wholesome health advice

Eat Your Tonic

India’s Oldest Longevity Tonic

A tonic is anything invigorating physically, mentally or morally; it is a medicine that strengthens and invigorates.

According to the ancient Hindu art of medicine and prolonged life, Ayurveda, Chyawanprash is India’s oldest longevity tonic, dating back over 2,500 years.  This tonic is a Rasayana, which maintains youthfulness, vigor, and vitality; it maintains proper cell function and rejuvenation.  Rasayanas impart long, healthy disease-free life, memory power, and youth.

Chyawanprash, the most famous nutritive tonic, contains approximately 35+ herbs plus spices and is the consistency of jam or jelly.  These Himalayan herbs can include: Ashwaganda, Pipplia, Shatavari, Guduchi, Cinnamon, Cardamom.  Yet, it always contains Amla (Embellica Officinalis), also known as gooseberry, which is astoundingly high in Vitamin C.  One pound of Amla contains 20-30 times the amount of vitamin C as a pound of oranges; thus, it is an extremely powerful antioxidant, which neutralizes free-radicals that cause cell aging and decay.  Hence, it is a potent immune system booster.

Of course, many recipes for Chyawanprash exist, ranging in a variety of herbs and spices.  Many of these ingredients aid digestion and thus nutrient assimilation.  In Ayurveda, it is believed that most disease originates in the digestion system (other ancient cultures also hold the same belief).

Ayurveda addresses the whole person, not just individual symptoms.  The total human system consists of the sharir (body), manas (mind), and atma (soul).  Ayurveda recognizes three basic elements that control all the body’s processes. Vita controls movements within the body; Pitta controls digestion and biochemical processes; and Kapha controls tissue, cell growth and body firmness.  Imbalance of these elements causes illness/disease.  Ayurveda aims to prevent imbalance, and restore the body’s dynamic balance.

In India, Chyawanprash is taken with warm milk, but I suggest just eating straight from the bottle or on toast, about 1-3 teaspoons per day.  Most find the taste interesting, a tangy, sweet-sour flavor.   Where to buy?  Look for it in health food stores, community coops, import stores….or online.  *This product is not recommended for diabetics.

Amla Materia Medica:  http://www.tnsmpb.tn.gov.in/images/amla.pdf

“For every drug that benefits a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect.” — Pfeiffer’s Law, Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., PhD

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