Ayurvedic medicine classifies medicinal plants into categories according to their actions and how they work in the body. Rasayanas are one of these herbal categories.
Rasayana herbs are said to slow aging, be revitalizing and restorative, and prevent disease.
We’ll dig into what they are, and their benefits, below:
Table of Contents
What is a Rasayana Herb?
The word “rasayana” is derived from the words “rasa” (which means primordial tissue or plasma) and “ayana” (path). Literally, it means “the path that rasa takes.” It is believed, in Ayurveda, that the qualities of the rasa influence the health of other dhatus (tissues) of the body.
Hence, any medicines or herbs, such as rasayanas, that improve the quality of rasa should strengthen or promote the health of all tissues of the body.
Health Benefits of Rasayana Herbs:
Rasayana herbs are said to slow aging, be revitalizing and restorative, and prevent disease. They increase the resistance of the body against stress. They also can be taken over long periods of time without causing side effects.
Ayurvedic medicine has several adaptogenic herbs in its pharmacopeia that normalize numerous physiological functions, improve vitality, and enhance the body’s ability to adapt to stress and heal itself.
These herbs can be used generally to help cope with stressful situations, improve compromised immunity, and prevent the physiological afflictions of stress. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine also recognize the contribution of rejuvenating rasayana herbs to restoring balance to the body’s systems.
One clinical study found that the antioxidant properties found in the rasayana herbs Ashwagandha and Guduchi worked to increase SOD levels and decrease MDA levels.
A meta-analysis found that rasayana herbs may have the following benefits:
•Immune system support
Difference Between Rasayana Herbs & Adaptogens:
While not all rasayanas are adaptogens, many fit into other important categories such as nootropics (bacopa, gotu kola, eclipta, shankhpushpi) or restorative tonics (amla, chyawanprash).
Ayurveda had a strong influence during the formation of traditional Chinese medicine, which in turn influenced Ayurveda’s further development.
List of Rasayana Herbs:
|Rasayana Herb||Botanical Name:|
|Arjuna bark||Terminalia arjuna|
|Bacopa (brahmi)||Bacopa monnieri|
|Gotu Kola||Centella asiatica|
|Holy Basil (tulsi)||Ocimum tenuiflorum|
|Shankhpushpi||Evolvulus alsinoides, Convolvulus pluricaulis|
Rasayana herbs are a traditional Indian system of medicine that is used to improve general health and longevity. These natural remedies have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years in India and elsewhere.
The benefits they provide can be difficult to measure but may include the following: improved digestion, better sleep, stronger immune system, reduced inflammation, and energy levels.
A little bit goes a long way when it comes to rasayana herbs, so you may want to start with one capsule per day and work your way up from there as needed.
Kuchewar, V. V., Borkar, M. A., & Nisargandha, M. A. (2014). Evaluation of antioxidant potential of Rasayana drugs in healthy human volunteers. Ayu, 35(1), 46–49. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8520.141919
Balasubramani, S. P., Venkatasubramanian, P., Kukkupuni, S. K., & Patwardhan, B. (2011). Plant-based Rasayana drugs from Ayurveda. Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 17(2), 88–94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-011-0659-5
Winston, David. (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company.