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THE AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE OF RASAYANA – A REVIEW
THE AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE OF RASAYANA – A REVIEW

Dr. Sriram Chandra Mishra 1* , Dr. Anil Kumar Singh 2 , Dr. Jagadish Prasad Mishra 3 , Dr. Kalanidhi Hota 4

1,2 Associate Professor, PG Dept of Kayachikitsa, VYDS Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Khurja (UP). 3 Assistant Professor, Dept of Shalakya tantra, VYDS Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Khurja (UP). 4 Assistant Professor, PG Dept of Shalya tantra, VYDS Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Khurja (UP).

Article Received on 11 April 2015, Revised on 01 May 2015, Accepted on 22 May
Article Received on
11 April 2015,
Revised on 01 May 2015,
Accepted on 22 May 2015
*Correspondence for Author Dr. Sriram Chandra Mishra Associate Professor, PG Dept of Kayachikitsa, VYDS Ayurved
*Correspondence for
Author
Dr. Sriram Chandra
Mishra
Associate Professor, PG
Dept of Kayachikitsa,
VYDS Ayurved
Mahavidyalaya, Khurja
(UP).

ABSTRACT Everyone wants to maintain young and healthy life-span forever but the natural phenomenon of undesirable changes is the inevitable phases of human life. The changes are always degenerative in nature. So it is necessary to rejuvenate the body systems for a better harmony of the Body, Mind and Soul. Ayurveda helps in Maintaining health, Prevention of diseases and also avoid the recurrence of diseases. It counters the aging and its allied ill-effects with three approaches. First it recommends Vayasthapak drugs (age stabilizers) to counter the aging and its adverse effects, secondly by using Jeevaneeya group of herbs (Vitalisers) to rejuvenate the aged body and third by Rasayana therapy (rejuvenative process and formulations) for Jarachikitsa (old

age care). The main purpose of Rasayana therapy is to impede the aging process and to delay the degenerative process in the body in terms of special herbs, fruits or any other form of medication that are known to promote positive health and longevity.

KEYWORDS: Rasayana (Rejuvenation Therapy), Vayasthapak (Age stabilizers), Jeevneeya (Vitalisers), Jarachikitsa (Geriatric disorder management).

INTRODUCTION The world population is rapidly ageing due to over exertion and hectic life style physical as well as mental. Day by day the people feel insecure which increase stress. The faulty diet like fast foods, preservatives etc, addiction of alcohol, smoking etc, lack of exercise, use of too

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much television, mobile phones, computers etc also enhances the problem. All these factors decrease the normal Dhatu, Ojas etc and vitiate all Doshas resulting in premature aging, fatigue, recurrent illness, depression etc. This became the special health challenges of old-age care for the 21 st century. Ayurveda, since its inception, has a very well developed branch, among eight branches, for the management of Geriatrics disorders entitled “Jarachikitsa” and elaborates Rasayana (Rejuvenation) which deals with the problems related to ageing and methods to counter the same. Ayurvedic literature record numerous single and compound plant based medicines, herbo-mineral, herbo-metalic formulations for general well being and in disease specific conditions relating to geriatrics. Rasayana also elaborated in Rig-Veda and Atharva-Veda for Gods like Soma etc to resists fire, water and various weapons (Rig-Veda 5/1/7, Atharva-Veda 16/2/2). Rasayana basically boosts the Oja (vital force of life - the immune system) and helps the person to maintain good health. Rasayana Chikitsa is also known as Rejuvenation Therapy.

What is Rasayana? The term “Rasayana” is formed by union of two words [1] “Rasa” and “Ayana”. The word Rasa in this context means the first liquid tissue, the Rasadhatu, which nourishes all the tissues in the body and the word Ayana is it’s circulation. As per Ayurveda if rasadhatu is produced in optimum quality and quantity, then naturally all the tissues in the body will be nourished properly. So literally the technical term Rasayana refers to the means of obtaining the optimum nourishment to the Dhatus. Hence Rasayana or rejuvenation is such a form of treatment in which all the tissues are nourished and enhanced. The nourishment of vital tissues helps in stopping old age.

