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HERBAL REMEDIES FOR HEART DISEASE, CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE AND CHOLESTEROL

The term coronary heart disease covers a group of clinical syndromes arising particularly from failure of the coronary arteries to supply sufficient blood to the heart. They include angina pectoris, coronary artery disease, coronary thrombosis or heart attack, and sudden death without infarction.

 Causes and Symptoms
A common symptom of heart disease is shortness of breath, which is caused by the blood being deprived of the proper amount of oxygen. Another common symptom is chest pain or pain down either arm. Other symptoms are palpitations, fainting, emotional instability, cold hands and feet, frequent sweating, and fatigue.
The basic causes of  heart disease are wrong feeding habits, faulty style of living and various stresses. The famous Framingham Heart Study, of the National Heart and Lung Institute in Massachusetts, identified seven major risk factors in coronary heart disease. These are: [1] elevated blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fatty substances [2] elevated blood pressure  [3] elevated blood uric acid levels [mainly caused by high protein diet] [4] certain metabolic disorders, notably diabetes [5] obesity [6] smoking and [7] lack of physical exercise. Each or a combination of these risk factors can contribute to heart disease. Most of them are of dietary origin. Constant worry and tension stimulate the adrenal glands to produce more adrenaline and cortisone. This also contributes to constricted arteries, high blood pressure and increased work for the heart.

Herbal Remedies for Heart Disease

Grapes: Fresh fruits in general are beneficial in the treatment of heart disease. They tone up the heart. Grapes are especially effective in heart pain and palpitation of the heart, and the disease can rapidly controlled if the patient adopts an exclusive diet of grapes for a few days. Grapes juice is particularly valuable when one is actually suffering from a heart attack.

Apple: Apples have heart-stimulating properties. Patients suffering from a weak heart will benefit greatly by making liberal use of this fruit and apple jam.

Indian Gooseberry: Indian gooseberry is considered an effective home remedy for heart disease.  It tones up the functions of all the organs of the body, and builds up health by destroying the heterogeneous elements and renewing lost energy. When the fruit is in season, one medium-sized Indian gooseberry can be taken with a little salt daily when not in season, dry pieces can be chewed.

Onion: onions have been found valuable in heart disease. They are useful in normalizing the percentage of blood cholesterol by oxidizing excess cholesterol. One teaspoon of raw onion juice first thing in the morning is beneficial in such cases.

Honey: Honey has got marvelous properties to prevent all sorts of heart disease. It tones up the heart and improves the circulation. It is also effective in cardiac pain and palpitation of the heart. One tablespoon daily after food is sufficient to prevent all sorts of heart troubles.

Asparagus: Asparagus is an excellent food for strengthening the heart. A good medicine for a weak or an enlarged heart is prepared by mixing the freshly extracted juice of this vegetable with honey, in the ratio of 2:1. A teaspoon of this medicine should be taken three times daily. Patients with heart disease will also benefit by steam cooking this vegetable.

Alfalfa: The herb alfalfa in the form of juice has been found very helpful in most troubles related to the arteries and heart diseases. Only the leaves of the plant are used for this purpose, when they can be obtained fresh. The juice of fresh alfalfa is, however, too strong and potent to be taken by itself. It is best taken with carrot juice in equal quantities of 125 ml each, twice daily. In this combination, the individual benefits of each juice are intensified.

Safflower:  Safflower oil has proved beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol. Hence it can be used liberally with persons suffering from cardiovascular disorders. An emulsion with the trade name Scaffolding-Copal is used routinely during myocardial infarction, cardiac isocheimal, and hypertension

Vitamin E: Patient with heart disease should increase their intake of foods rich in vitamin E, as this vitamin is said to promote heart function by improving oxygenation of the cells. It also improves the circulation and muscle strength. Many whole meal products and green vegetables, particularly other leaves of cabbage, are good sources of vitamin E.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also essential as it protects against attacks. It also guards against high blood cholesterol. The stress of anger, fear, disappointment, and similar emotions can raise blood fat and cholesterol levels immediately but this reaction to stress can do little hark if the diet is adequate in vitamin C and antithetic acid. One of the richest sources of vitamin C is citrus fruit.

Dietary Considerations

The fundamental conditioning factor in all heart disease is the diet, which should be lacto-vegetarian, and low on sodium and calories. It should consist of high quality, natural organic foods, with emphasis on wholegrain, seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Foods which should be eliminated from the diet include white flour products, sweets, chocolates, canned foods in syrup soft drinks, squashes, tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco, and all solid fats of animal origin such as butter, cream, and fatty meats. Salt and sugar should be reduced substantially.

