Concept of Rasayana Therapy
Rasayana Tantra is one of the eight major divisions of Astang Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, one of the major methods of presentation of positive health has been described i.e. Rasayana
Sushruta has defined a healthy man as one who has:-
• Equilibrium of the Doshas Sama dosha.
• Normal functioning of Agni Sama Agni
• Normal condition of 7 Dhatus Sam Dhatu
• Normal Excretion of waste products Sam Malkriya.
Beside this Atma (Soul), the Indriyas or sense organs and Mana or mind should be happy and cheerful Prasanatamendriya Mana (Su.Su.15/15). The current modern definition of health is also same “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely absence of disease. (W.H.O.)
Healthy state of mind and body can be achieved by Rasayana Therapy or Rejuvenation Therapy
Rasayana Stands as an answer to solve the problem of healthful longevity including mental development and resistance against disease. That is why; Rasayanatherapy has been included as one of the eight major divisions of Ashtang Ayurveda. Rasayana Chikitsa or rejuvenation therapy helps to promote and preserve health and longevity in the healthy, and to Cure disease in sick. We all want to look forever young and increase our life span by staying healthy, Rasayans or vitalizers, as they are called, do exactly the same. They replenish the vital fluids of our body, thus keeping us away from diseases. Rasayana refers to the nutrition and its transportation in the body. Such a state of improved nutrition is claimed to lead to a series of secondary attributes like longevity, immunity against diseases, mental competence and delaying of aging.
Rasayana is actually that which increases the essence of each Dhatu, starting from Rasa. Taking Rasayana is helpful to increase the immunity of person to keep him away from diseases. The person become healthy and strong .Literally the term Rasayana refers to the means of obtaining the optimum nourishment to the Dhatu.
Meaning of Rasayana
The word Rasayana is composed of two words Ras + Ayan. The means by which one gets the excellence of Rasa (The nourishing fluid which is produced immediately after digestion) is known as Rasayana. Apart from the excellence of Rasa, the individual is endowed with Psychic excellence like sharp memory, by virtue of rejuvenation therapy. The term Rasayana connotes a specific meaning. Drugs, diet and regimens which promote longevity by delaying aging and preventing diseases are called Rasayana. The term Rasa has different connotation. In the present context, it means the body fluid which is responsible for nourishment of entire physique. Impairment of circulation of this body fluid results in diseases and decay. This body fluid of good quality should not only be present in adequate quantity, but also it should be able to permeate (circulate) throughout the various cells of the body to provide the type of nourishment they need.
Rasayana is a specialized type of treatment influencing the fundamental aspect of body viz. Dhatus, Agni and Srotansi and ojus etc. Rasayana Chikitsa boosts theojus and immune system. The adjective Ojaswiis used to describe those people who keep good health in all seasons and all stages of life. It is like obtaining a high rank in a physical or mental fitness. Ojus gives a bright look, sharp memory, high performance and every expected pleasure.
Historic Consideration of Rasayana
Rasayana therapy is as old as the Vedas because many references on Rasayana therapy are available in the Atharva Veda (atharvaveda 8/7/4). Extensive descriptions of divine Rasayana agents like Soma are available in classics. References about Achara Rasayna and Sadvrita are also available in the vedic texts similar to Charakadescription (Rig-Veda 5/1/7 and Atharvaveda 16/2/2)
Besides extensive references is available regarding the superiority of certain other common Rasayana drugs like Pippali, Jivanti and Punarnava etc. Similarly a concept of Ajasrika Rasayana also appears in vedic literature.
Vedas have seriously considered the problems of aging and its delaying. It has been the cherished wish of human race to achieve long life and to live at least 100 years in perfect health. “Jivema Sharadah Shatam” (Rigveda 10/39/8).
Probably all these ideas at a later stage necessitated the development of a full-fledged clinical discipline like Rasayana therapy to deal with the problem of aging, its delaying.
