What are Rasayanas?
In Ayurveda, the term Rasayana is given to anything that enlivens and extends life. Rasayanas are holistic in nature and tend to promote vitality, balance and health throughout the whole mind/body system.
The word itself means to enliven (Ayana) the essence (Rasa) of life. Certain daily routines promote a Rasayana effect, such as going to bed early and getting up early. Certain foods, such as ghee and sweet fruits, are said to be natural Rasayanas.
Over thousands of years Ayurveda has developed a whole science for the creation of Rasayanas using specific and highly detailed formulations that include herbs and minerals. Such Ayurvedic Rasayanas are exceptionally potent and are designed to enliven the innermost intelligence, not only of the body, but also of the mind.
Using this science of Ayurvedic Rasayanas, and carefully following all of the traditional processes, Maharishi AyurVeda experts in India have create a series of Rasayanas, which produce a deep yet gentle and balancing effect on the whole psychophysiology.
To create the highest quality Rasayanas, Maharishi AyurVeda ensures that hundreds of fresh herbs are harvested at the best times and in the best locations in India. Thousands of local villagers have been trained to gather herbs from the wild.
To create our Rasayanas, wildcrafted herbs (uncultivated herbs that are gathered from the wild) are used wherever possible. Where wildcraft harvesting poses a threat to the natural environment, the required herbs are cultivated on our own farms in Rajasthan and Uttarkhand, without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
Traditional methods of harvesting have been created, using the knowledge of Ayurveda, to maximise the beneficial effects of each herbs. According to Ayurveda, the potency of each herb will naturally vary according to the season, the cycle of the moon and even the time of the day, and the recommendations of when to harvest often vary from herb to herb.
Adhering to the age-old traditions, specifying when to harvest and how to produce the final Rasayana, helps ensure that every formula naturally achieves its maximum potential.
Each of the herbs or minerals used in Rasayana formulas have their own actions, and many of the individual ingredients have wide ranging health effects. When combined together, utilising the enlightened wisdom of the ancient Ayurvedic Rishis, the whole become far greater than the sum of the parts.
In other words, the potential health benefits of a particular Rasayana can be of a far broader range than those of the individual herbs and minerals they contain.
In the creation of Maharishi AyurVeda Rasayanas, each ingredient is carefully selected. We also take care to adhere to the exact proportions and processing methods prescribed in the ancient texts, or passed down in Ayurvedic family traditions. This is to ensure that the maximum synergy is produced between the separate ingredients and this, in turn helps optimise the health benefits of Maharishi AyurVeda Rasayanas.
Creating wholeness in the body
To help maintain our mind/body balance and our health, at any one time numerous interrelated physiological functions, biochemicals and hormones need to act together, with great precision and in exact proportions.
The enlightened originators of Ayurvedic Rasayanas had a profound insight into the natural laws that underlie each aspect our body and that underlie the whole of nature. This insight helped them create complex formulas, combining a variety of ingredients from the natural world, to support the whole range of our physiological functions.
For example, the combined actions of the ingredients of a typical Rasayana may involve the following factors:
- The three types of mental functioning:
- acquisition of information (Dhi)
- retention of information (Dhriti)
- recall (Smriti).
- Metabolic transformations, digestion, the emotions and their effect on heart functioning (Pitta).
- Moisture balance, physical structure and strength (Kapha)
- The junction points or gaps (Sandhis) in the step-by-step production of the seven tissues and fluids
- Nutritional fluid, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerves & bone marrow and reproductive fluid (Dhatus)
- The micro-circulatory channels (Shrotas) that transport nutrients and energy and that can be blocked by improperly digested impurities (Ama)
- The finest product of digestion and the master co-ordinator (Ojas) between consciousness and the body’s three underlying principles (Doshas)
- Assimilation and metabolism (Agnis)
- The vitality and strength of the mind and body (Bala).
One Rasayana ingredient is the mineral compound Abhrak Bhasma, which is formed from mica that has been slowly heated and cooled more than 100 times. This rare ingredient takes about five years to produce using traditional methods. With modern equipment, Abhrak Bhasma can now be produced within six months.
Maharishi AyurVeda recognises that carefully following the ancient formulas, and paying meticulous attention to each detail, is necessary to bring out the full range of benefits of each of these time-tested Rasayanas.