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Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care - A Review

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The growth of any country or society depends on the number of youth dwelling in that country but according to recent statistical data we soon will have older people more than children and more people at extreme old age than ever before. The number of people aged 65 or older is projected to grow from an estimated 524 million in 2010 to nearly 1.5 billion in 2050. Geriatrics (Jarachikitsa) is the branch of medicine dealing exclusively with the problems of aging and the diseases of elderly. The term Rasayana (rejuvination) refers to nourishment or nutrition. Rasayana therapy act essentially on nutrition dynamics and rejuvenate the body on both physical and mental levels. The problems of health due to modernization can be solved by increasing resistance against diseases and psychological improvement by implementing Rasayana therapy. Aging (Jara) is one among the Swabhavika Vyadhis. Jara Chikitsa is one among the Astanga of Ayurveda which is specifically dedicated for geriatric care. As per estimation, India currently has around 75 million persons over 65 years. By proper administration of Rasayana therapy as preventive tool one can delay Jara Janita Vyadhis to occur. This paper highlights the role of Rasayana in geriatric care.
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REVIEW ARTICLE
May-June 2016
Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences | May - June 2016 | Vol. 1 | Issue 1
52
Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care - A Review
Mishra Yagyik, Negalur Vijay, Thakor Krunal, Bhat Nagaraj, Shubhasri B.
Post Graduate Scholar,
1
Associate Professor,
2,3,4.
Post Graduate Scholar, Dept. of Swasthavritta, Shri Dharmasthala
Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda, Udupi, Karnataka, India.
I
NTRODUCTION
The World is facing a situation without precedent. We
soon will have more of older people than children and
more people at extreme old age than ever before. The
number of people aged 65 or older is projected to
grow from an estimated 524 million in 2010 to nearly
1.5 billion in 2050,
[1]
with most of the increase in
developing countries including India. In today’s
developing countries chronic non - communicable
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Yagyik Mishra
Post Graduate Scholar,
Dept. of Swasthavritta,,
Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda,
Udupi, Karnataka, India.
E-mail: yagyikmishra@gmail.com
Submission Date : 04/06/2016 Accepted Date: 30/06/2016
Access this article online
Website: www.jaims.in
DOI: 10.21760/jaims.v1i1.3636
diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes
reflects changes in lifestyle and diet, as well as aging.
Ayurveda the science of life deals mainly with all the
aspects of life in relation of health and prevention of
disease. So for promotion of life and prevention of
disease there are certain codes, conducts and
therapies have been mentioned and Rasayana
therapy is one among them. Rasayana therapy not
only works on physical aspect but also on mental
aspect. Geriatrics is a branch of modern medical
science which aims at promotion of health by
preventing, treating diseases and disabilities in older
adults. So to fulfil the aims of geriatrics Rasayana
therapy is considered to be the main line of treatment
as it prevents most of the geriatric diseases.
Geriatrics in Ayurveda
Geriatrics (Jara Chikitsa) is a branch of medicine
dealing exclusively with the problems of aging and the
diseases of elderly.
[2]
It is derived from the Greek root
geron meaning “old man” and iatros meaning
“healer”. Aging is characterised by gradual structural
changes that occurs with the passage of time, that are
A B S T R A C T
The growth of any country or society depends on the number of youth dwelling in that country but
according to recent statistical data we soon will have older people more than children and more people
at extreme old age than ever before. The number of people aged 65 or older is projected to grow from
an estimated 524 million in 2010 to nearly 1.5 billion in 2050. Geriatrics (Jarachikitsa) is the branch of
medicine dealing exclusively with the problems of aging and the diseases of elderly. The term
Rasayana (rejuvination) refers to nourishment or nutrition. Rasayana therapy act essentially on
nutrition dynamics and rejuvenate the body on both physical and mental levels. The problems of
health due to modernization can be solved by increasing resistance against diseases and psychological
improvement by implementing Rasayana therapy. Aging (Jara) is one among the Swabhavika Vyadhis.
