A healthy heart is a byproduct of healthy blood sugar levels, healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, stress-free mind, flexible body and healthy diet without processed foods. Here is an Ayurvedic guide for healthy heart
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7 Tips for a Healthy Heart
Dr JV Hebbar BAMS, MD (Ayu), PGDPSM
These are the general rules to follow if you think you are vulnerable to heart diseases.
1. Eat what your grandma was feeding your papa!. Seriously, those were the days of unrefined, unprocessed foods that were grown in natural conditions, lots of fruits, vegetables and grains grown without chemicals. No restaurants, no walk-in take-away outlets but loads of physical activities.
A Chinese study concluded that they are moving away from traditional diets and thus are suffering with a sharp rise in diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease etc.(4)
In a research study, it was proven that Japanese who migrated to the USA and started American diet and lifestyle aged their hearts early by 20 years! (1)
I have only love to the Americans. Good on them that they are rapidly adopting Yoga, spirituality and healthy lifestyle these days.
2. Include garlic. Include 2 – 4 garlic cloves in your daily diet. It is known to reduce bad cholesterol effectively(2). There are many garlic capsule or tablets in the market, but why take the tablet when you have the natural garlic.
3. If you are a vegetarian, do not go non-vegetarian. In a study, vegetarians who transitioned to non vegetarian food increased the risk of heart disease by 146% (5)
4. Have sour foods. Amlo hrudyAnAm – declares Acharya Vagbhata. Sour foods are naturally cardio-protective.
A little bit of tamarind, amla, or any other natural sour ingredient of your choice will provide you with Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant.
Sour foods like cherries also keep the blood thin and avoid atherosclerosis (cholesterol, clot deposition in heart arteries). (6)
Sour buttermilk, sour curds, sour pomegranate, lemons are also good food choices.
5. Consider shifting to rock salt (Himalayan Pink Salt) from regular salt. As per Ayurveda, it, being rich in minerals, is Hrudya (Dhanvantari Nighantu).
6. Asafoetida, coriander, cumin, sour mango, dates, raisins, have also been explained as Hrudya. Include these in your diet.
7. American Heart Association released a “simple 7” rule-set for a healthy heart. (3)
a. Control your blood pressure – Learn Ayurvedic natural measures here
b. Quit smoking
c. Avoid being overweight – Follow these obesity tips
d. Walk for at least 20 minutes a day
e. Eat healthier (A variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, grains, no fizzy drinks, no refined, processed products)
f. Have below average cholesterol
g. Have normal blood sugar levels
Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Hrid Roga means heart disorders in Ayurveda. Ayurveda explains symptoms and treatment of cardiac disorders based on the vitiation of Tridosha – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Hrid Rogas are of 5 types. They are as mentioned below –
- Vataja Hrid Roga – Caused by vitiation of Vata
- Pittaja Hrid Roga – Caused by vitiation of Pitta
- Kaphaja Hrid Roga – Caused by vitiation of Kapha
- Tridoshaja Hrid Roga – Caused by vitiation of all 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha)
- Krimija Hrid Roga – Caused by worms (microorganisms), includes infection of heart and consequent damage of heart muscles and valves
Treatment of Hridroga will be according to the predominant vitiated dosha.
Read related: Hrid Roga: Causes, Types, Symptoms of Heart Disease As Per Ayurveda
High Sensitive C Reactive Protein test (HS CRP) is conducted to know about the diseases afflicting the heart and its blood vessels.
If HS CRP reading is high but the patient did not have any recent infectious disease, it may indicate an imminent threat to the heart.
Ayurvedic Remedies, Herbs To Protect Heart Health
Vataja Hridroga Chikitsa
Vataja Hrid Roga Chikitsa:
Principles of treatment –
Snehana and Vamana – Snehana (oleation, giving medicated ghee and or oil to drink in metered doses) followed by Vamana (therapeutic emesis) is the main strategy of treating Vataja Hrid Roga.
After Snehana, emesis should be given by administering Dashamula Kwatha (Dwipanchamula Kwatha) i.e. decoction of Dashamula (10 roots) or Sa sneha lavana (medicated ghee mixed with rock salt).
