Chyavanprash is like the multivitamin of Ayurveda—many Ayurvedic and Indian families incorporate it into their daily routine to promote health and longevity. But what’s the big deal? Why has this ancient formulation withstood the test of time?
Most people know and take Chyavanprash because of its ability to bolster the immune system, promote a healthy metabolism, and support healthy lungs and respiration. It is also one of the best rasayanas (a rejuvenating and nourishing formula) and builds ojas (the essence of life). In fact, legend has it that Chyavanprash was created for an elderly sage, Chyavana, to help maintain youthfulness and vitality.
Thousands of years after Chyavanprash 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.
One of the most acknowledged methods for quantifying the amount of antioxidants in a substance is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test. The following chart compares the test results of Banyan Botanicals Chyavanprash with various fruits and vegetables known for their health benefits. As illustrated in the following chart, 15 grams of Chyavanprash (1 heaping teaspoon) is shown to have the same ORAC 5.0 value as the combined total of 1 avocado, 1 kiwi, 1 tomato, and a portion of broccoli, celery, potato, and romaine lettuce!
ORAC 5.0 Chyavanprash Per Serving*
*The above graph illustrates the results of an ORAC 5.0 full-spectrum analysis of Banyan Chyavanprash compared with various fruits and vegetables known for their health benefits. The analysis consists of five types of tests that evaluate the antioxidant capacity of the material against five of the primary oxygen radicals found in humans. ORAC 5.0 includes all five tests. The five types of tests are: ORAC Peroxyl Radical, HORAC Hydroxyl Radical, NORAC Peroxynitrite, SORAC Superoxide, and SOAC Singlet Oxygen.
You can eat Chyavanprash right off the spoon or, to make it even more nourishing, take the jam with a warm glass of milk daily in the mornings (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 fire (agni), and the reproductive system. It is truly a versatile product that is just as delicious as it is beneficial!
Sebastian Pole, Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice (London: Churchill Livingston, 2006), pp. 296-297.
Bhattacharya A., Chatterjee A., Ghosal S., Bhattacharya S.K. Antioxidant activity of active tannoid principles of Emblica officinalis (amla). Indian J Exp Biol. 1999, 37(7):676-80.
Scartezzini P., Antognoni F., Raggi M.A., Poli F., Sabbioni C. Vitamin C content and antioxidant activity of the fruit and of the Ayurvedic preparation of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006. 8;104(1-2):113-8.