Definition - What does Rasayana mean?

Rasayana is a Sanskrit word that translates to “path of essence." The term is derived from the root words, rasa, meaning “essence,” and ayana meaning “path."

In Ayurveda, rasayana refers to both the science of promoting longevity and the herbal remedies used to maintain optimal health as well as to reverse the effects of aging. Ayurveda and rasayana go hand-in-hand with yoga to maintain physical, mental and spiritual health. In fact, yoga asanas are considered a type of rasayana.

Yogapedia explains Rasayana

Rasayana can be behavioral or herbal. When defined as the science of promoting longevity, rasayana includes nourishing foods, meditation, yogic practices and other positive behaviors such as kindness and honesty.

In alchemy, rasayana therapy refers to herbal remedies that, among other things, fight disease, promote long life, improve memory and improve complexion. A typical herbal preparation includes 10 to 20 different herbs mixed with fruits or minerals. It can be administered in a variety of forms from pastes, tinctures, powders, teas and pills.

There are two main categories of rasayana: kamya rasayana, which promotes health by boosting energy levels and healthy lifestyle; and naimittika rasayana, which fights disease. Kamya rasayana is divided into three categories: pranakamya (promotes vitality and longevity), srikamya (supports complexion) and medhakamya (boosts intelligence).

Rasayana is further classified as drug-based (aushdha rasayana), dietary (ahara rasayana) and lifestyle (achara rasayana).

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