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The journey of man to live longer periods and remain healthy as large as a lives, has rested to an obsessive search for mixtures or materials that may produce the wanted results. To achieve the best health, with delayed aging system is also a most desirable thing, even within in the life span set by the genetic configuration. For this goal a quantity of materials and formulas, most of 'Rasayana' are mentioned in Ayurveda. The current study has been planned as a step in updating the Ayurvedic pharmaceutical methods to cop up with the requirements of modern era. Rasayana or Jara Cikitsa is one amongst the eight branches of Ayurveda; practiced extensively and effectively since ages. Acharya Charaka has quoted as Jaraa-Chikitsa where as Acharya Sushruta has mentioned it as Rasayana-Tantra. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Dr. Ketan Rathwa*1 and Dr. Rakesh Salve2
1Final Year Post Graduate Scholar, Department of Rasa Shashtra & Bhaishajya Kalpana,
Parul University, Parul Institute of Ayurved, Limda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
2Associate Professor, Department of Rasa Shashtra & Bhaishajya Kalpana, Parul University,
Parul Institute of Ayurved, Limda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
The journey of man to live longer periods and remain healthy as large
as a lives, has rested to an obsessive search for mixtures or materials
that may produce the wanted results. To achieve the best health, with
delayed aging system is also a most desirable thing, even within in the
life span set by the genetic configuration. For this goal a quantity of
materials and formulas, most of Rasayana’ are mentioned in
Ayurveda. The current study has been planned as a step in updating the
Ayurvedic pharmaceutical methods to cop up with the requirements of
modern era. Rasayana or Jara Cikitsa is one amongst the eight
branches of Ayurveda; practiced extensively and effectively since
ages. Acharya Charaka has quoted as Jaraa-Chikitsa where as
Acharya Sushruta has mentioned it as Rasayana-Tantra.
KEYWORDS: Rasayana, Vaya, Ayu, Medha, Balakar, Amalaki.
Historical Background
Vedic Kala
No direct references can be observed in any of Vedic literatures. But, one can Get a number
of references regarding the beneficial effects of Rasayana such asprolonging the life span,
maintaining or establishing the youthfulness and alsodelaying the ageing process.
In Rgveda, there are hymns saluting Aswinis for their effective approach in the equilibrium of
Tridhatus and prolonging the life span.[1]
World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
SJIF Impact Factor 8.074
Volume 7, Issue 13, 1278-1298. Review Article ISSN 2277 7105
Article Received on
20 May 2018,
Revised on 10 June 2018,
Accepted on 30 June 2018
DOI: 10.20959/wjpr201813-12949
*Corresponding Author
Dr. Ketan Rathwa
Final Year Post Graduate
Scholar, Department of Rasa
Shashtra & Bhaishajya
Kalpana, Parul University,
Parul Institute of Ayurved,
Limda, Vadodara, Gujarat,
India. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Aswinis, known as Devanam Bhisajau', were experts in the field of Rasayana.
Their deeds concerned with Rasayana are as follows:
Turned Kaksivan young from old.[2]
Kali was turned into a young subject.[3]
Cyavana became younger and his life span got increased.[4]
Citizens of Jahnu were endowed with strength and longer life span.[5]
Ghosa who was diseased, old and unmarried was turned into a healthy andyoung lady
who later got married.[6]
Injured Syava was treated effectively and his life span lengthened.[7]
Old sage Vandana was converted into a youth.[8]
The life span of Somaka, the son of Sahadeva, got lengthened.[9]
Devas became Ajaramara by consuming the elixir which was originated during
Samudramathana and so are the seven great sages.
In Yajurveda also, one can notice the chants increasing the life span andbeneficial effects of
Rasayana such as improving the status of Indriyas.
 is the prayer to Almighty God frequently seen to increase the life span of an
Atharvaveda, to which Ayurveda is closely related, gives more references of Rasayana. Some
of them are listed below:
Ap (water) is considered as the best medicine in the universe and it is the best Rasayana
, [12]
Devas (Gods) neither become old northey become a victim of death.
Ap increases the Urja (strength) of the body. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
 
The individuals will be devoid of gray hair and mental instability, having strong teeth and
body and perfect body activities.
Soma, the king of medicines, was given due importance in all Vedas, Brahmana Granthas,
Upanisads, Puranas and later in Samhitas. Similarly, Upanisads, Puranas and other post
Vedic treatises have highlighted the practice of Rasayana.
Caraka has dedicated the first chapter for Rasayana in Cikitsasthana anddivided into four
Padas. Rasayana has been given first preference because it not only maintains the healthy
state of an individual but also cured ailments, the two faces of Cikitsa.
