Review Article

Jara Avastha

Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences

2022 Volume 7 Number 3 April

Review on conceptual study of Jara Avastha mentioned in Brihatrayee

Kurahatti M.1*

1* Manjula V. Kurahatti, Associate Professor, Department of Sanskruta Samhita Siddanta, B.V.V.S Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India.

Vaya, which means Age, represents state of body depending upon the length of time that has passed since birth of a human being. Considering a total life span of 100 years, Acharya Charaka and Sushrutha has described old age after 60 years and 70 years respectively. The present study reveals that the process of ageing was elaborately described in Ayurveda. In order to prolong the life span and to promote longevity a separate discipline called Rasayana Tantra was developed. The silent features of this study are described in this article.

Keywords: Tri Doshas, Saptha Dhatus, Agni, Jara Laxanas, Rasayana, Ayurveda

Corresponding Author How to Cite this Article To Browse
Manjula V. Kurahatti, Associate Professor, Department of Sanskruta Samhita Siddanta, B.V.V.S Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India.
Manjula V. Kurahatti, Review on conceptual study of Jara Avastha mentioned in Brihatrayee. J Ayu Int Med Sci. 2022;7(3):107-112.
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Manuscript Received Review Round 1 Review Round 2 Review Round 3 Accepted
2022-02-24 2022-02-26 2022-03-05 2022-03-12 2022-03-19
Conflict of Interest Funding Ethical Approval Plagiarism X-checker Note
Nil Nil Yes 18%

© 2022by Manjula V. Kurahattiand Published by Maharshi Charaka Ayurveda Organization. This is an Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ unported [CC BY 4.0].


Ageing is the process that reduces the number of healthy cells in body. Therefore, the body loses its ability to respond to a challenge (external or internal stress) to maintain homeostasis. Ayurveda science has addressed geriatric health issues under heading “Jara”. In Astanga Ayurveda “Jara” is incorporated at 7th number among its eight branches. “Rasayana Tantra” a special branch of medicine in Ayurveda, exclusively devotes to “Jara Janya Vyadhi”. Ayurveda science basically aims at promotion of health of individual and management of diseases. That’s why the foremost classic of Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita begins its Chikista Sthana with Rasayana Chikitsa. Use of Rasayana therapy in “Jara Janya Vyadhi” works at primary level of our biological system as well as it saves the patient from side effects of modern medicine.[1]

Ageing is a process of physical, psychological and social change in multi-dimensional aspects. The world population of the elderly is increasing and by the year 2050, adults older than 65 years will comprise 1/5th of the global population. In India 3.8% of the population are older than 65 years of age. According to an estimate the likely number of elderly people in India by 2016 will be around 113 million.[1] “According to the report of the Technical Group on Population Projections for India and states 2011-2036, there are nearly 138 million (13.8 crores) elderly persons in India in 2021 comprising 67 million males and 71 million females,” the NSO study elderly in India 2021 said on 15 Aug 2021.

The Leading causes of mortality among aged people comprise respiratory problems, heart diseases, cancer and stroke. Significant causes of morbidity among this group are chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, psychiatric disorders, Parkinson’ s disease and age-related urinary problems.[2]

Ayurveda, the Indian traditional holistic health science has got the potential for prevention of diseases by promotion of health and management of diseases occurring in old age. It has a focused branch called Rasayana (Rejuvenation) which deals with the problems related to ageing and methods to counter the same. Geriatrics or Jara Chikitsa or Rasayana in Ayurveda is a unique therapeutic methodology to delay ageing

and to minimize the intensity of problems occurring this degenerative phase of one’s life. Ayurvedic literature record numerous single and compound plant-based medicines, herbo mineral, herbo metallic formulations for general wellbeing and in disease specific conditions relating to geriatrics.[3]

Rasayana Chikitsa is mainly used for maintaining the health of healthy individuals although it can be used for diseased also. Ayurveda and other Indian traditions considered the total span of life over one hundred years. The vedic hymns proclaim an active, healthy life of hundred years.

Important Factors in Jara Avastha

1. Age Classification

Chandogyopanishad emphasizes that a man enjoys 116 years of life. The total life span has been divided into three categories.

Childhood - Balyavastha - 24 years

Youth - Yuvavastha - 44 years

Old age - Vruddhavastha - 48 years

Sushruta gives an elaborate and systematic classification of age.

