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Chyawanprash, also spelled chyavanaprasha, chyavanaprash, chyavanaprasam and chyawanaprash, is a jam-like mixture of herbs, spices, and other ingredients, prepared as per the Ayurvedic traditions. It is widely consumed in India and various other countries, because of its claimed health benefits.
Various Indian holy books like Mahabharat, Puranas etc., relate that the 'Royal Vaids', named 'Ashwini Kumar brothers', the twins, who were medical advisers to Devas during Vedic times (10,000 years ago), 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 chywanprash appears in Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic treatise
It is a brown-colored, sticky paste with the consistency of jam and a sweet/sour/spicy taste. It can be eaten directly or mixed in warm milk or water. It can be used like any other jam, spread onto crackers or bread.
The main ingredient is amla (also known as Indian gooseberry), which is rich in Vitamin C (445 mg/100g),. About 20g of amla contains the Dietary Reference Intake of Vitamin C. Anti-aging benefits claimed due to chyawanprash can be due to the anti-oxidant effect of Vitamin C. Indication from ayurvedic classical texts:- it relieves cough, dyspnoea, fever, emaciation, heart diseases, arthritis, urinary complaints, diseases related to semen, coarseness of speech. It gives strength for children, old people, person weakened after accident; It increases digestive power, intelligence, memory, complexion and it helps in bowel movements, gives strength to all sense organs, and increases sexual power. (Ref: Ashtangahridayam)
The real recipe of chyavanprash is given in ayurvedic texts like Ashtangahridayam, Charakasamhita, Sangandharasamhita,etc. Nowadays different companies are making chyavanprash in their own ways by removing some ingredients and adding their own. The number of herbs used in preparation of the paste varies from 25 to 80, but the main ingredient of all Chyawanprash is amla. Other chief ingredients are:
The market size of chyawanprash in 2010 was Indian Rs. 400 Crores or Rs 4 billion (about 80 million US dollars). Chyawanprash in India is marketed through the top film stars and sports persons like Amitabh Bacchan, Shahrukh Khan, Sourav Ganguly, M.S.Dhoni etc. With the growing interest of masses in Vedic Sanskriti, Yoga and Ayurveda, consumption of Chyawanprash is on increase in India and abroad.