Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
Vol 5(4)-October 2006 -pp 484-488

Traditional medicinal formulation, Chyawanprash—A review

Milind Parle1* & Nitin Bansal2

1Pharmacology Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guru Jambheshwar University, Post Box No. 38, Hisar 125001,Haryana,

Email: mparle@rediffmail.com

2Lord Shiva College of Pharmacy, PB 63, Near Civil Hospital, Sirsa125055, Haryana

Email: nitindsp@rediffmail.com

Received 19 April 2005; revised 21 September 2005

Chyawanprash is a household remedy in northern India, popular for its nutritional value. In Ayurveda, Chyawanprash is classified under the category of Rasayana, which aims at maintaining physique, vigour and vitality, while delaying the ageing process. It is believed that Chyawanprash helps not only in maintaining homeostasis but also increases resistance of the body. Chyawanprash is prepared by incorporating around 50 herbs including Amla, the richest source of vitamin C. Herbs used in the preparation of formulation are boiled in water, then dried extract is combined with honey followed by addition of aromatic (like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove) herb powders. The finished product, which has consistency of a fruit jam, is sour and spicy in taste. Chyawanprash deserves a scientific exploration so as to document its therapeutic utility.

Keywords:         Chyawanprash, Ethnobotany, Ethnomedicine, Medicinal plants, Santal tribe, Traditional medicine, Tripura

IPC Int. Cl.8:    A61K36/00, A61P1/08,A61P1/10,A61P1/16,A61P9/00,A61P9/04, A61P11/00, A61P11/06, A61P15/00, A61P15/14, A61P17/00, A61P17/02, A61P19/00,A61P19/02, A61P25/00,A61P29/00, A61P31/02, A61P39/02


Chyawanprash, a household remedy in northern India is popular for its nutritional value. In Ayurveda, Chyawanprash is classified under the category of Rasayana, which aims at maintaining physique, vigour and vitality, while delaying the ageing process1-3. In recent times, it has gained immense popularity all over the world. It is a comprehensive herbal tonic, which serves as a nutrient for healthy individuals includes around 50 herbs. Chyawanprash can be consumed in all seasons, as it contains ingredients, which are weather friendly nullifying the unpleasant effects due to extreme environmental and climatic conditions4-5. Chyawanprash is made in amalaki (Indian gooseberry) base, which is the most useful rasayana for maintaining homeostasis5. Amla fruit paste, the major ingredient of Chyawanprash is the richest source of vitamin C6. Vitamin C present in amla does not get deteriorated on heat exposure during preparation of Chyawanprash7. Chyawanprash is an admixture of at least five tastes such as sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent, due to amla8. In Chyawanprash, honey which works as ‘a carrier of herbs’, called as Yogavahi, helps in absorption of various herbs deep into the tissues9,10. Sugar and honey provide sweet taste, which is rejuvenating. Chyawanprash is named after sage Chyawan, who first prepared the formulation to impart youth, charm, vigour & longevity11-14.

People around the world now use Chyawanprash, for its anti-stress and anti-ageing properties. It has been found to be effective as an immunity booster, vitalizer and a comprehensive general tonic. It is extremely effective in preventing gastric problems, common cold and cough. Chyawanprash improves all aspects of health (Table 1), when taken regularly15-18.

 

Preparation of Chyawanprash

In absence of standard operating procedure (SOP) in ancient times, the method of preparation of Chyawanprash varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and place to place. Standard method of preparation of Chyawanprash is described as follows: 50 gm each of the following plants, viz. Bel, arni, gambhari, arlu, patla, gokhru, shalparni, brihati, kantakari, kakdashingi, munnaka, harde, giloy, bala, bhumiamla, adusa, jivanti, kachur, pushkarmool, nagarmotha, magdaparni, mashparni, shalparni, prishparni, pippali,  kaknasa,   varahikand,  vidarikand,  punarnawa

 


 

Table 1—Ingredients of Chyawanprash

 

Plant name

Common names

Uses

 

 

 

 

 

Adhatoda vasica Nees

Adusa, Vasaka

Cardiotonic, expectorant, diuretic, cardiac & respiratory disorders.

