Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Rasayana
Ayurveda, the oldest health science has many branches. Rasayana (rejuvenation) is one of them. Rasa has different meanings like "taste","essence","flavour","juice", or "emotion", but in Ayurveda, 'rasa' is concerned with the conservation, transformation and revitalization of energy. All therapies in ayurveda aim to provide good all round health, so that people can engage in achieving the real goal of life -self-realization. The rasayana therapy increases the life force (ojas) and immunity of a person and thus there is a regeneration of cells and tissues in the body. Rasayana is a therapeutic process to defer old age.
Literally, Rasayana means the augmentation of ‘rasa’, the vital fluid produced by the digestion of food. It is the rasa flowing in the body which sustains life. Rasayana in ayurveda is the method of treatment through which the ‘rasa’ is maintained in the body.
Another connotation of ‘rasa’ in ayurveda is that it is herbal medicine, which maintains the life and health of the individual, and increases his bodily and mental vigor. Herbal medicines are categorized according to whether they promote general health and longevity, sexual vigor, immunity. The three medicine categories are known in ayurveda as rasayana, vajikarana, and aushadhis, respectively. These categories are complementary to each other.
Rasayanas prepared from the herbs and medicinal plants of amalaki, haritiki, triphala, bhringaraja, ashwagandha, punarnava, chitraka and many other herbal medicines have been used from time immemorial and have been instrumental in giving long, disease-free, and vigorous lives to their users. Rasayana has micronutrients, which improve health, immunity, vigor, vitality, and give longevity as well as protection against stress. All these actions of certain Rasayana herbs have now been scientifically proved through experimental as well as clinical studies. The Rasayana or rejuvenation herb aims at keeping the enzymes in the tissue cells in their normal functioning condition. These cells are revitalized and their composition is changed. The tranquility of the mind is promoted and the nerves as well as bones are kept soft and smooth. This prevents the process of aging and keeps the individual free from disease even at an advanced age. In Ayurveda the vitalizers or rasayanas plays an important role because they replenish the vital body fluids, which are necessary to function. The Rasayanas are meant to impart long, healthy, disease free life, intelligence, power of memory, youth and luster.