Jara Chikitsa is one among the Astanga of Ayurveda which is specifically dedicated for geriatric care.
As per estimation, India currently has around 75 million persons over 65 years. By proper
administration of Rasayana therapy as preventive tool one can delay Jara Janita Vyadhis to occur. This
paper highlights the role of Rasayana in geriatric care.
Key words: Rasayana, Nutrition, Swabhvika Vyadhis, Geriatric, Modernization.
Mishra et. al. Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care - A Review
REVIEW ARTICLE
May-June 2016
Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences | May - June 2016 | Vol. 1 | Issue 1
53
not due to disease. When we look in to Ayurvedic
prospective our Acharyas have given prime
importance to and considered it one among Astanga
Ayurveda.
[3]
Vridhavastha or old age is one who has
already attained Vriddhi. Acharya Charaka has
considered age above 60 years to be Vridhavastha but
Acharya Sushurta and Vagbhata considered it as age
more than 70 years which is characterised by
diminution of tissues, sense faculties, strength, vitality
and diminution in enthusiasm day after day (Hani),
person develops wrinkles, grey hairs, baldness,
occurrence of secondary disorders such as cough,
dyspnoea, inability to perform all activities. As per
Acharya Vagbhata, Vata Dosha is predominant in old
age and it is also considered as Hani Avastha. So there
will be more of catabolic activities taking place in body
which further leads to many of the chronic diseases
dementia, parkinsonism, hypertension and
cerebrovascular diseases etc. By following proper
Swasthavritta principles such as Dincharya,
Ritucharya, Ratricharya, not supressing Dharniya
Vegas and following of Rasayana one can preserve his
health and delay the aging related problems.
Rasayana Therapy
The word Rasayana derived from root Rasa” and
“Aayana”. Rasa has several meaning such as Rasa
Dhatu, Aahara Rasa, Shadrasa etc. But in this context
it can be taken as Rasa Dhatu itself and word Aayana
means ‘to move’ so it means Rasayana is a dynamic
process which nourishes the body from properly
formed Dhatus and increases the vital process and
prevents the degenerative process. As per Acharya
Dalhana, Rasayana is one which leads to continous
nourishment of Rasadi Dhatus there by replenishing
them.
[4]
Acharya Sushruta defined Rasayana as
Vayasthapaka which retards aging process (increases
longevity of life),
[5]
As per Acharya Sharangdhar
Rasayana can be defined as the one which cures
diseases arising due to old age.
[6]
Acharya Charaka has
given prime importance to Rasayana and described it
in an elaborate fashion, the properties of Rasayana
which Acharya Charaka has mentioned are Rasayana
is one which increases longevity, which increases
Smriti, Medha, and one which helps in maintaining
health (Arogya), maintains youthfulness, which
enhances Prabha, Varna, etc.
[7]
Classification of Rasayana
Classification of Rasayana by Sharma A.K. and Singh
R.H. 1992.
Rasayana is Primarly divided into two types:-
a) Dravyabhuta Rasayana
b) Adravyabhutas Rasayana (Achara Rasayana)
(I) As per method of use
[8]
a) Kuti Praveshika (in door use)
b) Vatatapika (out door use)
(II) As per Scope of use
[9]
a) Kamya Rasayana (promotor of normal health)
i. Prana Kamya (promotes longevity)
ii. Medha Kamya (improves mental faculties)
iii. Shri Kamya (improves lustre of body)
b) Naimittika Rasayana
c) Ajasrika Rasayana
(III) According to Prabhava (Effect)
Dalhana mentions two types of Rasayana in
Sarvopaghata Shamaniya chapter of Chikitsasthana,
a) Samshodhana Rasayana
b) Samshamana Rasayana.
Mode of Action
As per our classics Rasayana therapy works on Agni
which inturn leads to proper formation of Rasadi
Dhatus, Hence responsible for creation of Ojas which
is considered as prime essence of these Rasadi
Dhatus.
