Ayurvedic Plants and medicines for diffrent age groups

Aging is a generalized systematic involution of a living body, its organs, tissues and cells. The brain is considered to be the most vulnerable organ to this aging process, as neurons lack a robust regenerative capacity. Both the great exponents of Āyurveda, viz. Caraka and Śusrūtu, have propounded that medha, i.e., the core cognitive function of brain starts declining from the fourth decade of life onwards, and after the eighth decade of life, the loss of būddhi or decision making capacity becomes imperative, leading to senile dementia. Therefore, in order to help fulfill the cherished desire of every human being to live the optimum 100 years of life-span with healthy functioning brain and senses, rasāyanā rejuvenating therapies were introduced.

Aging is associated with various degenerative changes like functional hormone deficiency state and accumulation of oxidative damage to DNA, proteins and lipids, which results in interference with normal function and produces a decrease in stress responses. Since the inception of civilization, elderly persons have been predominantly more prone to age-related brain degenerative disorders than actual gross somatic aging.

Hence, Āyurveda introduced a unique approach to diet and nutrients and a rasāyanā rejuvenating therapy to decelerate aging and manage geriatric problems.

Though the use of rasāyanā was primarily to impart longevity and promote a healthy prolonged life-span, the primary attribute of rasāyanā is nutrition, i.e., overall nourishment of body. This primary effect of nourishing the body results in longevity and decelerating the process of aging. Hence, it has been advocated that rasāyanā should be used throughout life, especially in early and middle ages.

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Different Āyurvedic texts have prescribed selected rasāyāna suitable for different age groups. By using this approach, a physician can prevent or minimize specific age-related losses. It has been suggested that an individual loses one important physiological attribute of life every decade after the completion of childhood. The fourth and ninth decades of human life have been considered to be crucial for brain-aging. The rasāyanās are thus selected for respective decades: (a) promote, prolong or maintain a desired effect, especially in the early decades of life and (b) prevent loss in the later decades of life

Different rasāyanās to be taken in different decades of life .

Different rasāyanās to be taken in different decades of life [18].

Decade of LifeDesired Effect/ Loss of Physiological AttributesRasayana Plants
1–10Formation, development and promotion of speech childhood/boyishnessVāca (Acorus calamus; family: Acoraceae).
11–20Growth; attaining puberty and a healthy growth of brain and body.Brahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariaceae); Bala (Sida cordifolia; family: Malvaceae); and Kasmari (Abutilon indicum; family: Malvaceae).
21–30Promotion of intellect/luster/complexionBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis; family: Euphorbiaceae).
31–40Cognitive functions and memoryBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae) and Shankhpushpi (Evolvulus alsinoides; family: Convolvulaceae.
41–50SkinBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae) and Jyotishmati (Celastrus peniculatis; family: Celastraceae).
51–60VisionBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae) and Jyotishmati (Celastrus peniculatis; family: Celastraceae).
61–70Virility and procreative prowessAshwagandha (Withania somnifera; family: Solanaceae) and Brahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scophulariacae).
71–80Physical strength, sensorial and muscular coordinationAmalaki (Emblica officinalis; family: Euphorbiacae) and Brahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae).
81–90Discriminative faculty, intelligence and decision making capacityBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae).
91–100Mental coordination, locomotor action and mobilityBrahmi (Bacopa monniera; family: Scrophulariacae).
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