Chyawanprash: Ayurveda’s Immune System and Seasonal Respiratory Support

Chyawanprash, a sweet, tangy Ayurvedic tonic, is a powerful rasayana, promoting energy, immunity, stamina, digestive strength, and longevity. It’s known to nourish weak, aging tissues, particularly in the respiratory system. Learn more about the science behind this magic elixir.

In This Article

Ayurveda’s #1 Immune Tonic

After raising six children, writing Perfect Health for Kids and helping parents in my practice keep their kids healthy for decades, I have learned to depend on Ayurveda’s #1 immune tonic: chyawanprash.

According to the Caraka Samhita, the primary Ayurvedic text, Chyawanprash is the premier rasayana, or longevity support tonic.

The Caraka Samhita reads: From rasayana, one attains longevity, memory, intelligence, freedom from disorders, youthful age, excellence of luster, complexion and voice, optimal strength of physique and sense organs, successful words, respectability and brilliance.7

Chyawanprash is known to nourish weak, aging tissues, particularly in the respiratory system. It promotes vigor, energy, immunity, intellect, sexual strength, stamina, digestive strength, a good complexion, and longevity. Even though it’s one of the most effective aids to balance vata, chyawanprash is considered tri-doshic, meaning it balances all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha.2

It’s no wonder that chyawanprash is commonly called the elixir of life.6 

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The Science Behind Chyawanprash

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For thousands of years, chyawanprash has been used as a first defense for immune threatening events, so it’s not a surprise that studies now support its impact on the immune system.

In a study published in the journal Ancient Science of Life, 702 healthy children between the ages of 5 and 12 either received milk with a daily dose of chyawanprash or just milk for six months, while following their otherwise normal routine. The study set out to measure the effect of chyawanprash on immune strength in children.

The results were evaluated based on the number of immune events, the severity and duration of those events, and the number of days the children had to take off from school. Changes in levels of energy, physical fitness, stamina, strength. and overall quality of life were also measured in both groups.

The study revealed that those who took the chyawanprash had two times the protection from immune events than those who didn’t. In addition, the researchers concluded that chyawanprash supports greater energy, strength, stamina, fitness, and quality of life.1

In another immune response study, published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, researchers found that chyawanprash enhanced cytokine activity while supporting a healthy natural killer T cell response and phagocytosis, or the gobbling up of toxic cells.3

As an immune tonic, chyawanprash is listed by Ayurvedic doctors in India as an important part of an immune protocol, since it supports healthy psychological and immune responses. A number of studies have found that chyawanprash supports healthy immune and immunomodulation responses against airborne seasonal irritants, and may help protect against respiratory immune events as well as stress, serving as an effective adaptogen.4

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Seasonal Immune Support with Chyawanprash

Photo by Eli Defaria on Unsplash

Studies have also compared the effectiveness of chyawanprash in different seasons. Research published in 2020 in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity divided 170 volunteers into four groups: summer, rainy season, winter, and year-round. The members of seasonal groups took 1 tsp of chyawanprash twice a day for 3 month, or a placebo.

In the summer group, 82% of seasonal respiratory immune symptoms were alleviated in the chyawanprash group. In the rainy season, the chyawanprash group had a 70% reduction in seasonal respiratory symptoms, and in the year-round group, study subjects on chyawanprash saw a 76% reduction in respiratory symptoms.4

Seasonal Stress Support with Chyawanprash

During stressful times, the stress hormone cortisol naturally surges. With chronic stress, cortisol, which is a degenerative hormone, can stay dangerously high. In the Brain, Behavior, and Immunity study, researchers measured the effects of chyawanprash on cortisol seasonally. During the summer and winter months, the chyawanprash group saw a 22% reduction in cortisol levels. In the rainy season, those taking chyawanprash saw a 12% reduction in cortisol levels.4

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Chyawanprash as a Nutritional and Functional Food

With more than 50 ingredients, chyawanprash has long been considered a food-based multi-vitamin and mineral food supplement. Studies have shown that it is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including iron (2.1 mg/100g), zinc (3. 1mg/100g), copper (3.7 mg/100g), nickel (1.4 mg/100g), and manganese (8.3 mg/100g), along with vitamin C, tannic acid, and vitamins A, E, B1, and B2. It’s also rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and numerous antioxidants, plus piperine to support absorption.

Chyawanprash and Vitamin C

The main ingredient in chyawanprash (about 35%) is from the amla berry, or amalaki. Amalaki is vitamin C rich, with 445 mg/100g.

There are about 121mg of vitamin C in one amalaki berry compared to 70mg of vitamin C in a medium sized orange.

Based on the fact that an orange is almost six times as large as an amalaki berry, amalaki has 10 TIMES the amount of vitamin C as an orange when you compare an equal weight of both fruits.5

You might think that because chyawanprash is heated in order to activate and blend all its constituents, the vitamin C is compromised. But studies have found that vitamin C levels in chyawanprash are stable after the heating process, averaging 34 mg/100g.2

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Chyawanprash and Blood Sugar Levels

Because of the sugar and honey in chyawanprash, many are concerned it can have a negative effects on cholesterol. In fact, studies have found that chyawanprash supports healthy levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, LDLs, and HDLs. In one study, blood sugar levels in 121 type 2 diabetics who are sugar sensitive on average saw no significant changes in glucose levels or HB A1C levels over a three-month testing period.2

How to Use Chyawanprash

For best results, take 1 tsp to 1 tbsp after meals 1 to 3 times a day as needed for immunity and rejuvenation.

Try chyawanprash today and let us know what you think!

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28867858/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571565/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25872246/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7175849/
  5. https://lifespa.com/amalaki-the-best-vitamin-c-berry/
  6. Caraka Samhita. P.V Sharma. Cikitsathanam Ch-1, V 7-8. Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi, India. 1983
  7. https://www.academia.edu/5260713/Chyawanprash_A_wonder_Indian_Rasayana_from_Ayurveda_to_Modern_Age

4 thoughts on “Chyawanprash: Ayurveda’s Immune System and Seasonal Respiratory Support”

  1. I take a number of your products daily, including Turmeric plus and Triphala, vit. c and e.
    Is it safe to take Chyawanprash as I take the antidepressant effexor?

    Reply

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