, some manufacturers use various ridiculous replacements like sweet potatoes or pumpkin. Instead jaggery or honey, cheap white sugar is being used.
Sometimes gold and silver are added into it for making it more effective and more expensive. Improperly prepared metals, or taken in excess amount, may cause various side effects.
In ancient Ayurvedic texts  there is no mention of adding gold or silver in Chyawanprash.

Some of the well-known natural consumer products manufacturers use harmful preservatives to make Chyawanprash. 


chyawanprash labels


In the picture above, you can see that Dabur uses potassium sorbate, and The Himalaya Drug Company uses both potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.


“Two recent studies have suggested that potassium sorbate can be toxic and may have significant health effects on our bodies. One study found that potassium sorbate can damage white blood cells. Potassium sorbate was found to be genotoxic, meaning it could damage genetic information, cause mutations and even lead to cancer." Source: Doctors Health Press 



"A small percentage of people are hypersensitive to sodium benzoate and can experience asthmatic attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions when they consume the preservative. A more common problem, however, is the combination of sodium benzoate and citric acid and/or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). When these ingredients get together, they form benzene, a cancer-causing chemical associated with leukemia and other blood cancers." Source: Naturally Savvy




Which Chyawanprash brand is the best?


The best Chyawanprashes are those made without preservatives, pH stabilizers, metals and artificial flavors.

Paradise Chyawanprash is hand made with the freshest Amla and prepared in the traditional way for maximum therapeutic activity. It is formulated with an extra emphasis on using pure ethically wild crafted and clean ingredients. 

It is made without fillers, binders or GMO ingredients and contains no wheat, corn, soy, yeast, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.
It is suitable for vegetarians, non-gmo and naturally gluten free.

If you want the best, Paradise Chyawanprash is an excellent choice. You can purchase it here.


ayurveda rasayana



How to use Chyawanprash?


Chyawanprash is suitable for all ages, from young children to the elderly.

When you open the jar from the first time, mix the jam thoroughly with a spoon. Do not use if safety seal is broken. 

Recommended dosage is 1 teaspoonful twice daily preferably followed by warm water or warm cow's milk. Do not use store bought or frozen milk.
Take it in the morning on empty stomach and before bedtime for at least 3 months.
A child who weighs 15 kg could take 1/5 teaspoon daily. Older children can take ½ teaspoon daily.

Some people use Chyawanprash as a jam spread over bread or toast. That is not the right method.
Chyawanprash should not be mixed with any other food, but it can be taken before or after food. 

Since it has a long shelf life, refrigerating is not necessary. Keep the jar in a cupboard.

To get the full effect of Chyawanprash you may have to purify the body first with Panchakarma, in order to assimilate the rejuvenating properties. Panchakarma (five Ayurvedic purification therapies) is the best way to detoxify your body. It is done in professional Ayurvedic clinics and requires supervision by educated Ayurvedic physicians. 



Contraindications and side effects


As Chyavanprash is slightly heating, it is the best to reduce or completely avoid this jam during the summer
Avoid it if you have diabetes, gastritis, phenylketonuria, vitamin C metabolic disorder or of you are allergic to any ingredient in Chyawanprash.

Eating too much Chyawanprash may cause diarrhea, upset stomach and high blood sugar.


How Chyawanprash is made?


Making Chyawanprash requires a lot of time, patience and expertise. 
In this video Dr. Pranit Ambulkar (MD, Ph.D.) demonstrates practical steps in preparation of great medicine of Ayurveda- the Chyavanprash, its in-process tests and tips for easy manufacturing.






Author: Ayurveda Tutorials



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