[10]
Which is responsible for proper working of
immune system of body in terms of Vyadhi
Kshamatva, Hence Rasayana plays a crucial role in
prevention of aging and old age related disorders. It
also enhances bodily strength and mental faculties.
Different classics of Ayurveda have defined Rasayana
in different words but in same central theme.
The probable mode of action of Rasayana therapy as
per contemporary science is as follows,
1. Antioxidant action – Amalaki.
2. Immunomodulatory action – Guduchi.
Mishra et. al. Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care
3. Haematopoietic effect
Amalaki, Bhringaraja,
Mandura, Lauha Bhasma.
4. Adaptogenic action- Ashwagandha.
5. Antiaging action –
Ashwagandha, Bala.
6. Anabolic action –Vidarikanda.
7. Nutritive function –Gritha, Ksheera.
8. Neuroprotective action
Ashwagandha, Swarna
Bhasma, Rajata Bhasma.
D
ISCUSSION
Ayurveda gives importance for geriatric care, as it is
one among the branch of Astanga
of Ayurveda.
Chikitsa
has a good scope in present day scenario as a
preventive tool. As mentioned earlier the qualities of
Rasayana
therapy are one which enhances the
longevity, one which enhances
Smiriti, Medha
maintains Aarogyata,
and also maintains youthfulne
etc. In order to counter act the
Jara Lakshana
Jarajanita Vyadhis
one has to follow
therapy on daily basis which inturn leads to good
qualitative life. Acharya Sharngdhara
has mentioned
the Hani
(ruination) in accordance to decades of life,
One can minimise the ill effect of Hani
by utilizing the
Mishra et. al. Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care
-
A Review
REVIEW
ARTICLE
Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences | May
-
June 2016 | Vol. 1 | Issue 1
Amalaki, Bhringaraja,
Ashwagandha, Bala.
Ashwagandha, Swarna
Ayurveda gives importance for geriatric care, as it is
of Ayurveda.
Jara
has a good scope in present day scenario as a
preventive tool. As mentioned earlier the qualities of
therapy are one which enhances the
Smiriti, Medha
, which
and also maintains youthfulne
ss
Jara Lakshana
and
one has to follow
Rasayana
therapy on daily basis which inturn leads to good
has mentioned
(ruination) in accordance to decades of life,
by utilizing the
drugs in accordance with decades of life mentioned in
table 1.
Table 1: Rasayanas indicated in various decades of
life
Sl.No
Sl.NoSl.No
Sl.No Action
ActionAction
Action
Decades Of Life
Decades Of LifeDecades Of Life
Decades Of Life
1 Balyam
Childhood
2 Vriddhi
Growth &
Development
3 Chavi
Luster/Complexi
on
4 Medha
Sharpness in
perception
5 Twak
Skin &
Appendages
6 Drishti
Visual Acuity
7 Shukra
Potency
Fertility
8 Vikram
Valour
9 Buddhi
Cumulative,
Intellect &
Cognitive
functioning
10 Karmendriya
Physical
capacities
The herbs which have been mentioned in table no. 1,
have specific action on factors for which they have
mentioned, for example
Kusthaghna property
etc. and it has very good effects
in
Tvak Rogas, Bhringraja
qualities along with
Rasayana
very good source of Vitamin C and has antioxidant
properties and in our classics it has been metioned as
Chakshusya
also hence it conteract the damage done
to eyes and vision by age related degeneration
same manner Kapikachu
it protects against
Shukra Dhatu Kshaya
drugs have critically analysed and mentioned in
A Review
ARTICLE
May-June 2016
June 2016 | Vol. 1 | Issue 1
54
drugs in accordance with decades of life mentioned in
Table 1: Rasayanas indicated in various decades of
Decades Of Life
Decades Of LifeDecades Of Life
Decades Of Life
Indicated
Indicated Indicated
Indicated
Rasayana
RasayanaRasayana
Rasayana
Childhood
Vacha, Swarna
Growth &
Development
Kashmari, Bala
Luster/Complexi
Amalaki, Lauha
Sharpness in
perception
Shankhapushpi
