The Science of Ayurveda values the Bilva root, skin, fruit and leaves highly for its medicinal properties for immunity. Amla is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herb which acts as Rasayana, Trodosajit, Cakususya Antioxidant. Brahmi is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herb recognized for its efficacy as intellect promoter, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodualatory effects. Pippali is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herb which acts as a Rasayana, Dipana, Ruchya. It is recommended in the treatment of kasa cough , svasa respiratory ailments , Udara roga Diseases of Abdomen Pippali induced significant activation of macrophages as evidenced by increased macrophage migration index MMI and phagocytic activity in mice. Yashtimadhu is considered to have strength promoting activity Balya.
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Hernani Monteiro, Porto, Portugal. Chyawanprash CP is an Ayurvedic health supplement which is made up of a super-concentrated blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals. It is meant to restore drained reserves of life force ojas and to preserve strength, stamina, and vitality, while stalling the course of aging.
Chyawanprash preparation involves preparing a decoction of herbs, followed by dried extract preparation, subsequent mixture with honey, and addition of aromatic herb powders namely clove, cardamom, and cinnamon as standard.
The finished product has a fruit jam-like consistency, and a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor. Scientific exploration of CP is warranted to understand its therapeutic efficacy. Scattered information exploring the therapeutic potential of CP is available, and there is a need to assemble it. Thus, an effort was made to compile the scattered information from ancient Ayurvedic texts and treatises, along with ethnobotanical, ethnopharmacological, and scientifically validated literature, that highlight the role of CP in therapeutics.
Citations relevant to the topic were screened. Prasha denotes a drug or foodstuff that is suitable for consumption. Chyawanprash is an ancient Indian formulation a polyherbal jam , prepared according to a traditional Ayurvedic recipe, enriched with several herbs, herbal extracts, and processed minerals.
Regarded by many experts as an essential health supplement, CP has been around for centuries. Chyawanprash possesses multiple health benefits and has been widely used since ancient times as a health supplement and as a medicine for enhancing immunity and longevity. It was one of the most appreciated foods for its antiaging effects long before vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant supplements came into existence [ 1 ].
Rasayana, a branch of Ayurveda, includes a number of specialized approaches aimed at prolonging life, preventing aging and diseases, eliminating degenerative processes, and promoting excellent health. Of all the Rasayana formulations enumerated during the classical and medieval periods, CP undoubtedly stands out as the most important.
This formulation has made major strides as an over-the-counter product since it entered the consumer market in the s. It is highly appreciated for possessing multiple health benefits and addressing the preventive, promotive, and curative aspects of health. Chyawanprash that contains Amla has a mixed taste, combining sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent qualities [ 3 ]. On regular intake, it maintains physiological functions and rejuvenates the whole body system [ 4 ].
The atypical name of CP originates from the legend of Chyawan Rishi , who was a forest sage. Various ancient sacred treatises, such as the Mahabharata , the Puranas , etc. He followed strict practices to become enlightened, and this had made him weak, emaciated, and aged.
To regain his youthfulness, vitality, and strength, he used CP [ 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ]. The foremost historically recorded recipe for CP is reported in the Charaka Samhita , the ancient Ayurvedic classic, where it is appreciated as being superior to all other herbal rejuvenative tonics [ 9 ].
Chyawanprash is a potent antioxidant paste, prepared through the synergistic blending of around 50 herbs and spices. Typically, CP includes four classes of herbal drugs: The Dashmula class ten roots ; the Chaturjata class four aromatic plants ; Ashtavarga threatened medicinal herbs from the Northwest Himalayas, which are not commercially available in the modern era [ 11 ]; and a general class materials not belonging to the former classes. The Chyawanprash formula is described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts, namely, Ashtanga Hridayam, Charaka Samhita, Sangandhara Samhita, which are dedicated to clinical management.
The dominant ingredient is Amla , a citrus fruit that is a highly renowned and potent botanical in Ayurveda. The main ingredients of CP, along with their botanical identities, key active biomolecules and specific therapeutic roles, are detailed in Figure 1 and Table 1 [ 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 , 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 , 54 , 55 ].