Rasayana drugs are those which invigorate a healthy person by producing the best quality of Rasa, Rakta etc dhatus [2] and also which decreases the aging process, increases the longevity, increases the mental as well as physical strength and which destroys the disease process [3] . According to Maharsi Dalhana Vayahsthapanam Varsha-Shatayuh-Sthapanam i.e. enabling a person to complete his normal life span of 100 years. Anye Tu Vayah-Sthapanm Jara- Apaharanam, Tarunyam Bahu-Kalam Sthapyati-Iti-Arthah i.e. Rasayana prevents aging thus establishes youth for a longer period [4] . Chakrapani defined that if Rasayana taken by healthy persons it bestows strength to the ojus and dhatus of the body. [5] Gangadhara roy in his commentary jalpakalpataru defined that the therapy which prevents jara (old age itself is disease) as Rasayana. [6]

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Classification of Rasayana There are various classifications for Rasayana therapy. Some of them are as follows-

Primarily of two typesfor Rasayana therapy. Some of them are as follows- I. Dravabhuta Rasayana - Dravya means substance

I. Dravabhuta Rasayana - Dravya means substance hence the rasayan therapy where

various substances like herbs, minerals, foods etc used is known as Dravyabhuta Rasayana.

II. Adravabhuta Rasayana - Adravya consequently means where no substance is used hence

when modalities like good behaviour, meditation etc are used its called as Adravya Rasayana.

Example is Achara Rasayan.

According to scopeits called as Adravya Rasayana. Example is Achara Rasayan. I. Kamya Rasayana [ 7 ] (Kamya

I. Kamya Rasayana [7] (Kamya - desire) - It is used to serve a special purpose or to serve a

special purpose. They can be further divided in following types

Pranakamya Promoter of vitality and longevity. Example - Amalaki, Haritaki, Guduchi, Shatavari etc.

Medhakamya Promoter of intelligence and memory. Example - Brahmi, Mandukaparni,

Jyotishmati, Jivanti etc.

Srikamya Promoter of complexion. Example - Guduchi, Bhringaraja, Amalaki, Triphala, Ashvagandha etc.

II. Naimittika Rasayana The Rasayana used to promote the health of a particular tissue or

system or to prevent their disorders is known as Naimittika Rasayan. Examples

Prameha: Haridra, Shilajatu, Amalaki etc

Amavata: Bhallataka, Lashuna, Pippali etc

Nervous Disorders: Bala, Nagbala etc

Skin Diseases: Tuvaraka, Guduchi, Bhringaraja etc

Urinary Tract: Gokshuru, Punarnava. Shilajatu etc

Gastro-Intestinal System: Amalaki, Haritaki, Guduchi, Vidanga (worms), Shatavar (also lactogaugue) etc

Vata Vyadhi Shilajith, Gugulu, Chyavanaprasha, Abhayamalaka ch:chi:28 etc

Pandu- Yogaraja Rasayana, Loha, Shilajith ch:chi:26 Abhayavaleha ch:chi:16 etc.

III. Ajasrika Rasayana It is the using of food substances on regular basis for

nourishment of body. Examples are daily usage of cows milk, ghee etc.

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According to drug, diet and life styleal. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences I. Aushadha Rasayana - Based on drugs and

I. Aushadha Rasayana - Based on drugs and herbs

II. Ahara Rasayana - Based on diet and nutrition

III. Achara Rasayana - Based on conduct and Behaviour / Lifestyle. Keeping cool mind, avoiding misuse of alcohol & sex, nonviolent and calm behaviour, Sweet by speech, having lot of patience, generous, preferring cleanliness, sincere, worshipping gods and teachers, sensible, having equal sleep & work, egoless, well-Mannered, spiritual, serving elderly people, preferring religious sayings are some examples of this.