Classical formulations –
Pippalyadi Churna – is a good formulation which relieves Vataja Hrid Roga. This powder is made up by mixing together the powders or –
- Pippali – Long pepper
- Ela – Cardamom
- Vacha – Acorus calamus
- Hingu – Asafetida
- Yava Kshara – Alkali prepared by burning the whole plant of Barley
- Saindhava Lavana – Rock Salt
- Sauvarchala Lavana – Sauchal salt
- Shunti – Dry Ginger
- Deepya (Yavani) – Trachyspermum ammi
The resultant powder prepared from these herbs is called Pippalyadi Choorna. This should be served mixed with any one of the Phala rasa (fruit juice), Dhanyamla (sour fermented drink), Kulatta Rasa or Kwatha (Juice or decoction of horse gram), Dadhi (curds), Madhya (medicated alcohol) or Asava (herbal fermented drink). This should be given to a person who has been administered Vamana (therapeutic emesis) as explained above.
Pushkaramooladhya Churnam – is yet another useful formulation for Vataja Hrid Roga. The ingredients of this powder are –
- Pushkara Mula – Root of Inula racemosa
- Phalapoora moolam – Citrus medica
- Shunti – Ginger
- Shati – Hedychium spicatium
- Abhaya – Terminalia chebula
The paste of the above mentioned herbs should be mixed with Yava Kshara (alkali of barley), Kanji (fermented herbal drink), Ghrita (ghee) and Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt) and served to get rid of Vataja Hrid Roga
Pittaja Hridroga Chikitsa
Pittaja HrudRoga Chikitsa:
Principles of treatment
– Vamana – Vamana (therapeutic emesis) should be administered with mixture of Shreeparni or Gambhari (Gmelina arborea), Madhuka (Indian licorice), Madhu (honey), Sita (sugar), Guda (jaggery) and Jala (water). This subsides the Pittaja Hrid Roga.
– Sheeta Kwatha Sinchana – Patients of Pittaja Hrid Roga should be sprinkled with Sheetala Kwatha (cold decoction) prepared using Madhura Dravyas (medicines or herbs having sweet taste)
– Sheeta Pradeha – Patient should be anointed or applied with pastes prepared from herbs having cold potency
– Virechana – Therapeutic purgation should be administered to remove morbid pitta. The medicine (laxative) should be prepared by rubbing or grinding Draksha (raisins), Sharkara (sugar), Madhu (honey) and Parushaka (Grewia asiatica) with water
– Pitta Nashaka Anna-Pana – After the person is cleansed after administration of Vamana and Virechana, foods and drinks prepared with pitta alleviating herbs should be served
Classical Formulations –
Drakshadi Choorna – Equal quantities of Draksha (raisins) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) mixed with equal quantity (equal to sum of draksha and haritaki) of Sharkara (sugar) should be administered mixed in sheeta jala (cold water)
Arjunadi Churna / Arjuna Ksheerapaka – Paste of bark of Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) should be mixed in 4 times quantity of milk and water, 4 times the quantity of milk (Arjuna paste:Milk:Water = 1:4:16). The ingredients should be heated on mild flame of fire until all the water has been evaporated and only milk remains. The contents should be filtered and allowed to cool. When the milk gets cooled it should be added with sugar and served cold.
Laghu panchamula Ksheerapaka – Milk processed (in the same procedure as explained in Arjuna Ksheerapaka) with Laghu Panchamula (5 lesser roots) should be served cold
Bala-Madhuka Ksheerapaka – Milk processed with Bala (Sida cordifolia) and Madhuka (Indian licorice) should be served cold. The formulation should be prepared in the same method as explained in Arjuna Ksheera Paka.
Kaphaja Hridroga Chikitsa
Kaphaja Hrid Roga Treatment
Principles of treatment –
Swedana – Fomentation (sudation, sweating treatment, steaming) should be given (followed by Snehana)
Vamana – Therapeutic emesis should be administered after Swedana
Langhana – Lightening treatments, especially fasting should be administered
Kapha Nashaka Aushadha – Medicines which are antagonistic to Kapha should be administered after having accessed the strength of the doshas
Classical formulations –
Trivrutadi Churnam – Powder of Trivrit (Operculina turpethum), Shati (Hedychium spicatium), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata, Alpinia galanga), Shunti (Ginger), Pathya (Terminalia chebula) and Pushkaramula (Inula racemosa) should be taken mixed in Gomutra (urine of cow). Similarly the kwath or decoction of the same herbs should be mixed in gomutra and consumed.
Eladi Choornam – Powder of Ela (cardamom), Pippalimula (roots of long pepper), Patola (pointed gourd), should be taken mixed in ghrita (ghee). This relieves kaphaja hrid roga.
Tridoshaja Hridroga Chikitsa
Tridoshaja Hrid Roga Treatment
Principles of treatment –
Langhana – Firstly langhana or lightening therapies, mainly fasting or light food should be administered in Hrid Roga caused by aggravation of all the 3 doshas.
