Medhya Rasayana in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the holistic science of life, since time immemorial focuses mainly on preserving youthful vigor, and extending longevity by delaying the ageing process. Noted Ayurveda practitioner Dr Asharani writes; -

The traditional science of Ayurveda encompasses several principles describing the base of all creations. For instance, it mentions nine dravyas viz., Panchmahabhutas, Manas, Atma, Kala and Dik.

Among these, Kala is the most important, as it includes all creation in itself. Right from conception till death, Kala interacts with human beings and effects various changes in the body. Depending upon the type of changes that occur, lifespan is divided into Bala (early stage of life), Madhya (middle stage of life), and Jirna or Vriddhavastha (later stage of life). Growth, achievement, maintenance and decay are the major changes carried out in the body during these stages. Growth involves both physical & mental development.

While geriatric population, children and youth population, all,  have to deal with various mental sufferings in the fast-paced modern life, the former (mostly in the age group of  60-65 years) have high susceptibility to cognitive & memory impairment, loss of perception, insomnia, fear, anxiety, depression, loss of immunity etc besides other senile diseases.

 Statistically, the prevalence of overall mental illness in children & young people is 12.5% with overloading stress, fear, anxiety, depression and lack of sleep affecting their learning capacity, social and mental functioning. These sufferings are nothing but imbalances in the mental functioning of Dhee (power of acquisition), Dhriti (power of retention) and Smriti (ability to recall). Hence, Ayurveda explores Rasayana therapy, Medhya Rasayana in specific, to deal with these disabilities.

In Medhya Rasayana, a group of four cognition enhancing herbs that can be applied alone or in combination is used. These herbs possess multifold benefits in memory, cognition, intelligence, creativity and improves learning skills. It provides the brain with essential nutrients and improves the power of remembrance, retention and acquisition.

Medhya Rasayana comprises of:

1.      Whole plant Juice of Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn.) with honey

2.      Yastimadhu root (Glycirrhiza glabra Linn.) powder with milk

3.      Juice of Guduchi stem (Tinospora cordifolia) with honey

4.      Paste of Shankapuhpi plant (Convolvulus pleuricaulis Chois) with milk

Mandukaparni plays a significant role in improving cognition and memory. Yastimadhu has anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative effects that increases blood circulation into the Central Nervous System, improves learning and memory; Guduchi  possess learning and memory enhancing properties, antioxidant and anti-stress action, enhances the cognition in normal and helps in cognition deficits, also helps in improving behavior disorders deficit and IQ levels; Shankhapushpi is found to be effective in treating anxiety, neurosis and used in cerebral abnormalities, insomnia, serve as wonderful nervine tonic and  enhances memory function, thanks to its antioxidant property.

Other Medhya Rasayanas are:

      Vacha (Acorus calamus)Brahmi (Bacopa monniera)Jyotismati (Celastrus panniculata)Kushmanda (Benincasa hispida)Jatamamsi (Nardostachys jatamamsi)Ksheera (milk) and Ghrita (ghee).

Various formulations like Kushmanda rasayanamBrahmi ghritaBrahmi vatiBrahmi tailaSaraswatha ghritaKalyanaka ghritaSmriti sagara rasaMedhya vatiJatamamsi tailaShankpushpi preparations, SaraswatharistaHimasagara taila also helps the geriatric as well as child population to overcome mental sufferings. Indication, dose and duration of these Rasayanas vary as per age and disease.


1.      Insomnia:

·         3gms of Mandukaparni powder to be taken with a cup of warm milk an hour before sleep.

·         2 drops of Jatamamsi oil should be instilled to each nostril daily

·         Foot massage with Yastimadhu taila at bedtime

·         Drinking 2-3 gms of Shankpushpi powder, 1gm of cumin powder mixed in 100ml of warm milk.

2.      Intellect promoting:

·         1-2 grams of Mandukaparni powder is mixed with ½ tsp of clarified butter in children.

·         For adults, 4-5 fresh leaves of Mandukaparni are crushed with 10ml of cow milk and a paste is to be prepared and taken in an empty stomach.

·         2-3 gms each of Vacha powder, Shankapushpi powder to be mixed with 5-10ml of Brahmi juice.

3.      For improving attention in mental lethargic conditions:

·         1 gm Mandukaparni powder, 250mg Vacha powder, 125mg black pepper powder, 5 gms of Sugar candy powder to be boiled in 250ml of milk and reduced to half the quantity and can be taken twice daily.

·         Head massage with Brahmi oil

·         10-15ml of decoction of Shankapushpi to be taken daily

4.      In mental outbreaks, anger, restlessness with insomnia:

·         5ml of Mandukarni leaf juice and 5ml of Sankhapushpi fresh juice to be taken with 250ml of warm milk.

·         Head massage with Brahmi oil

·         Massaging the forehead and scalp with Shankapushpi oil



5.      Memory enhancement:

·         1-2 gms of Yastimadhu powder with 1/2tsp of ghee in children.

·         Dried stem of Vacha should be rubbed on a pumice stone along with 5ml of its essence to be taken along with 10ml of milk daily.

·         Swarna vacha (a thin gold wire is inserted in to a piece of Vacha stem): This stick is rubbed on a sterile flat surface/ wooden surface along with 10 drops of cow milk or breast milk for 30 seconds and the child should be made to lick this paste on empty stomach.

·         Consuming daily ½ -1 tsp of Brahmi ghritha in an empty stomach.

·         1-2gms of Jatamamsi powder with 1tsp of honey.


6.      Immune enhancement :

·         Eating 1-2 leaves of Guduchi daily

·         Kushmandha juice / Kushmandha rasayana

At the outset, the modern society with high speed urbanization and industrialization is immensely changing the psychological and social structure of the individual and the impact on older people and children groups is far greater, producing long term stress, anxiety, lack of focus, depression, sleeplessness, memory loss etc. In total, these Medhya Rasayana herbs serve as CNS Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, enhance cognition, act as stress buster, mood enhancer and stable the mind. These herbs also have a role to play in Neurodegenerative conditions, psychosomatic disorders, attention deficit conditions and behavioral disorders etc.


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