1. Balyavastha (Childhood) - Before 16 years.

a. Ksirapa (milkfed)

b. Ksirannada (weaning)

c. Annada (food)

2. Madhyavastha (Middle Age) = 16-70 years.

a. Vrddhi (growth or evolution) = upto 20 years

b. Youvana (youth) = 21- 30 years

c. Sampurna (completion of the body with all the Dhatus, Indriyas, Strength and Veerya) = 31-40 years

d. Hani (Involution or decline) = 41-70 years

3. Vruddha Vaya (old age) = 71-100 years

Dhatu, Virya, Indriya, Bala and Utsaha decrease day by day. Alopecia, wrinkling of whole body, cough, breathlessness etc occur by increase in Ageing.[4]

2. Ageing And Tridoshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three basic constituents of living human body. A balanced state of the structure and function of these three Doshas maintains the healthy

life and their imbalance is the basis of pathology according to Ayurveda. As per fundamental principles of Ayurveda, Kapha is the predominant Dosha during childhood, Pitta during the adulthood and Vata during old age. Kapha is the principal humor responsible for the vigour and vitality of youth. Vayu according to its fundamental properties it performs all the action s of body. As a function of ageing, with advancing age Kapha gets gradually depleted and Vata increases spontaneously. It is postulated that the following could approximate Dosic set up to aging.[5]

Dosa Balyavastha (child hood) Madhyavastha (middle age) Vruddhavastha (old age)
Vata + + +++
Pitta ++ +++ ++
Kapha +++ ++ +

3. Ageing and Saptadhatus: There is tendency of gradual rise of all Dhatus, Indriyas and the Ojas upto the age of 16 years which is followed by the phase of maturity which continue upto the age of 70 years according to Sushruta. This is followed by the gradual decline or involution of all the Dhatus, Indriyas and Ojus. In early age Kapha predominates and accordingly the Dhatus also remain well formed and nourished. In old age Vata predominates which precipitates the Shoshana and Kshaya of different Dhatus.[6] 

4. Ageing and Agni: Thirteen types of Agnis described in Ayurveda represent the digestive and metabolic fire in the body which consists of the digestive juices and different kinds of hormones, enzymes and co-enzymes participating in the metabolism. Digestive capacity and the metabolic rate are highest in young adults which is also the period of increased activity of Pitta. The optimum activity of Agni maintains the vigor and vitality of an individual and also keeps up the growth and development of the day. With the advancing age on one hand the Vata increases which induces involuntary changes while on the other hand the depleted Agni leads to decreases in the vigor and vitality with decay and atrophy due to defective metabolism.[7]  

5. Jara Laxanas – Decade Wise Ageing Process: Vagbhatta was the first one to record such an observation, which was followed later by Acharaya Sharanghadhara. It is clear that ageing does not occur simultaneously

in all the tissues. Different body tissues are affected ageing at different time period. Gradual declination of a particular faculty takes place in each decade of life and by the end of decade, that particular faculty is lost.

Chief complaints

1. Twak Parushata (Dryness of skin)

2. Slatha Sara (Flabbiness of the body)

3. Slatha Mamsa (Decreased muscle tone)

4. Slatha Asthi (Bone Weakness)

5. Slatha Sandhi (Flaccid joint)

6. Dhatu Kshaya (Loss of Tissues)

7. Kayasya Avanamanam (Bending of the body)

8. Vepathu (Tremors)

9. Khalithya (Falling of hair)

10. Vali (Wrinkling)

11. Palithya (Graying of hair)

12. Kasa (Coughing)

13. Swasa (Short breath)

14. Medha Hani (Decreased functions of Intellect)

a. Like Grahana (grasping)

b. Dharana (retention of power)

c. Smarana (memory power)

d. Vachana (speech)

e. Vijnana (knowledge)

15. Utsaha Hani (Decreased enthusiasum)

16. Parakrama Hani (Decreased physical strength)

17. Paurusha Hani (Decreased virality)

18. Prabha Hani or Chhaya Hrasa (Changes in complexion)

19. Shukra Kshaya

20. Dristi Hrasa (Diminished vision)

21. Karmendriya Hani (Decreased locomotor activities)

22. Buddhi Hani (Deterioration in wisdom) etc.[8]

6. Classification of Vaya according to Ayurvedic Acharyas[9]

Acharyas Balyam Madhyamam Vardhakyam
Charaka Charya By birth to 30 yrs 1.Aparipakwa dhatu-Birth to 16 yrs 2. Vivardhamana dhatu-16 to 30 yrs   30 to 60 yrs 60 to 100 yrs  
Sushrutacharya   Birth to 16 yrs 1. Kshreerapa Birth to 1yr 2. Ksheerannada 1 to 2 yrs. 3. Annada-2 to 16yrs. 16 to 70 1. Vriddhi 16 to 20 2. Yauvana 20 to 30 3. Sampurna 30 to 40 4. Hani 40 to 70 70 onwards  
Vagbhatacharya Birth to 34 yrs 1.Kaumara birth to 16 yrs 2. Yauvana 16 to 34 yrs. 34 to 70 yr 70 onwards

7. Ageing process : A modern view

Geriatrics: Greek word “geros” mean the old age, “iatric” mean the medical treatment. This is the branch of medicine concerned with the problems of Ageing, including physiological. Pathological and psychological problems.

