Saturday, 3 September 2011

Rasayana Chikitsa

Rasāyana Chikitsa
Āyurveda, "the complete knowledge for long life" is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words āyu, meaning "longevity", and veda, meaning "related to knowledge" or "science". Ayurveda has eight branches. Rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation) is one of them. Rasa has different meanings like "taste“, “essence", "flavor”, ”juice”, or “emotion", but is not limited to any of these. In therapeutic process Rasa is concerned with the conservation, transformation, and revitalization of energy.

Rasa nourishes our body, boosts immunity and helps to keep the body and mind in best of health. Rasayana describes herbal, herbo-mineral preparations that promotes a youthful state of physical and mental health and expands happiness. Rasayana herbs have high levels of both safety for daily use and effectiveness. They are given to small children as tonics, and are also taken by the middle-aged and elderly to increase longevity. 
Need for Rejuvenation -
Our life style has become very hectic. This is due to over exertion – physical as well as mental. Day by day people are feeling in secured which increase stress. The diet has also become faulty as many people are using fast food items. The timing of eating has become irregular due to change in the duties and more and more persons are using stale foods with preservatives.
Due to availability of various gadgets in the kitchen, use of television, mobile phones and computers has resulted in lack of exercise. More and more people are becoming addicted to Alcohol, smoking, excessive sex, too much sleep and drugs. This all leads to low dhatu bala, low ojas, vitiation of all doshas; resulting in – premature aging, fatigue, debility, inability to adopt to stress, recurrent illness and depression. 
Anti-oxidants – Rasayana foods, herbs and regimens helps to reestablish this balance. 
Purpose of Rasayana -
Rasayana should be used for three fold purpose - 1. Maintaining health, 2. Prevention of diseases and old age and 3. To avoid the recurrence of diseases. Sharangadhara has advised that in each group of age, every person should take specific rasayana for keeping healthy and fit. It should be kept in mind that Rasayana has a more preventive aspect than a curative one. Hence it is done after the treatment of disease to prevent recurrence of that disease or to nourish the tissues that have been damaged by the disease. It can also be done in absence of a disease to prevent the occurrence of diseases. 
Rasayanas are nontoxic in normal doses and are amphoteric (can act as both acid and base), in that way they won't over-tonify the body. Tonics will build up or stimulate the body towards normal health but can be over-tonifying. Rasayanas will help normalize physiology, but do it through gentle eliminative functions that tend to focus on one or more organs, so are quite different. Amphoteric herbs seem to have a built in buffer that will help the body achieve homeostatic  balance, building or eliminating to achieve physiological equilibrium.
Rasayana therapy enriches rasa with nutrients to help one attain longevity, memory, intelligence, health, youthfulness, excellence of luster, complexion and voice, optimum development of physique and sense organs, mastery over phonetics, respectability and brilliance. 
According to the method of use of Rasayanas, they are classified into-
  1. Kamya Rasayanas- They are promoters of normal health. They boost body energy levels, immunity and general health.
    • Pranakamya – Promoter of vitality and longevity
    • Medhakamya – Promoter of intelligence.
    • Srikamya – Promoter of complexion.
  1. Naimittika Rasayans help to fight a specific disease.
In pursuit of these matters, herbal prescriptions with many herbal substances, preserved in ghee and honey are given. Chyawanaprasha is one of the traditional rasayanas. Specific adaptogenic herbs are also included in Rasayanas including Amalaki, ShilajitAshwaganda,Tulasi,Guduchi and Shatavari.
The classical Rasayana formulas, contain a large number of ingredients, including minerals, pearl, coral and gems, and include a specific process (samskara). Because of negative publicity and cost factor, the use of the classical rasayana formulas has declined considerably, and most of the preparations available now have herbal ingredients with a couple of mineral and animal products. The non-availability and wild life protection act has made the use of musk, amber and parts of wild-life animals, nearly impossible.
The current Rasayana formulas are based on such ingredients as Amlaki (Emblica officinalis) which has very high stable Vitamin C, Vibhitaki (Terminalia belerica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Shilajit (a mineral exudate high in fulvic acid), Long pepperBlack pepperGinger, processed Guggulu, Guduchi, AshwagandaShatavari and similar ingredients.
Here is list of herbs used for rasayana therapy and their actions - 
  • Bala (Sida-condifolia), Kashmari (Gmelina arborea), and Varahi (Withania somnifera) - act as dietary adjuvants and are good for increasing the strength of tissues and organs (Balya). 
  • Pippali (Piper longum) acts as 'Respiratory Rasayana' 
  • Lahsuna (Garlic -Alhum sativum) - increase the tissue enzymes. 
  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) - acts as 'Digestive Rasayana' by eliminating the waste products from the tissues/organs, particularly G.I.tract. 
  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica) - helps to increase intellect and memory thereby acting as 'Medhya Rasayana' (Brain Tonic). 
  • Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) - helps further digestion of waste products (Aama). 
  • Amlaki (Embelica officinalis) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) - decrease the catabolic process and thus postpones ageing. Therefore they are known as 'Vayasthapaka Rasayana' (Adaptogenic tonics). 
  • Bhallataka (Semicarpus anacardium) - have a powerful immune promoting substance which overcomes many conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and some stages and types of malignancies (cancer). 
  • Punarnava (Boerrhevia diffusa) - promotes the functions of the kidney and improves the regenerating capacity of the nephrons (functional unit of the kidneys). 
  • Shatavari (Asparagus recemosus) - is perhaps best known as a female rejuvenative. It is useful for infertility, decreased libido, threatened miscarriage, menopause, leucorrhea. Shatavari promotes lactation in lactating mothers.
  • Pravala (coral-corralium rubrum), kukkutandatwak bhasama (calcination of external covering of hen's egg) - provide calcium essential for bone growth and development. 
  • Kapikachhu (Mucuna pruriens) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - promote generative activities in the tissues, restore senile sexual dysfunctions and cure impotency. 
  • Suvarna (Gold) and Hiraka (diamond) - increase the 'ojas' (the essence of the body) 
  • 'Vardhaman pippali rasayana' is the Rasayana chikitsa is advocated for 'Pranavaha shrotas'(Respiratory system). 
  • Chyavanaprasha: is an ancient and most popular rejuvenator tonic of Ayurveda.
    Maharshi Chyavana first prepared this medicine and that is why it is known as "Chyavana-Prasha". Chyavana-Prasha enhances body metabolism and immunity and considered to be one of the most health promoting product of Ayurveda. It is said that Sage Chyavana made it to bring back youth in an old and fragile body. 
The benefits of Rasayana Chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy) are manifold. It improves the overall health of the person undergoing the treatment. Apart from promoting good health, it is beneficial to increase the concentration and memory power. The skin looks youthful and radiates its natural glow after the person undergoes the rejuvenation therapy. It brings calmness and de-stresses the mind, relieving it from anxiety, depression and stress related problems. 
A higher resistance to diseases is built into the body when the person opts for rejuvenation therapy. Optimum strength of the body is assured by the Rasayana therapy. It is the need of the hour that this method of therapy has to be propagated and practiced by all and benefits reaped. 
Adopt Rasayana and Add life to years

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