Rasāyana - Ayurveda's Secret to Longevity

Posted by Lala Naidu on

Rasāyana Tantra is one of the eight major clinical disciplines of Astanga Ayurveda and entirely devoted to the study of aging and its prevention with the help of rasāyana therapies. Rasāyana Therapies aim to promote longevity, develop positive health and improve mental faculties and provide resistance and immunity against diseases by nourishing dhatus (tissues), agni (digestive fire) and srotamsi (micro-circulatory channels).

Rasāyana is a Sanskrif word literally meaning ayana (path) of rasa (essence). Ayana means flow i.e. the measures by which one is capable of getting the nourishing rasa. Rasāyana is the process by which all the body tissues are nourished. Consequently, rasāyana helps in regeneration, revival and revitalization of dhatus (tissues).

Ayurveda has two main objectives –

a) To maintain the health of healthy individuals.
b) To cure the diseases of diseased persons.

Rasāyana chikitsa (treatment) is mainly used for maintaining the health of healthy individuals although it can be used for diseases also.

Aging and Tridoshas

Vata, pitta and kapha art the three basic constituents of the living human body. A balanced state of the structure and function of these three doshas maintains a healthy life and their imbalance is the basis of pathology. As per fundamental principles of Ayurveda, kapha is the predominant dosha during childhood, pitta during the adulthood and vata during old age.

Kapha is the principal humor responsible for growth and development while pitta is responsible for the vigor and vitality of youth. Vata or vayu according to its fundamental properties or gunas precipitates atrophy and involution i.e. which is responsible for most of the manifestations of aging. As a function of aging, with advancing age kapha gets gradually depleted and vata increases spontaneously.

Rasāyana therapies act to support one or all of the three levels (agni, dhatu, srotamsi) and the result is longevity, enhanced vitality, immunity and intellect.

In pursuit of these matters, herbal prescriptions with many herbal substances, preserved in ghee and honey are given. Chyawanprasha is one of the traditional rasāyana. Specific adaptogenic herbs are also included in rasāyanas including haritaki, amla, ashwagandha, tulsi, guduchi and shavatari.

Here are some additional examples of medicines used:

1) Acting at all levels of rasa by enriching its nutritional value of the circulating, plasma, ex. Draksha (medicinal grape wine), milk (always taken warm usually spiced), shatavari, salparni etc.

2) Acting at the level of agni, the level of digestion and metabolism ex. Pippali (long pepper), haritaki (one of the 3 fruits of triphala), citraka, etc.

3) Acting at the level of srotamsi carrying nutrition to the tissues. These rasāyanas clean and activate the micro-circulatory channels leading to improved tissue health and their quality ex. Guggulu, pippali, garlic etc.

Please know that this is just a brief introduction to the extensive science of Rasāyana, and to benefit fully from the therapies and medicines, one has to undergo an appropriate cleansing protocol and otherwise follow a constitutionally suited diet and lifestyle practices.



Ayurvedic Therapies Digestion Herbal medicine Vata pacifying

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