The making of a herbal masterpiece – 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.
Using the knowledge of Ayurveda, methods of harvesting have been created to maximise the beneficial effects of each herb. According to Ayurveda, the potency of a 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 will tend to 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 benefits, 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.
This is why 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 correct processing methods mentioned in the ancient texts, or passed down in Ayurvedic family traditions. This is to ensure that the maximum synergy is produced for the separate ingredients. 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 address 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, bone marrow and reproductive fluid (Dhatus)
- The microcirculatory 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 seven primary tissues and fluids (Dhatus)
- The vitality and strength of the mind and body (Bala).
As an example of the complexity and precision required of an Ayurvedic Rasayana, one traditional formulation consists of 250 separate steps, and takes up to six months to prepare. One ingredient in this Rasayana is the mineral compound Abhrak Bhasma, which is formed from mica that has been slowly heated and cooled more than one hundred 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.
Amrit Kalash combination
When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started investigating Ayurveda in the 1980s, he asked leading Ayurveda experts to provide a product with the potential to enliven the most fundamental value of the body’s intelligence. His reasoning was that when the basic value of our physical intelligence becomes lively, all the more specific values of this intelligence, that are responsible for innumerable physiological functions, would be fully nourished from the finest level.
The great Ayurvedic experts of that time, Dr B D Triguna, Dr V M Triveda and Balraj Maharishi revealed two formulas – subsequently named MA4 Amrit Nectar Paste and MA5 Ambrosia Tablets – designed to enliven the innermost values of both mental and physical intelligence.
The MA4 formula is known to have been developed hundreds of years ago and is produced in precise proportions, in more than 250 steps. It takes 22lbs of raw ingredients to produce each 600-gram jar of finished product. Just as the texts prescribe, the ingredients are slowly cooked to ensure high temperatures do not destroy its nutrients.
Combining more than 38 herbs in precise proportions, to bring out their full synergistic potency,
MA4 Nectar Paste is especially good for optimising the function of our microcirculatory channels (Shrotas). These channels allow the flow of intelligence and vital energy (Prana) throughout the body.
One of the main ingredients of MA5 Ambrosia Tablets is Indian Gooseberry (Amalaki), itself a powerful Rasayana. Combining this fruit with the other herbs helps balance all the activities of the mind and body.
MA5 has been created using an ancient and treasured formula, and is particularly good for the mind, brain and nervous system. Besides boosting mental potential and enhancing the three types of mental function: acquisition, retention, and recall of information, it also promotes physical vitality and strength.
The most significant benefit from using both MA4 and MA5 together, is that they increase the quality and quantity of Ojas. Ayurveda states that Ojas is the most refined tissue that the body can produce and it is more readily produced when the mind, body and digestion are in balance.
Maharishi has said that Ojas acts as the master coordinator between consciousness and all our physiological functions. It is through Ojas that consciousness slides into our body. This consciousness/mind/body connection is the basis of perfect health and higher states of consciousness.
MA631 Raysana for Men
Although men are known for their physical strength and stamina, research indicates that they experience more stress and generally have shorter lifespan than women.
A combination of 42 herbs, MA631 Rasayana for Men is a herbal powerhouse designed to increase strength, energy, and vitality.
This formulation has been shown to slow cellular aging and its strong antioxidant properties protect against free radical damage.
While nourishing the whole body, it specifically rejuvenates blood, muscle, bone, bone marrow and reproductive tissue.
The bones, bone marrow and reproductive fluid are especially important to the male physiology:
- Excellence of bones (Asthi Dhatu) supports dynamism and a strong firm body.
- Excellence of the bone marrow (Majja Dhatu) promotes longevity and strength.
- Excellence of the reproductive fluid (Shukra Dhatu) is said to enhance strength, honour, happiness, personal power, overall health and attractiveness!
The ingredients in MA631 include the three herbs known in Triphala, Indian Gallnut, (Haritaki),
Indian Goosberry (Amlaki) and Beleric Myrobalans (Bibhitaki). This popular Ayurvedic combination aids digestion and is very nourishing for the intestinal tract. Triphala is said to be a Rasayana in its own right, in that it nourishes and balances the body as a whole.
One of the most revered Ayurvedic ingredients is Mineral Pitch (Shilajit) a substance found in certain remote Asian mountainous regions. Reported to contain at least 85 minerals in ionic form, Shilajit is prepared in the traditional way, which takes up to three months. The Ayurvedic texts say that it provides a happy, long life, helps slow cellular aging, develops physical stamina and nourishes bone, bone marrow and the reproductive fluids.
Also included in the MA631 is Guggul, the resin from the thorny shrub growing in the arid areas of India. It is best known for its balancing effect on cholesterol and fat metabolism. Its other effects include rejuvenation, cleansing, supporting digestion and giving strength. Guggul also has a Yogavhi effect, in that it helps to carry other ingredients to their target tissues.
MA631 also contains Trikatu, a combination of long pepper, black pepper and ginger. Trikatu is renowned for its ability to enliven digestion, metabolism and the assimilation of nutrients. It removes toxins and supports the function of the lungs. Trikatu is also said to keep the head clear.
Rasayana for Women MA3347
Today more and more women have to juggle the demands of family, home and career and this can compromise their state of balance and health. Fortunately the ancient Ayurvedic texts include an entire science devoted to women’s health. The Sanskrit term used for this science is Prastutitantra.
MA3347 Rasayana for Women is derived from the ancient texts of the Prastutitantra science. This formulation helps nourish a woman’s mind and body throughout their monthly cycles and throughout their many life stages. The result is a greater emotional balance, along with sustained energy and stamina.
During their monthly cycles and life-transitions women require extra nutrition for their blood, bones and bone marrow. Each of these tissues (Dhatus) is responsible for a wide range of physical, mental and emotional functioning.
Research indicates that older women are at risk of losing bone density. MA3347 strengthens the metabolic link between digestion, nutrition and strong bones (Asthi Agni).
MA3347 nourishes the blood (Rakta Dhatu) and bone marrow (Majja Dhatu), which fosters physical strength and energy.
MA3347 is also said to enliven the regeneration of new cells and allows the body to replace dead cells more quickly. In this way, it helps slow down the aging process.
Herbs and minerals included in this formulation are: Guggul, Shilajit, Black lipped pearl oyster shell, Sugar cane, Iron bhasma, Indian asparagus, Cassia lignae, Cinnamon, Bamboo manna, Rock salt, Haritaki, Amla, Bibhitaki, Red sanders, Chiretta, Coriander, Liquorice, Sajji kshar, Black pepper, Long pepper, Java long pepper, Barley, Ginger, Cardamon, Turmeric, Lotus arabicus, Cobra’s saffron, Gum Arabic, Magnesium stearate and Maize starch.
Bamboo manna as a silicaceous mineral secretion of the mountain bamboo that supports the lungs, heart, haemostasis, and urinary function.
Black lipped pearl oyster shell is a rich source of natural calcium and Iron bhasma is a rich source of iron. Both are prepared during lengthy processes that are designed to maximum their absorption.
Rasayana for Children MA230
This unique formula for children, from 3 years onwards, supports their appetite, the nourishment of their growing tissues and their mental development. It also has a balancing effect on the three Doshas, which are often in flux during this period of rapid growth.
The two main ingredients MA230 Rasayana for Children are giant potato and India asparagus leaf. Both are nutritious and strengthening, while Indian asparagus leaf is also an appetiser and supports digestion.
Gymnema leaf is included in the formulation to support the stomach and metabolism.
Both Rasayanas assist in mental development and the child’s mental processes.