Chyawanprash is an ancient Ayurveda rasayana that has been used for millennia to restore and promote health and longevity. As a nutritive polyherbal jam, it’s a versatile medicine that has been prescribed for a variety of health needs, ranging from boosting the immune system to improving digestive health. It was, and still is, one of the most popular medicines used in Ayurveda.
Spelling & Pronunciation
The translation of Chyawanprash in Sanskrit to English has resulted in a variety of spelling variations, including chyawanprash, chyavanprash, chyavanaprasam, chamanprash, and chyavanaprjasha. PIOR Living uses the spelling “chyawanprash” pronounced “chah-vahn-prash.”
The creation of Chyawanprash dates back 5,000 years. According to the legend of Chyawan, the revered and elderly sage was meditating when he became enlightened to a formula designed to increase longevity and improve quality of life.
Chyawan created his recipe and over the next 40 days consumed a small amount at 4:00 am just prior to 40 minutes of meditation. He discovered this elixir had a rejuvenating and anti-aging effect. He also gained insight into prash, which signifies the importance of consuming food artfully and intentionally.
In 100 A.D., the recipe of Chyawanprash appeared in the ancient Ayurvedic text, Charaka Samhita, within the section called The Place of Chikitsa. Chikitsa means treatment or medicine, and lists recipes and tonic preparations.
The legend of Sage Chywana is one of rejuvenation; as Charaka Samhita states:
“by the use of this medicine, Chywana, who had become exceedingly old became young once again.”
What does Chyawanprash taste like?
Authentic Chyawanprash is a very dark, smooth paste that combines all six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. When made according to the original recipe, this jam should have a rich fruit and herbal flavor that’s balanced and enjoyable.
What are the ingredients in Chyawanprash?
Although the ingredients list has varied over the years according to botanical scarcity and manufacturer, there are certain ingredients that are generally always part of the remedy.
The base of an authentically prepared Chyawanprash is made with amalaki or amla fruits. Amalaki (also known as Amla or Indian Gooseberry) is one of the most potent and revered medicinal fruits in Ayurveda due to its antioxidant, polyphenol and flavonoid properties. It is also one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world.
Amalaki is mixed with a variety of medicinal herbs as well as anupans (or carrier substances): ghee (or Ghruta), sesame oil, and a sweetener, such as honey and jaggery. Anupans help bring the beneficial compounds of the herbs deeper into the body.
Most concoctions of Chyawanprash contain around thirty to fifty different medicinal herbs, however, there are some varieties that contain far fewer and others that contain more.
PIOR Living’s formula is consistent with ancient Ayurvedic text and uses 100% organic and wildcrafted ingredients: Amla Fruit, Long Pepper Fruit, Red Sandalwood Heartwood, Malabar Tree Leaf, Ashwagandha Root, Shatavari Root, Bacopa Leaf, Holy Basil Leaf, Ginger Rhizome, Raisin Fruit, Licorice Stem, Phyllanthus Whole, Zedoary Rhizome, Cinnamon Bark, Saffron Stigma, Wild Cardamom Seed, Kudzu Root, Arjuna Bark, Chebulic Myrobalam Fruit, Sacred Lotus Seed, Neem Leaf, Tribulus Fruit, Golden Apple Fruit, Indian Tinospora Stem, Nut Grass Whole, Leptadenia Leaf, Boerhavia Root, Mesua Flower, Amla Fruit Extract, Ashwagandha Root Extract, Long Pepper Fruit Extract, Jaggery (Saccharum Ocinarum), Clarified Butter (Cow Ghee), Raw Honey, Cold Pressed Black Sesame Seed Oil.
Chyawanprash Health Benefits
The health benefits from authentic Chyawanprash are vast, which is why this jam is regarded as one of the most powerful supplements for regular use in Ayurvedic medicine. Some of the major ways Chyawanprash improves health and wellness include:
- Enhances General Health & Immunity
- Increases Energy
- Improves Longevity
- Improves Reproductive & Sexual Health
- Stimulates Agni for Better Digestion & Gut Health
- Supports Detoxification
- Enhances Cognitive Function
- Prevents & Heals Illness
- Boosts Respiratory Health
- Enhances Hair and Skin Health
Because of the significant number of medicinal herbs that are used to create this jam, there are a number of different ways you can use Chyawanprash.
Chyawanprash is largely used for the health benefits it offers, but it’s also useful for replenishing prana. Authentic Chyawanprash that’s been prepared with organic ingredients harvested with the seasons and minimally processed will possess high vibrations and life force.
To take advantage of all of the benefits of Chyawanprash, you can also incorporate it into your morning ritual. ‘Prash’ in Sanskrit refers to the concept of consuming food artfully or intentionally. Chyawanprash is meant to be consumed mindfully and can result in a meditative experience that brings clarity and intention to the morning.
How should I take Chyawanprash?
Taking Chyawanprash straight off the spoon without food or liquids is the preferred method. This allows the botanicals and nutrients to be delivered deep into the body’s tissues. However, there are a variety of other ways to consume Chyawanprash, including with milk (A2, goat, coconut, milk, etc.), hot water or as a jam on toast.
When should I take Chyawanprash?
For general health and wellness, slowly consume 1-2 teaspoons 15+ min before breakfast for at least 2 weeks (but ideally 40 days). To make use of the maximum prana available to us each day, consume between 4 a.m. and sunrise, before or after yoga, meditation or pranayama.
Although Chyawanprash can be consumed in the evening, it is generally not recommended as users may experience difficulty falling asleep due to increased energy. The herbal combination is known to boost energy and improve the metabolism.
Many people wonder whether Chyawanprash can be taken in summer months. It’s important to note that Chyawanprash can be taken in all seasons as it contains weather balancing ingredients. For example, Amla and Shatarvi are both cooling herbs for the pitta dosha which help to balance Chyawanprash for summer months. That said, many people use Chyawanprash as a tonic during winter to boost general immunity and ward off colds or other types of sickness.
How much Chyawanprash should I have?
Chyawanprash is designed in such a way that it is suitable for all age groups. In general, adults should opt for 1 to 2 teaspoons (10g), while children over the age of 6 can have ½ to 1 teaspoon. For kids ages 3 to 5, a quarter teaspoon of Chyawanprash is adequate. For people over 60 years of age, ½ to 1 teaspoon is enough. If you are new to taking Chyawanprash, you should generally start with smaller dosages and work up to your desired amount.
Where should I buy Chyawanprash?
If you’re thinking about buying Chyawanprash, it’s a good idea to closely read the ingredients and sourcing of all products you’re considering before deciding which Chyawanprash is best for your needs. Be sure to check for:
- Organic ingredients. Pesticides, genetic modifications and toxins contribute to ama build up, which can decrease the effectiveness of the remedy.
- Ethical and sustainable sourcing. Ethical and environmentally-friendly sourcing increases the life force of the remedy.
- Supplement facts, such as total sugar per serving. Dietary fiber is also a good indication of the level of natural herbs and spices and the degree to which the supplement is processed.
- The type of sugar used. You want to find refined sugar free Chyawanprash. Natural sugars, like jaggery and/or honey play a specific role as anupans, or vehicles, for the herbs to penetrate deeper into the tissues. Refined sugar could negate or reduce some of the wellness benefits this remedy is supposed to offer.
- Use of preservatives. Authentic Chyawanprash is natural and made from natural ingredients.
- Type of packaging. For example, is it plastic or glass?
- Authenticity. How do the ingredients stack up against the original Ayurveda recipe?
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)