Susruta also dealt Rasayana in four separate chapters but he has pushed the rasayana concept
back to the end chapters i.e. 27-29 of chikitsasthana. And Vagbhatas have described in only
one chapter in Uttaratantra. This reflects on the declining impact of Rasayana therapy in
Samhita period itself.
Later combinatory works like Bhavaprakasa, Sarngadhara Samhita, Yogaratnakara have
also dealt Rasayana in a separate chapter which followed Vagbhata.
The word Rasayana is formed from two words viz. Rasa and Ayana.
 +  and
The word 'Rasa' is formed from 'Ras Gatau' Dhatu and 'Ac' Pratyaya. Acaryas have given
various meanings for Rasa at different contexts. Some of the common are -
1. Rasa is one that is experienced by Rasanendriya.
2. The one that nourishes Rasa, Rakta, etc. Dhatus (continuously) daily is called Rasa.
3. The essence of the digested foodstuff is known as Rasa.
4. The one that traverses throughout the body due to its liquidity is termed as Rasa.
5. Rasa is one that moves all over the body continuously. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
The word Ayana has various meanings as given in Shabda Kalpa Druma and Vacaspatyam.
They are pathway, movement, road, place, site, abode, a way ofentrance, an entrance etc.
In total, Rasayana is meant as -
Rasayana means the pathway for essence of foodstuffs towards all bodytissue elements so as
to nourish and replenish them.
V.S. Apte, famous grammarian, in his Sanskrit English Dictionary, statesthat Rasayana is
- an elixir of life (elixir vitae)
- any medicines supposed to prolong life and prevent old age
- serving as an elixir vitae i.e., that which gratifies or regales.
The classics have given the synonym Rasayani for Srotasa which meanschannels which carry
nutrients for differnt body tissues.
It means Rasayana is that by which Rasa, Rakta etc Dhaatus are obtained.
Acharya Charaka has elobarated the meaning of Rasayana and quoted that :
It means the measures by which one can get excellence of Rasa etc Dhaatus are called
In addition to this later he described that the one which nourishes, Rasa, Rakta etc. Dhaatus
or the one which stabilises youthfulness and prolongs life with activities through its Rasa,
Virya etc. is called Rasayana.[18]
Arundatta has described that Rasayana is one by which Rasa, Raktadi Dhatus get
benefited through proper nourishment.[19] Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
The 'Kairali' commentary of Astanga Hrdaya defines Rasayana as one that causes increase in
the Dhatus from Rasa to Sukra.
Rasayana is one which wards off Jara as well as Vyadhi.
The one which cures Jara and Vyadhi, stabilises youthfulness; increases acuity of Caksu
etc. Indriyas; nourishes the whole body and aphrodisiac is known as Rasayana. The same
was adopted in Vaidya Kaustubha.
Gangadhara has described that Rasayana is one which causes continuous nourishment to
Rasa, etc. Dhatus, thereby replenishing them.[21]
According to Harita, Rasayana is that process by which there will be stability of body, all
types of sensory and motor organs; and no graying of hair, wrinkling and baldness.[22]
Classification of Rasayana
Two types of Rasayana have been mentioned by Acharya Charaka.[23]
i Kutipravesika
ii Vatatapika
This classification is based on the mode of administration. Kutipravesika is one in which
Rasayana is given with person staying inside a closed Kuti whereas Vatatapika is that in
which Rasayana is administered with patient exposed to Vataand Atapa. In other words,
Kutipravesika is an indoor administration while Vatatapika is an outdoor administration of
Rasayana. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Dronipravesika is similar to Kutipravesika with slight modification whereinthe individual is
made to stay in a Droni (made out of Palasa) for six months consuming milk diet.[24]
Three types of Rasayana by Dalhana. It is probably based on the utility of Rasayana.
1. Kamya
2. Naimittika
3. Ajasrika
Kamya Rasayana is subdivided into Pranakamiya, Srikamiya and Medhakamiya
Rasayanas. i.e., to increase the life span, to prolong the life span and to increase the
cognitive abilities of mind respectively.
Naimittika type of Rasayana is nothing but Rasayana specific to a disease.
"Naimittikam Vyadhinimittam"
Ajasrika Rasayana deals with daily intake of milk, ghee, etc. Rasayana so as to promote
the body immunity.
"Ajasrikam Ksiraghrtabhyasadikam"
Another two types of Rasayana mentioned by Dalhana based on their mode of action.
