Chyawanprash, also spelled chyavanaprasha, chyavanaprash, chyavanaprasam and chyawanaprash, is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal preparation, widely used in India, as a rejuvenative, energizer and immunity booster. It is often called "the elixir of life" due to its numerous nutritional properties and benefit to the body.


It is said that Chyawan Rishi was the first to prepare this tonic. Hence the name chyawanprash. The first historically documented formula for chywanprash is found in Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic treatise.

Appearance and use

Chyawanprash is a brown-colored, sticky paste called an avaleha in Sanskrit, and has the consistency of jam, with a sweet, sour and mildly pungent taste. Good quality Chyawanprash should have a creamy flavor. Although it is sometimes used like a regular jam, spread onto crackers or bread, this practice is not extant to Ayurveda. Typical dosage ranges between 1-2 tsp, or 12-24 g, twice daily with a little milk or water.


As per the chikitsasthana (treatment) section of the ancient Ayurvedic medical text called the Charaka Samhita, Chyawanprash contains 48 different ingredients, including ghee, sesame oil, sugar, and honey. The chief ingredient is Indian gooseberry or Amalaki, but the formula contains many other herbs as well including Bamboo manna, Pippali, Haritaki, Guduchi, Punarnava, Musta and Bilva. Although Chyawanprash has a specific formula, many companies now producing and selling Chyawanprash have altered the original list ingredients such that the paste may contain anywhere from 25 to 80 different ingredients. As a result, the taste and texture of various proprietary Chyawanprash products can vary to a great degree.


According to the chikitsasthana section of the Charaka Samhita, Chyawanprash is stated to be a treatment for kasa (cough), svasa (dyspnea), kshaya (consumption), svarabheda (voice problems) and hrdroga (heart problems). It is also used in a special type of rasayana therapy called kutipraveshikam, employed after panch karma, whereby the patient is housed in a specially constructed hut and consumes nothing except Chyawanprash, rice, ghee and milk for a specified period of time.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Ayurveda. The Official Guide to Ayurveda is Helen Thomas. Dr. Helen Thomas is an enthusiastic high energy person who loves sharing her passion in alternative medicine. Dr. Helen interned in Pune, India with Dr. Narendra Pendse in an Ayurveda clinic for five years. Helen also served as an Intern in a hospital for Lepers in India and after that experience she declared: "I was the one that was healed".

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