 

Aegle marmelos Correa

Bilva, Bel

Useful in chronic dysentery, diarrhoea & dyspepsia.

 

Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.

Agar, Agarkashta

Aromatic, neurotrophic, carminative & aphrodisiac

 

Bambusa arundinacea Willd.

Vanshlochan

Stimulant, astringent and aphrodisiac.

 

Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.

Punarnawa, Punarnava, Gadhapuran

Cardiotonic, hematinic, diuretic & helps in anemia

 

Cinnamomum tamala Nees & Ebrm.

Tamalpatra, Tejpatra, Patra

Helps in general debility, anorexia & indigestion, uterine stimulant.

 

Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn.

Dalchini

Anemia, general debility, abdominal distension & anorexia.

 

Curcuma zedoaria Rosc.

Kachur, Sathi kehora

Stimulant, tonic, depurative, vertigo & during pregnancy.

 

Cyperus rotundus Linn.

Nagarmotha, Mustak, Motha

Neurotrophic, carminative, helps in constipation, hepatoprotective.

 

Desmodium bulbifera Desv.

Shalparni, Sarivan

General debility, nervine tonic, cardiac, blood & respiratory disorders.

 

Elettaria cardamomum Maton

Elaichi, Cardamum

General tonic, useful in anorexia and flatulence.

 

Emblica officinalis Gaertn.

Amalaki, Amla, Awala, Indian Gooseberry

Rejuvenative, neurotrophic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, cardiotonic, rich source of vitamin C.

 

Gmelina arborea Roxb.

Gambhari, Khambhari, Kashmarya

Promotes lactation & helps in indigestion.

 

Inula racemosa Hook.

Pushkarmool, Pohkarmool

Cardiotonic, carminative, antiseptic, diuretic, dyspepsia, indigestion, chronic cough and general debility.

 

Leptadenia reticulata Wight & Arn.

Jivanti

Cooling, eye tonic, nutrient and aphrodisiac.

 

Martynia diandra Glox.

Kaknasa, Kakakshi, Kauathodi

Hepatotonic, cholagogue, laxative, anorexia, indigestion & constipation.

 

Mesua ferrea Linn.

Nagkesar                           

Nutrient, cardiotonic, brain tonic, carminative and appetizer.

 

Nelumbium speciosum Willd.

Kanwal, Neelkamal

Neurotrophic, cardiotonic & helps in general debility.

 

Oroxylum indicum Vent.

Arlu, Sona patha, Shyonak

General debility, diarrhoea & dysentery.

 

Phaseolus trilobus-sensu Ait.

Mudgparni, Van-mug, Mataki

Aphrodisiac, mild sedating, fatigue, general debility, malnutrition.

 

Phyllanthus niruri Linn.

Bhumyaamalaki, Bhumiamla,Bhueawala

Appetizer, cholagogue, laxative, hepatoprotective & antiviral.

 

Piper longum Linn.

Pippali

General debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, respiratory tract infection.

 

Pistacia integerrima Stewart-ex Brandis

Kakdashingi, Karkatshingi, Shringi

Expectorant, carminative, anorexia, cholagogue, cough & asthma.

 

Premna integrifolia Linn.

Arni, Agnimantha

Laxative, helps in indigestion & cough.

 

Ptertocarpus santalinus Linn.f.

 

Lal Chandan

Skin, blood & eye disorders, used as disinfectant to mucus membranes of genito-urinary & bronchial tracts.

 

Sesamum indicum Linn.

Til oil, Sesame oil

Cooking oil, tonic, nutrient, aphrodisiac, diuretic, cures dry cough, asthma, lung diseases, inflammation, ulcers, urinary diseases, migraine & vertigo.

