Under the learned guidance of H. H. Yogrishi Swami Ramdevji, Vaidyaraj Acharya Balkrishna and Swami Muktanand, Patanjali Herbal Garden & Agro Research Department has been established at following few sites- Patanjali Herbal Garden Site Nursery, Patanjali Herbal Garden site Gurukul Gaushala Farm, situated nearby Patanjali Yogpeeth at Maharishi Dayanand Gram, Bahadrabad, Delhi-Haridwar highway. These Herbal Gardens have beautiful collections of more than 200 medicinal herbs, shrubs, trees, climbers and ornamental plants. Since, 1997 it was a great effort with high spirit to collect the valuable medicinal plant and to ensure to grow in Garden, a Divya Vanaushadhi Vatika has been earlier established in the Ashram at Kankhal. Thereafter, to explore more possibilities of a large number of wide collections, exposition and research of medicinal, aromatic and ornamental plants in a organized way in the Patanjali Herbal Garden has been established. A team of Scientists from Botany and Agriculture and a number of swayam sevak are engaged for research and management.
In 1997 Swami Ramdevji visited NBPGR, Head Quarter at New Delhi and later research collaboration has been made on Plant Biodiversity to survey, identify and collect Ashtavarga plants used as ingredients in Chayavanprash. This project provided a good opportunity to undertake exploration and collection tours in Hilly areas of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and about 120 medicinal and aromatic plants were collected and planted in the Divya Vanaushadhi Vatika.
Over the past two thousand years, Ayurveda lost its glory and the thrust of Unani and Allopathic systems on Indian society and as a result there are much valuable wisdom of medicinal plants has been lost. The great invention of Ashwani Kumar brothers on the Astavarga group plants used as rejuvenators of body of Rishi Chayavan through the preparation of Chayavanprash. Over the vast time gap, the Ayurvedic experts had lost the actual identity of these eight plant species which formed the ingredients of Chayavanprash. The information contained about them in the literature had been full of misidentification and wrong. It was only due to these plant species grow in small patches in difficult areas in the northwest Himalaya. Most of the time, it seems, the Ayurvedic experts did not extensively surveyed the areas of Himalayan elevations rather relied on wrong information provided by cunning traders or collectors. Herbal-img3Basically Astavarg is the group of plants described as jeevaniya , brhneeya, vaya sthapanix in various Nighantus are viz. Jeevak, Rishbhak, Meda, Mahameda, Kakoli, Kshirkakoli, Ridhi and Vridhi.
Several explorations were undertaken over a period of 4 to 5 years in the altitudes ranging from 2000m to 4000m above mean sea level in the North-West Himalaya. Consequently, it could be possible to re-establish the proper identity of eight plant species of Astavarga used in the Chayavanprash. The book in Hindi and English containing all related information has been published.