AYURVEDIC RASAYANA FOR ANTI-AGEING
Immortality and anti-aging can seem similar in its primary goal, but it is polar opposite in its result. The advancement in investigative diagnostic methods, modern treatment, and surgical interventions has resulted in an increased life span for us humans. With the ability to do bone and joint repairs, major organ transplants, cosmetic surgeries, and with the help of stem cell researches, theoretically, we are edging towards being biologically immortals. But whether it has improved our quality of life in a mature age is a question seldom discussed. The increase in lifespan would mean more in terms of productivity and meaningfulness if the natural wear and tear happening due to aging can be reversed or slowed down.
Drying and Degeneration
The one change that we normally observe with progressing age is dryness within the body. Symptoms are simple skin dryness, dry eyes, eroded cartilage, vertebral disks, loss of fluids from our joints or depleted bones. This change is considered to be a result of imbalance of Vata or air imbalance.
Within our mind, Vata imbalance creates worry and anxiety. Rasayana anti-ageing treatments use herb infused oils which improve circulation, skin health and lubrication in our joints and also includes healthy oils within the diet. Ghee (clarified butter), coconut and sesame oil are recommended based on the individual’s nature and extent of dryness symptoms.
Apart from maintaining healthy bones and joints, another factor that supports adequate mobility is strength, balance, and focus. The neuromuscular nourishing treatment procedures like Pizhichil (medicated oil bath) and Shirodhara (head oil treatment) strengthen musculature, improve nerve conduction and overall physical stability.
Pathologies of Aging – Cardiovascular Disease
This never-resting organ in our body which continues to supply nourishment gets into major trouble as we grow old. The most common effect of aging on circulation is the changes occurring within our arteries and veins. The vessels lose their natural strength and softness creating increased pressure within them increasing the risk for stroke. There will be an accumulation of lipids and calcium plaque creating a further obstruction to important blood vessels.
Rasayana - the Concept
Ayurveda considers prevention is always better than attempting a cure in the case of cardiac wellness. Following a diet pattern that is appropriate for your mind-body constitution is the first step in maintaining a healthy heart. Regular cleansing procedures like Panchakarma and regular Fasting routine is the next important step in maintaining cleansed channels of circulation.
The concept of anti-aging is described in Ayurveda as RASAYANA, which aims at maintaining excellent physical and mental health in mature age through a combination of nourishing diet, wholesome activities, and gentle herbs. The word Rasayana means clearing the channels for the natural flow of matter and energy. The aim of Rasayana treatments and herbs is to improve the body's own mechanism of repair and detoxification thereby maintaining better immunity, circulation, musculoskeletal strength and mobility along with balanced cognitive functions.
Rasayana (anti-ageing) herbs
The cause of age-related wear and tear is understood as a result of accumulated oxidative stress. Various herbs have demonstrated their effect of oxygen radical absorbance and thereby reversing the ill effects of it.
One of the most common Rasayana herb used in Ayurvedic science is Triphala. This combination of these three wild berries from the Indian subcontinent is extensively being studied in various researches. The ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) originally developed by National Institute of Health and USDA shows that Triphala powder is 100 times more powerful in its antioxidant effect than the same quantity of freshly squeezed blueberry juice. Triphala also being a good digestive and anti-inflammatory herb helps with improved digestion, absorption and colon function. Several recent studies on Triphala provides promising evidence for strong anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects as well.
There are also herbs like Ashwagandha and Guduchi which has demonstrated significant ability to reduce the oxidative stress in the human body recommended by Ayurveda as Rasayana herbs.
Recipe for Anti-aging
1/2 cup de-seeded and roughly chopped Indian gooseberries,
1 tsp roughly chopped ginger
1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
Procedure – Blend the gooseberry and ginger, strain, add salt and enjoy!