Chyawanprash, one of Ayurveda’s most revered rejuvenating tonics, is good for heart patients too! The chief ingredient in PIOR Living’s Chyawanprash is amla berry, also known as amalaki. Amla is well known as a highly powerful antioxidant that delivers a wide variety of benefits for overall health and wellbeing. Here are some of the ways Amla and Chyawanprash are good for cardiovascular health.
Amla Berry for Heart Health
Amla is rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Research demonstrates a significant link between vitamin C intake and heart health. This is largely attributed to vitamin C’s antioxidant content. According to one meta-analysis, it appears that vitamin C may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving lipid profiles, reducing arterial stiffness, and improving endothelial function (1). (The endothelium is a single layer of cells that lines the interior of blood vessels.) In addition, research indicates that vitamin C supplementation may help manage blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart disease (2). However, it is perhaps worth noting that there are confounding variables to consider with some of these studies. For example, are those who supplement with vitamin C more likely to have an overall healthy lifestyle? Also, do the same people eat more fruits and vegetables, and is it actually the fiber and other nutrients in those fruits and veggies that contribute to overall better heart health? While the research hasn’t 100% ruled out the confounding variables, the weight of it does point to a connection between ample vitamin C intake and improved cardiovascular wellbeing. In addition, vitamin C is an essential nutrient, and getting your vitamins and minerals from whole food sources is generally preferred over synthetic supplements. In fact, one analysis of 15 studies demonstrated that it is ample vitamin C from foods—not supplements—that is linked to lowered risk of heart disease (2). One of the wonderful things about working with herbs (such as amla) and other whole food sources is that these are complex and rich nutritional sources. For instance, garlic contains over 100 distinct beneficial phytochemicals (5). All of these phytochemicals may not be captured in an extraction. In general, Ayurveda advocates for choosing foods that are close to their natural source. These foods and herbs are higher in prana and are more readily digested.
Time-Tested RejuvenationVitamin C aside, amla is a time-tested rasayana in Ayurveda. Despite its sour taste, amla has a cool energy and an overall sweet (nourishing) post-digestive effect. According to Ayurvedic practitioner Vishnu Dass (2013),
“These are a few great reasons to explain why Chyawanprash is good for heart patients. And there's more!
is also one of the richest sources of vitamin C and remains stable even after heating. It strengthens the immune system, enhances ojas, and nourishes all bodily tissues” (3)
Cinnamon for Heart HealthFurthermore, PIOR Living’s Chyawanprash contains heart and blood-friendly spices such as cinnamon. Like amla, cinnamon is high in antioxidants and has proven benefits for the heart and cardiovascular health (4). Cinnamon shows great promise in the following ways (5):
- Lowers cholesterol and balances blood sugar
- Reduces inflammation
- Demonstrates antimicrobial actions
- May lessen polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) via balancing blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance
What About Ghee?
You may have noticed that ghee is one of the ingredients in Chyawanprash. Ghee is highly revered in Ayurveda for its nourishing, ojas building properties. It supports the brain, pacifies Vata dosha, and helps carry nutrients deeper into all the seven dhatus (bodily tissues). Some heart patients may be concerned about ghee, especially if they have elevated cholesterol levels. However, overall, ghee appears to have a positive effect on lipid levels (6). In addition, there is evidence to suggest that consuming full-fat dairy can actually protect you against insulin resistance and diabetes (5). Diabetes is a major risk factor in heart disease. Of course, wellness is not one-size-fits-all, so if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels and heart health, it is always wise to consult with a healthcare professional.
Full of Ojas Building Goodness
In addition to amla berry, which forms the base of Chyawanprash, this Ayurvedic superfood is packed with many other wonderful rasayanas. Chyawanprash contains a plethora of nourishing, rejuvenating herbs such as ashwagandha, shatavari, bacopa, and tulsi. All of these herbs nourish the ojas, the subtle essence of our immune system. Maintaining strong ojas is critical to overall health and resilience. Furthermore, on a subtle level, ojas is stored in the heart, so there is an intimate link between ojas, the heart, immunity, and overall wellness. So, take a spoonful of Chyawanprash a day...for your heart, your health, and your whole being!
References (1) Moser, M. & Chun, O. (2016). Vitamin C and heart health: A review based on findings from epidemiologic studies. International Journal of Molecular Science, 7(8), 1328. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5000725/ (2) Raman, R. (2020). 7 impressive ways vitamin C benefits your body. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#3.-May-lower-your-risk-of-heart-disease (3) Dass, V. (2013). Ayurvedic herbology: East and West. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press. (4) Leech, J. (2018).10 evidence-based health benefits of cinnamon. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3 (5) Palanasamy, A. (2015). The paleovedic diet: A complete program to burn fat, increase energy, and reverse disease. New York, NY: Skyhorse publishing. (6) Sharma, H., Zhang, X., & Dwivedi, C. (2010). The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation. The International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda, 31(2). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/ Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.