The agents or factors which cure body and mental diseases, delay old age, increase mental power, generating power, vital energy, eyesight, impart intelligence, memory, aid proper digestion and a clear complexion are Rasayana (Shastri, 1979).
Rasayana is defined as a therapeutic measure that promotes longevity, prevents aging, generating power provides positive health and mental faculties, increases memory, and imparts resistance and immunity against diseases.
These nourish the whole body by strengthening the tissues, the essence of all food we take, and which the body can absorb. If the essence is well distributed in the body, then the body is healthy. By their Physico-chemical action Rasayana purify and promote dhatus (tissue). They increase body resistance capacity.
The Rasayana keep tissues, enzymes, membranes, and tranquility of the mind in their normal functioning conditions through anabolic processes. They help if any of the tissues have become inactive, are to be revitalized and their composition changed. They do this by increasing ‘Bala’, the physiological and immunological strength of the body. They are good for all people of all ages all the time but they do not promote aging and immortality.
Rasayana may be compared with the other alternatives, which works as a blood cleanser by the diuretics action. Alternatives also restore the proper functions of the body and increase health and vitality (Hoffmann, 1998). They alter the body’s metabolism in various ways so that the tissue can deal with the range of function from nutrition to elimination.
Some of the herbs remove the waste from the body through the kidney, liver, lung, or skin, while others work by stimulating digestive functions.
Some Rasayana also helps in the disposal of waste ‘ama’. Agni is the biological fire burning inside the body, which acts on food so that energy is generated by digestion.
If waste is not excreted from the body properly and ama is deposited in the tissues, it may disturb various systems. The herbs are given to strengthen the tissue to counteract all the ill effects of ama.
Four Stages Of Growth And Development
In Ayurveda, human life has been divided into four spans according to growth and development:
- From birth to the age of 20, all tissues of the body grow.
- 20–40 years of age, tissues continue to grow.
- 40–60 years is the age of stagnation. If an individual has a balanced diet, cheerful life, adequate nourishment, and is free of worries and anxiety, the person can maintain good health. At this stage, the mental activities expand, and the power of judgment increases.
- After the age of 60, despite the good quality of life, senescence starts. Metabolism of the tissues decreases, waste is not excreted properly, and the bone joints become dry and fixed.
The body can be rejuvenated at stages 3 and 4 and during senescence by Rasayana. These can be used as a dietary supplement, but in the case of chronic diseases, old age, etc. where kaya Kalp (rejuvenation) is required, a special treatment, called Rasayana therapy, is provided under the supervision of medical experts.
Before Starting the actual therapy, the internal and external organs of the body are cleansed and the system is made more receptive to medication. Without this pretreatment, Rasayana therapy is of no use or less useful. This pretreatment is used only when the person has enough strength to bear it.
Pretreatment for Rasayana therapy
1.Samshodhna (Diet restriction)
2.Purvakarma (Preparatory treatment)
3.Panchkarma (Cleansing of internal organs of the body)
1.Samshodhna (Diet restriction)
One week before the therapy the pretreatment starts with the diet restriction or changing the diet to sattvic or vegan, the person should have a simple diet with only steamed vegetables and fresh fruits. The person should strictly avoid sugar, alcohol, or animal products. Milk and honey are allowed but avoiding milk will be a great choice for better results.
2.Purvakarma (Preparatory treatment)
Purvakarma Involves massaging with warm oil and application of heat on the body by the therapist. This massage should be so intense that a large amount of heat should be generated by the body. For this purpose, sesame oil is used and in some cases, the medicated oils are used, which are supposed to have better properties.
3.Panchkarma (Cleansing of internal organs of the bod
Virechna is used to clean the small intestine.
Basti is used to clean the large intestine.
Cleaning the stomach by Vomiting.
Nasal drops to clear the respiratory passage
Raktaoksha is a treatment where the excess blood is taken out by the leeches but nowadays the blood is donated.
Rasayana Administration of Herbs
After completing pretreatment for Rasayana especially panchakarma the patient is admitted to a hut ( Kuti praveshika). The hut should be presented in a pollution-free area, facing north, and painted with lime to make it germ-free.
The preparation during Rasayana therapy varies, according to the therapy provider. Generally the patient is given a restricted diet along with the proper medication which the patient can digest. The medication provided by The medicine should not create any digestive disturbance, such as indigestion, hyperacidity, or constipation the therapist should be utilized by the body and should not be passed undigested.In case any of these things happen a colon cleanser should be given.
Herbs like garlic, neem, Amalaki, etc. are commonly used for this therapy but now polyherbal preparations with animal products such as musk, amber, coral, pearl,gems, minerals, and metals are prescribed.
After kuti prevesh, the patient should start steadily with a diet of rice water, followed by rice gruel, rice, and split beans, rice with beans, and finally, he may be given a normal diet with a teaspoonful of ghee (butter oil). The patient should remain in a relaxed condition and should have a whole-body massage daily with warm sesame oil. This treatment is said to make the arteries softer and smoother, the constitution of the blood changes, clots are dissolved, and new cells are formed.
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