Extensively consumed by millions in India as a dietary supplement, the benefits of Chyawanaprash are relatively unknown to the European public who have grown up on multivitamins. So, what is Chyawanaprash exactly? A mixture of a range of various herbs and spices and cooked in sugar (or honey) and ghee, its preparation closely follows that which has been mentioned in classic Ayurvedic texts.
In Sanskrit, the term ‘prash’ generally refers to food specifically prepared to serve a purpose. And legend has it that two elderly sages put their heads together to concoct a formula that managed to restore the youth of an elderly sage named Chyawan. Thus, the name – Chyawanaprash. First documentations of Chyawanaprash can be found in the Charaka Samhita, a treatise in Ayurveda compiled sometime during the first millennium BC.
This nutritious jam is generally consumed with warm milk or water, depending on one’s preference. And Chyawanaprash offers a variety of health benefits when consumed daily (recommended dosage of 1 tablespoon in the morning).
Prime among these benefits is the bolstering of the immune system by supporting increased production of haemoglobin and WBC. Also, there is the purification process that it promotes in the blood, spleen and liver, thereby nourishing and reinforcing the body’s natural defences.
Chyawanaprash intake also helps in strengthening the digestion process. By promoting effective movement of gases through the digestive system and stimulating the GI tract, regular consumption of this Ayurvedic jam fosters better metabolism.
Finally, there is the reproductive system that gains immeasurably from consumption of Chyawanaprash. It regenerates reproductive tissues; increases libido and promotes sexual strength in both men and women.