Self-Care Guide: Amrit
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Chemical analysis shows that Amrit contains an abundance of phytochemicals — natural chemicals from plants — that protect against disease and have many other beneficial properties, including strong antioxidant power:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Beta carotene
- Tannic acid
Polyphenols are free radical scavengers and chelators of damaging metal ions. They include both water-soluble and lipid-soluble antioxidants, and can regenerate vitamins C and E. Bioflavonoids are a group of polyphenols with the highest antioxidant power. These potent free radical scavengers have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. They help combat LDL oxidation. Vitamin C helps enhance immune function. Our body does not produce it, so it must be obtained from foods or food supplements. Vitamin E is called "the anti-aging antioxidant." It helps combat lipid peroxidation in the brain. Resveratrol is a polyphenol with potent antioxidant properties. It helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation and prevents platelet aggregation.
"Bioflavonoids are present in their most concentrated form in herbs," says Hari Sharma, M.D., author of Freedom from Disease. "It is now known that complex mixtures of bioflavonoids have a synergistic effect that yields a benefit greater than the sum of the individual components."*
*Free Radicals and Natural Antioxidants in Health and Disease, Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol. 52, Number 2 & 3, 2002.
Amrit for Life
"Nectar of Immortality," "Golden Cup of Longevity," "Super antioxidant." These are only some of the encomiums lavished on Maharishi Ayurveda's herbal food supplement, Amrit. Not surprising, when so many people have so many good things to say about it.
WHAT THE ANCIENT TEXTS SAY
The oldest existing Indian medical text, Charaka Samhita, lavishes high praise on the traditional formulation, listing the following qualities:
- It enhances longevity
- It boosts memory
- It sharpens the intellect
- It lends glow and aura to the skin
- It improves the quality of the voice
- It makes speech more effective
- It increases the stamina of the senses
- It keeps the body and the mind youthful.
WHAT THE VAIDYA SAYS
- Amrit promotes bala, or vital strength, that helps the body fight back disease.
- It nourishes the seven tissues (dhatus) — nutritional fluid, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluid.
- Amrit balances the three ayurvedic principles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which govern vital activities of the mind and body, right from circulation and digestion to respiration and emotions.
- Amrit boosts all three mental abilities recognized in ayurveda: dhi — learning; dhriti — retention; and smriti — recall.
WHAT RESEARCH SAYS
The research on Amrit is now substantial. But initially, when Maharishi Ayurveda introduced Amrit to the world, this free-radical-fighting, health-enhancing food supplement seemed to defy all scientific logic. Modern medicine was too used to the "magic bullet" approach: wait for a symptom, and find a single drug to fire at it. The idea that an herbal food supplement could produce such profound and wide-ranging effects seemed hard to digest.
Then Hari Sharma, M.D., professor emeritus and former director of cancer prevention and natural products research at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, decided to put Amrit to the test. His team set out to compare Amrit with three individual antioxidants: Vitamin C, Vitamin E and the well-researched drug probucol. Their findings were dramatic. Weight for weight, the aqueous extracts of Amrit were several hundred times more potent than Vitamins C and E and probucol. The alcoholic extracts were even stronger: at least 1,000 times more potent.
The antioxidant properties of Amrit inhibit degenerative processes, including abnormal platelet aggregation (clotting, leading to cardiovascular disease) and the aging process.
More research findings:
Amrit helps keep arteries clear by decreasing free radical damage to LDL cholesterol, thus helping to maintain the health and proper functioning of the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. Amrit significantly reduces free radical damage in the brain, thus combating toxic stress and nourishing the mind's natural capabilities. Amrit increases the response of lymphocyte immune cells by 300% to 400%. It also improves the functioning of macrophage immune cells, strengthening the body's immune response. In one study, Amrit was shown to reduce organ damage caused by toluene, a harmful chemical. Among chemotherapy patients, research indicates that Amrit helps contain anorexia and vomiting.
WHY AMRIT WORKS
Amrit is a rasayana of rasayanas — the quintessential ayurvedic herbal compound for overall health, vitality and longevity. It encompasses several dozen ayurvedic herbs and fruits, each of which is a potent rasayana in itself. Add to that the meticulous traditional processing, and you have a truly powerful rasayana.
In the 1980s, when the stresses of the modern lifestyle were beginning to seriously impact the well-being of people everywhere — stress from the environment, stress from time pressures, emotional stress, mental stress, physical exhaustion — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation® program, gathered together the most eminent ayurvedic scholars and physicians of the time to see what could be done to alleviate people's suffering.
One of the first things to emerge from these collective deliberations was a powerful rasayana to nourish mind, body and spirit in a very holistic and balanced way. Appropriately, Maharishi decided to name this rasayana Amrit. Amrit represents the essence of the supreme knowledge in the ancient ayurvedic texts. That's why the wide range of benefits Amrit offers is hardly surprising.
On a more scientific note, Amrit contains natural antioxidants — vitamins, beta carotene, polyphenols and bioflavonoids — in high concentration. Some of the substances in Amrit have not even been isolated and examined under a microscope. But however tiny they are, they carry with them nature's own intelligence, which works to mitigate side effects caused by individual components. Modern medicine, on the other hand, tends to lean towards isolated active ingredients, usually produced artificially.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha), Heart-leaved Moonseed (Indian Tinospora), Indian Asparagus (Shatavari), Aloeweed (Dwarf Morning Glory), Indian Pennywort (Gotu Kola)...even individually, each of these herbs is a magnificent healer. Almost all the herbs in Amrit belong to the "medhya" group, which is highly beneficial for the brain. But combined in the right proportions using the right methods, they can work wonders. These and more rare herbs and fruits come together to make the herbal masterpiece that Amrit is.
HOW AMRIT IS MADE
The process of making Amrit hasn't changed since those ancient times when only a few select vaidyas knew the formula. Today, it is still prepared in accordance with the instructions in the traditional texts and passed down by generations of ayurvedic physicians. It takes 250 meticulous steps to prepare. Twenty-two pounds of raw ingredients are required to produce a single jar of the Amrit Nectar. The herbs are slow-cooked to protect vital nutrients from high temperatures. This precise adherence to tradition and detail ensures that you get an authentic product of unparalleled quality.
HOW AMRIT COMES TO YOU
Amrit is a two-part formula, for balanced, complete support: The Nectar herbal fruit concentrate and Ambrosia herbal tablets work together to create overall health. They contain different herbs, so, for the full health benefits, it's best to use both formulas.
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The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.