Jeevaneeya Gana Herbs of Charaka: Review, Medicines, Benefits

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.
The word Jeevaneeya refers to –‘Jeevanaaya hitam’ , which is in favor of the well being of the individual and which has the ability to improve the quality of the life (body and mind). 

Such enlivening herbs are vilatizers and rejuvinators. They replenish the body tissues and strengthen the vital organs.

Acharya Charaka explains the Jivaneeya gana herbs as mentioned below in Sutrasthana 4th Chapter. This closely resembles with the drugs and quality of the ingredients of Kakolyadi gana of Sushruta samhita and features of Madhura varga (sweet herbs).

Jivaniya Gana – Enlivening, anti aging group of herbs
Classical reference: Charaka sutra 4/9

Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-
JeevakaMalaxis acuminate-Root
Galactogogue, nutritive, nourishing etc
Rishabhaka Manilkara hexandra -Root – Mind soothener,stabilizer,bulk enhancer, nutritive, galactogogue etc.

Meda – Polygonatum cirrhifolium-Root
Bulk enhancer, body stabilizer, nervine tonic, tissue builder etc.
Mahameda – Polygonatum verticillatum-Root
Bulk enhancer,body stabilizer,nervine tonic,tissue builder etc.

Kakoli Fritillaria roylei-Root
Rejuvinative,galactogogue,soothener etc.
Kshira Kakoli Roscoea purpureaLilium polyphyllum-Root
Bulk enhancer, coolant, soothener, tissue replenisher etc.

Mudgaparni – Phaseolus trilobus -Root and whole plant
Galactogogue, diuretic, aphrodisiac etc
It is used in treating oligospermia, gout, gastritis, neuropathy, fever, worm infestation etc. It improves body weight.

Mashaparni – Teramnus labialis -Root and whole plant
Galactogogue, diuretic, aphrodisiac etc.
It is highly nutrition rich Ayurvedic medicine, used for treating fatigue, muscle wasting, Vata and Pitta imbalance disorders, bleeding disorders etc.

Jivanti Leptadenia reticulata –Root
Eye tonic, galactogogue, coolant etc.
An Ayurvedic herb used for the treatment of fever, urinary infection, improving the eye vision and for nourishing the body tissues.

Madhuka– Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra-Root
Expectorant, rejuvinative, cholegogue, complexion enhancer etc.
Vata-Pittahara (Pacifies the aggravated / morbid Vata and Pitta). Being heavy and unctuous and possessing Sweet taste and post-digestion effect, which are antagonistic to Vata,

Qualities in general and actions of Jeevaneeya gana drugs:
Most of the drugs referred in the above said group are
sweet mixed bitter or astringent in taste,
heavy, stable, slimy and soft in quality and
rich with Prithwi and Ap mahabhoota – earth and water elements
They balance Vata and Pitta Dosha and promote Kapha Doha.

Predominantly they are
Sthyanyavardhakla (galactogogue) – promote lactation
Balya (tonic),
Rasayana (rejuvinative),
Mamsavardhaka (muscle/bulk enhancers),
Kaphanissaraka (expectorant),
Vrishya (aphrodisiac),
Varnya (complexion enhancer) in action.

Therapeutic uses of Jeevaneeya gana drugs:
The formulations containing all the above ingredients or any of these ingredients are useful in post fever debility, emaciating disorders, chronic cough, nervine disorders, peripheral neuritis, geriatric health issues etc.

Formulations containing Jeevaneeya drugs :
Most of the drugs or few dominant drugs of this list are available in the formulations like Chyavanaprash,
Jeevaneeya Ashtavarga kashaya,
Brahma rasayana, Kakolyadi gana kashaya etc.

Disadvantages of Jeevaneeya gana drugs:
These drugs are sweet in taste and rich sources of carbohydrate as well.As they are bulk enhancers it is not advisable to take by the Diabetic patients and with those who suffer from heftiness of the body. The individuals with poor digestive capacity cannot digest this kashaya and in them it may cause indigestion, fever, diarrhea etc.

Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
By taking the available drugs from the above list simple decoction can be made or else medicated milk can be made. This will act as rejuvinative and relieves dryness of the skin, cracking of the foot, fatigue, neuritis, muscular cramps, numbness of the feet etc.

Formulation development opportunities:
Based upon the need and necessity, tablets or lehyas can be prepared out of these drugs with suitable adjuvants, carminative and digestive drugs which are in fact needed for judicial formulation that may be needed in variety of indications.

Oil or ghee can also be cooked so as to get the bulk enhancing effect or soothing benefits which in turn can be used in dystrophy cases, wasting disorders, emaciation, dry skin troubles etc.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.


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