Samsodhana - 'Dosasya Samsodhanadi Samsodhanam'
Samsamana - 'Samsamanam Nagabaladi Prayogadikam'
Samsodhana and Samsamana, both are curative in nature. Samsodhana type of Rasayana
expels the aggravated Dosas whereas Samsamana type pacifies the accumulated ones.
Susruta has classified Rasayana into four types
Sarvopaghata Samaniya
Svabhavavaydhi Pratisedhaniya
Nivrtta Santapiya.
Sarvopaghata Samaniya deals with Rasayana to counteract the disease process.
Medhayuskamiya is one by which an individual can increase hisintellect and prolong his life.
Svabhavavyadhi Pratisedhaniya is one which delaysthe onset of Svabhavika Vyadhis like
Ksut, Jara, Pipasa, Mrtyu, etc. and Nivrtta Santapiya Rasayana rebuilds the physical and
mental faculties following their Disturbance due to disease process. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
It can be further classified into five types based on their benefits (Ca.Su.4)
Dirghayuskara - Jivaniya and Brmhaniya
Tarunyakara - Vayahsthapana
Balakara - Balya
Medhakara - Medhya
Rogahara - Roganut (specific to disease)
One more Rasayana variety has been mentioned by Acharya Charakai.e., Acara
Rasayana[25] or Nitya Rasayana where in an individual follows Sadvrtta and Swasthavrtta
strictly and gets the beneficial effects. Persons who are truthful and free from anger, alcohol
and sexual indulgence; who do not indulge in violence and over exercise; who are peaceful
and pleasing in speech, who practice Japa, Tapa, cleanliness, charity; who are stable and
steady; who regularly offer prayers to Gods, cows, brahmanas, teachers, preceptors and aged
people; who are compassionate and merciful; who go to sleep and awake at regular time; who
habitually take ghee and milk; who are experts in the knowledge of rationality; who are free
from ego; whose conduct is good; who are not narrow minded; who love spiritual knowledge;
who have excellent sense organs, respect for elders; who believe in the existence of Gods;
who have self-control and who regularly study Dharmasastras will get best out of
rejuvenation therapy. If personsendowed with these qualities practise rejuvenation therapy,
they get all the rejuvenation effects described above. In Manusmrti, it has been stated that -
Following an Acara makes the individual live a long and happy life. By Acara Rasayana one
can keep away the occurrence of ailments and prevent the onset of many fearsome diseases
arising due to Prajnaparadha, Asatmyendriyartha Samyoga and Parinama.
Utility of Rasayana[26]
An ideal Rasayana prolongs life, improves memory and intellect, promoteshealth, and
provides immunity against diseases thereby helps an individual to lead anenergetic life. It
improves lustre and complexion of the body, tones the voice andspeech, and increases the
acuity of all the sensory and motor organs, vitality and vigour.
 Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
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 
Rasayana keeps away Jara; removes Daurbalya; cures diseases andovercomes even Mrtyu
and person lives for thousand years. The individual not onlygets his life span prolonged but
also attains salvation.
In Astanga Samgraha and later classics, instead of Pranati, Vrsata wasmentioned i.e.,
Rasayana can also impart Vrsya properties.[27]
By Rasayana, the Syama (dark) complexion can be turned into Gaura (fair)complexion and
its withdrawal causes the other way.
Rasayana words off old age, cures diseases, prolongs life span, gives strengthto Caksuradi
Indriyas, improves immunity against diseases and acts also as Vrsya. With the help of
Rasayana, Japa, Tapa and Yoga, one can overcome evendeath.
Rasayana, Tapa etc. will cure, with their Prabhava etc., the diseases which are considered
The diseases which had shown even the imminent signs of death can besuperseded by the
administration of Rasayana or by performing Japa, Tapa etc.
By undergoing Rasayana, the ailments arising as a result of Viruddhasanacan be overcome.
While explaining Janapadoddhwamsa Vyadhis, Caraka has given that by Rasayana, one can
prevent the onset of Maraka Vyadhis.[28]
In Charaka Samhita, benefits of Rasayana described as Balya, Jivaniya, Brmhaniya and
Dalhanahas define Vardhakaas which increases, Sthapakaas which stabilises and
Apraptaprapakaas which gives additional endowments.[30] Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
So, here Vardhaka is nothing but Ayurvardhaka i.e., prolongation of lifespan. Sthapaka
stabilises the youth of an individual by improving healthy status andincreasing body
immunity against ailments. Apraptaprapaka means fulfilling thenourishment needed thereby
increasing body tissue elements resulting in increasedimmunity and person will be endowed
with additional features. All these three hereserve the purpose of Swasthyaraksana. Most of
the Rasayana Dravyas have either Madhura Rasa or Madhura Vipaka (Ca. Su. 26/43-1).