According to administration [ 8 ] [8]

I. Kuti-praveshika Rasayana Kutipraveshika is made up of two words i.e. Kuti meaning

“A hut or cottage” [9] and Praveshika means “To enter” [10] . Hence in this form of Rasayana therapy, the person is made to stay in a specially designed chamber for a certain period and is given Rasayana preparations (Non-ambulatory method/ In -door therapy). Before taking this

form of rejuvenation therapy, the person has to undergo Panchakarma therapy. [11]

II. Vatatapika Rasayana This is the Ambulatory method also called as Open air therapy or

outdoor therapy [12] . This is rightly indicated in the name “Vatatapika”, where “Vata” means air [13] , and “atapa” means heat or sun [14] . So this is a method of taking Rasayana, while a person remains exposed to air and heat and this type can be taken while working and doing normal routine work.

Examples of Rasayanas used in this methods are Chyavanaprasha [15] , Amalaka Rasayana [16] , Haritaki Rasayana [17] , Pippali Rasayana [18] , Vidanga Rasayana [19] , Triphala Rasayana [20] , Shilajitwadi Rasayana [21] etc.

Some special Rasayanas

Vardhaman Rasayana [22] : Vardhamana means in increasing order. Hence the Rasayana

in which the dosage is increased periodically then reduced periodically is called Vardhamana Rasayana. This is generally done for improving immunity of certain organs or channels with herbs like Piper longum or Pippali etc.

Medhya Rasayana [23] : Medhya Rasayanas are group of medicinal plants described in

Ayurveda with multi-fold benefits, specifically to improve memory and intellect by Prabhava (specific action). It also provides immunity against diseases, strength, complexion, voice and

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digestive capacity. The special herbs used include swarasa (juice) of Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn), the churna (powder) of Yastimadhu (Glycirrhiza glabra Linn.) in milk, the swarasa (juice) of all parts (roots, stem and flowers) of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia (Wild) Miers) and kalka (paste) of Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pleuricaulis Chois). Yet in practice few more handful drugs used with same aim are mentioned elsewhere in the Ayurveda classical textbooks.

Table 1: Properties of different Medhya ausadhi [24]

Drug

Rasa

Guna

Virya

Vipaka

Mandukaparni

Tikta

Laghu

Sita

Madhur

Yastimadhu

Madhur

Guru,

Snigdha

Sita

Madhur

Guduchi

Tikta,

Kasaya

Guru,

Snigdha

Usna

Madhur

Shankhapushpi

Tikta

Snigdha, Picchil

Sita

Madhur

Aindri

Tikta

Laghu

Usna

Katu

Jyothishmati

Katu, Tikta

Tikshna

Usna

Katu

Kushmanda

Madhur

Laghu, Snigdha

Sita

Madhur

Vacha

Katu, Tikta

Laghu, Tikshna

Usna

Katu

Jatamamsi

Tikta, Kasaya Madhur

Laghu, Snigdha

Sita

Katu

Astavarga Herbs [25] - The eight herbs mentioned below constitute the Jeevaneeyagan [26,27] (vitalisers). These herbs are aphrodisiac, strengthening, blood purifier, conception plus and galactogogue. Collectively these herbs are also named as Astavarga. As the original herbs have become extinct, the substitute herbs are in use today.

1. Jeevak - Substitute…Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberose)

2. Rishbhak Substitute

3. Meda - Substitute… Shatawari moola (roots of Asparagus racemosus)

4. Mahameda- Substitute

5. Kakoli-Substitute…Aswagandha moola (Withania somnifera)

6. Ksheerkakoli Substitute…Aswagandha moola (Withania somnifera)

7. Riddhi - Substitute…Varahikand (Diascorea bulbifera)

8. Vriddhi -Substitute…Varahikand (Diascorea bulbifera)

Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberose)

Shatawari moola (roots of Asparagus racemosus)

Vayasthapak drugs [28] (Age Stabilizers) - various diseases or help contribute to positive health like age stabilization or enhancing aphrodisiac power. These herbs are listed below. 1. Guduchi. Tinospora cordifolia

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2. Haritiki. Terminalia chebula

3. Amalki. Emblica officinale

4. Yukta. Pluchea lanceolata

5. Shweta. Clitoria ternatea

6. Jeewanti. Leptadenia reticulata

7. Atirasa. Asperagus racemosus

8. Mandookparni. Centella asiatica

9. Sthira. Desmodium gigenticum

10. Punarnava. Boerhaavia diffusa

Rasayana drugs for specific dhatus [29,30]