Rasayana Chikitsa in Samhita
Charak Samhita which is considered the earliest text of this period appears to have given extensive consideration on the subject. Charak in its section on Chikitsa starts with an exhaustive chapter on Rasayana therapy dealing with the physiological, pharmacological, therapeutic and clinical aspects of the Rasayana. Charaka appears to have correlated this with the fundamental principles of Ayurveda as related to the concept of Ras Samvahan, the concept of Dhatu, the Agni, the Srotansi, the Doshas and the Dosha Prakriti. Charaka has advocated Special the outdoor and indoor regimen and he has introduced a large number of Rasayana Drugs both the single and compounds, herbs and minerals (Ch.Chi 1/1/16). The knowledge appears to have been so much developed that Rasayana Therapy has to be designated as one of the eight major branches of Ayurveda. In the beginning of ChikitsaSthan Chapters on Rejuvenation therapy and Aphrodisiacs are explained. In beginning of Rasayanatherapy term Bheshja and its Synonyms are explained (Ch.Chi.1/1/3.)
Bheshaja (Medicines) are divided into 2 types:
1. Some of them tone up the health of healthy person i.e. “Swasthasyaurjaskara (Ch.Chi.1/1/4)
2. Some of them treat the ailments of the patients “Kinchit Artasya Rognut” (Ch.Chi.1/1/4)
Medicine belonging to first category is considered to be useful for a healthy person. There are certain natural conditions like old age, which affect even a healthy individual. The medicine belonging to this category helps to maintain excellent physique. Those medicines which invigorate a healthy person are mostly rejuvenators.
Another text commonly referred to Samhita period is Bhel Samhita which appears to be a contemporary writing to Charak Samhita. This is not available in complete form. Achara Rasayana is described in this Samhita. There is specific indication of Rasayana therapy in “Rajyakshma” in this Samhita. Pippali Rasayana and Pippali Vardhman Rasyana are also described in this Samhita. The topics which are specifically described in Bhel Samhita are Rasayanas in the form of Shukra Shodhana Vasti , Rasayana Vasti.
Following Rasayanas preparations have been newly introduced by Bhel are
1. Jivakadi Rasayana Ghrita.
2. Mahasneha Rasayana
3. Shatavaryadi Rasayana Vasti.
4. Pancha mulyadi Rasayana.
5. Shatapaka sukumara Taila.
In Bhel Samhita there is no independent chapter on Rasayana Therapy. In Bhel Samhita Rasayana is described in chapter naming “Dirghayushyopaya”. The concept are similar to these described by Charaka.
Sushruta Samhita is next important text of Ayurveda. A critical study of this text in reference to Rasayana Therapy was almost same as described by Charaka. But the way of description of Rasayana in Sushruta Samhita is something different. Sushruta has omitted the philosophical aspects of subject and has given lesser importance to the physiological concepts. Sushruta has not given much importance to specialized regimen of Rasayana Therapy like Vatatpika and Kutipraveshika procedure ofCharaka. However, he has advocated the use of Ahara for Rasayana treatment similar to vranitagara described for the use of the wounded persons in a different context. Dalhana Considered this context comparable to Charka’s Kutipraveshika Procedure .The most important contribution of Sushruta and the great commentatorDalhana to the development of Rasayana therapy is the classification of Rasayana(Su.Su.1/10 Dalhana). They described that Rasayana therapy have two aspects:
1. Kamya Rasayana For healthy Person.
2. Naimitiika Rasayana For diseased person.
Sushruta has introduced a number of newer Rasayana drugs which have not been mentioned earlier in Samhitalike Charaka Samhita and Bhel Samhita.
Some drugs are
• Varahi Kanda
• Gambhari Phala
Some compound drugs are
• Shweta Vakuchi Rasayana Yoga.
• Krishan Vakuchi Rasayana Yoga
• Vacha Rasayana Yoga
• Rasayana Shatpaka Vachagharita
• Ayuvardhaka Rasayana
• Nilotpala Kwath Rasayana
• Vasa taila Rasayana Yoga.
• Rasayana Samartyaprad Yoga
• Daridrya Nashak Rasayan Yoga
• Yavadi Yog.
Certain drugs like Vidanga, Kashmari, Vacha, Brahmi, and the 24 types of somas are described (Su.Chi.27/5-8). But certain drugs like Amalaki, Pippalli, and Shankhapushpi have found priority consideration in Charaka Samhita but not described in Sushruta Samhita
The other contemporary Samhita is the Kashyapa Samhita; this book is not available in complete form. However, the available Samhita does not show any separate description of Rasayana Therapy, of course there is scattered description of Rasayana therapy in different context. Similar to Bhel Samhita Rasayana therapy is specifically indicated in management of Rajyakshma. It has been indicated in cases of Kshaya and in Kshina.
