Chyawanprash (also spelled chyavanaprasha, chyavanaprash, chyavanaprasam and chyawanaprash) is a cooked mixture of sugar, honey, ghee, Indian Gooseberry (amla), jam, sesame oil, berries and various herbs and spices. It is prepared as per the instructions suggested in Ayurvedic texts. Chyawanprash is widely sold and consumed in India as a dietary supplement.
Chyawanprash is an ancient formulation and product. Various Indian holy books like Mahabharat, Puranas etc., relate that Ashwini Kumar brothers, the twins, who were Rajvaidya (Royal Physicians) to Devas during Vedic times, first prepared this formulation for Chyawan Rishi at his Ashram on Dhosi Hill near Narnaul, Haryana, India, hence the name Chyawanprash. The first historically documented formula for chyawanprash appears in the Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic treatise from the early first millennium BCE.
Taste and appearance
Chyawanaprash tastes sweet and sour at the same time. The taste is largely dominated by the flavors of honey, ghee (clarified butter) and amla and the smell by ghee and other spices including sandalwood, cinnamon and cardamom. Its appearance resembles semi-molten tar - a thick dark brown paste.
Chyawanaprash is usually consumed directly or along with warm milk or water . The recommended consumption is usually about 1 tsp twice a day.
It is a general health supplement and is among the best known Ayurvedic Medicine. It helps fight day to day ailments such as cough and cold. However, it is recommended to take precautions for diabetics, as percentage of sugar may vary from 66% to 87%, depending on chyawanprash, from one manufacturer to another. It's a good source of antioxidants.
The recipe of chyavanprash is mentioned in manuscripts written for ayurvedic method of treatment viz. Ashtangahridayam, Charakasamhita, Sangandharasamhita. Amla is a primary ingredient of Chyawanaprash which makes it rich in Vitamin C (445 mg/100g). The number of herbs used may vary from 25 to 80 but the main ingredient of all Chyawanprash is amla. Other chief ingredients are:
- ashwagandha (Winter cherry)
- bamboo manna
- blue Egyptian water lily
- chebulic myrobalan
- Chinese cinnamon
- cinnamon bark
- Indian rose chestnut
- country mallow
- feather foil plant (Phyllanthus niruri or Bhumiamalaki)
- Giant potato (Ipomoea mauritiana or Kiribadu Ala)
- Giloy (Guduchi) (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Indian kudzu
- Irish root
- Long pepper (Piper longum)
- Malabar nut (Seed of Adhatoda vasica)
- Nut grass
- Potassium sorbate
- Round zedoary
- sesame oil
- Spreading hogweed (Boerhavia diffusa)
- Tiger's claw or Ice plant (Erythrina variegata)
- Wild black gram
- Wild green gram
The market size of chyawanprash in 2010 was Indian Rs 4 billion (about $80 million USD). Chyawanprash in India is marketed through film stars and sports persons such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Ravi Kishan, Virendra Sehwag, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
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- Johnston, Robert (2004). The politics of healing : histories of alternative medicine in twentieth-century North America. New York: Routledge. p. 226. ISBN 0-415-93338-2.
- Economic Times SRK, Dhoni, Ravi Kishan do wonders for chyawanprash