Rasa (Plasma)

Draksha, Shatavari, Dates

Rakta (Blood)

Amalki, Dhati lauha, Bhringaraj, Suvarnamakshik Bhasma

Mamsa (Muscle)

Masha, Ashwagandha, Bala, Nux vomica, Silver bhasma

Meda (Fat)

Guggulu, Shilajit, Haritaki, Guduchi, Garlic

Asthi (Bone)

Shukti (mother of pearl) bhasma, Kukkutandatwak bhasma, Vamsharochana,

Majja (bone marrow)

Calamus, Shankhapushpi, Loha bhasma, Gold bhasma, Makaradhwaja

Sukra (Reproductive)

Kapikacchu, Vidarikanda, Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Gold bhasma, Ghee and Cow milk.

Rasayana for specific channel-systems [31,32]

Respiratory System

Chyavanprash, Vardhaman pippli

Water Metabolism System

Fresh ginger, Cyperus, Cardamom

Digestive System

Long pepper, Bhallataka, Haritaki,

Circulatory System (lymphatic portion)

Draksha, Shatavari, Dates

Circulatory System (blood portion)

Amalki, Dhati lauha, Bhringaraj, Suvarnamakshik Bhasma

Muscular System

Masha, Ashwagandha, Bala, Nux vomica, Silver bhasma

Adipose System

Guggulu, Shilajit, Haritaki, Guduchi, Garlic

Skeletal System

Shukti (mother of pearl) bhasma, Kukkutandatwak bhasma, Vamsharochana,

Nervous System

Aswagandha, Calamus, Gotukola, Shankhapushpi, Loha bhasma, Gold bhasma, Makaradhwaja

Reproductive System

Aswagandha, Kapikacchu, Sweta Mushali, Shatavari, Vidarikanda,Gold bhasma, Ghee and Cow milk.

Urinary System

Punarnava, Gokshura

Excretory System

Kutaj, Vidanga, Triphala

Sweat System

Basil, Nux vomica

Menstrual System

Ashoka, Lodhra, Shatavari

Lactation System

Shatavari, Jeeraka, Milk

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Rasayana for senses and other organs [33,34]

Eye

Triphala, Licorice, Shatavari

Nose

Nasya of Anu oil

Skin

Tuvarak, Catechu, Bakuchi

Brain

Gotu kola, calamus

Heart

Guggul, Elecampane, Gold bhasma

Neuro-Muscular System

Bala, Nagbala, Garlic, Guggul

Selection of Rasayana according to age [35]

The changes of ageing are always degenerative in nature which is very beautifully quoted by

Sarangadhara. The childhood, growth, luster/beauty, intellect, luster of skin, Vision, sexual

ability, physical ability, thinking ability and locomotion starts to loss from the body with each

passing decade.

Decades of life

Specific loss from the body

Suitable Rasayana Drugs

0-10

Balya (childhood)

Vacha (Acorus calamus) Kasmari (Gmelina arborea)

11-20

Vruddhi (growth)

Bala (Sida cordifoila) Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

21-30

Chavi (luster)

Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

31-40

Medha (intellect)

Shankhapushpi (convalvulus pluricalis) Jyotishmati (Celestrus paniculata)

41-50

Twak (luster of skin)

Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba) Somaraji (Centratherum anthelminthicum)

51-60

Drusti (Vision)

Saptamruta loha

61-70

Sukra (sexual ability)

Atmagupta (Mucuna prurita) Munjataka (Orchis longifolia)

71-80

Vikrama (physical ability)

Bala, Amalaki

81-90

Buddhi (thinking ability)

Brahmi, Sankhapuspi

91-100

Karmendriya (locomotion)

Aswagandha, Bala

Rasayana drugs as per the constitution [36]

 

Diseases prone to suffer from

Specific measure to prevent

Vata

Dryness, Hardness and roughness of the skin, Cracking of the hair, nails etc. Stiffness and pain in the joints, Constipation, Insomnia

