Chyavanprash—It’s a mouthful I know, but one well worth swallowing, particularly if you tend to suffer repeated colds and flues throughout the winter.
Chyavanprash (also spelled chyawanprash) is a traditional Ayurvedic tonic that contains 15-40 different medicinal Ayurvedic herbs (depending on the formula) along with honey, ghee, and raw sugar. This dark, rich, jam-like substance is sweet, a bit sour, and slightly tangy, and known for its rejuvenating and immune-bolstering properties.1 Many Eastern Indian families consume the jam as part of their daily health routine.
It is said that Chyavanprash was first made by the Ashwin Kumaras, the celestial physicians, in order to help the elderly sage, Chyavana2, who required virility and youth in order to satisfy his young bride. The story recounts how Chyavana went from being a frail old man to one with a renewed, rejuvenated and vigorous body, in part by consuming the rasayana, Chyavanprash.
Chyawanprash is safe for both the elderly and children as young as three. As a rejuvenative, it supports numerous organs and systems of the body, such as:
- The immune system.The combination of over forty herbs makes chyawanprash a powerful immunity-boosting tonic. Amla, also known as amalaki or gooseberry, the main ingredient, contains 30 times more vitamin C than
oranges. This fruit is one of the best rejuvenatives (rasayanas) and sources of antioxidants in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia and a major reason that the tonic is such an amazing immune-booster. Chyawanprash protects the body from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Even more impressive, the vitamin C from amalaki is highly bioavailable because it is a part of a tannoid complex, which protects it from being destroyed by heat or light.1 See how it outshines some of the foods we often consider high in free radical-binding antioxidants.4
- The respiratory system. It promotes a healthy respiratory system, being especially beneficial for the healthy functioning of the lungs. This makes it an ideal and healthy herbal remedy for those with asthma and chronic bronchitis.
- The digestive system. It does a great job of balancing stomach acids and promotes the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients into the blood. It also provides relief from constipation, reduces flatulence, and relieves nausea and diarrhea.
- The heart. It aids the healthy functioning of the heart.
- The brain. It is a powerful energizer for the brain and helps enhance concentration and memory.
- Anti-aging features. It’s also an anti-aging herbal tonic that can prevent wrinkles and graying of hair. Its potent antioxidant and rejuvenating herbs delay the aging of cells, provide proper nutrition, and promote youthfulness and longevity.
- Many other benefits. Chyawanprash helps purify the blood, stimulate the liver, and eliminate toxins from the body.
Besides the above health benefits, chyawanprash also:
- Enhances sexual potency and pleasure, keeping all the sensory organs healthy.
- Improves one’s complexion and strengthens hair.
- Is used by bodybuilders for building muscles.
- One teaspoon should be taken twice a day — once in the morning and then again at night.
- The sticky jam can be taken directly or it’s often mixed with warm milk or water.
- Reduce dose to ½ tsp and take with milk if any burning sensations are experienced.
- Others enjoy taking this herbal tonic by spreading it on a cracker or bread, as well.
Consult your physician before taking any herbal medications, particularly if taking other prescriptions or if you are pregnant or nursing. Reduce the dosage by half for children.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.