 

Sida cordifolia Linn.

Bala, Bariyara

Cardiotonic, stomachic, aphrodisiac & general tonic.

 

(Contd)

 

Table 1—Ingredients of Chyawanprash—Contd

 

 

Plant name

Common names

Uses

 

 

 

 

 

Solanum indicum Linn.

Brihati, Bari kateri, Vanbhantha

Cardiac tonic, astringent, carminative & helps in flatulence

 

Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. & Wendl.

Kantakari, Chhoti kateri, Kashtakari

Mucolytic, expectorant, allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and common cold.

 

Stereospermum suaveolens De Prodr.

Parul, Patla, Patha, Padhal

General debility, dyspepsia, blood disorders, cough & acidity.

 

Teramnus labialis Spreng.

Mashparni, Van-udadh, Mashvan

Aphrodisiac, mild sedative, general debility, malnutrition & fatigue.

 

Terminalia chebula Retz.

Harde, Haritaki, Harad, Abhaya

Neurotrophic, carminative, infertility, cardiac and liver disorders.

 

Tinospora cordifolia
Miers ex Hook f.& Thoms.

Guduchi, Giloy, Amrta

General tonic, immunomodulator, helps in degenerative disorders.

 

Tribulus terrestris Linn.

Gokhru, Gokshura

Aphrodisiac, diuretic & cardiotonic.

 

Uraria picta Desv.

Prishniparni, Pithwan, Devala

General debility, nervine tonic, cardiac & blood disorders, antidote for snake venom.

 

Vitis vinifera Linn.

Draksha, Munnaka

Nutrient, stomachic, demulcent, laxative, anorexia, hepatoprotective, dyspepsia & constipation.

 

Animal fat

Ghee

Nutrient

 

Honey

Obtained from honey bees

Mild laxative, bactericidal, sedative, antiseptic, useful for cold, cough, fever, sore eyes, throat, tongue, duodenal ulcers & liver diseases.

 

Sucrose

Sugar

Sweetening agent.

 

Substituents for Ashtvarga (Ridhi, Vridhi, Medha, Mahamedha, Jeevak, Rishabh, Kakoli & Ksheerkakoli)

 

Asparagus racemosus Willd

Shatavari, Shatavar, Substituent for Medha, Mahamedha

Aphrodisiac, nutrient, potent galactogogue, good tonic for lactating mothers.

 

Dioscorea bulbifera Linn.

Varahikand, Varahi, Substituent for Ridhi, Vridhi

Aphrodisiac, useful in acidity & ulcers.

 

Ipomoea digitata Linn.

Vidarikand, Substituent for Jeevak, Rishabh

Aphrodisiac, tonic, helps in nervous debility, skin problems, hepatic disorders & constipation.

 

Withania somnifera Dunal

Ashwagandha, Asgandh, Substituent for Kakoli, Ksheerkakoli

Aphrodisiac, antioxidant, loss of memory, loss of muscular energy.

 

Special Additives

 

Ayurvedic Preparation

Abhrak Bhasam

General debility, useful in asthma & cough.

 

Ayurvedic preparation

Shukti Bhasam

As calcium supplement, neurotrophic, useful in cardiac and bone disorders.

 

Ayurvedic preparation

Shring Bhasam

Useful in pneumonia, rheumatic pain & cough.

 

Ayurvedic preparation

Makardhawaj

Aphrodisiac, nervine tonic and helps in rheumatic pain.

 

Eugenia caryophyllus Linn.

Lavang, Clove

Antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, stimulant & flavoring agent.

 

Chandi, Silver foil

General debility and improves overall physical fitness.

