Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ayurveda and the Heart

Healthy heart is the key to a healthy life because heart is the seat of vital energy (Ojus/prana). Prevention is the best method in the fight against heart diseases as the complete repair of the damaged cardiac tissues is next to impossible. The heart is the basis of life and we have to take care of it. Persons with Vata and Pita body constitutions are more susceptible to ischemic heart diseases and hypertensive heart diseases.
Ayurveda suggests a series of therapies to keep the heart healthy. Sodhana (purification therapy), Samana (pacification therapy), rasayana (rejuvenation) and lifestyle modifications.
Sodhana helps to eliminate toxins from the body and thereby creating the equilibrium of the imbalanced
doshas. There are five purificatory therapies:
  • Vamana (emisis)
  • Virechana (medically induced purgation)
  • Nasya (nasal medication)
  • Vasti (medivated enema)
  • Raktamokshana (blood letting)
Of these Vamana and Virechana has to be done on people with a history of heart diseases only if necessary and with caution. The vasti's Sneha vasti (oil enema) and Kashaya vasti (decoction enema) help normalize vata and eliminate toxins.

Abhyangam (oil bath) with oils rejuvenates the system, improves digestion, improves blood circulation and pacifies vata.
Udvartanam (powder massage) mobilizes fat and reduces kapha dosha and hence reduces the chance of atherosclerosis and protects heart. It is highly effective in obese persons.
Nourishing therapies like shastika pinda sweda are also done if needed.
Samana therapy pacifies the doshas. The samana drugs have various actions such as cardiac stimulant, vasodilator, lipolytic and relaxant. The very commonly used drug is Terminalia arjuna which strengthens the heart muscles and lowers high blood pressure.
Rasayana therapy reblances, detoxifies and invigorates the system and corrects the nutritional deficiencies. Rasayana drugs such as Chavanaprasa and Brahma rasayana may be administered as per the scientific procedure.

Healthy Heart Diet and Life Style Modification

Eating all the right things and avoiding all the wrong things is an effective way to avoid heart and heart related problems.
Wheat, green gram, spinach, oatmeal, salmon, soy protein, horse gram, old sali rice, diluted milk, butter milk, seasonal fruits(especially sour fruits), meat soup made up of non-fatty meat and added with spices like pepper and dry ginger, honey, hot water, garlic, coriander, cumin seeds, rock salt etc are good.
Egg, junk foods, fatty foods, black gram, sweat fruits, refined sugar, tea, alcohol, flatulence producing pulses, drinking more quantity of water, excess salt intake etc are not good.
  • Do mild to moderate exercise.
  • Avoid sedentary life style
  • Aerobic exercises are more suitable in rainy season.
  • Seed the mind with positive thoughts to invigorate the heart.
  • Yoga practices like Savasana, Kapalbhati, Sasankasana, breathing exercises and meditation are useful to relax the mind.
  • Taking bath is a good tonic to heart. Better use lukewarm water boiled with the root of bala or amalaki.
Ayurvedic Drugs Used for Heart Treatment

Medicines like Arjuna ksheerapaka, lasuna ksheerapaka, vidari ksheerapaka, dasamoola kashaya, decoction of hraswa panchamoola, hridya mahakashya, aswagandharista, parthadyarista and various guggulu preparations are used according to the condition.

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