Tridosha hara anna – Later, foods which alleviate tridoshas should be administered
Tridosha hara aushadha – Medicines which are antagonistic to the Tridoshas should be given i.e. Tridosha alleviating churnas, ghritas etc
Krimija Hridroga Chikitsa
Krimija Hrid Roga Treatment
Principles of treatment
Langhana – or lightening therapies should be initially done
Apatarpana – Following langhana, the patient should be kept on starvation or food which doesn’t provide nourishment to the tissues
Krimi hara karma – All the treatments and medicines which destroy krimi as explained in Krimi Roga Chikitsa should be done
Classical formulations –
Vidangadi Choorna – Powder of Vidanga (Embelia ribes) and Kushta (Saussurea lappa) should be given mixed in Gomutra (cow’s urine)
Other treatments and formulations
Erandamula Kwatha – Decoction of the root bark of Eranda (Castor plant) mixed with Yava Kshara (alkali of whole plant of Barley)
Dashamuladi Kwatha – Decoction of Dashamula (10 roots) mixed with Saindhava Lavana (rock salt) and Yavakshara (alkali of whole plant of barley)
Pushkara Choorna – Powder of Pushkaramula (roots of Inula Racemosa) mixed in honey
Arjuna Churna – Powder of bark of Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) should be given mixed with Ghrita (ghee) or Dugdha (milk) or Gudodaka (jaggery water)
Katukadi Churna – Powder of Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa) and Yashtimadhu (Indian licorice) should be given mixed in hot water
Master Charaka Says
The heart, great vessels and the ojas (immune power) should be well preserved with healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle.
For the welfare of heart, one has to keep away mental agony, depression and stress. In ancient time itself, Ayurvedic masters were aware that mental health can directly impact the cardiac health.
Master Charaka further continues –
Diet, medicines and herbs should be selected that are very congenial to the heart. The vessels of the heart should always be kept open and unblocked.
Along with all these treatment strategies, special care should be taken for the pursuit of mental peace and knowledge! – Charaka Sutra 30/13-14
Pathya for Hrid Roga (beneficial and wholesome things)
- Shali Dhanya – Rice
- Mudga – Green gram
- Yava – Barley
- Jangala Mamsa Rasa – Meat soup of meat of animals living in the desert areas
- Maricha Choorna with Patola – Black Pepper powder mixed with pointed gourd
- Karavellakam – Bitter gourd
Apathya for Hrid Roga (unwholesome things for hrid roga)
- Taila – Oil
- Excessive amounts of sour things or food substances and drinks
- Takra – butter
- Guru anna – heavy to digest foods
- Kashaya – astringent tastes, foods prepared with astringent substances
- Shrama – excessive physical exhaustion
- Aatapam – exposure to excessive heat of Sun
- Rosham – Anger
- Stree – Excessive indulgence in sex
- Chinta – Excessive thinking, stress, anxiety
- Bhaasya – Excessive speaking
Formulations for Hrid Roga
- Dashamula Kashayam
- Drakshadi Kashayam
- Punarnavadi Kashayam
- Nayopayam Kashayam
- Arjuna Churna
- Navayasa Churna
- Vaishwanara Choorna
- Punarnavadi Mandura
- Sarivadi Vati
- Hrudayarnava Rasa
- Prabhakara Vati
- Chintamani Rasa
- Nagarjunabhra Rasa
- Shrunga Bhasma
- Abhraka Bhasma
- Shringarabhra Ras
- Nagarjunabhra Ras
- Navayas Lauh
- Trinetra Ras
- Pravala Pishti
- Akika Pishti
- Mukta Pishti
- Rasa Sindura
- Pravala Bhasma
- Mukta Bhasma
Proprietary Medicines for Hrid Roga
- Tab Abana (Himalaya)
- Tab Arjin (Alarsin)
- Tab Cardostab (Nagarjuna)
- Tab Siledin (Alarsin)
- Cap Arjunin (Charak)
- Cap Garlicon (Phyto Pharma)
- Cap Punerjatu (Pavaman)
- Cap Digit (Vasu)
- Cap Hartone (Swadeshi)
- Cap Protect (Dhanwantari)
Yogas From Sahasra Yoga Text Book
Panchatiktaka Guggulu Ghrita
Trilavana Pasugandhadi Choorna
Hingu Vachadi Choorna
Bala Soolari choorna
Sudha Khandadi Kshara
Vilan Veradi Kashaya