Such drugs when used give benefits to the body in theform of -
Increasing Rasa, Rudhira, Mamsa, Meda, Asthi, Majja, Ojas and Sukra.
Increasing longevity.
Soothens six sense organs
Promotes strength and complexion
Improves the integument
Promotes healthy hairs
Improves voice
Increase strength
Promotes body mass
Gives stability to the body.
From the foregoing lines, it is observed that majority of Rasayana Dravyashas prophylactic
property improving the immunity of the body and in turnlengthening the life span. One can
get ample references regarding curative effects of Rasayana in theclassics along with their
health promoting effects. Some of them are Aindra Rasayana, Pippali Rasayana, Bhallataka
Rasayana (in Kustha, Arsas), Ayo Rasayana (in Mahakustha), Tuvaraka Rasayana (in
Madhumeha), Somaraji Kalpa[31] (in Kustha), Lasuna Kalpa (in Vatavyadhi), Guggulu
Kalpa, Silajatu Kalpa, Vrddhadaru Kalpa, Sarpirguda (in Ksataksina), Yogaraja (in Pandu),
When to start Rasayana?
Acarya Caraka didnot specify to whom or at what age Rasayana should beadministered to an
individual. But, Susruta, Vagbhata and later Acaryas haveconsidered this factor. Susruta and Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
followers have mentioned that Rasayana shouldbe given either in Purva Vayas or in Madhya
Arunadatta commenting on the same quotation mentioned by Vagbhata says that
[33] i.e., the period after crossing the phase of
'Kairali' commentary of Astanga Hrdaya opines that -
, …..,
Purva Vayas means the stage that appears after childhood and Madhya Vayasis early
adulthood and he says that in Balya and Vardhakya, Rasayana is notadvised.
Sivadasasena opines in his commentary that
Purva Vayas is not Balyavastha, but that phase of life wherein an individualreaches or enters
Yauvana (youth) and Madhya Vayas is the remaining period of Yauvana.
Yauvana, accordng to Susrutalies between twenty and thirtyyears of life.[35] Cakrapani,
commenting on this says that 'Yauvane Managvardhamanata' i.e., there will be little or slow
growth of the body. Carakaalso agrees with this by saying that total growth and development
will be incompleteupto thirty years. So, Rasayana administered during the earlier phase of
Yauvanacan increase the nourishment to all Dhatus thereby improving the defence system
'Yauvana Sese' is considered to be Madhya Vayas. This phase of life isendowed with
complete growth and development of all body tissues as well as total functioning of mental
faculties. The individual will be having good strength andthere will be no deterioration of
tissue elements. In such a stage, Rasayanaadministrated can boost the immune system and
delay the ageing process. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Whether Rasayana is Contraindicated to Bala and Vrddha?
In Bala, all Dhatus will be in developing stage and Bala will be Sukumara(tender),
Aklesasaha (cannot bear any stress), Asampurna Bala (less body strength). Ajatavyanjana
(unestablished body functions). The quantity of food and dose ofmedicine were increased
yearly so as to make the child's digestive system adapt tonormal adult quantity / dosage. If
Rasayana is given to children, then they will notbe in a position to cope with the potency of
Rasayana will be of no use in old aged persons because of deterioration of bodytissue. This
was fully supported by Susruta i.e.,
Dalhana commenting on this says that nourishment to Dhatus will beminimum in old age and
it just supports the life. No Acaryas have told that Rasayana should not be given in
Vrddhavastha. But it is clearly understood that Vrddhavastha is not the proper age for
theadministration of Rasayana because after sixty years naturally there occurs thedeclination
of body functions. As a result, the assimilation, absorption andmovement of essence to all
Dhatus get diminished leading to incompleteachievement of the desired effect. Moreover, the
definition "Yajjaravyadhividhwamsi", where Jara means not Kalaja Jara, but Akalaja Jara.
In Akalaja Jara, one can revert the process by Rasayana which is clearly told by our Acaryas.
But no reference is found that Rasayana stops Kalaja Jara. (It is similar tothe concept that
administration of growth hormone does not cause further growthafter the closure of
epiphyseal ends of bones). Once Kalaja Jara which is Svabhavika(natural phenomenon) sets
in, then there is no question of stopping or reversing itbecause catabolic rate already has
taken the upper hand. Hence, Vrddhavastha doesnot get the fruitful effects of Rasayana.