Coenzyme Q10 for heart problems

Co-Enzyme Q 10 is the natural vitamin like micronutrient which is required by the heart muscle for proper functioning. It provides energy to the heart muscle cells. The daily requirement for prevention of heart disease and cholesterol maintenance is  between 30 to 60 mg/day.
Natural Co-Enzyme Q 10 is present in the bark of a tree “Terminalia arjuna”.  Ayurveda recommends  Terminalia arjuna to be taken in the form of “Arjuna Ksheer pak” i.e.  in a herbal tea form. This tea of Arjun should be boiled in milk and water because the Co-Enzyme Q 10 is better absorbed with milk lipids. Co-Enzyme Q 10 also helps in normalizing  blood cholesterol levels.

Suggested dose: While making  Arjun tea one should use 3 to 5 gm of the herb powder and boil it in milk and water to get maximum benefits. (Buy Arjun tea now)

The Concepts of Ayurveda and Arjun Tea

Arjun Tea is the combination of purely herbal ingredients described in ancient Ayurvedic texts as the most effective treatment for blood pressure and heart problems. It is the safest choice to the problems like hypertension, high cholesterol, fatigue, blocked coronary arteries.Arjun Tea is made keeping in mind pure Ayurvedic ways of healing. The product comprises of safe herbs that are used in Ayurveda since times immemorial. Ayurveda-The ancient Indian healing system has been into practice in India for more than 5000 years. Utilizing herbs, minerals, proper nutrition, purification and above all, affirmative ways of living.

The concept of Arjun Tea is based on preparation described in Ayurvedic texts as “Ksheer Pak” i.e. boiling the herbs in milk and water to get both water soluble and fat soluble liquid extracts from the herbs to get maximum benefits in heart problems. It is one of the most effective natural remedies for heart care today. The herbs are useful in every other heart disease.

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Flaxseed and Fish Oils

Flaxseed is the only vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids, very essential to keep the cholesterol levels in control. Flaxseed oil should be consumed by people suffering from disturbed cholesterol metabolism.  Flaxseed oil is used in Ayurveda for prevention of heart problems, cancers and many other chronic ailments. It has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in numerous double-blind studies. Only extra virgin cold pressed Flaxseed Oil should be used for oral consumption. It should not be heated or used for cooking. The Omega-3 fatty acids get destroyed if the oil is heated or used for cooking.   It should be refrigerated to ensure freshness and efficacy.  For cooking purpose, Mustard oil or Olive oil can be used.

Suggested dose :

Flaxseed oil: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day. Take with food to enhance absorption.

Fish oils: 1,000 mg 3 times a day. Use fish oil supplements if you don't eat fish at least twice a week. Keep refrigerated to ensure freshness

Garlic

Garlic is another wonderful natural remedy to keep cholesterol and heart related problems away. It inhibits clot formation by making platelets less likely to clump, and it can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent formation of artery-clogging plaques. Garlic contains compounds which are good for digestion of lipids and heavy diets. According to Ayurveda Garlic is extremely useful for “Vata” and "Kapha" conditions and is a miracle cure for paralysis and motor nerve disorders. Garlic should be avoided in cases of high blood pressure as it may increase "Pitta". So it is recommended only in cases of high cholesterol without blood pressure.

 Suggested dose: 500 mg twice a day i.e. 1-2 buds once daily. It can be taken with honey or boiled in milk to reduce the  heating effect.

 Ashwgandha ( Withania somnifera)

Ashwgandha is also known as “Indian Ginseng” in international herbal market. This herb has marvelous properties to alleviate stress, anxiety. It is known to possess adaptogenic properties i.e. it helps body to adapt to various stresses and cope with them. It is rejuvenates cells, relieves fatigue and gives strength to the neuromuscular system. Stress is known to be the most important reason for heart problems. Ashwagandha becomes the most important among herbal remedies for heart disease.


 In Ayurveda it is used in rheumatic conditions and as a sexual stamina enhancer. It also increases the low sperm counts and is very useful in  infertility.  Regular use of Ashwagandha with milk  is recommened in emaciation of children, protein energy malnutrition as well as insomnia in elderly due to stress and hypertension. Stress related blood pressure responds very well to Ashwagandha.