Special drugs described by Kashyapa samhita are the following:
• Shatpushpa Kalpa
• Lashuna Kalp
• Madhu - Sharkara Yoga
There is description of different types of Kshira and Mansa has been described. Nagbala, Mandukparni, Yashtimadhu, Brahmi, Rasona has been specially indicated in the treatment of Rajyakshama. While describing the properties of Shatapushpa, shatawari and Lashun Kalp, Kashyapa touch the concepts of Vrinhana, Balkara, Vrishya, Varna-Ojovardhana, Ayushya, Samriti Medha Vardhna & Vayasthapana effects of Rasayana therapy. Kashyapa also suggest Poorva Karma for Rasayana therapy.
The two later texts written by Vagbhatta namely Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtang Hridaya appear to have largely adopted Charaka Samhita. Of course some newer drugs have been introduced in this text. Concepts of Achara Rasayana, Vatatpika Rasayana and kuti Praveshika Rasayana are similar to Charak Samhita. One distinct observation made by Vagabhattaregarding the age factor in selection of subjects for the use of Rasayana therapy is indicated in younger or middle age groups. No such emphasis has been put on the use of Rasayana therapy in younger age groups in earlier texts. Vagbhatta has also indicated the Poorvakarma before the administration of Rasayana drugs.
Chakradutta has emphasized the role of Sanshodhana therapy as a Poorvakarma for Rasayana therapy. He has also described popular Rasayana drugs like Chyavnaprash, Bhallataka yoga, Vardhmaan Pippali Rasayana, Agastya Haritaki, Vyaghri Haritaki and Loh Rasayana etc. He has described the special use of Haritaki in various seasons under the term Ritu Haritaki .Chakrdutta has described certain minerals like Loha, Shilajatu, Swarna, Rajat and Tamra. Chakradutta has also described use of Rasayana Drugs In younger and middle age groups.
Sharangadhara Samhita is a text mainly dealing with Kayachikitsa. Sharangadhara Samhita does not show a separate chapter on Rasayana therapy though essential information about Rasayana therapy is available in the text. The most significant description available in Sharangadhara Samhita on this subject is the definition of Rasayana:
Thus Sharangadhara conceived Rasayana as measures which may delay aging and prevent diseases and thus may maintain the positive health. The classical single Rasayana drugs described as Rasayana by Sharangadhara are:
Beside a number of Rasayana compounds have been described by Sharangdhara such as :
• Louha Rasayana
• Kamdeo Ghrita
• Kaishora Guggulu
• Yogaraj Guggulu
• Agastyaharitaki Avaleha
This book contributes a small but full-fledged independent chapter on Rasayana where one finds comprehensive definition of Rasayana and a number of Rasayanadrugs and preparations. BavaPrakash defines Rasayana as a measure which may delay aging and prevent disease. Longevity and improvement in mental faculties have been claimed as the classical Rasayana effects. Rasayana drugs like Mandukparni Punarnava, Ashwagandha and guggulu and Haritaki have been given special emphasis. However, a review of BhavaPrakash does not show mention of Acharya Rasayana. There is no description of the Classifications of Rasayana. There is no description of the administrative procedure of Rasayana therapy but there is genuine emphasis on the role of samshodhana Karma as a Poorvakarma of RasayanaTherapy.
It is being a text purely dealing with the clinical and diagnostic medicine. It is not concerned with therapeutics and therapeutic procedures and accordingly there is no description of Rasayana therapy in this text.
In this text there is full separate chapter on Rasayana. The definition of Rasayana is same as described by Charaka. There is a description of Madhya Rasayana in this text. Jala, Dugdha, Madhu, and Ghrita have been indicated as Rasayana and special description on Haritaki is presented. There is also a description of Vardhamana Bhallataka Prayoga.
Classical Concepts about practice of Rasayana therapy
Rasayana therapy is not a simple drug therapy but is a specialized therapeutic procedure implicating the fundamental concept of
It may leading to Comprehensive clinical effects designated as Vaya Sthapana, Ayushkara, Medhakara, Balakara and Jara Vyadhi Nashana effects.In conformity with this comprehensive effect the practice of Rasayana therapy has been advocated to involve a number of specific considerations like.
• Vaya (Age)
• Satmya (Biological adaptability to Desha/Kala/Ritu.)
