Chyawanprash is a traditional Ayurvedic formulation used widely in India and now, around the world. It is a spicy-sweet jam categorized in Ayurveda as “rasayana” for its immune-boosting and rejuvenating properties.1Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthanam, Vol. II, (Motilal Banarasidas, Banaras) 1954, p7. Chyawanprash, which contributes to longevity, is made of more than 50 herbs. The base of the formula is Amla, an Indian gooseberry that is one of the most potent sources of Vitamin C. Honey also is used as a carrier of the herbs.

5 Major Benefits of Chyawanprash

#1: Supports the Agni (digestive fire)

Our digestive fire represents our metabolic activity and the ability to digest and absorb nutrition. In addition, Chyawanprash helps to break down toxins and prepare them for elimination.2Jeena KJ, Kuttan R. “Hepatoprotective activity of Emblica officinalis and Chyawanprash.” J Ethnopharmacol, 2000;72:135.,3Handa SS, Sharma A, et al. “Natural products and plants as liver protecting drugs.” Fitoterapia, 1986;57:307. In this way, Amla cleanses and strengthens all the body tissues.

#2: Strengthens and Supports the Respiratory System

While Chyawanprash promotes adequate hydration and the smooth function of the respiratory tract, it also reduces oxidative damage to the tract and lungs.4Ojha JK, Khanna NN, et al. “A clinical study on Chyawanprash as an adjuvant in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.” J Res Ind Med. 1975;10:1. In one study, Chyawanprash was given to tobacco smokers over the course of two months. Researchers found that consistent use of Chyawanprash reduced the toxic oxidative damage to DNA by at least 60% compared to non-users of Chyawanprash.5Yadav JS, et al. “Chyawanprash Awaleha: A Genoprotective Agent for Bidi Smokers.” Int J Hum Genet. 2003;3(1):33–38. In addition, Chyawanprash users also has longer cell-life and lower cellular turn over, which demonstrates a benefit to the quality of life and longevity at the cellular level when using this medicine.

#3: Nourishes the Brain Cells and Calms the Nervous System

Users of Chyawanprash have benefited with an improved quality of life and longevity in brain function. Some practical effects include better coordination of physical movement, improved memory, increased learning ability, storage of information, recall, and intellect.6Sharma PV, Dravayagun Vigyan, Vol II, (Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, Varanasi) 2003:535. A study of these effects on mice demonstrates that the formula ultimately protects normal brain function as we age, thus reducing risk of dementia and amnesia related to aging.7Parle M, Bansal N. “Antiamnesiac Activity of an Ayurveda Formulation Chyawanprash in Mice.” Hindawi Publishing Corp. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2011):9. Researchers equated this to the ability to protect the brain against the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

#4: Powerful Cardiotonic and Strengthens the Heart

Chyawanprash has proven to be effective for improving the quality and effectiveness of our heart function. Specifically, the formula improves the force of contraction, reduces the rate of contraction, and improves blood flow to the heart muscle.8Parle M, Bansal N. “Traditional medicinal for formulation, Chyawanprash – A review.” Ind J Trad Know. October 2006;5(4):484–488. These functions are especially useful in the treatment of congestive heart failure. Furthermore, Chyawanprash also protects the heart by improving the overall lipid profile, including lowering cholesterol.9Manjunatha S, et al. “Effect of Chyawanprash and vitamin C on glucose tolerance and lipoprotein profile.” Ind J Physio Pharmacol. 2001;45:71.,10Thakur CP, et al. “The Ayurvedic medicines Haritaki, Amla and Bahira reduce cholesterol induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.” Int J Cardiol. 1988;21:167.

#5: Aphrodisiac and Enhances the Reproductive Organs

Usually, this benefit is the more exciting to most people; however, Chyawanprash is not a cure for erectile dysfunction or libido issues. Rather, Chyawanprash goes deeper in its health benefit. As a “Rasayana,” the formula has a stimulating effect on our metabolic system, which improves the quality and constitution of our body tissues on all levels. The subtlest and most profound effect is on improving the Ojas of the individual. Healthy Ojas are expressed in the vibrancy and vitality of the individual as well as in a strong and resilient immune system.11Parle M, Bansal N. “Traditional medicinal for formulation, Chyawanprash – A review.” Ind J Trad Know. October 2006;5(4):484–488.

Contributions to this blog were made by Afrin Sopariwala, AWC. Learn more about Afrin and her work at NRIM Seattle.

The Story of Chyawanprash

Sage Chyawan was an old famous man, respected across the kingdom. It so happened, that the King’s daughter became very ill and was on the verge of death. The King tried all sorts of treatment to no avail.  Devastated, the King turned to Sage Chyawan, asking for help through his medicine. Sage Chyawan prepared Chyawanprash as medicine and made prayers that saved the King’s daughter.

The King was overjoyed and said, “You must take my daughter in marriage.”

Sage Chyawan was concerned. “I’m old, weak, and celibate.” But he couldn’t refuse the King out of respect.

So Sage Chyawan used the Chyawanprash formula to regain his youth and vigor, and then married the King’s daughter.

References   [ + ]

1. Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthanam, Vol. II, (Motilal Banarasidas, Banaras) 1954, p7.
2. Jeena KJ, Kuttan R. “Hepatoprotective activity of Emblica officinalis and Chyawanprash.” J Ethnopharmacol, 2000;72:135.
3. Handa SS, Sharma A, et al. “Natural products and plants as liver protecting drugs.” Fitoterapia, 1986;57:307.
4. Ojha JK, Khanna NN, et al. “A clinical study on Chyawanprash as an adjuvant in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.” J Res Ind Med. 1975;10:1.
5. Yadav JS, et al. “Chyawanprash Awaleha: A Genoprotective Agent for Bidi Smokers.” Int J Hum Genet. 2003;3(1):33–38.
6. Sharma PV, Dravayagun Vigyan, Vol II, (Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, Varanasi) 2003:535.
7. Parle M, Bansal N. “Antiamnesiac Activity of an Ayurveda Formulation Chyawanprash in Mice.” Hindawi Publishing Corp. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2011):9.
8, 11. Parle M, Bansal N. “Traditional medicinal for formulation, Chyawanprash – A review.” Ind J Trad Know. October 2006;5(4):484–488.
9. Manjunatha S, et al. “Effect of Chyawanprash and vitamin C on glucose tolerance and lipoprotein profile.” Ind J Physio Pharmacol. 2001;45:71.
10. Thakur CP, et al. “The Ayurvedic medicines Haritaki, Amla and Bahira reduce cholesterol induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.” Int J Cardiol. 1988;21:167.