Skin &
Appendages
Bhringraj,
Jyotishmati
Visual Acuity
Triphala,
Shatavari
Potency
&
Fertility
Atmagupta,
Ashwagandha
Valour
Amalaki, Bala
Cumulative,
Intellect &
Cognitive
functioning
Brahmi,
Mandukaparni
Physical
capacities
Bala,
Ashwagandha
The herbs which have been mentioned in table no. 1,
have specific action on factors for which they have
mentioned, for example
- Somaraji has Krimighna,
etc. and it has very good effects
Tvak Rogas, Bhringraja
has also almost same
Rasayana
effects too. Amalaki is a
very good source of Vitamin C and has antioxidant
properties and in our classics it has been metioned as
also hence it conteract the damage done
to eyes and vision by age related degeneration
, in
has aphrodisiac property so
Shukra Dhatu Kshaya
. Hence these
drugs have critically analysed and mentioned in
Mishra et. al. Role of Rasayana in Geriatric Care - A Review
REVIEW ARTICLE
May-June 2016
Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences | May - June 2016 | Vol. 1 | Issue 1
55
specific age group as to overcome the specific age
related situations.
C
ONCLUSION
As the prime aim of Ayurveda is Swasthasya Swasthya
Rakshnam (maintaining the health of a healthy
individual). So to maintain the healthy state of a
person one should follow the Swasthavritta principles.
Rasayana therapy is one among them, in present
world persons follow sedentary life style and faulty
food habits which is the main cause for metabolic
imbalance which leads to aging to start early than its
schedule. These Rasayana therapies are critically
analysed by our Acharyas. Therefore persons desirous
of attaining long life, vitality and happiness should
practise Rasayana therapy with complete devotion
according to the prescribed procedure.
R
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1. http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/en
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**************************************************
How to cite this article:
Mishra Yagyik, Negalur Vijay,
Thakor Krunal, Bhat Nagaraj, Shubhasri B. Role of
Rasayana in Geriatric Care - A Review. J Ayurveda
Integr Med Sci 2016;1(1):52-55.
http://dx.doi.org/10.21760/jaims.v1i1.3636
Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None
declared.
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Astanga Hrudaya, with Sarvangasundara commentary of Arunadatta and Ayurveda Rasayana Commentary of Hemadri
  • Swarna Ashwagandha
  • Rajata Bhasma
  • Bhasma
Neuroprotective action -Ashwagandha, Swarna Bhasma, Rajata Bhasma. REFERENCES 1. http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/en 2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geriatrics 3. Vagbhata. Astanga Hrudaya, with Sarvangasundara commentary of Arunadatta and Ayurveda Rasayana Commentary of Hemadri, Edited by Pt. Hari Sadashiva Sastri Paradakara Bhisagacharya, Reprint edition, Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi. 2010:2.
Susrutha Samhita with Nibandha Sangraha commentary by Sri Dalhanacharya and Nyaya Chandrika Panjika Commentary by Sri Gayadasacharya
  • Susruta
Susruta. Susrutha Samhita with Nibandha Sangraha commentary by Sri Dalhanacharya and Nyaya Chandrika Panjika Commentary by Sri Gayadasacharya, Edited by Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Acharya and Narayan Ram Acharya Kavyathirtha, Reprint edition. Choukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi. 2012:6.
Edited: Pandit Parashurama Sastri Vidyasagar with Adamalla Dipika and Kashirama's Gudartha Dipika
  • Sharangadhara Sharangadhacharya
  • Samhita
Sharangadhacharya. Sharangadhara Samhita, Edited: Pandit Parashurama Sastri Vidyasagar with Adamalla Dipika and Kashirama's Gudartha Dipika, 7 th edition,