Pratirakshak Awaleha: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement

Pratirakshak Awaleha (PA) is an Ayurvedic health supplement which is made up of a superconcentrated blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals. It is meant to restore drained reserves of life force (ojas) and to preserve strength, stamina, and vitality, while stalling the course of aging. Pratirakshak Awaleha is formulated by processing around 50 medicinal herbs and their extracts, including the prime ingredient, Amla (Indian gooseberry), which is the world’s richest source of vitamin C. Pratirakshak Awaleha preparation involves preparing a decoction of herbs, followed by dried extract preparation, subsequent mixture with honey, and addition of aromatic herb powders (namely clove, cardamom, and cinnamon) as standard. The finished product has a fruit jam-like consistency, and a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor. Scientific exploration of PA is warranted to understand its therapeutic efficacy. Scattered information exploring the therapeutic potential of PA is available, and there is a need to assemble it. Thus, an effort was made to compile the scattered information from ancient Ayurvedic texts and treatises, along with ethno botanical, ethno pharmacological, and scientifically validated literature, that highlight the role of PA in therapeutics. Citations relevant to the topic were screened.


Chawanprash / Pratirakshak Awaleha (PA) comprises two lexes, “Chyawan” and “Prasha”. The word Chyawan is the name of a sage, and also symbolizes ‘degenerative change’. Prasha denotes a drug or foodstuff that is suitable for consumption. Indeed, PA is a comprehensive ‘metabolic’ tonic; it contains a variety of herbs and is used to promote health and prevent diseases. Pratirakshak Awaleha is an ancient Indian formulation (a polyherbal jam), prepared according to a traditional Ayurvedic recipe, enriched with several herbs, herbal extracts, and processed minerals. It was one of the most appreciated foods for its anti aging effects long before vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant supplements came into existence. On regular intake, it maintains physiological functions and rejuvenates the whole body system.


Pratirakshak Awaleha is a potent antioxidant paste, prepared through the synergistic blending of around 50 herbs and spices. Pratirakshak Awaleha falls, by virtue of its consistency and form of dosage, under the category of Awaleha (electuaries/herbal jams), a group of Ayurvedic formulations. Typically, PA includes four classes of herbal drugs: The Dashmula class (ten roots); the Chaturjata class (four aromatic plants); Ashtavarga (threatened medicinal herbs from the Northwest Himalayas, which are not commercially available in the modern era); and a general class (materials not belonging to the former classes). The Pratirakshak Awaleha formula is described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts, namely, Ashtanga Hridayam, Charaka Samhita, Sangandhara Samhita, which are dedicated to clinical management. The dominant ingredient is Amla, a citrus fruit that is a highly renowned and potent botanical in Ayurveda.

Main Composition of PA

Deshi Ghee, Sugar, Awla Pulp, Kadha, Prakshepa dravya, Sodium Benzoate.

Kadha Items – Bael, Agnimanth, Kashmarya, Shyonak, Paatla, Gokshur, Sarivan, Barikateri, Kantakaari, Kakdasingi, Draaksha, Haritaki, Guduchi, Bala, Bhumyamalaki, Vasa, Jivanti, Kachur, Pushkarmul, Musta, Mudagparni, Mashaparni, Shalparni, Pithawan, Pipali, Kaknasa, Varahi, Vidaarikand, Punarnava, Neelkamal, Aguru, Chandan, Shatavar, and Asgandh.

Prakshepa dravya – herbal powders of Pippali, Lavang, Dalchini, Tejpatta, Nagkesher, Mulethi, Sukti Bhasm, Abhrak Bhasm, Makerdhwaj Vati, Kesar.

Mode of Administration

Pratirakshak Awaleha can be used by all age groups in every season, as its ingredients nullify the unpleasant effects of intense weather and climate or environmental change. Pratirakshak Awaleha should be taken in a quantity such that it does not interfere with hunger and appetite for food. The general dosage of PA (12–28 g) is to be taken with milk (100–250 ml) on an empty stomach in the morning. However, it is advocated that individuals suffering from asthma/respiratory ailments should avoid intake of milk and curd. In such cases, the formulation can be administered with lukewarm water. It is recommended to consume PA within a year from the manufacturing date, as a study has indicated that chemical deterioration may occur during the storage period, resulting in loss of the therapeutic potency of PA.

10. Health Benefits 

  • Improves Digestion and Metabolism – Pratirakshak Awaleha helps to eliminate the accumulated excreta via improving digestion and excretion. It is reported to alleviate nausea, vomiting, hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and flatulence. Pratirakshak Awaleha has also been found to relieve gastritis, peptic ulcer, gut cramps, and correct the gastrointestinal functions. It purifies blood, works as detoxifier, and promotes healthy liver function. It protects and strengthens the liver and kidneys and improves lipid and protein metabolism. The herbs of PA, such as Nagakesar, Tejpatra, Ela, Dalchini. Paatla, Agnimanth, Gambhari, Bael, Shyonak. Sarivan. Draaksha, Haritaki, honey, Bhumyamalaki, Kachur, Pushkarmul, Musta, Kaknasa. Vidaarikand, and Aguru, help to improve digestion and metabolism.
  • Protect and Strengthens the Respiratory System – A regular intake of PA strengthens the trachea–bronchial tree and hence improves the immunity and functioning of the respiratory system. It helps to treat respiratory infections, allergic cough, asthma, bronchospasm, rhinitis, seasonal or nonseason respiratory disorders, common cold, and tuberculosis, and thus strengthens the respiratory system.
  • Nootropic Potential – PA nourishes the brain cells, harmonizes neuronal activities, improves memory, and enhances learning ability, storage, recall, and intellect. It relaxes the central nervous system (CNS), thereby acting as an anxiolytic and an antidepressive, and alleviates insomnia. Research has also suggested its procholenergic activity and antiamnesic potential. The rich Amla and ascorbic acid contents play a vital role in such activities. Musta, Vidaarikand, Neelkamal, Aguru, Nagakesar, Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Shalparni, Prishnaparni, and Amla possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, thereby improving CNS functions.
  • Cardiotonic Value – Pratirakshak Awaleha is a potent cardiotonic. It strengthens the structure and functions of the heart and corrects the heart pumping rhythm by recuperating blood flow to its musculature. Pratirakshak Awaleha is also reported to correct blood disorders and improve structure and functions of the vascular system. Pratirakshak Awaleha also exerts antihyperlipidemic activity and alleviates metabolic impairments [80,124]. Components of PA—Amla, Neelkamal, Punarnawa, Pushkarmul, Kachur, Vasa, Bala, Sarivan, Pithawan, Barikateri and Gokshur—are well-recognized in their ability to rejuvenate and restore the cardiovascular system functions [92,93]. Amla has shown antiatherogenic, anticoagulant, hypolipidemic, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiplatelet, and vasodilatory effects.
  • Potent Aphrodisiac and Balances the Endocrine System – Regular intake of PA improves sexual life, boosts virility, and fertility in each gender. It improves the functioning of gonads, strengthens the endocrine system, and balances the hormonal flow. It improves semen quality in males and the menstrual cycle in females. Ingredients such as Gokshur, Varahikand, sesame oil, Shatavari, Vidaarikand, Bala, Jivanti, Mudagparni, Mashaparni, Ashwagandha, and Vanshalochan contribute to the aphrodisiac and vitalizing properties of PA.