Then one may question how the Sage Cyavana was turned from old to young. Sivadasasena
once again clarified it bysaying that effect was not only because of Rasayana but also
because of continuouspenace along with Rasayana. Another factor which can be the cause for
minimal effect of Rasayana is thepresence of Virodhaka Bhava and because of these, in old
age, Rasayana Dravya does not render the essence necessary for all Dhatus therebyreduces
the formation of Prasasta Dhatu.
Sodhana is generally conducted before the administration of Rasayana in allindividuals. All
Acaryas agree with the point that Sodhana is contraindicated in Balaas well as in Vrddha, Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
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because Sodhana results in Ksaya of Dhatus, Agni and Deha Bala which is usually restored
by Samsarjana Krama. In almost all occasions, Sodhana is performed using the drugs
havingproperties like Katu - Tikta Rasa, Usna Virya, Usna - Laghu Guna and Usna Vipaka.
Balyavastha, dominated by Kapha, most essential for the anabolic activity or Dhatu Vrddhi,
is having the properties exactly opposite to those mentioned above. So, theycounteract the
activity of Kapha thereby slows down the process of anabolism. Onthe other hand,
Vrddhavastha, dominated by Vata is having the properties similar tothe above mentioned
ones. So, they catalyse the activity of Vata resulting in increasein the process of catabolism.
In Balyavastha, there will be development of Dhatus and Agni will not be functioning to its
optimum. So, Sodhana leads to destabilization of whole body functions and derangement in
Agni, eventually hampering Dhatu Vrddhi or Upacaya of Dhatus. Once Upacaya of Dhatus
gets stopped or reduced, then complete development of whole body cannot be expected. In
Vrddhavastha, all Dhatus willdeteriorate progressively. Naturally, there will be less strength
and there isdominance of Vata as well. Administration of Sodhana leads to further decrease
in Dhatus and Vata gets increased which in turn, affects the Dhatus further as
Vatacontributes largely for the occurrence of Dhatu Ksaya. Hence, in Balya and
Vrddhavastha, Rasayana given to the individuals after Sodhana will not definitely give the
desired effects.
Rasayana Vidhi
Two varieties of Rasayana have been mentioned based on the mode of administration. They
(a) Kutipravesika
(b) Vatatapika
Kutipravesika is done with persons taking Rasayana inside a specially constructed Kuti[37]
and Vatatapika is administered with individualsexposed to Vata and Atapa.
Before Rasayana, person should be administered with Samsodhana and Samsarjana
Administration of selected Rasayana to the particular person is the unique concept of
Ayurveda considering each and every factors of an individual i.e. Vayas, Prakruti, Agni,
Satmya etc. And some Rasayanas are used in particular way like Vardhamana Pippali
Rasayana in this Rasayana individual should start with single Pippali and in next 10 Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
consecutiuve days he has to increase one Pippali each day and after 10days he has to
decrease one Pippali in same manner. Same method is to be followed for Bhallataka
rasayana. Another example of different method to intake Rasayana is Ritu-Haritaki. In this
Rasayana, haritaki is to be taken with different adjuvants according to the season. Acharya
Charaka has mentioned four Medhya Rasayana[39] in chikitsasthana i.e. Swarasa of
Mandukparni and Guduchi, Yashtimadhu Churna, Shankhapushpi kalka also showing that
particular part of the drug having specific action.
Acharya Sharangdhara has mentioned loss of impact desired effect in each decade of life and
he has described Rasayana drugs for each of them i.e.
Decade of life
Loss of impact desired effect
Why Sodhana is must prior to Rasayana?
If Rasayana is administered without Sodhana then it will be of no use justlike colouring a
garment which is unclean or stained cannot be appreciated.
Factors to be avoided during Rasayana[41]
Substandard diet
Sour, salty, pungent and alkali
Dry vegetables and meat
Derivatives of Sesame
Germinated cereals and pulses, freshly harvested
Contradictory, unwholesome, dry, Abhisyandi food
Softened, heavy, putrid and stale food Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Irregular food intake and food taken before the digestion of earlier food
Alcoholic drinks
Day sleep
Regular sexual intercourse
Irregular and excessive exercise
Excess fear, anger, grief, greed and infatuation.
If these were followed, then the muscles become flabby, joints become loose, blood becomes
afflicted and fat gets liquefied. In such persons, marrow does notremain intact inside the
bones, there occurs impairment in the ejaculation of semenand Ojas gets diminished. In such
circumstances, person feels exhausted, languidand falls victim to excess sleep, drowsiness
and laziness. He loses enthusiasm, incapable of physical and mental work. He loses memory,
intellect and complexion and becomes an abode of diseases. Thus, he fails to enjoythe full
span of his life.
Contra Indications for Rasayana[42]
Rasayana should not be administered to following seven persons.