• Dhatus (Tissue and tissue nutrition.)
• Srotasa (Microcirculation)
• Agni (Digestive and metabolic factors)
• Ojus (Vitality)
In addition during Rasayana therapy a person desirous of optimum effects should consume a suitable regime of diet and should follow a suitable code of psychosocial conduct as prescribed under Achara Rasayana.
Consideration of Prakriti
Rasayana drugs are administered to person according to constitution or Prakriti. This has to be determined in view of the basic Pharmacodynamic properties of a particular Rasayana Drugs e.g. Bhallataka, Rasona, Guggulu and Pippali may be suitable Rasayana drugs for a person of Kaphaja Prakriti because these drugs have antiKapha Pharmacodynamic properties such as Ushana Veerya, Katu & Kashaya Rasa, Ruksha & Laghu Gunas. On the other hand drugs like Amalaki and Shatawari may be best Rasayana drugs for a person of Paittika Prakriti probably due to their Sheeta Veerya and other Pharmacodynamic properties. Through Prakriti described in Ayurvedais subtotal of the physique, Physiology and Psyche of a particular persons; Vatika Prakriti is specially predominated by neuropsychological components. In view of this fact an appropriate Rasayana Drugs for a person of Vatika Prakriti should be such which may have the restorative effects on the mind and the body. In present reference, Vacha, Nagabala and similar other drugs may be ideal Rasayana for a person of Vatika Prakriti. Similarly Ashwagandha and Shankhpushpi may prove useful for such persons from mental point of view.
Consideration of Vaya (Age)
In spite of the fact that Rasayana therapy exhibits the anti aging effects like Vaya Sthapna, Ayushkara and Jara Nashak the maximum utility of Rasayana therapy can be obtained when used during early adult and middle age life i.e. 3rd to 5th decades as suggested by Sushruta and Vagbhatta
Once there was irreversible aging changes the Rasayana may not be adequately effective. Thus early adult and middle age is the best period for Rasayana therapy.
In this reference Sharangadhara describes that a person loses his
in 1st ,2nd ,3rd ,4th ,5th, 6th ,7th, 8th, 9th,and 10th decades of life respectively.In relation to these features specific Rasayana drugs may be selected and administered in respective age groups. A study done by central council for Research in Indian medicine & Homeopathy New Delhi held at IMS BHU Suggests fallowing Schedule as regard to the Consideration of Vaya or age in Rasayana Therapy.
Study of Udupa K.N. and Singh R.S. (1995) Shows a guidance
Regarding use of Rasayana Drugs for different age groups
Age group Desired effect Suitable Rasayana Drug
1- 10 Balya
Vacha, Swarna, Kashmari
11-20 Briddhi Ashwagandha, Bala.
21-30 Chhavi Louha, Amalaki.
31-40 Medha Jyotishmati, Shankhpushpi
41-50 Twak Bhringaraja, Priyalu, Somraji
51-60 Drishti Triphala, Saptamrita Lauha
61-70 Shukra Atamgupta & Vajikarna Drug
Drugs may not effective**.
91- Above Karmendriya
Consideration of Satmaya
Similar to Vaya and Prakriti, the Rasayana therapy demands a consideration of the Satmaya (Adaptability) in Ayurveda. Broadly one may need different Rasayana drugs in different Ritu or seasons and different Desha or climates. Here again the Pharmacodynamic properties of different Rasayana Drugs have to be taken into the consideration. Following table shows a list of suitable Rasayana drugs to be used in different Ritu or seasons..
Similarly in consideration with Desha Satmaya Snigdhoshna drugs may be good for Jangala Desha; Rukshoshna drugs for Anupa Desha and Sadharna drugs for Sadharna Desha and so on. In this entire context consideration of the Pharmacodynamic of Rasayana Drugs is to be implicated.
Consideration of Dhatus/ Agni/Srotamsi
Depending upon the status of different Dhatus and Dhatusara one has to select specific Rasayana drugs for the benefit of different specific Dhatus. This has to be determined in consideration of Pharmacodynamic properties and Panchmahabhautika Constitution of different Dhatu and different Rasayana drugs. In view of this fact following Rasayana Drugs may be considered specific for the respective Dhatu.