Each ingredient of CP is scientifically validated for its nutritive and therapeutic efficacy. All these nutrients are blended in specific quantities and subjected to unique pharmaceutical processes in such a fashion that builds a potent synergy for optimal health virtues [ 56 , 57 ]. However, noncompliance with ancient manufacturing guidelines and deviation from the original recipe is a common malpractice in the pharma sector.
It will no longer be called CP if there is any change in the ingredients of the traditional formula [ 58 ]. The Government of India has already framed policies for the preservation, cultivation, and sustainable extraction of rare and endangered medicinal plants. Commercial formulations now use substitute herbs. Among these eight, four belong to the orchid family, three are from the lily family, and one belongs to the house of gingers.
These are conjointly called Ashtavarga and are said to augment the antioxidant role of Amla. These Ashtavarga herbs which are close to extinction are stipulated in Table 2. Since the standard operating procedure SOP for CP preparation is not clearly narrated in ancient literature, at present, the modus operandi differs for each manufacturer. Current authoritative books of the Indian system of medicine mention the use of numbers of Amla in a single lot.
However, variation in Amla size and the quantity of the obtained pulp is the major limiting factor for the SOP and standardization. In historical times, Amla was mainly collected from forests. It was observed that Amla fruit collected from forests has more concentration of vitamin C than that coming from cultivated fruit [ 60 ]. The weight of fresh Amla varies from 2.
If cultivated hybrid Amla is available, such fruits would weigh approximately 6. Five-hundred Amla fruits each fruit having a weight of around 15—20 g, total weight: 6. After taking off the pottali , seeds are removed from Amla ; the remaining pulpy portion is rubbed on a clean muslin cloth, Amla fibers are separated, and Amlapishthi wet paste of Amla pulp is collected.
Decoction is then strained, and mare is discarded. After this, Amlapishthi is mixed with Yamakadravyas lipids: g cow ghee and sesame oil each in an iron container and fried until it gets brownish-red and the Yamaka lipids starts separating. Sugar syrup is then prepared by adding sugar in the herbal decoction.
Fried Amlapishthi is added to this decoction syrup and heated until attainment of viscidity of two strings. Then, when the heating is stopped, Prakshepadravya herbal powders of g Vanshalochan ; g Pipali and Nagakesar ; Elaichi, Tamalpatra and Dalchini , 10 g each are added and stirred until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
After cooling the mixture, g honey old, natural, pure is uniformly mixed, and the finished product is obtained and packed in airtight sterile containers. Finally, the prepared CP is of a dark brown color, having wet paste-like appearance and consistency.
The whole unit operating process of traditional CP preparation is depicted in Figure 2. Unit operating process of traditional Chyawnprash preparation. A Raw material collection; B fresh Amla taken; C Amla boiling in pottali suspended in herbal decoction; D Amla pulp separated in muslin cloth; E Amla pulp frying in ghee and sesame oil; F fried until pulp goes brownish-red and the lipids start separating; G Pishthi cooked in decoction syrup until the attainment of two strings viscidity; H upon cooling, prakshepa herbal powders and honey added and mixed homogeneously; I finally, prepared Chyawanprash packed in airtight sterile containers.
Some Ayurvedic additives, Shukti Bhasma pearl oyster calx g, Abhraka Bhasma mica calx g, Shringa Bhasma deer horn calx g, Makardhawaja preparation of red sulphide of mercury and gold 25 g, clove 25 g and Rajata silver foil 75 in number, for special health benefits, are also added by some manufacturers [ 1 ].
Chyawanprash can be used by all age groups in every season, as its ingredients nullify the unpleasant effects of intense weather and climate or environmental change [ 2 , 61 ]. Chyawanprash should be taken in a quantity such that it does not interfere with hunger and appetite for food [ 62 , 63 , 64 , 65 , 66 ].
The general dosage of CP 12—28 g is to be taken with milk — ml on an empty stomach in the morning [ 66 , 67 ]. In such cases, the formulation can be administered with lukewarm water.
It is recommended to consume CP within a year from the manufacturing date, as a study has indicated that chemical deterioration may occur during the storage period, resulting in loss of the therapeutic potency of CP [ 68 ]. Chyawanprash is a semi-solid sticky paste with a brownish black appearance, chiefly having sweet and spicy odor, with a sweet and astringent feel after taste with aroma of Prakshepadravya powder of seven herbs [ 69 , 70 ].