Who disregard medicines
If administered, Rasayana will give no beneficial effect because of followingrespective
reasons. They are -
Non commencement of the treatment
Instability of the mind Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
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Depending on others
Non righteous deeds
Inability to secure the genuine drug.
Probable Mode of Action
Action on Rasa
Action on Agni
Action on Srotasa
Action on Rasa-dhatu is mentioned by definition of Rasayana that by Rasayana, a person can
get maximum essence of all Dhatus by proper circulaton of Rasa to all Dhatus.
Agni plays a vital role in procuring the desired effects of Rasayana. Caraka[43] says that
Jatharagni (Dehagni) is the base for Ayu (longevity), Varna(complexion), Bala (strength),
Arogya (positive health), Prana (elan vital), Utsaaha(enthusiasm), Upacaya (anabolism),
Prabha (lustre), Agnis (Dhatvagnis), Ojas and Tejas (energy). He further stated that if Agni
becomes destroyed then the individual loses all the mentioned features; if normal, lives
longer without any ailment and if impaired (either of Manda, Visama, and Tiksna) then
becomes diseased. Hence, everything is dependent on Agni. The same has been quoted in
Sutrasthana as -
Though Ahara is the root for every living being, it still depends on Agni. Any substance,
either Ahara or Ausadha passes through the same stages of Avasthapaka. They first come in
contact with Jatharagni and then with respective Bhutagnis and Dhatvagnis. The digestion of
food by Jathargani results in thebreakdown of food into five distinct physico-chemical
groups viz. Parthiva, Apya, Taijasa, Vayaviya and Nabhasa. Jatharagni is stated to ignite the
Agni present ineach of these and the respective Agni digests the substances of that group.[45]
This renders food substances fit for being assimilated into the substancespresent in the
Dhatus after they have been subjected to the action of Dhatvagnis. Caraka has quoted in
Sutrasthana 28/3 that wholesome foodstuff ingested infour fold manner, having been
digested by Antaragni, is followed by further Pakasunder the influence of Bhutagni. They are
subjected to further Pakas, by Dhatvagnis, subject to the condition that Dhatusma,
Dhatuvaha Srotamsi and Maruta are notimpaired and Dhatu Paka is proceeded with Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
inexorable Kala. Dhatvaharas thusformed confer upon the organism strength, complexion,
happiness, longevity andprovide energy to Dhatus. Commenting on this Cakrapani says that
Rasadi Dhatus which are alwaysdestroyed are being replaced by Dhatvaharas, derived from
the four kinds ofnutrition ingested. In his view, the Rasadi Dhatus are lost in catabolic
processes andsuch losses are made good by anabolic events. He further stated that Sarira
Dhatuswhich are destroyed by their own Agnis are replenished by four kinds of foodingested.
Foregoing lines showed how Agni is responsible for everything. All thepositive aspects of life
are endowed only when Agni functions normally.[46] Because of Samagni, digestion takes
place properly forming Sara and Kitta. Saramsa nourishes all Dhatus and Pancendriya
Dravyas while Kittamsa, all Malas like Sveda, Mutra, Purisa, Vata, Pitta, Kapha etc. This
Sara Kitta Vibhajana andfurther, nourishment has been explained in the form of three
different Nyayas by our Acaryas such as Ksira Dadhi (Sarvatma Parinama), Kedara Kulya
and Khale Kapota Nyayas.
Thus, Jatharagni renders support to Bhutagnis and Dhatvagnis to carry outtheir action
properly. Hence, Agnis (all the thirteen) should function normally so asto get maximum
benefits of either Ahara Rasa or Bhaisajya like Rasayana Dravyas.
Srotas, the body channel which carries the metabolites to different tissues ofthe body also
provide much to the effects of Rasayana. In childhood, whole bodystructures including tissue
elements are not fully formed and Srotas are not fullydistinct. So, the essence of ingested
substances may not reach their minutest targets. In Jaravastha, all the tissue elements
including Srotas become weak functionally. Formation of atheromatous plaque within and
hardening of Srotas in old age is quitecommon resulting in reduction in elasticity. Due to this,
Sara will not be propelledfurther towards the tissue elements depriving them of their
requirements. To sum up, the whole Sarira of an individual will not get the effects of
Rasayana to its optimum in Balyavastha and Jaravastha for the aforesaid views
andmaximum benefits can be observed in Madhyamavastha.