Definition of Ageing

“The processes that occur during life which culminate in changes that decrease an individual’s ability to cope with biological changes.”

Some theories of Ageing are given below

1.Waste Accumulation Theory: It is also called as Garbage accumulation theory decline in immune regulation leading to an increase in autoimmune diseases.

2. Limited number of Cell Divisions Theory: It is known as decrease in the number of cell divisions.

3. Hay flick Limit Theory: Decreased secretion of GH which governs protein synthesis and cell division. Steroid loss contributes to osteoporosis.

4. Death Hormone Theory: Decrease in growth hormone secretion observed with aging is associated with changes in body composition, physical and psychological function that are similar to those seen in younger adult patients with growth hormone deficiency.

5. Somatic Mutation Theory: Accumulation of a sufficient level of mutations in somatic cells

6. Errors and Repairs Theory: Mitochondrial DNA mutation.

7. Cross Linkage Theory: Apoptosis seen in neurones during Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and also in ageing prostate.

8. Autoimmune Theory: Diminished antibody production reflecting vulnerability to infections.

9. The Rate of Living Theory: Decline in immune regulation leading to an increase in autoimmune diseases.

10. Cell ageing Theory: Adult tissues respond to injury or physiologic demand usually with enlargement of pre-existing cells (hyper trophy) rather than cell division (leading to hyperplasia). Telomerase has shortening of chromosomes.

11. Neuro Endocrine Theory or Weak link Theory: Neuronal loss occurs in selective areas of brain like locus cerulus, Substantia Nigra.

12. Free Radical Theory of Ageing: Free radicals are highly reactive and cause oxidative alteration in collagen, elastin and DNA.[10]

8. Rasayana Chikitsa In Jara Avastha

1. Use of Rasayana.

2. Use of balanced diet with code and conduct.

3. Use of Pancha Karma.

4. Follow of Dinacharaya and Rutucharya mentioned in Ayurvedic Literature.

5. Follow of Sadvrutta Palana as mentioned in Ayurvedic Literature.

6. Yogic practices and meditation practices.

7. Medication of specific Jaravastha born diseases.[11]

Concept of Rasayana

“Rasasya Ayanam Rasayanam”

The Therapy, which gives the benefit of good Rasa, is Rasayana. Hence it is the therapy by which one gets the Rasa, Rakthadi Dhatus of optimum quality.

9. Probable mode of action of Rasayana

Rasayana basically promotes the nutrition through four modes. They are:

1. By directly enriching the nutritional intake of the body through increasing the consumption of Amalaki, Satavari, milk, ghee etc.

2. On Agni: By improving Agni i.e., digestion and

metabolism through Ballataka, Pippali there by promoting nutrition.

3. Shrothovishodhana: By promoting the capacity of Srotas or microcircularity channels in the body, through herbs like Haritaki, Guggulu,Tulsi and so on.

4. By its Vishgna property: It avoids different types of diseases and promotes healthy long life.

In short Rasayana gives

  • Long life
  • Delays Ageing and death
  • Increase intelligence, memory and luster
  • Excellence in the body tissues
  • Increases the Immunity
  • Removes diseases
  •  Gaining “Moksha” (Final entity) and Mukthi from this life. etc.[12]


The Rejuvenative approaches in Ayurveda have notable potential to afford significant complementary therapeutic care in a range of diseases of the elderly and the same needs to be known to the practicing physicians of all the streams. The drugs called Arjuna, Guggulu and Pushkaramoola as cardioprotective in cases of Ischaemic heart disease, in this way so many drugs are going to be used in Jara Avastha. The Ayurveda - based package of geriatrics care may consist of use of Dashvidha Pariksha, Sadvritta, Swasthavritta, Satvik diet, Yoga, Meditation, Geriatric Panchakarma and Rasayana Therapy. Population Ageing and the increasing number of elders in the population is a matter of great significance because of its likely impact on public health and socioeconomic growth of a nation. Ayurveda, being the science of life and longevity, offers a treasure of geriatric care. It deliberates on the science and philosophy of life and longevity with the goal of healthy ageing and long life to achieve the Purushartha Chatustaya - Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. It considers ageing as Swabhava of life and describes in details the pattern of sequential losses of biological strength with advancing age in relation to the doctrine of Tridosha and advocates the management of ageing and diseases of ageing on principals of Samanya- Vishesha Siddanta.


In conclusion, it can be pointed out that there is no single and complete concept on the ageing process in modern medicine. Different theories have been put forth, which have been discussed. The ultimate cause of ageing is deterioration of Jeevaparamanus i.e., Dhatus, Shrotas, Malas, Indriyas which are under constant interaction with the Tridoshas. In the context of Jarajanyavikaras, Vatadosha is predominant, Pitta is irregular, while Kapha is in a depleted state. This cascade of events targets the “Vyadhikshamatva” as well as Satwa of the Viruddha, submerging him in disease.


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