The taste is predominantly governed by the flavors of honey, cow ghee clarified butter , and Triphala a mixture of three myrobalans , and the aroma by cow ghee and certain spices viz. Limited studies are available on quality testing of CP.
A major part in the composition of CP is Amla , which is rich in vitamin C and polyphenolics, including flavonoids. The phenolic compounds of CP possess antioxidant principles that are said to contribute to the rejuvenating and tonic attributes of CP.
By contrast, individual pharmaceutical companies have their own in-house specifications for the quality of CP, which are not in the public domain. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India API has published a monograph on CP along with a brief method of preparation and various physicochemical and assay tests as official quality standards. These include description, identification such as microscopy, thin layer chromatography TLC , physicochemical parameters loss drying, total ash, acid-insoluble ash, alcohol-soluble extractive, water-soluble extractive, pH , assay, microbial limit, and test for aflatoxin.
Owing to the lack of uniform quality control standards of Ayurvedic drugs, it becomes challenging to ensure the uniformity of their composition and so the efficacy of final products [ 74 ]. Although the official quality testing methods for CP [ 75 ] do not contain vitamin C content, there are contrasting findings apropos of its presence in CP [ 76 , 77 ], possibly due to the application of less sensitive and nonspecific methods of investigation.
A study in found that vitamin C was missing in the tested CP samples, and it might have been destroyed during cooking of the Amla pulp with cow ghee in the pharmaceutical process [ 78 ]. Another study found that the percentage of vitamin C in the old samples of CP 0. It also provides several essential phytoconstituents, namely, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, antioxidants, piperine, phenolic compounds, etc. The synergistic antioxidant effects of vitamin C along with vitamin E and carotenoids are well known.
The rich nutritive composition and antioxidant biomolecules of CP act both singly as well as synergistically for immuno-modulation, body building, health restoration, and prevention of oxidative damage a leading cause of several degenerative diseases [ 81 , 82 , 83 ]. In the Ayurvedic perspective, the specific actions of herbs in CP in the micro and macronutrient supplement level, metabolic level, and tissue nourishment level are well recognized [ 85 ].
Chyawanprash has passed the scrutiny of several scientific studies. Contemporary studies corroborate and validate the ancient claims and traditional beliefs regarding its therapeutic use. The herbal and spicy ingredients of CP help to convalesce the circulatory system, thus channelizing the removal of the toxins from distant tissues and visceral organs.
It builds a congruent synergy amid physiological functions steering toward an improved metabolism. All herbal and natural products in the composition of CP have been well investigated and explored by the scientific community for their therapeutic vistas. It is very challenging to uncover the active phytochemicals, the rationality behind its therapeutic usage, and the underlying mechanistic role of herbal medicine by adopting contemporary scientific tools and methods. However, this does not imply that all the doctrines or beliefs in traditional medical systems which are not justifiable by scientific substantiation are irrational and non-existent.
Chyawanprash is beneficial for health in several ways. It is an excellent ergogenic enhancing physical performance , tonic, rejuvenator, anabolic, immunomodulator and promotes strength to the gastrointestinal tract, digestive organs, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrospinal systems, neuronal circuits, and renal and reproductive tissues [ 86 ].
Chyawanprash helps to eliminate the accumulated excreta via improving digestion and excretion. It is reported to alleviate nausea, vomiting, hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and flatulence.
Chyawanprash has also been found to relieve gastritis, peptic ulcer, gut cramps, and correct the gastrointestinal functions. It purifies blood, works as detoxifier, and promotes healthy liver function [ 1 , 64 ]. It protects and strengthens the liver and kidneys and improves lipid and protein metabolism [ 87 , 88 , 89 , 90 , 91 ]. Paatla, Agnimanth, Gambhari, Bael, Shyonak. Vidaarikand , and Aguru , help to improve digestion and metabolism [ 92 , 93 ]. In the case of CP, its sweet flavor favors its quick assimilation and facilitates better passage of its active ingredients into cell walls [ 94 , 95 ].
A regular intake of CP strengthens the trachea—bronchial tree and hence improves the immunity and functioning of the respiratory system.
It helps to treat respiratory infections, allergic cough, asthma, bronchospasm, rhinitis, seasonal or nonseason respiratory disorders, common cold, and tuberculosis, and thus strengthens the respiratory system.
Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement
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