Modern Explanation regarding Pharmacological Activities of Rasayanadrugs[47]: In the
light of the modern medical science, many scientists are trying tofind out the logics for the
possible explanation regarding the pharmacology of Rasayana drugs. On the basis of various
researches following mode of action can beconsidered for the explanation of Rasayana effect
of herbal drugs. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Immuno modulator
Anti Oxidant
Free radicals are fundamental to any biochemical process and representon essential part of
aerobic life and our metabolism. They are continuouslyproduced by the body's normal use to
oxygen such as respiration and somecell mediated immune functions. They are also found or
generated throughradiation- Radiotherapy. However, the amount of these protective anti-
oxidant principlespresent under the normal physiological conditions are sufficient only to
cope with the physiological rate of free radical generation. It is obvious, therefore that any
additional burden of free radicals either from Radiotherapy likeexternal cause or produce
within the body can lead imbalance the free radical(pro-oxidant) and anti-free-radical
(antioxidant) leading to oxidative stress, which may result in tissue injury and subsequent
adverse condition. Research in the recent past has accumulated growing body ofevidences to
show that enrichment of body systems with natural antioxidantprinciples may correct the
vitiated homeostasis [Tiwari AK, 1999; Keaney, 1999; Ley, 1987].
Flavonoids as antioxidant havingmultiple properties of these phytochemicals made them
more attractive, asthey can modulate various aspect of disease like lipid peroxidation
involved in cytokinase release in normal cell with use of chemotherapeutic agents incancer
management. Flavonoids release H2O2 by donating a hydrogen atom from theirpyrogallol or
catechol structure to oxygen level of enzymatic antioxidantslike catalyze and other H2O2
removing enzymes preventive role of theseflavonoids is due to a variety of constituents
including numerousphotochemical including flavonoids. Thus it is possible that flavonoids
alsocontribute to the cyto-protective effect to normal cell. The holistic therapeutic effect of
medical antioxidants which can begiven through oral route may be observed as they can
display their firstantioxidant defense in digestive tract by limiting reactive oxygen
speciesformation and scavenging them and may impart anti-ulcer activity [Tarnawski,
2000]. Further once absorbed, either as aglycons or glycosides[Hollmanp, 1998] or to a
larger extent as phenolic acids, they continueto exert antioxidant effect along with other
systemic activities. One of themain purposes of antioxidant therapy is to reduce target site
inflammationinduced by oxidative stress. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Antioxidants are ubiquitous in natural medicinal plants. The greatvariation in their magnitude
as well as multitude at activities may evenbecome more important for protective effects in
situations. Whereas freeradial species are not directly involved in the disease process, but
mayparticipate or foster the secondary events.
The concept of 'Adaptogen' was coined in 1947 by a Russian Scientist, Lazarev. He defined
them as "substances meant to put the organism into a state of nonspecific heightened
resistance in order to resist stresses and adapt toextraordinary challenges".
In general, adaptogens are a group of medically effective substances thatnormalise body
functions, strengthen systems and functions compromised by stressand have a protective
effect against a wide variety of environmental and emotionalstresses.
General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS), formulated by Selye is a consistent, nonspecific
response of the organism to stressful influences of totally diverse types, the adaptive reaction
enables the body to heighten its power or resistance towardsstresses, and to adapt to external
Though difficult to differentiate adaptogenic effect from other remedies ofrelated action,
there are number of criteria which allow a formal arrangement of these other drugs in
immunostimulants, nootropics, anabolics, tonics and geriatricacids. Rasayana is certainly
having any one or more of these activities. Immune stimulants are substances which bring
about a heightened resistancethrough the stimulation of non specific defensive processes
which are largelyindependent of antigens.
Nootropics (cognition enhances) are effective psychopharmacological agents which are said
to improve the higher integrative brain functions, such as memory, learning, understanding,
thinking and the capacity for concentration. No specificmechanisms are known. It is assumed
that nootropics stimulate existing neuralsynapses to optimum performance (adaptive
capacity) and also for damaginginfluences, such as disturbances of the energy and
neurotransmitter metabolism orischaemia (protective capacity).
Anabolics are substances which activate the anabolic metabolism. Theypromote the synthesis
of nucleic acids and protein metabolism, thereby in general, growth. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Tonics and geriatic remedies fall into the category of wellness enhances. Though a precise
conceptual definition can not be given for both, tonics are definedin a very generalized way
as substances which mitigate conditions of weakness orlack of tone within the entire
organism, or in particular organs. Being adaptogenic, like all the others, generally,
adaptogens raise ones capacity, therefore may also beincluded by the group of tonics.
Geriatric remedies are substances serving as a preventive treatment of oldage diseases.
Stiffness and age conditioned rigidity are possibly the outermanifestations of diminished or
lacking ability to adapt.