Regular intake of ghee

Pitta

Burning sensation in the body, excessive temperature, Excessive sweating, excessive thirst, Acid eructation, Premature greying of the hair, Wrinkles

Regular intake milk

Kapha

Heaviness of the body, easy weight gain, unable to lose weight, drowsiness, Excessive sleep, Laziness, Obesity

Regular intake honey

Benefits of Rasayana Therapy [37,38,39,40]

According to various Ayurvedic classics, Rasayana therapy gives various benefits according

to its compositions. Rasayana or Rejuvenation literally means to return to youthful conditions

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or to normal from diseased state. It helps to promote and preserve health and to cure disease in sick. It also increases a healthy person’s mental and physical capabilities and also keeps the body and mind pleasant. It also increases the strength of Agni as well as Prana and removes waste products from the body.

It enhances the intelligence, memory power, will power, body strength, skin luster, sweetness of voice, physical strength. It nourishes the Sapta dhatus and the whole body. Thus prevents chronic degenerative changes and illness. It improves metabolic processes, physical strength and sharpness of sense organs. It improves natural resistance against infection by increasing Immunity power.

Things to be avoided during Rasayan therapy [41] Anger, Violence and Jealousy, Indulgence in liquor and sex, Fatigue due to excessive strain, Roughness in words, Cruel and sinful acts are to be avoided during use of Rasayan therapy. These are unfit on account of respective ignorance, inactivity, poverty, vacillations, intemperance and inability to secure the genuine medicines.

DISCUSSION Rasayana is the term given to special herbs, fruits or any other form of medication that are in single or compound plant based medicines, herbo-mineral, herbo-metalic formulations known to promote general well being and in disease specific conditions relating to geriatrics. As per our Maharsis Rasayanas are advised for peoples of above 16 years [42,43] but as we naturally loose childhood, growth, luster/beauty, intellect, luster of skin, Vision, sexual ability, physical ability, thinking ability and locomotion with each passing decade so to prevent unnatural loses there is description of rasayanas for this also. The various types of Rasayana therapy are useful for specific as well as general use of it. Both dravyabhuta and adravyabhuta form of rasayanas are important for benefit of human being. Use of the adravyabhuta form of rasayanas daily will gave prestigious issue in the socity also [44] . Modern research also covered a lot of pharmacological screening of most of these rasayan herbs. The possible mechanisms by which action of Rasayana can be interpreted with modern aspects are as follows

Immuno-modulatory action - Prevents recurrent infection, expelling the damaged cells

Adaptogenic action - Maintains the balance between mind and body

Antiaging action.- Encourages the growth of new cells

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Nutritive function - Nourishes and maintains the cell life

Antioxidant Action - Eliminates the toxic metabolites and pollutants.

CONCLUSION Rasayana drugs are those medicines which are capable for Rejuvenation of the body by imparting superior Rasas and Dhatus to the body and toning up the system of healthy persons. The main purpose of Rasayana therapy is to impede the aging process and to delay the degenerative process in the body, but as Jara (old age) is inevitable, it cannot be avoided, it can only be delayed with the help of Rasayanas.

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39. Pd Sri Brahma Sankar Mishra, Bhava Prakash, Uttarakhanda Chikitsa Prakarana Rasayan adhikara 73/15, pg no 823, Chaukhamba Sanskrit bhawan, Varanasi, 2009.

40. Indradev Tripathy, Yoga Ratnakar, Rasayan chikitsa, sloka 37, Page- 893, Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi (1998).

41. Kaviraj Ambikadutta Shastri, Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, chapter 30/4, Page 130. Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, 2007.

42. Dr. Brahmanand Tripathi, Astanga Hridaya, Uttarasthana Chapter 39/3, Page 1183, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishana, 2003.

43. Indradev Tripathy, Yoga Ratnakar, Rasayan chikitsa, sloka 3, Page- 890, Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi (1998).

44. Dr. Brahmanand Tripathi, Astanga Hridaya, Uttarasthana Chapter 39/179-181, Page 1205, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishana, 2003.