Thursday, 21 November 2013

Chyawanprash - 'The Elixir of Life'!

Once upon a time, so long ago, at a period when 'good and devoted' Human beings could easily see and have a conversation with God, there was a mighty ruler called Prithiviraj the III, who ruled a vast kingdom stretching from the Arabian country, the Indian Subcontinent to the far east till China and Singapore. The kingdom and its people lived in prosperity. Prithiviraj was a just and intelligent king and a intrinsically generous man too. Culture and traditions were followed. He rewarded people who did anything out of the ordinary - even when courtiers gave ideas or sang songs of praise. The people loved him. A centralised administration was followed. It was truly a golden age where every field excelled exponentially.

Prithiviraj was a determined king who wanted to conquer the whole world. He could have crossed the Mediterranean sea and triumphed over the Europa country. But all of a sudden, the King fell seriously ill. He was bed-ridden. The whole kingdom was sad and prayed and conducted poojas and did everything they could so that their King would rise again. Doctors were called and treatments were given. But in vain. The King did not show any perceptible signs of recovery but he was still alive.

Meanwhile, there was a young villager in the kingdom, called Arnav, who was an ardent devotee of the Almighty. He lived a simple life and had ideal qualities that defined him. He always thought of the God and wrote songs about Him, drew pictures of Him. He too heard the news of the King's illness. Arnav was struck with grief because he adored the king. Who didn't??!! He prayed to the God, desperately to save the King and revive him back. That night, the God appeared in Arnav's dream. He told Arnav not to worry and just simply told that the King would be back on his feet soon in Arnav's expense. When Arnav woke up in the morning, he remembered the dream and smiled to himself and thanked the God. As he went inside the worship room to offer his morning prayers, after finishing the morning 'work and calls', he was startled.

There, before the idol of the God, was a bunch of thick manuscripts. When Arnav looked at the contents of it, it seemed to be like a recipe for a medicine. Soon, he understood what it meant. The ingredients were not hard to find, as they were found in abundance throughout the country, but it sure was a long list. Arnav soon got to work and the preparation of the concoction took two days. Quickly, with no time to waste, he sped to the palace. After consulting with the courtiers and the group of doctors, the concoction would be given to the king after Arnav had a spoonful of it, lest it could be poison. Slightly outraged but reasonable, Arnav had a spoon of the concoction. He had a warm feeling that spread inside his chest. Satisfied, the doctors gave 2-3 spoons of the 'medicine' to the king twice a day and waited. The King recovered very gradually but it was very much noticeable. Within three days, the King was well back on his feet. Undoubtedly, the King rewarded Arnav with lots of gold. Arnav then narrated the events that took place the week. As expected, the King believed it and made arrangements for the production of the medicine extensively. It was named as the 'Healing Potion'.

At the same time this was happening, in the other part of the world, in Europa country, the British emperor Edward came to know about the news of how Prithiviraj had continued to live because of the mysterious, magical potion. Edward had always been jealous of Prithiviraj, especially of the vast kingdom and the riches it possessed. He even had a long term wish of dethroning the king and plundering the empire. After he heard this news, his jealousy increased and wanted the recipe for the potion for himself. The way the message had been exaggerated and the mind which Edward had, resulted in him inferring that this potion was indeed an 'Elixir of Life'.

Though Prithiviraj expected an attack from the British anytime, now he was unsure if he was sufficiently prepared after the disastrous seize of Surat, a coastal town, what with the incredible gunpower the British had. Thus the English began to take hold of the Indian sub continent gradually. Initially, Prithiviraj tried to ward off the English forces and even succeeded in some cities. But it was only for a short time. Important cities and ports were looted and taken under control. After the death of the king, the job seemed even more easier for the British as there was unrest, distrust and fights amongst the sons and generals of the deceased king. Thus colonial rule was established.

Dabur Chyawanprash

As for the manuscript, search parties were sent by Edward to find it. But the manuscript was never found again ever, atleast not by the British. The myth surrounding the 'Elixir of Life' died with Edward.

Many, many, many years later.....

It was the start of the 20th century. Science and technology had considerably improved. The Britishers had left the Indian sub-continent for good, 45 years before, after the Indian Revolt of 1857, in which the people of the Indian subcontinent united for the cause of overthrowing the British. A new age had begun. The country of India was at the top of the world, in terms of science and technology, growth and development, apart from the fact that it is one of the largest democracies in the world, stretching from Karachi in the west to Darjeeling in the east and from Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. Yes, this was yet an another truly Golden age. India was a diverse country with different cultures, religions and languages. Yet, the fact that they are united, distinguishes them from the rest of the world. The Britishers had done them both good and bad. They taught the Indians a lot of things as well as treated them as slaves in their own land.

The department of archaeology was booming, obviously, with a lot of things buried under the earth, like unknown history, statues, coins and what-not. It was then, in one of these excavations near Noida, the manuscript containing the recipe for the potion was found. Researchers well versed in old Sanskrit deduced it was a recipe of some sort for a medicine.

The potion was prepared and the results were astonishing. It had multiple healing qualities. It was found to flush the toxins present inside the body and boost the immune system. The major components inside, amla and guduchi, had strong anti-oxidant, anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory properties rich in a lot of vitamins.

With industrial development, there was a lot of pollution and advent of new diseases. Scientists found this potion as a gift and decided to name and patent it as "CHYAWANPRASH". The government under the leadership of President Gandhi and Prime Minister Nehru, thought that the overall development of the country was possible only if, the Children who were the most important resources, were protected and had sound mental and physical strength. They saw that an #ImmuneIndia is certainly a pre-requisite for its growth. This, they thought was possible in the mass production of 'CHYAWANPRASH', by Dabur - the company started by the government with a group of scientists. The company then was privatised later in 1947. It then went on to create many products such as Dabur Honey, Vatika etc- other natural products.

About chyawanprash: This is a jam like substance which is indeed sweet in taste with a hotness. The major composition is amla and guduchi. I myself have had chyawanprash in my childhood, for I had colds frequently, then. I had one big spoonful in the morning, in empty stomach. It did have an effect on me. It gives a sort of protective layer inside the body. Children are encouraged to eat it, anyone can eat as a matter of fact; all the important vitamins and around 40+ herbs are found in this jam, which are highly beneficial.
To make it more tasty, Dabur has even come with options of two flavours - mango and mixed fruit. Now how cool is that ?! :)

This post - a mixture of fictional, true and alternate historical events - was written for the Indiblogger contest, "An Immune India" by Dabur Chyawanprash


  1. Nice story and a good way to drive the point of an Immune India. All the best for the contest.

    My entry for the contest is at Hope you like it.

  2. interesting write up and point well made. all the best Akash ;)

  3. Good post. Good post Akash. Good information disseminated in an interesting was telling stories. Your post stands out in this.

    Would appreciate your candid comments on my post at

  4. good work...never knew that the product Big B was advertising back then had such a story behind it...

  5. Hi Akash, thank you for visiting my blog :) that was a well written and interesting read. All the best for the contest ! :)

  6. Your post hooked me right when i read its title :) Yes, such Ayurvedic secrets are elixirs of our life. Its a wonderful post Akash. All the best for the contest.

    1. Thank you so much Priyanka :) Welcome to my blog !

  7. well thought through!. good luck :)

    Do share your thoughts on mine here:


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