Hridya Gana: Heart Tonic Herbs Of Charaka: Review, Benefits

Article is by Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
Heart being the most important vital organ improving its functional quality is very essential to healthy individuals as well as diseased ones. It is of utmost importance to those who are known for deficits related to cardiac functions. 

In all such difficulties the classical ayurveda prescribes some group of herbs which have altogether have potency to improve the heart functions and to maintain the anatomical texture appropriately. The classical term used for this is ‘Hridya’ which means ‘Hridayaya hitam’ meaning of which is ‘that which is good for heart’.

Hridya Gana

Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-
1. Amra – mango – Mangifera indica-Fruit
It is sweet mixed sour in taste. This is known for stimulant, cardiac protective, carminative, digestive, fat metabolizing and hemetenic benefits.

2. Amrataka – Spondias pinnata-Seeds
Carminative, digestive, appetizer, energizer, anti spasmodic etc.

3. Lakucha – Atrocarpus lakoocha-Fruits
Cardiac protective, stimulant, tonic, haemetenic, circulation provider etc.

4. Karamarda – Carissa carandes-Fruits
Appetizer, carminative, digestive, sour stimulant, deep penetrative etc.

5. Vrksamla (Garcinia indica Linn.)- Kokum Fruit
Stimulant, digestive, appetizer, anti flatulent, blood thinner, antacid etc.

6. Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunculata Roxb.-Fruits
Apetizer, stimulant, energizer, anti flatulent, carminative,antihyper lipidemic etc

7. Kuvala – Zizyphus sativa-Fruits
Scraping, appetizer, thirst promotive, acid-alkali regulator, coolant, eye tonic etc.

8. Badara – Zizyphus jujuba- Ber Fruits
Scraping, appetizer, thirst promotive, acid-alkali regulator, coolant, eye tonic etc.

9. Dadima – Pome granatePunica granatum-Fruits
Anti diarrhoeal, cardiac stimulant, coolant, cardiac tonic, hemetenic etc.

10. Matulunga – Lemon variety – Citrus decumana / Citrus limon-Fruits
Antacid, anti flatulent, coolant, carminative, cardiac tonic, energizer etc. 

Qualities, actions

Qualities in general and actions of Hridya gana drugs:
Maximum drugs referred under this heading are sour mixed sweet in taste. They are hot in potency (mostly) and under go sour kind of metabolic transformation (Amla vipaka).Usually these drugs are light-hot-minute-deep penetrative and clear in quality.

They are carminative, digestive, appetizers and cardiac stimulants. They act as hemetenics and anti hyperlipidemic in action. 
These herbs are useful to decrease lipid and clot deposition, to treat atherosclerosis and to improve the functioning of heart.

Therapeutic uses

Therapeutic uses of Hridya gana drugs:
These are helpful to regulate the cardiac functions. They maintain the cardiac rhythm and pumping in the appropriate way. As they are hemetenic in action the breathlessness, work exhaustion etc complaints can also reduced significantly. Quite interestingly the drug is useful in both the conditions like bradycardia as well as tachycardia.
In sinus tachycardia and hypertension cases they have established benefits.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations containing Hridya drugs :
Panchapallava yoga, dadimarishtha, Dadimadyavaleha, Matala rasayana, Madiphala rasayana, Indu kuvalayadi kashaya etc are the important formulations containing few of these ingredients.


Disadvantages of Hridya gana drugs:
If the patients have ulcer, bleeding disorders or severe gastric irritation some of the drugs of the above said group may cause adverse reactions. So while administering the drugs it is very essential to choose the appropriate drugs from this set of herbs.
As most of the herbs are sour in nature their medicated milk may act as incompatible.

Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
The drugs like Amlavetasa, Vrikshamla, Dadima, Badara etc can be made into syrups or jams and can be used along with food. Or else cardiac patients can be advised to have these fruits in day to day practice.

Formulation development opportunities:
The above drugs can be converted into chewable candies or linctuses so that long lasting and gradual acting drug benefits can be encashed from these drugs and herbs.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.

4 thoughts on “Hridya Gana: Heart Tonic Herbs Of Charaka: Review, Benefits”

  1. Was coffee (Arabica) described in the classic texts? What are the qualities of coffee? Benefits? Contraindications?


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