Sr. No Dhatu Rasayana Drug
1. Ras Kashmari, Kharjura, Draksha.
2. Rakta Lauhadi Rasayana, Amalaki
3. Mansa Ashwagandha, Bala,Nagabala, Kashmari
4. Meda Amrita, Haritaki
6. Majja Lauha, Vasaa, Majja
7. Shukra Vajikarna Drugs
These specific Rasayana drugs are having same composition as the respective Dhatu. They cause Rasayana effect acting at level of Rasa by improving the specific nutritional values of Poshaka Rasa. Drugs are having effect at level of Agni or digestion, metabolism and at level of Srotansi or microcirculation. Drugs acting at level of Srotansi are Pippali, Guggulu, Rasona, and Bhallataka. Drugs activity at the level of Agni for Producing Rasayana effects are Pippali, Chitraka, Vidang.
Consideration of Ojus
It is saaransh of all Dhatus which are supposed to induce Bala, Vyadhikshamatva or immunity. Jivaniya classes of drugs, Yashtimadhu, Swarna are of classes of drugs which improves quality of ojus. Similarly improvement in mental faculties or medhakara effect is also achieved with Rasayana therapy. But certain specific Rasayana appear to have specific effect at this level (Medhya Rasayana). That is the reason why our classics have given priority to Medhya Rasayana such as Shankhpushpi, Jyotishmati, Brahmi etc. (Ch. Chi. ) thus Rasayana therapy has a very comprehensive basis.
Classification of Rasayana
Classification of Rasayana by Sharma A.K. and Singh R.H. 1992
Rasayana is Primarly divided in to two types :-
• Dravyabhuta Rasayana
• Adravyabhutas Rasayana ( Achara Rasayana)
(A) As per method of use (Chraraka)
• Kuti Praveshika (in door use)
• Vatatapika (out door use)
(B) As per Scope of use
• Kamya Rasayana (Promotor of normal health )
1. Prana Kamya (Promotes Longevity)
2. Medha Kamya (Improves mental faculties)
3. Shri Kamya (Improves lustre of body)
• Naimittika Rasayana
• Ajasrika Rasayana
(C) As per content of Rasayana
• Ausadha RasayanaDietary Rasayana
• Achara RasayanaConduct of Rasayana
(D) Specific Rasayana drugs and measures
• Medhya Rasayana
• Achara Rasayana
1. Buddhi Medha Vardhaka
2. Ayu Vardhaka
(E) According to Prabhava (Effect)
• Samshodhana Rasayana
• Samshamana Rasayana
(F) According to Satmya :-
• Ritu Satmya
1. Aadana kala
2. Visarga Kala
• Desh Satmya
1. Sadharana Desha
2. Jangala Desha
3. Anupa Desha
(G) According to Sapta Dhatus
(H) Classfication According to Modern Medical Science :-
• To Promote Immunity
• To improve metabolism
• To improve endocrine and exocrine secretions
Thus type of Rasayana is administered in cottage constructed at a good site and where the required appliances can easily be procured. The cottage is three walled(Trigarbha Kutti). In a favorable Muhoorta, a person desirous of undergoing rejuvenation therapy should enter into the cottage. That individual should than be cleansed by the administration of elimination therapy. Thereafter, when he is happy and has regained his strength, the rejuvenation therapy should be administered. After administration of elimination therapy, normally the patient becomes a little weak. Therefore, proper diet (Sansarjana karma) should be given to patient by this he will regain his strength. (Ch. Chi. 1/1/17-23)
It is not administered in Trigarbha Kutti. It can be administered even if the individual is exposed to the wind and sun hence called Vatatpika Rasayana.
The most significant contribution of sushruta to Rasayana Vigyana is the comprehensive classification presented in the text which has been further appropriated by the great commentator “Dalhana” the text of Sushruta Samhita and the Dalhana’s commentary light the concept that Rasayana therapy may have two aspects:
• Kamya Rasayana :
To be used for improvement of health and vigor in normal state
• Naimitika Rasayana :
To be used in person suffering from specific disease.