Brekhman, in 1958, summarised the concept adaptogen as follows:
It must show a nonspecific effect (raising the power of resistance to toxins of a physical,
chemical or biological nature).
It is to normalise, independent of the type of pathological condition.
It must be harmless and disturb the body functions as little as possible.
Accordingly, adaptogens are to strengthen the nonspecific powers ofresistance to
noninfectious stresses, raise the general performance capacity duringstress situations and
thereby prevent diseases that could develop due to overstressingthe organism.
It is seen as characteristic of adaptogens that their antistress effect towardsstresses of a
noninfectious variety, always stands in the foreground. Although in socalled adaptogens,
immune stimulating, nootropic or metabolic effects have alsobeen proved.
By going through the aforesaid pages, it is certain that adaptogens show thesimilar qualities
of Rasayana i.e., Dhatuvrddhikara, Medhya, Pustikara, Balada, Dehendriya Drdhikarana,
Brmhaniya, Jivaniya, etc. and thus help improve body's defense system.
Immuno modulator
Immuno-modulation or immuno potentiatio is a phenomenon in whichenhance of the
resistance against the in vading organisms responsible for diseases are seen
Immunomodulatory substances of warying chemical structures and molecular sized in
Rasayana drugs, which exert that effect by modulating several facts of the immune system
such as activiation of macrophages for enhanced generation, oxygen radical and stimulation
of cytotoxic activity and phagocytosis, proliferation or lymphocytes leading to production
and cytotoxic induction of T helper and natural killer cell and activiation of complement Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
pathway Immuno-stimulant after promise inenhcencing antigen specific and nonspecific
immune response in normal cell injury during radiotherapy or cytotoxic chemotherapeutic
medication andpotentiating the efficacy of drugs immuno compromised host much morecould
been achieved by Indian scientist in the field of Rasayana therapy.
 II
Rasayana Tantra is one which deals with delaying of ageing process, increasing of intellect
and strength, prolongation of life and curing of disorders.
Though chiefly concerned with improving the healthy status, Rasayana is used as curative.
Thus, it serves the dual purpose of eradicating the ailments and keeping them away thereby
promoting and prolonging the life span. As quoted by Acharya Charaka in first chapter of
Chikitsa Sthana.
It means the therapy which is useful to improve the healthy status of an individual and also to
eradicate the diseased condition is called Vrushya and Rasayana chikitsa.
1. Rg. 1-34-6 and 1-34-11.
2. Rg. 1-112-11, 1-116-7.
3. Rg. 1-112-15.
4. Rg.1-116-10,1-117-13,1-118-6.
5. Rg. 1-116-19.
6. Rg. 1-117-7.
7. Rg. 1-117-24.
8. Rg. 1-119-7.
9. Rg. 4-15-9.
10. Yajur. 25-11, 40-2, 21-36, 36-24.
11. Atharvaveda.1/4/4.
12. Atharvaveda 10/8/32.
13. Atharvaveda 1/5/1.
14. Raj nighantu.
15. Shabdakalpadruma 4/103. Vol 7, Issue 13, 2018.
Rathwa et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
16. Ch. Chi. 1/1/8.
17. Dalhana on Su. Su. 1/6.
18. Dalhana on Su. Ci. 27/1-2.
19. Arundatta on A.H.U. 39/2.
20. Sharangdhara. pratham khanda 4/13.
21. Gangadhara on Ca. Su. 30/15.
22. Harita Samhita Prathama Khanda 2/22.
23. Ch. Chi. 1/1/16.
24. Ch. Chi. 1/4/7.
25. Ch. Chi. 1/4/36.
26. Ch Chi : 1/1/7-8.
27. A.S. U. 49/3-4.
28. Ch. Vi. 3/12-18.
29. Ch. Chi. 1-4-13.
30. Dalhan on Su. Ci. 27/1-2.
31. A. S.U. 39.
32. Su. Chi. 27/3.
33. Arundatta on A.H.U. 29/3.
34. Tattvacandrika on Cakradatta.
35. Su. Su. 35/29.
36. Su. su. 14/19.
37. Ch. Chi. 1-1/16-24.
38. Ch. Chi. 1-1/25-28.
39. Ch.chi.1/3/30.
40. Su.Chi. 27/3-4.
41. Ch. Chi. 1-2/3.
42. Su. Chi. 30/4.
43. Ch. Chi. 15/3.
44. Ch. Su. 27/342.
45. Ch. Chi. 15/13.
46. Ch. Chi. 15/3-4.
47. Shrikanth T Rasayana-Diff Age Group-Purve Vayasi Madhye Va.basic principle- 2002.
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