Rasayana is one of the 8 fundamental disciplines of Ayurveda, which is focused on rejuvenation therapy. This discipline puts the biggest emphasis on the principles of proper nutrition.
It loosely translates to “the path of the essence.” This term was used in early Ayurvedic teachings to refer to techniques, practices, and principles that promote the human body and mind’s longevity and vitality.
Ancient ayurvedic doctors believed that it is important to provide the entire human body with certain substances to nourish every cell, and that is why it is necessary to establish an unhindered movement of fluids in the body. They knew that this would be only possible if all the channels through which nutrients move within the human body are clean. Therefore the description of any ayurvedic treatment begins with a description of cleansing practices.
Research describes Rasayana as a medical and sometimes non-medical technique that creates the right quality and quantity of tissue to ensure you live a disease-free life.
What Is Aging?
Aging happens due to the degradation of body cells. Each subsequent cell is anatomically and functionally worse than the previous one. We need to make sure that the degradation process takes place as slowly as possible so that the cell is preserved for as long as possible.
The body must be constantly in balance between two processes – anabolism and catabolism. Catabolism is a breakdown with the release of energy, and anabolism means the synthesis of substances. The predominance of anabolism leads to tissue hypertrophy and stagnant processes, and excessive catabolism leads to the disintegration of tissues.
Ayurveda believes that our digestive system plays a key role in our longevity and aging process. It believes that ideal digestive capacity prolongs our life and helps us to rejuvenate our bodies.
Therefore, we can say that the goal of Rasayana is the most ideal work of the gastrointestinal tract so that it performs as best as possible at all stages, starting from the mouth and ending with the anus.
What Is Rasayana?
From the Ayurvedic pharmacology perspective, Rasayana is any herbal formula with antioxidant and rejuvenating qualities, which is used to improve health, protect against diseases, and promote longevity.
However, Rasayana is not only herbal pharmacology; it is also all possible methods of rejuvenation – oil treatment, massage, exercises, and pranayamas.
What Are Rasayana Benefits?
Many ayurvedic doctors describe Rasayana as the ultimate rejuvenation therapy. It is heavy on preventing aging and ensuring you live a healthy, strong, and long life.
The basics of Rasayana are nourishing the body’s tissues, helping eliminate toxins, and enhancing the body’s immunity. All these collectively restore the youthhood of the body. It is like a way to non-invasively reverse the biological clock.
Here are some most significant benefits that Rasayana provides:
#1: Great for anti-aging
Rasayana is excellent for glowing skin. Our skins are exposed to all harmful chemicals and weather. All these together result in untimely aging. With the right kind of Rasayana, you can prevent the untimely aging of your skin.
Other than the skin, Rasayana keeps your hair young for longer. It prevents untimely graying and falling off. With this, the volume of your hair will remain intact even as you age. It can also help prevent a receding hairline, an issue many people in middle-aged face.
Besides, Rayasana can help:
- Keep all your five senses healthy and strong;
- Prolong your lifespan;
- Keep at bay constant body and mind fatigue.
With the practice, it is not just about prolonging your lifespan; Rasayana improves the quality of your life too. If you are looking for anti-aging natural care, we highly recommend looking at Brahma or Chyavanprash Rasayana.
#2: Promotes stronger eyesight
Many times, old age comes with diminishing eyesight. However, it is common for younger people to have issues with their vision too. Some Ayurveda herbal medicines can help restore poor eyesight. You can also use these to keep your eyes strong from an earlier age.
#3: Enhanced immunity
It is no secret that Rasayana fortifies the body’s immunity. A long time ago, this practice was a preserve for the royalties. These are people that wanted to live longer and guard their thrones. They, therefore, went out of their way to boost their immune systems and fight all diseases that came their way.
There are many Rasayana formulated for people with specific diseases. You can take these to restore your health. You can also take the preventive Rayasana that protects your body from infections. One of the most common is the Pippali Rayasana, designed for people with respiratory infections.
#4: Improved mental health
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, Rasayana is not just for physical health. It is excellent for mental health too. For example, you can use it to treat anxiety. You can use Brahma Rasayana to manage anxiety symptoms, for it works directly on the nervous system. Besides, it also works on Vata dosha imbalance.
Taking Brahma Rayasana formulas can help:
- Reduce the symptoms of anxiety and nervousness;
- Balance your Vata;
- Improve your intelligence.
Furthermore, Rasayana is excellent for treating chronic fatigue. If you constantly feel like you have no energy, you could use Rasayana to recharge yourself for your day-to-day activities. With the Balya (strength-providing properties of Rasayana), you will have more energy to take on both physical and mental tasks and daily duties.
#5: Enhanced digestive power
Including certain Ayurvedic spices in your diet can help transform your digestive health.
- Cumin: This spice enhances nutrient absorption and cleanses the digestive system. It also enhances the production of pancreatic juices, which are instrumental in the proper digestion process. It also enhances appetite.
- Coriander: Use coriander if there is increased acidity in your digestive system. It is a sure way to soothe a disturbed digestive system. It is also a good choice if you have no appetite.
- Fennel: Fennel seeds are filled with vital minerals such as magnesium which is excellent for treating many digestive issues. It is also great for relaxing strained and cramping digestive muscles. You can also use it to improve your appetite without overheating.
These spices will enhance the digestive process from absorption to elimination of wastes. There is no better way to keep your digestive system in check.
Rayasana is pretty comprehensive. We look at some of its classifications below. These can help you understand what you specifically need.
This classification of Rayasana includes ayurvedic herbs. These are vital in the optimal functioning of the body and mind.