Kamya means desire. The Rasayana used for achieving a specific desire is called Kamya Rasayana. It is further divided into Prana Kamya, Medha Kamya, Shri Kamya used in the healthy persons for promotion of Medha, Pran, Shri Naimitiika Rasayana
Naimitika Rasayana is to be used in person suffering from specific disease. This Rasayana is used as adjuvant along with treatment for specific ailments. Naimitika Rasayana is of more practical significance. Naimitika Rasayana is not the specific medical treatment for particular diseases, but it is used as adjuvant along with the specific management of disease e.g. Ashwagandha Churna, Ashwagandharishta is indicated in the treatment of tuberculosis (Su. U. 41/42-43)
Following table gives a list of popular Naimitika Rasayana
Sr. No. Disease Drugs
1. Drishti Mandya Triphala, Shatawari Jyotishmati,Yashtimadhu.
2. Kushtha Bhallataka Rasayana, Tuvaraka,Vidanga
3. Rajyakshama Ashwagandha, Pippali, Shilajatu, Nagabala
4. Shwasa Agastya Rasayana, Bhallataka
5. Prameha Shilajatu, Amalaki, Rasayana, Haridra
6. Pandu Amalaki Rasayana Lauha Rasayana
7. Vata Vyadhi Rasona, Guggulu, vacha, Nagabala.
Ajasrika Rasayana can be used daily as diet Dugdha, Ghrita are commonly Rasayana.
Sanshodhana Rasayana/ Sanshamana Rasayana
The Rasayana Drugs which eliminate the vitiated Doshas by expelling from body called Sanshodhana Rasayana. Rasayana drugs expel Doshas out of body by Vamana, Virechana, and Swedna etc. Examples of Shodnana Rasayana are Pippali, Yashtimadhu etc. There are other drugs which producing Dosh Shaman effect. These drugs are called Sanshamana Rasayana.
Medha is to have proper correlation and understanding about the knowledge of the existing objects. Due to Medha a person will be able to obtain the knowledge of existing object and hence person becomes learned. Majority of Medhya Rasayana drugs possess varied properties. Hence it appears difficult to explain the effect of all the Medhya drugs.
Nagarjuna has mentioned that Medhya drugs mainly act by their Achintya Veerya i.e. Prabhava. The effect of Medhya Rasayana is also at different levels such as at level ofRasa, Agni, and Srotsa. At the level of Agni these drug act by stimulating and improving the function of Agni. At level of Srotsa, these drugs improve the circulation ofRasa by opening and cleaning the micro channel and then ultimately improve the function of Medha. These drugs have beneficial effect on body as well as on mind. Various Medhya Rasayana drugs used are Mandukparni Svarasa, Shankhpushpi Kalka, Guduchi Svarasa and Mulethi Churna. These Medhya Rasayana are described in Charaka Samhita. Some of the Rasayana drugs act by Panchbhautika composition, Some by Rasa, Guna Veerya, and Vipaka. Pharmacological properties of drugs are the resultant of different combination of Bhoota. Panchamahabhoot are said to have characteristic of three Mahaguna Satva, Raja, and Tama. Medha are attributed to predominance ofSatva Guna, Hence Aakashiya, Taijus, Aapya drugs having Satva guna predominance improve Medha. On the basis of Rasa Tikta Rasa has direct action on the promotion of Medha. It performs their function by its Laghu property and Deepana-Paachana and Srotoshodhaka action. Madhura Rasa also by promoting the formation of Ojanourishes five sense, mind and medha. Hence Medhya Rasayana Drugs appear to be predominantly Tikta-Madhura Rasa. Amla, Lavana and Katu Rasa are having least importance in Medhya action. Similarly Ushana Veerya drugs stimulate Saadhak Pitta which promotes Medha. Ushana Veerya drugs improve Grahan Shakti (power of reception) and Samriti (Power of recalling). Majority of drugs are having Madhura Vipaka which nourishes Medha by formation of Oja. So all the Medhya Rasayana drugs improve mental faculties, improve mental function and intellect.
