Rasayana and Vajikarana
Rasayana drugs are better known as tonics or science of rejuvenation. Directly or indirectly they have antioxidant, anti-ageing and anti-stress effect. Normally, rasayana is a substance used for promoting rasa and allied tissues (saptdhatu of Ayurveda). The Rasayana discipline is integral part of Ashtang Ayurveda.
Rasayana Chikitsa is broadly divided into two parts:
- Kamya Rasayana : It is aimed at the maintenance and improvement of health of an individual at physical and mental grounds. It has further three sub-classifications:-
Naimittika Rasayana: The chief purpose of Naimittika Rasayana is to cure specific diseases and restoring the body's health through determined procedures. Determination of place in carrying out Naimittika Rasayana is significant and based on it, it is further sub-classified.
- Pranakamya: It adds vigour and vitality to the life.
- Medhakamya: It promotes the mental ability of the brain.
- Srikamy: It is aimed at promotion of complexion.
- Vathatpika Rasayana: It is basically an outdoor procedure.
- Kutipravesika Rasayana : It is indoor therapy.
Classification of Naimittika Rasayana as per diet and lifestyle
- Ausadha Rasayana - (Drug Rasayana)
- Ahara Rasayana - (Dietary Rasayana)
- Achara Rasayana - (Lifestyle Rasayana)
This is comparatively simple procedure as no strict regimen is required. The patient is in a position to carry out routine activities within the therapy time.
Kuti Praveshika Rasayana
Kuti Praveshika Rasayana is a treatment aimed at slowing down the process of ageing process and rejuvenates the human body. The whole treatment is carried out under the supervision of Ayurvedic expert and following strict daily routine is a mandatory.
Medhya rasayana are better known as nootropics or nervine tonics. Descriptions of Brahmi appear in Vedas dating back to about 5000 B.C. Since about 500 A.D, Brahmi has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a specific agent to develop and improve memory and concentration. Brahmi belongs to a group of medicinal plants classified as Medhya rasayana in Ayurveda; these are nervine tonics used to promote mental health and improve memory and intellect.
According to Vagbhatta, the agents, which induces euphoria in sexual activity and male partner performs like a horse is known as vājīkarana. Some medicinal agents seminal count (spermopiotics), some helps in excretion of the semen, some, ignites the sex desire (sex-stimulants or aphrodisiac) and some have astringent action on the seminal fluid. Vājīkarana is integral part of Aśtāngāyurveda.
Some medicinal plants used in Ayurveda for vajikarana action are summarized below :
- Ahiphena (Papaver somniferum Linn.): Alkaloids: codeine, narciene, narcotine, morphine and papaverine, bitter principle (meconin) and meconic acid. Papaverine is peripheral vasodilator and has been used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
- Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris Linn.): Alkaloid (harmine and harmaline), steroid saponin (protodioscin) and resin.
- Kapikacchu (Mucuna prurita Hook. syn M. pruriens (L.) DC.): L-dopa, alkaloids (nicotine, mucuadine, mucunadinine, mucuadininene, pruridine and pruridinine), glucoside, serotonin and glutathione. Extract of the total alkaloids have testosterone like activity.
- Jatiphala (Myristica fragrans Houtt.): Volatile oil (containing phenylpropanoids including myristicin, saffrole and elemicin) and fixed oil (butter of nutmeg).
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus Willd.): Steroid saponins (shatavarins) and mucilage.
- Arkarambha (Anacyclus pyrethrum DC.): Alkaloid (pyrethrine), resin (pyrethrin), inulin and volatile oil.
- Kataphala (Myrica nagi Thunb.): Glycoside (myricitrin), tannin and volatile oil.
- Kokilaksha (Astercantha longifolia Nees.): Alkaloids, mucilage and oil. Recently two aliphatic esters and betulin have been isolated from the aerial parts.
- Talamuli (Cucurligo orchoides Gaertn.): Starch, sterols, tannins and ash and oil.
- Musali (Asparagus adscendens Roxb.): Asparagin, albumin, starch, spirostanol glycosides (asparain a and b) and furostanol glycosides (asparagoside a and b).
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (Linn.) Dunal.): Alkaloids (anagrine, anaferine, cuscohygrine, hygrine, isopelletriene, pseudopelletriene, 3- tropyltigloate, tropine and withasomnine), withanolides (withaferin-A), proteins and amino acids. The roots contain dulcitol and withaniol (a mixture of two withanolides). The roots contain iron, potassium, magnesium and nickel.