This classification has four categories:
- Anti-aging Rayasanas
- Mental activity enhancing Rayasanas
- Eyesight promoting Rasayanas
- Disease combating Rasayanas
This Rasayanas help promote the general principles of healthy and respectful living. These will help you live optimally if you strive to live healthily.
Follow the following techniques for a healthy life:
- Be slow to anger;
- Avoid alcohol consumption;
- Respect your elders and teachers;
- Be truthful;
- Your sleep and wake time should be regular;
- Live spiritually;
- Avoid reckless sex indulgence.
Other types of Rasayanas include:
- Pranayama – for enhancement of vitality and longevity of the body tissues
- Medhakamya – booster of intelligence and mental capacity
- Srikamya – promotion of skin luster and complexion
In addition, Rasayanas are classified according to the method of application:
- Kuti Praveshika Rasayana — treatment is carried out in a special institution, it provides many restrictions, requires strict discipline, and often lasts several months;
- Vatatapika is almost an independent treatment, which also requires discipline but can take place in normal human conditions.
Stages of Rasayana
First, it is necessary to diagnose or determine the condition in which a person is in order to choose the correct Rasayana. And, of course, a qualified Ayurvedic specialist will cope with this task best of all.
Secondly, it is necessary to restore the balance of doshas and healthy Agni (the digestive fire) in order to ensure the delivery of medicinal products to all cells of the body.
Thirdly, to carry out a large-scale cleansing. If Ama (toxins) are accumulated in the tissues, then they will not be able to take in all the nutrients, and treatment will not give the expected result. Therefore, it is not surprising that any healing in Ayurveda begins with cleansing practices. The most famous of them is panchakarma.
Panchakarma is translated from Sanskrit as “five actions”:
- Vamana (vomiting);
- Virechana (cleansing the intestines with laxatives);
- Basti (cleansing with enemas);
- Nasya (taking medicines through the nose);
- Raktamokshana (bloodletting).
A person will not always show all five “actions”, and only the attending Ayurvedic doctor can choose the necessary number of certain procedures. In addition, panchakarma can be used only in cases when “the patient is strong, and the disease is weak.” If “the patient is weak and the disease is strong”, first the doctor needs to balance the doshas in order to weaken the disease and strengthen the patient; otherwise, cleansing procedures can exacerbate the disease, and it will only get worse. When a lot of Ama (toxins) has accumulated in the body, and the excretory systems cannot cope even with a normal load, forcing them to work in an enhanced mode can be really dangerous.
It is best not to accumulate Ama (toxins) at all. You can reduce Ama by regularly doing fasting days, eating healthy vegan food, not eating when you’re stressed, giving the body physical activity, and practicing yoga, meditation, and pranayama daily. These simple rules will ensure an active Agni and a balance of doshas.
According to Ayurvedic texts, treatment should take place on three levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. In the Charaka Samhita, it is said that there are three types of therapy: spiritual, rational, and psychotherapy.
Spiritual therapy treats with the help of mantras, mystical properties of plants and gemstones, performing certain rituals, giving alms, and austerities, surrendering oneself to the will of God, and other spiritual practices.
Rational therapy treats with a rational diet, medications, and therapeutic procedures.
Psychotherapy is aimed at distracting the mind from unfavorable internal or external objects.
It has long been proven that a person’s physical condition largely depends on their thoughts and feelings. And no medication, even the strongest one, can cure a patient who is convinced of a fatal outcome or does not see the point of living. So it is quite logical to carry out wellness activities not only for the body but at the same time to clear the mind and strengthen the spirit.
The Use of Ayurvedic Herbs In Rasayana
Ayurveda is rich in universal medicines that will suit both the elderly and children and will work even without prior preparation and if taken incorrectly. However, be mindful of possible allergic reactions and make sure to consult with your physician before taking these herbs.
Here are some of the most popular ayurvedic herbs that are used in Rasayana:
Amla (Indian gooseberry)
Amla is a very strong antioxidant that is very rich in vitamin C. In addition, different parts of amla contain various acids, oils, minerals, tannins, and pectins. This plant was used by people for treatment centuries ago, and now Ayurveda recommends it as a universal remedy for many ailments.
Brahmi is a herbaceous plant that has been used since time immemorial to rejuvenate brain and nerve cells. Modern studies have shown that the substances contained in Brahmi support protein synthesis in the brain, and therefore affect brain activity. Therefore, Ayurvedic doctors prescribe this drug to ensure the longevity of your memory, relax the mind, and calm the nervous system.
Neem is one of the revered plants in India, and for good reason, because the powder from its leaves is able to purify the blood and remove toxins, cholesterol, and free radicals. It is used both to fight parasites and as a rejuvenating agent in cosmetology. This plant is especially effective in the treatment of skin diseases.
Ashwagandha is an herb often called “Indian ginseng” for its properties. It relieves stress and fatigue, treats insomnia, and rejuvenates muscles and bone marrow. Ashwagandha root is used as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is especially effective in diseases of the joints.
Triphala is made out of three plants: amla, bibhitaka, and haritaki, which are able to balance all three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. A combination of these plants removes accumulated Ama from the body, regulates the work of the intestines, and stimulates the production of bile. It has no negative side effects or contraindications. In the Charaka Samhita, it is said that one who takes Triphala for a year will get rid of all diseases and will live up to 100 years. Of course, this does not mean that you can give up other means of maintaining your health and hope for the wonderful properties of Triphala. In any case, a systematic and reasonable approach is important.