Achara Rasayana is described in various texts. It means good conduct. A careful analysis of qualities of Achara Rasayana reveal that most of them are related withMana, Dhi, Dhriti along with good conduct and these results in maximum benefit. A person must be truthful, free from anger, which is devoid of alcohol, sex indulgence; a person must not indulge in violence or exhaustion. A person may regularly offer prayers to Gods, Teachers, Preceptors and old people. A person must be absolutely free from barbarous acts, his period of awakening and sleep is regular, must take milk and Ghee regularly, should be free from ego, Whose conduct is good, must not be narrow minded, Should have love for spiritual Knowledge, must have excellent sense organ, having self control, who regularly read scripture, must have regard for elderly people, must take milk and Ghee regularly. If a person endowed with these qualities takes rejuvenation therapy they get all the rejuvenation benefit. (Ch. Chi. 1/4/30-35)
Benefit of Rasayana
A persons undergoing rejuvenation therapy attains longevity, memory, intellect, freedom from disease, youth, excellence of lusture, complexion, voice, excellent potentialities of the body and sense organs i.e. what he says comes true, respect and brilliance. The means by which one gets the excellence of Rasa is known as Rasayana or a Rejuvenation therapy. A part from excellence of Rasa, the individual is endowed with psychic excellence like sharp memory etc. by virtue of rejuvenation therapy.
Aim of Rasayana therapy is to achieve long and healthy life
Rasayana Chikitsa boosts the ojus (vital force of life) and immune System. It helps a person to maintain good health or to establish impaired or lost physical or mental health. Ojaswi is used to describe those people who keep good health in all seasons and all stages of life. It is like obtaining high rank in a physical or mental fitness. Ojus gives a bright look, sharp memory, high performance and every expected pleasure.
Rasayana Chikitsa is supposed to nourish blood, lymph, flesh, adipose tissue and semen, and thus prevent freedom from chronic degenerative disorders like Arthritis and disease of senility.
Rasayana is though to improve metabolic processes which results in best possible biotransformation and produce the best quality bodily tissue and delay senility and prevent other diseases of old age.
Rasayana which has a marked action on sexual organs are called Vrishya as Shukra Dhatu is best nourished by it.
Rasayana builds natural resistance against infection.
Rasayana drugs invigorate the body in general by sustaining the required balance between anabolism and Catabolism.
Rasayana drugs which may acts as Antioxidants as well as Immunomodulator may also act as antiaging.
Mode of Action of Rasayana Drugs
Rasayana drugs are used for preservation of positive health. Sushruta defines a healthy man as one who has equilibrium of Doshas, normal functioning of Agni, normal condition of seven Dhatus, beside his soul, the sense organs and mind should be happy and cheerful (Su. Su.15/15) Rasayana stands as an answer to solve the problem of healthful longevity including mental development and resistance against disease. Rasayana is a specialized type of treatment influencing the fundamental aspect of body i.e. Dhatu, Agni and Srotasa. It is a possible that different Rasayana drugs may act with predominance effect at different levels. These comprehensive effects are brought about with the help of the varied Pharmacodynamic properties of these drugs. Rasayana effect is not a specific pharmacological action but is a complex phenomenon operating through a Comprehensive mechanism involving the fundamental factors like Rasa-Samvahan, Dhatus, Agni and Srotsa. It may ultimately be leading to the achievement of the comprehensive effect as stated by Charaka “labhopayo Hi Shastanam - Rasadinam Rasayanum” (Ch. Chi. 1/1/7-8)
It produces the Rasayana effects mentioned in term of Vayasthapana and Ayushkara, Medhakara, Urjaskara so that Rasayana drugs acting at level of Rasa by improving Specific nutritional values of Poshak Rasa. Probably Rasayana drugs are having Madhura, Guru, Snigdha, and Sheeta properties act as Rasayana at level of Rasa by promoting the nutritional value of the Rasa which in term helps in obtaining the best qualities of Dhatus. The example of such drugs may be Shatawari, Madhuyashti,Bala, Dugdha, Ghrita etc. Rasayana drugs have a fundamental effect at level of Agni or digestion and metabolism. The Rasayana drugs possessing the Ushana, Laghu, Ruksha and Katu, Tikta, Kashaya Rasa may be acting at level of Agni, Vitalizing the organic metabolism leading to an improved structural and function pattern ofDhatus and Production of the Rasayana effects. Drugs such as Pippali, Guggulu, Rasona, Bhallataka, Rudanti mainly acts at level of Agni so improve the digestion and create excellence of Saptdhatu. The Rasayana Drugs like Vidang, Chitraka, and Haritaki are experienced to enhance Agni at level of Jaathragni. Similarly Amalaki, Amrita, Pippali, Kumari are supposed to act at level of Dhatu, Agni also causing excellence of all Dhatus.