 

 


kanwal, agar, chandan, shatavari and ashwagandha, are suspended in around 16 l water. 500 Indian gooseberry fruits (each weighing around 15-20 gm, total weight approximately 6.5 kg) are wrapped in a clean cloth and are dipped into the above admixture of plants. Mixture is heated until the volume is reduced to one quarter. After removing the cloth, seeds are discarded from amla; rubbing the peels of amla on a mesh, fibers are discarded and finally, amla pithi is prepared. Decoction is filtered and marc is discarded. Amla pithi is mixed with 500 gm ghee and 500 gm til oil in an iron pan and heated until red. Decoction of plants and sugar syrup poured in the pan is heated until ghee starts separating. After removing the pan from fire, powder of 150 gm vanshlochan, 100 gm pippali and 10 gm each of nagkesar, elaichi, tamalpatra and dalchini is mixed. After cooling, 250 gm old honey is added and finally the finished product, which is dark shining brown in colour with fruit jam like consistency is prepared. Some Ayurvedic additives, shukti bhasam 100 gm, abharak bhasam 100 gm, shring bhasam 100 gm, makardhawaj 25 gm, lavang (clove) 25 gm and chandi (silver foil) 75 in number, for special health benefits are added1-5, 7, 15-17, 29. Chyawanprash is to be consumed in a quantity that does not influence the hunger and appetite for food1-5, 7, 15-17, 29, 30. Chyawanprash (12-28 gm) is taken with 100-250 ml milk30,31. It is advised to avoid milk and curd intake for individuals suffering from asthma/respiratory disorders31.

 

Uses

Chyawanprash is helpful in clearing the accumulated excreta by promoting digestion and excretion. It relieves nausea & vomiting and corrects hyperacidity, dyspepsia & flatulence. Chyawanprash is helpful in gastritis, peptic ulcer and intestinal cramping16. It is a hepatoprotective, strengthens liver, streamlines the metabolism of fats and proteins19,20. The ingredients of Chyawanprash such as nagkesar, tamalpatra, elaichi, dalchini, patla, arni, gambhari, bel, arlu, shalparni, draksha, harde, honey, bhumyaamalaki, kachur, pushkarmool, nagarmotha, kaknasa, vidarikand and agar help in correcting digestive system related complaints21,22.

The smooth functioning of the tracheobronchial tree of the respiratory system is ensured by regular intake of Chyawanprash. Adequate hydration is maintained in the respiratory system. It alleviates cough, asthma and bronchospasm of seasonal or non-seasonal origin, thereby strengthening the respiratory system. It is also useful in respiratory infections, common cold and tuberculosis23. Pippali, kantakari, kakdashingi, bhumyaamalaki, vasaka, pushkarmool, prishniparni, arni, shalparni, til oil and amalaki help in nourishing the respiratory system21,22,24.

Chyawanprash nourishes the cells of brain, promotes coordination among various body parts, improves memory, and increases learning ability, storage, recall & intellect. It has a calming effect on Central Nervous System (CNS), thereby reducing anxiety & stress-induced psychiatric problems and imparts sound sleep. Nagkesar, guduchi, nagarmotha, vidarikand, kanwal, agar, ashwagandha, shalparni, prishniparni and amalaki help to sharpen the CNS. Several of these ingredients possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties21,22.

Chyawanprash is a powerful cardiotonic and strengthens heart, improves force and rate of contraction of heart by improving the blood supply to cardiac muscles. It helps in purification of blood and elimination of toxins. Chyawanprash also lowers cholesterol levels by improving blood lipid profile25,26. Amalaki, kanwal, punarnawa, pushkarmool, kachur, vasaka, bala, shalparni, prishniparni, brihati and gokhru help in streamlining the Central vascular system (CVS)21,22.

Regular intake of Chyawanprash makes sexual life pleasuresome. It is effective and enhances libido and fertility in both the sexes. It thickens semen in males and streamlines menstrual cycle in females2,3. Gokhru, varahikand, til oil, shatavari, vidarikand, bala, jivanti, mudgparni, mashparni, ashwagandha and vanshlochan, have been found to act as aphrodisiacs21,22.

