Rasayana is the Rejuvenation branch of Ayurvedic medicine. Rasayana treatments were traditionally utilized after a period where the body was warn-down or depleted. Rasayana therapies are also used to remedy old age, before the term ‘anti-aging’, there was Rasayana. From Sanskrit it translates to Path (āyana) of essence (rasa). Rasa, or juice , is the vital fluid that we extract from the food we eat. It brings nourishment, it carries off toxins and it enhances our immunity; It looks a lot like what modern physiology calls lymph and plasma. So Rasayana is the way to restore and maintain the fluids, the juiciness in our bodies. It restores our health and vitality, and in that way, our youth. If you were to look at this through a more modern lens; imagine your doctor ordered you to go home and rest. You have an illness that you are fighting. After a few days of sleeping, resting, eating very soothing foods, and returning to health; it's generally a state of depletion. You aren't coughing or vomiting, but you still feel weak and 'less'. Rasayanas jobs are to rebuild you to full vitality.
Ayurveda teaches that anything that supports and nourishes the blood, (known as ‘RASA” the root of Rasayana) and supports the tissues and immune system would be called a Rasayana therapy. In practice Rasayana is essentially any herb, food or activity that makes you feel energetic and improves: skin condition, sleep quality, memory, concentration, strength, and the capacities of the sense organs – eyes, nose, tongue, ears and sexual organs. The very practice of daily commitment to an Ayurvedic lifestyle is, in and of itself, a Rasayana. It is essentially making a conscious decision to dedicate time for healing and rejuvenation. But often times, this isn't enough. What's different? What has changed that living a simple Ayurvedic lifestyle isn't enough?
Unprecedented levels of stress
Overstimulation of the mind and spirit
Multitasking: Kids, Life, Work, Friends, Passions
EMF radiation exposure
Our 24-hour plugged-in lives (3 devices, 10 passwords, 20 accounts)
Unstable politics, economy and climate
Managing the new “disorders”, hormone imbalances, anxiety, insomnia
The nutrient deficit diet
The overexposure to toxicity in our everyday lives
Some basic everyday Dinacharya habits are rejuvenating in their own rites! Seeking out time to create your own Dinacharya can be the foundation on which ALL rejuvenation and wellness can stand. This should always be your first goal; to establish and maintain a grounded and balancing Dinacharya practice. For more information, check out our post in the Ayurvedic Daily Routine or Dinacharya here. Moving beyond that, there are several categories of Rasayana:
Age-promoting Rasayanas: Some herbs and diets are believed to be of great help in providing stability to life, vitality, and stamina by helping with body and mind fatigue and by augmenting the power of all the five senses.
Eyesight promoting Rasayanas: There are some Ayurveda herbal formulations categorized specifically for the benefit of the proper functioning of the eyes. These not only aid in providing clear vision, they also help when there’s diminished vision.
Disease combating Rasayanas: These rasayanas given to the patients suffering from some particular disease so as to help eradicate the disease from its roots. These can be formulated to manage certain body systems or energetic channels.
One general Anti-Aging decoction is CCF tea. Cumin, coriander and fennel, known in Ayurveda as CCF, are three powerhouse spices for healthy digestion. They help establish and maintain agni, supporting the entire digestive process from assimilation and elimination.
Coriander. Cooling to the body, this spice is great when there is excess heat, acidity, reflux etc. It’s known to soothe an irritated digestive system, stimulate appetite and alleviate flatulence/bloating without further aggravation.
Cumin. The Sanskrit name for cumin, jira, literally means ‘promoting digestion.’ It is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper because it increases the absorption of nutrients, cleanses ama, enhances appetite, supports liver and kidney and stimulates the secretion of pancreatic enzymes vital to digestion.
Fennel. These seeds are rich in minerals including magnesium which makes it particularly effective for many digestive disorders. It kindles digestive fire and improving appetite w/out overheating, relieves cramping in the stomach and relaxes digestive system muscles.
So one of the simples Rasayanas is brewing and drinking CCF tea throughout the day. Beyond that, we have other herbal and lifestyle offerings that are particularly potent:
Chyawanprash – A delicious Ayurvedic jam that builds immunity. Melt it into hot water to make a lovely evening or daytime hot and sweet immunity tonic. While this is the most well known Ayurvedic jam, others exist for more specific purposes, and are of central interest to our product team at Sacred Health.
Ashwagandha and Shatavari – Ayurvedic herbs that can be taken in tonic form, used for building plasma and keeping the entire body strong and protected. They're both also found in pill form, and you'll find them throughout the teas sold and created at Sacred Health.
Brahmi – The herb for the longevity of our mental health. Brahmi is a therapeutic herb commonly used as a memory enhancer, aphrodisiac and a health tonic. We use this throughout our teas, and include many herbs like this in our body oils.
All plants classified as Adaptogenic – Helping us find balance form the internal and external stressors we live with daily. This entire category of herbs, both in the Western World and in Ayurveda (from which many originated) are vital to balancing our response to stressful lives.
Vitamin D – like all living things, we need direct contact with sunlight to live long healthy happy lives. When this isn't possible, a good Vitamin D3/K2 supplement is absolutely necessary. However, we encourage you to find time in nature REGARDLESS of the weather.
Some Lifestyle Considerations
Restorative Yoga – This active yet passive yoga practice just might be the most underrated ant-aging practice there is.
Yoga Nidra – Nidra is like yoga for the Brain! A very similar to a guided meditation, it's often referred to as 'yogic sleep'.
Binaural Beats – keeping the body in rest, digest and repair is the only way the body can rejuvenate so any practices that lower brainwave frequencies are exceptionally helpful.
The Value of Routine – as discussed above, Dinacharya is fundamental to Ayurvedic longevity and is the commitment to a daily self-care routine.
Abhyanga – warm oils applied to the skin nourish tissues and builds immunity by protecting the skin’s microbiome.
Sleep – lack of sleep is inflammatory and affects blood vessels.
Rasayanas are most effective on a detoxed body, or one that has recently undergone a series of appropriate Panchakarma treatments. A clean body is more receptive to these herbs and practices. A usual practice involves detoxing twice a year followed by the reestablishment of a rejuvenation practice. Spring and Fall are the most recognized times for routine detox/rejuvenation. This can provide lifelong vitality, and improve your overall quality of life. Sometimes, we need a deep spring cleaning followed by a good old 'airing out the house'. And that is exactly what a detox followed by a rejuvenation provides.