Rasayana and Antioxidants

Rasayan karma:

Rasayana karma is the speciality of the Ayurveda. It meant for healthy people in as much as they provide means for prevention and promotion of positive health. The term “Rasayan” denotes a specific meaning i.e. any type of drug, diet and regimens which promote longevity by preventing ageing and diseases.

The term rasa has different connotations. It may mean the sap or juice, best and finest, prime part of anything, essence, marrow, taste or flavor, the feeling or sensation and the deposition of heart and mind etc.

The tissues of the body undergo a continuous, process of decay created by the interaction of agnis (enzymes). If this process is allowed to continue, uninterrupted, the ageing comes early. In the young age, normally, agnies or enzymes present in different tissues help to accelerate the synthesis of the ingredients required for growth of the cells and as the process of the decay is much less. As the age increases body not respond very well to properties like digestion, immunity, physical strength, mental stability etc. all these things leads to dhattwagni mandya and dosh prakop.

Action of Vayasthapan dravyas:

Vayasthapan means a metabolic process especially anabolic and lead to youthful body complexion. It relates to modern preventive medicine through five process to maintain optimum health:

  1. Detoxification and cleansing,
  2. Bosting the effectiveness of the immune system,
  3. Helping the body cope with stress with adaptogenic herbs,
  4. Protecting the body with anti-oxidants,
  5. Rejuvenative tonics that keep the body toned to retard the ageing process. The Ayurvedic pharmacology contains some of the most powerful antioxidant herbs available to prevent degenerative disease for example Amalaki, Haritaki, Jeevanti, Punarnava etc.


A free radical is simply defined as any species of independent existence that contain one or more unpaired electrons. An unpaired electron is one that alone in orbital. It can also be defined as “Molecules having unpaired electron in outer orbit and have ability to participate in the electron transfer reactions.” They are highly reactive in nature, thus also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Reactive oxygen species or oxidants are free radicals or electrons produced in the body due to increased oxidative stress.
Free radicals that damage all components of the cell including proteins, lipids, and DNA. They are highly unstable molecules that interact quickly and aggressively with other molecules to create abnormal cells.

Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or easily repair the resulting damage. In humans, oxidative stress is involved in many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, parkinson's disease, heart Failure, myocardial infarction, alzheimer's disease,

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from substance to an oxidizing agent.

Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reaction that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid or polyphenols. Low levels of antioxidants, or inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, cause oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells.

Relation between rasayan karma and anti oxidant activity:

Rasayan karma is a type of procedure or treatment in which special procedures are carried out and specific medicine is given for fixed duration with some restrictions.

Rasayan karma is followed by agni deepan and uttam dhatu nirmiti, oja nirmiti. Uttam dhatus are responsible for uttam quality of an oja production. Oja is the best part of the body constitution. An oja is of highest quality and quantity helps to increase immunity and decreases other health related problems thus enhancing the longevity and quality of life i.e. Sukhayu and Deerghayu.

Anti-oxidants are the responsible for the same in more or less manner. As they reduce the process of electron transfer that ultimately ends in healing process of the body caused by oxidation. Antioxidants can cancel out the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. These observations suggested that antioxidant might help prevent the conditions like atherosclerosis, parkinson's disease, heart failure, myocardial infarction, alzheimer's disease. There is evidence that oxidants might help prevent diseases such as macular degeneration, supressed immunity due to poor nutrition and neuro-degeneration.

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More by :  Dr. Sarika Rathod

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