We are in the thick of the British winter and over the last few weeks I heard countless people say ‘I’m on a detox’ and yet how many of us actually got past the first few weeks or even the first few days? So many people seem to be struggle and it’s no surprise really and Ayurveda has a perfectly logical explanation.
The nature of winter simply doesn’t support the process for cleansing. The winter is essentially dominated by the energy of Vata (air and ether elements) that exhibits cold, dry, and light qualities. So in order to stay balanced according to Ayurveda, we need to have foods of the opposite qualities to balance us. So we want to go for foods that are wholesome, nourishing, unctuous, wet, warm and grounding if you can remember these few words you won’t need to memorise any lengthy food lists.
One magical Ayurvedic super food that I want to draw your attention to is Chyawanprash. Can you get your mouth around that? Well you will when you taste it! It’s a herbal jam packed with nothing but rejuvenating goodness to get you not only through the winter but your entire life since its designed to bring longevity and youthfulness. This immune boosting elixir is considered to be a ‘lick-able’ medicine… Yes that’s right! Take that teaspoon out of the nutella jar and dip into this delicious dark chocolate colour jam that’s packed with over 40 different natural and nutritive ingredients including:
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) is prized for its rich anti oxidant properties and one of the highest sources of vitamin C.
Ghee – a purified butter acts as a catalyst (yogavahi) and enables the absorption of the herbs contained in the jam at a cellular level.
Honey – like ghee acts as a catalyst and a carrier (anupana) of herbs in the body where repair is needed
Sesame oil –the unctuous and lubricating properties of sesame make it a brilliant choice for many Ayurvedic herbal preparations.
Herbs and spices: Liquorice, cinnamon, cardamom, giloy, ashwagandha, shatavari, sugar (as a preservative), long pepper, malabar nut, spreading hogweed and raisins to name a few.
Chyawanprash is a traditional Ayurvedic formula named as a rasayana (meaning a rejuvenator) found in the classical texts of Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hridayam written thousands of years ago designed to be a dietary supplement – the best multivitamin every invented if you ask me… Why? Because it wasn’t designed to be merely supplement what is missing but to support the natural functionality of the body. It has a balance of all 6 tastes but one (no salt) if you pay close attention to your palate as the sweet and sour tastes burst through.
Chyawanprash is perfect for adults and kids alike to support your winter health, rebalance the Vata dosha, manage day-to-day stresses by helping the body in removing ‘ama’ (toxins), boosting ojas (immunity and vitality). It is designed to help build muscle mass and maintain body strength, rekindle the digestive fire and boost metabolism, support healthy elimination and rejuvenate all your body tissues especially the reproductive cells, this process is especially enhanced while you are peacefully sleeping. Now does this sound good?
You can take 1 tsp a day either with warm water as a juice, spread on toast or straight out of the jar! It’s most suited to consumption either in the morning or before bed (or both). It can be taken daily over a longer period but especially useful over the autumn and winter months.
So which chyawanprash to buy? Well there are many variations available on the market and they all differ slightly in taste and that would be a personal to you, so if you like your first jar stick to it, otherwise try a different brand. Taste plays a critical role in Ayurveda as it stimulates the communication between the brain and the gut, so a palatable chyawanprash is key – it is said that tasting the herbs will enhance their efficacy. Here are a few options to get you started:
Read more about essential Ayurvedic ingredients for cleansing and rejuvenation in my book: https://smarturl.it/AyurvedaPB
*Please check with the suppliers for organically sourced ingredients, traceability, sustainability, processing methods etc. before purchase) as I have not personally tried and tested these.