While the herbs and ingredients in Chyawanprash may vary depending on the formulator, some ingredients are considered more of a staple than others. Chyawanprash with honey as a central ingredient was outlined in the original recipe as it was recorded in the Charaka Samhita.
Honey helps to stabilize Kapha and provides a number of other benefits on its own, many of which are accentuated when used in combination with Chyawanprash.
Benefits of Chyawanprash With Honey
So what makes honey so important? There are a few reasons that honey is considered an important component of Chyawanprash, and, for Ayurveda in general.
One of the main reasons honey is used is for its Kapha balancing properties. Honey is light, dry and heating, and the only type of sugar that is truly pacifying for the Kapha dosha. Adding it to Chyawanprash helps balance the formula so it can be considered tridoshic.
Honey also serves as an anupan, or carrier substance. Like ghee and black sesame oil, honey is useful for helping to draw the medicinal compounds of the ingredients deeper into the body. In addition, honey itself also functions as a safeguard preventing the effects of herbs from becoming overwhelming.
In Ayurveda, taste is a source of nourishment and is as important as the quality of ingredients. Honey is a delicious sweetener, which helps to improve the flavor and experience of Chyawanprash. When we enjoy our food, we nourish our bodies, minds and spirits.
Honey also has a number of potent health benefits. According to Ayurveda:
- Honey is one of the best immune-boosting substances.
- Honey is great at helping to fight colds and the related symptoms.
- Honey helps to aid digestion.
- Honey helps to scrape excess fat from the body.
In general, honey is an all-around nutritive substance that can be great for helping to increase immunity while balancing Kapha. It’s considered one of the best bases for Chyawanprash because it helps to increase the effect of all the other ingredients used in the medicine.
The Dangers of Heating Honey
According to Ayurveda, honey must never be heated because heating it causes it to become toxic. When buying Chyawanprash with honey, always confirm with the manufacturer that the honey added to the Chyawanprash was never heated and only added later in the process. For instance, PIOR Living adds the honey to its Chyawanprash at the end of the production process and only after the formula has finished cooking. PIOR Living Chyawanprash is formulated according the original recipe and made using traditional, hand-crafted Ayurvedic techniques.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)