Chyawanprash strengthens immunity and facilitates healing process. It comprises ingredients possessing antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities27,28. It lowers blood glucose levels and promotes hair growth. It strengthens bones and teeth by increasing absorption of calcium and improves muscle tone by increasing protein synthesis. It stimulates growth in children, helps to increase weight in lean and thin individuals. It fights dermal infections and improves skin complexion. It improves overall personality by imparting splendor, loveliness, youthfulness, wisdom, vigour and glow21,22.

 

Acknowledgement

Authors are thankful to Dr DK Mahipal, Ayurvaidrattan for extending valuable help and expertise in the preparation of the manuscript.

 

References

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3         Shastri A D, Bhaishjya-Ratnavali, (Chaukhambha Sanskrit Bhawan, Varanasi), 1996, 286.

4         Ayurved-Sarsangarah, (Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt Ltd, Calcutta), 1965, 540.

5         Trivedi R P, Bhaishajay Kalpana, (Dhanvantari Karyalaya, Vijayagarh, Aligarh), 1951, 260.

6         Wealth of India, Raw Materials series, Vol III, (Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi), 1989, 168.

7         Bhandari C R, Vanoshadhi-Chandrodaya, Vol I, (Gyan-Mandir, Bhanpura), 1938, 112.

8         Charak Samhita, Chikitsasathanam, Vol II, (Motilal Banarasidas, Banaras), 1954, 4.

9         Tripathi R D, Ashtangsangrah, (Chaukhambha Sanskrit Prishthan, Delhi), 2003, 106.

10      Chunekar K C, Bhav Prakash Nighantu, (Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi), 2002, 788.

11      www.doshabalance.com/ayurvedic-medi calfoods/chyawanprash.html, Dated 25-06-2005.

12      Ram G, Amrit Sagar, (Khem Raj Sri Krishan Das, Sri Vanketshwar Steam Press, Bombay), 1948, 3.

13      Mehta PM, History of Indian Medicine, in: Realms of Ayurveda by Pandit Shiv Sharma (Arnold-Heinemann Publishers (India) Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi), 1979, 66.

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18      Anonymous, Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic Remedies and a List of Ayurvedic Preparations, (Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi), 1986, 140.

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20      Handa S S, Sharma A & Chakraborti KK, Natural products and plants as liver protecting drugs, Fitoterapia, 57 (1986) 307.


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23      Ojha J K, Khanna NN, Bajpay HS & Sharma N, A clinical study on Chyawanprash as an adjuvant in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, J Res Ind Med, 10 (1975) 1.

24      Sharma PV, Clinical Uses of Medicinal Plants, (Chau­khambha Visvabharati, Varanasi), 1996, 33.

25      Manjunatha S, Jaryal AK, Bijlani R L, Sachdeva U & Gupta SK, Effect of Chyawanprash and vitamin C on glucose tolerance and lipoprotein profile, Ind J Physio Pharmacol, 45 (2001) 71.

26      Thakur C P, Thakur B, Sinha P K & Sinha S K, The Ayurvedic medicines Haritaki, Amla and Bahira reduce cholesterol induced atherosclerosis in rabbits, Int J Cardiol, 21 (1988) 167.

27      Jeena K J & Kuttan R, Antioxidant activity of Emblica officinalis, J Clin Biochem Nut, 19 (1995) 63.

28      Jeena KJ, Kuttan G, Josely G & Kuttan R, Antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity of Emblica officinalis Gaertn, J Clin Biochem Nut, 22 (1997) 171.

29      Anonymous, Handbook of Domestic Medicine and Common Ayurvedic Remedies (Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi), 1978, 380.

30      Sharma R D & Malviya M M, Chyawanprash se kaya kalpavat labh kyon nahin? Ayurved Mahasammelan Patrika, October (1971) 399.

31      Anonymous, Ayurvediya Aushadiyan & Samanaya Gharelu Upchar (Kendriya Ayurveda & Sidh Anusandhan Parishad, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India), 1988, 40.

 


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*Corresponding author