Chywanprash is the multivitamin of Ayurveda, and anyone aiming to follow the Ayurvedic way typically includes Chywanprash as a fundamental component of their daily lifestyle routines.
The big question is why? Why has this ancient formulation withstood the test of time?
Most people know and take Chywanprash because of its ability to bolster the immune system, promote a healthy metabolism, and support healthy lungs and respiration. It also is one of the best rasayanas (a rejuvenating and nourishing formula) and builds strong immunity and resistance. In fact, legend has it that it was created for an elderly sage, Chyavana, to help maintain youthfulness and vitality.
Thousands of years after Chywanprash was first formulated, Western science has postulated the free radical theory of aging. This theory proposes that normal aging results from random deleterious damage to tissues caused by free radicals produced during normal metabolic processes in the body. The body naturally seeks to maintain balance by making use of antioxidants produced internally and obtained through ingestion of certain foods and supplements. Antioxidant molecules bind with free radicals in such a way that inhibits the damage to tissues that they can cause. Thus foods and supplements rich in antioxidants are generally considered to be health promoting and are clinically linked to healthy longevity and aging in numerous studies.
To better understand Chywanprash and its antioxidant capacity, it helps to look at its main herbal ingredient—amalaki. For many years the health-promoting benefits of this fruit were attributed to its vitamin C content. However, another important factor is that amalaki is also incredibly rich in tannins. Both the vitamin C and tannins function as antioxidants. These molecules help maintain cell integrity and healthiness by removing molecules (oxygen radicals) that cause deterioration in the body. The reason why tannins are particularly powerful is because they work with other antioxidants, like vitamin C, by removing the oxygen radical that it has captured so that the vitamin C can do its work again and again… and again! This recycling ability of tannins is what makes the vitamin C in fruits like amalaki so powerful.
So this is one way Chywanprash works as a rasayana to optimise immunity, energy, vitality and longevity; as such the ancient Ayurvedic physicians were extremely accurate and a long way ahead of their time!
But you may still be wondering just how powerful Chywanprash really is. One of the most acknowledged methods for quantifying the amount of antioxidants in a substance is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test. To put this in perspective, one 15g serving of Chywanprash contains the same amount of ORAC points/antioxidants as the combined total of 1 avocado, 1 kiwi, 1 tomato and a portion of broccoli, celery, potato, and romaine lettuce! Viewed in that light, it really is one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet!
You can eat Chywanprash right off the spoon or, to make it even more nourishing, take the jam with a warm glass of milk daily in the mornings, or mixed in with porridge (the winter season is an ideal time to start!). The milk acts as a carrier to the deep tissue layers. You can also use the jam to support the lungs, the digestive capacity, and the reproductive system. It is truly a versatile product that is equally delicious as it is beneficial!