Rasayana: The Ayurvedic Path to Rejuvenation


Rasayana, or rejuvenation, is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that restores the body’s vitality to its fullest capacity. From Sanskrit it translates to Path (āyanaof essence (rasa).  Rasa, or juice , is the vital fluid that we extract from the food we eat. It brings nourishment, it carries off toxins and it enhances our immunity; It looks a lot like what modern physiology calls lymph and plasma. So Rasayana is the way to restore and maintain the fluids, the juiciness in our bodies. It restores our health and vitality, and in that way, our youth. 

In practice Rasayana is essentially any herb, food or activity that makes you feel energetic and improves: skin condition, sleep quality, memory, concentration, strength, and the capacities of the sense organs – eyes, nose, tongue, ears and sexual organs. Accordingly, Rasayana therapy can be the ongoing practice of following an Ayurvedic lifestyle and/or going on retreat to receive special treatments with oils, herbs and foods. Either way, it is about dedicating time for healing and rejuvenating the body-mind. 

Some elements of a rejuvenating lifestyle include:

  • Oils to heal and protect tissues. Warm oil applied on the skin dissolves fat soluble toxins, nourishes the tissues and builds immunity. The membranes of all our cells are made of lipids, or fats, so using fats externally (as well as internally) rejuvenates us on a cellular level. Because of its lubricating, warm and heavy nature, oil also balances Vata, the energy of air that pervades everything.
  • Herbal therapy to balance the doshas. Deeply penetrating and potent, Ayurvedic herbs support immunity, detoxification and the rejuvenate our organ systems.
  • Diet to minimize toxic build-up (ama). Eating foods that keep the digestive fire (agni) strong prevents the accumulation of ama, which according to Ayurveda is the root of all dis-ease.

A few categories of Rasayanas include:

  • Age-promoting Rasayanas: Some herbs and diets are believed to be of great help in providing stability to life, vitality, and stamina by helping with body and mind fatigue and by augmenting the power of all the five senses. These rasayanas provide glow to the skin, sweetness to the voice, and virtually tend to enhance the life span of an individual. One such formulation is Chyavanprash Rasayana.  
  • Eyesight promoting Rasayanas: There are some Ayurveda herbal formulations categorized specifically for the benefit of the proper functioning of the eyes. These not only aid in providing clear vision, but with Amalaki Ramayana for example, they also help when there's diminished vision.
  • Disease combating Rasayanas: These rasayanas given to the patients suffering from some particular disease so as to help eradicate the disease from its roots. For example, Pippali Rasayana is for respiratory diseases.

Thousands of years ago these therapies were designed for the kings and queens who wanted to live forever and retain their power. They were given special foods and plant preparations, hot oil and herbal treatments and nourishing and health-building foods to rejuvenate them on a deep cellular level.

Nowadays we can all be kings and queens, by following these few practices, going on a retreat, going a cleanse and by applying Ayurvedic lifestyle principles. Essentially, devoting more time to relax and restore. (Not a bad prescription if you ask me!)

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.