The Rasayana drugs with Katu, Tikta, Kashaya Rasa, Vishada, Ruksha, Laghu Guna, Ushana Veerya and Katu Vipaka may cause Srotoshodhana and may help in the evaluation of the Rasayana effect in the body. Rasayana drugs which influence oja are supposed to induce Bala and Vyadhiksamatava or Immunity. Drugs used are Jivaniya Ganadrugs, Swarna and Pippali. Similarly improvement in mental faculty (Medhakara effect) is a benefit of Rasayana Therapy
Modern Aspect of Rasayana Therapy
Rasayana Chikitsa means rejuvenation therapy. Rejuvenation literally means to return to youthful conditions or to the normal from diseased state. Rejuvenation therapy helps to promote and preserve health and to Cure disease in sick. The therapy enhances one’s energy and is even known to have cured the sick. It also increases a healthy person’s mental and physical capabilities. It is known to have improved skin complexion and texture, modulates the voice and increases sensing capacity of sense organs. They replenish the vital fluids of our body thus keeping us away from diseases. Taking Rasayana is helpful to increase the immunity of the person to keep him away from diseases. The person became healthy and strong. Some of Benefits of rejuvenation therapy are as follows:
• Long life
• Increase in memory power
• Good health
• Young looks
• Glowing skin
• Modulated voice
• Resistance to disease
The possible mechanisms by which action of Rasayana can be interpreted with modern aspects is follow :
1. Antioxidant action
2. Immunomodulatory action
3. Hemopiotic effect.
4. Adaptogenic action
5. Antiaging action.
6. Anabolic action
7. Nutritive function
8. Neuroprotective action
Rasayana drugs acts as Antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidative damage such as that caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that attack molecules by capturing the electrons and thus modifying chemical structures. Well known Antioxidants include a number of enzymes and other substances such as vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta carotene (which is converted to vitamin A) that are capable of counteracting the damaging effect of oxidation. Antioxidants are also commonly added to food products like vegetable oils and prepared foods
Researches show that Antioxidants are useful for protection of heart disease. This is because oxidation plays a big role in formation atherosclerotic plaque which is a main Pathological event in coronary heart disease. So there is significant role of antioxidant in coronary heart disease. Antioxidants are having role in preventing diabetes mellitus. Antioxidant rich diet may prevent Diabetes. Taking Antioxidants rich food especially vitamin E, may lower risk of Type II DM. A new study show that people whose diets had the highest levels vitamin E were 30% less likely to develop type II DM. In addition, researchers found that people who ate a lot of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant found in colorful fruits and vegetables, also had a lower risk of developing type II DM. Oxidative damage to cells is also important phenomenon in aging process. So Antioxidants are also helpful in delaying aging. Antioxidants may possibly reduce the risk of cancer and age related macular degeneration. Many Rasayana drugs like Amla, Ashwagandha acts are Antioxidants. Main constituents of Amla are vitamin C, carotene, and riboflavin. It is having a role in cellular oxidation reduction. They have also a role in collagen fibrin synthesis, helps in formation at fibrin, Absorption of iron. Withanolide in Ashwagandhaalso acts as Antioxidants by increasing levels of three natural Antioxidants like super oxide- dismutase, Catalase, Glutathione peroxidase
Rasayana drugs also acts as immunomodulator. An immunomodulator is a drug used for its effect on the immune system. Clinical problems that require an evaluation of immunity include chronic infections, recurrent infection, unusual infecting agents and certain autoimmune syndromes. The type of Clinical syndrome under evaluation can provide information regarding possible immune defects
Certain Rasayana drugs at as Immunomodulator strengthening of immunity is done in various ways - by promoting bodily defense Mechanisms like increasing the WBC count, improving immune function. Bodily defense mechanism is promoted. Certain Rasayana drugs also increase number of immune cells known as T cells & B cells helping to fight infections.
Aging is progressive change related to passage of time. By age 50-60 age related changes to begin to reflect like reduced power of muscle, reduced vision, memory, locomotion function, there is gradual decline in homeostasis and immune function predisposes them to infection, digestive problem and malignancy.
Free radicals cause oxidative damage to various biological molecules e.g. hydroxyl radicals can damage cell membrane and lipoproteins by a process called lipid peroxidation which may contribute to aging process. Certain Rasayana drugs likes Ashwagandha inhibits copper induced lipid peroxidation and also inhibits oxidative protein modification. Rasayana also acts as Antioxidants so they help in delaying Aging.