Ayurveda is a holistic natural approach that promotes a healthy lifestyle, balanced nutrition and self-care. However, it is a lesser-known fact that Ayurveda has a strong connection with Alchemy.
Referring to Paracelsus’ views on the field of medicine and in his words, “Medicine rests upon four pillars – philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics.” In addition to the aforementioned outlook, he also believed that Alchemy was not bound by the changing of metals. He said, “Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me, such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.”
He could not be any closer to the truth. Ayurveda treats alchemy as a specialist practice, one that is supplementary and enhancing in its very essence. It must be noted that historically, Ayurveda and Rasashastra, that is, Indian alchemy, were categorized as separate disciplines. Thanks to innovative techniques of practice, the definitive boundaries between the two have faded and become less clear over time.
An example of such convergence is the Navratna Ras. Navratna Ras is a potent Ayurvedic formulation that has superior rejuvenating properties. It has been primarily used to treat Vata disorders and strengthen the heart, brain and kidneys. It also has detoxifying properties and is effective on piles, diabetes, respiratory disorders and many more.
There are numerous metals that are used in Ayurveda, especially in Bhasma or ashen form. They can range from gems such as Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires to metals such as Mercury/Cinnabar, Arsenic, Sulphur, Silver and more commonly, Gold. Navratna ras is one such ayurvedic medicine that contains Gemstones and Gold.
Navratan Ras is an Ayurvedic medicine that owes its potency to the precious elements that are used in making it. The essence of the pill itself lies in the nine gems or “Navratna” used in its formulation. The gold coating is quite the cherry on top when looking into its potency.
The Ras can be considered a means of micronutrition. One that is supplementary to the healthy lifestyle that Ayurveda already promotes. The primary function of the Ras lies in immunomodulation while restoring strength and vitality. It is recommended for use in conditions of infertility, poor cardiovascular health, compromised immunity and pain and weakness.
Composition Of The Navratna Ras
It is quite evident from the name that the Navratna Ras is comprised of nine potent elements where “Nav” refers to nine and “Ratna” to gems. As far as Indian mythological concepts go, the Nine gems or the Navratans are associated in astrology and cosmic studies with nine celestial Gods.
In Ayurveda, however, they are made into Bhasmas or Ash, a form that is easily assimilated into the body and can strengthen its systems.
- Ruby: Rubies are associated with the power of the sun and are known to be an effective treatment for patients that have suffered from consumption or Tuberculosis. The Bhasma from this gemstone has also been known to have anti-microbial properties.
- Pearl: The pearl is said to carry the energy of the moon. The Bhasma of this gemstone is used to treat bleeding disorders, leucorrhea, acidity and hypocalcemia. The Bhasma of pearls is high in calcium content.
- Red Coral: The red coral is known to pacify both Pitta and Kapha doshas. It is proven to be useful in treating consumption or tuberculosis, Asthma and other respiratory disorders.
- Emerald: The Emerald is a vibrant, green gem that is considered potent when consumed in Bhasma form. It has been known to treat inflammation, fevers and dry or sore throat.
- Yellow Sapphire: The yellow sapphire is a gem that has warm qualities. It is immuno-modulatory in nature and can be used to treat diseases in the tonsil region.
- Diamond: A gem that is greatly cherished for its bright and hard nature is turned into Vajra Bhasma for its medicinal properties. It is used to treat Vata Dosha and maintain cardiovascular health while also being useful in the treatment of tumours.
- Blue Sapphire: The blue sapphire is a gem with cooling properties and is considered potent in Ayurvedic medicine when used to treat bleeding disorders. Its Bhasma can be used to treat haemorrhoids, fever, abnormal bleeding and leucorrhea.
- Hessonite or Gomed: A part of the Garnet family, the Hessonite, better known as the Gomed can be used to treat consumption or Tuberculosis. The ingestion of the Gomed Bhasma can promote a healthy metabolism and improve appetite.
- Cat-eye: The Cat-eye or Cymophane is used to pacify the Pitta doshas. The Cymophane Bhasma can be used to treat piles/haemorrhoids and other bleeding disorders.
Preparation Of The Bhasma
The intention behind turning the elements and stones into Bhasma is to increase potency while decreasing toxicity and possible side effects when consumed. The resulting nano-size particles had a significantly larger area while also efficiently reaching the target site. The Bhasma form makes the elements a lot more palatable and can provide the desired results even when used in a small dosage.
The conversion to the Bhasma form is completed in the following steps:
Shodhana Or Purification:
The Shodhana or purification process is when the powdered metals or gemstones are left to sit in a liquid medium for a designated time.
The Bhavana is a process where the coarse powder is further ground with a liquid medium in preparation for the firing in the crucible. The doughy form is then made into pellets and put into earthen crucibles to be heated and burned. It is then cooled and the process is repeated until the Bhasma is derived.
Uses And Benefits Of Navratna Ras
– The Navratna Ras has numerous health benefits and is used to treat a variety of diseases. More specifically, it is used to heal the patient and is excellent as a post-care or post-hospital treatment.
– It can be used to treat those suffering from Tuberculosis or consumption and allows them to regain their strength.
– The Ras also has anti-carcinogenic properties and can be used to restore vitality in cancer patients while also fighting against tumours.
– It can be used in patients that have worn off or eroded cartilage and relieve pain thus allowing them to function without much discomfort.
– The Ras can be used as a viable supplement in expectant mothers, providing finer micronutrients that promote healthy foetal development. It can also be used in cases of infertility in both men and women.
– Overall it is an excellent supplement that can reduce lethargy, fatigue, improve metabolism and appetite and promote overall wellness.
Dosage, Safety & Side Effects
The Navratan Ras can be used regularly over a period of two to three months at a time.
It is not recommended to take this medicine in case of kidney stone.
The dosage for children is recommended at half a pill whereas, in adults, one pill a day will suffice. The medium for intake can be butter for children to promote growth or in honey for sore throats and in ghee or milk for regular use.
In case of someone suffering from pitta disorders or increased pitta, it should only be consumed with milk and not plain water.
Market Availability & Price
The Navratan Ras can be found on online platforms and reputed ayurvedic websites. It is recommended that the source and credibility are checked before the purchase of the same. Here are a few that I found
- Unjha Navratna Ras 30 tablets, Rs 655