Suggested Dose : Ashwagandha root  powder (Buy Ashwagandha Powder here)can be taken 3-6 gm twice daily with lukewarm water or milk.

Brahmi ( Indian Peenywort)

This slender, creeping plant grows commonly in localized swampy areas of Asia, Africa, and the tropics. The size of an old British colonial-period penny — this is  how it came to be known as Indian pennywort, marsh penny and water pennywort (with "wort" being the ancient anglo-saxon word for plant). .  It is famous in western world  as ‘Gotu Kola’. Gotu Kola Enhances Tranquility and regulates sleep pattern. It  is a wonderful herb not only for blood pressure but also for memory weakness, lack on concentration It is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. Today, this herb has become popular to promote relaxation, cleanse the blood, enhance brain function, and for strengthening the collagen fibers of the body's connective tissues and circulatory vessels.

Since so often we find high blood pressure is related to daily stress, Gotu kola is an important herb for blood pressure patients. Boiled in water or direct juice  can be taken at night for sound sleep and restlessness. It effectively controls blood pressure without causing any side effects.

Suggested Dose:

Brahmi juice can be taken 20 to 30 ml twice daily with equal quantity of water.
Brahmi powder (Buy Total Heart Support containing Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Arjuna and many other herbs for heart problems) can be taken 3-6 gm per day with lukewarm water.

Aloe Vera Juice  (Kumari Saar)

Aloe vera is also called “ The miracle plant”. It has been studied to be effective in so many illenesses. The plant has outer thick leaf and inner soft gel. Aloe gel contains active substances known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Glycoproteins are protein-carbohydrate compounds that speed the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that stimulates skin growth and repair. They also help control the blood sugar levels and thus very useful in treating diabetes. These substances are also thought to stimulate the immune system.  Aloe vera juice lowers down cholesterol levels by acting on liver metabolism. It increases the working capacity of liver cells. In Ayurveda it is known as “Kumari”. Kumari is said to possess the properties of removing endotoxins from the body. It is explained as

“Kumari bhedni sheeta tikta netrya rasayani
Madhura brahni balya vrishya vaat vish pranut”
                                     Classical Ayurvedic Text. BPN- verse- 230.

i.e.  Aloe vera removes endotoxins, it is soothing, bitter tonic, improves eyesight, rejuvenative (Anti-ageing), strengthens body, enhances immunity, increases vigour and vitality, relieves ‘Vata’ and removes ‘poisons’ from the body.
  Cholesterol is considered as endotoxin or “Aama”  according to Ayurveda. The best properties of “ Kumari Saar” the inner juicy portion of Aloe vera  is to remove this ‘Aama’ from our body. According to Ayurveda this ‘Aama’ is the reason for formation of uric acid crystals, Gall bladder stones, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cysts and fibroids, cholesterol deposits. So Aloe vera juice is a very useful herb in a number of diseases including blood pressure and cholesterol.  

Suggested dose: Aloe vera juice can be taken 20 ml twice daily diluted with equal water. (Buy Aloe juice now)

Shankhpushpi ( Convolvulus pluricaulis)

Shankhpushpi is another useful herb famous for improving memory in children. The herb has cold, bitter tonic, relieves pitta and heat inside the body. It is also useful for high metabolic rates, wear and tear reactions. It calms down the hyperactive neurons and thus controls the blood pressure and improves memory. It also heals stomach and duodenal ulcers. This herb gives wonderful results in stress and anxiety related blood pressure. This makes Shankhpushpi another important among other herbal remedies for heart disease.

Suggested dose: 20 ml of  Shankhpushpi juice or syrup can be taken twice daily for one month to get good results.Shankhpushpi powder (Buy Total Heart Support containing Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Arjuna and many other herbs for heart problems) can be consumed 1 teaspoonful twice daily with luke warm water.

Haritaki ( Terminalia chebula)

Terminalia chebula is also commonly known as ‘Harar’ an age old remedy to relieve constipation. In Ayurveda, Haritaki is considered as mother of all herbs. Ayurveda considers ‘Vayu’ as a major culprit for hypertension. ‘Haritaki’ in combination with another two herbs ‘Amla’ and ‘Bahera’ makes the famous Ayurvedic preparation ‘Triphala’. Triphala is best combination to get rid of hypertension, constipation and high cholesterol. Haritaki alone is very useful for lowering down blood cholesterol levels as well as controlling bouts of hypertension.

Suggested dose:
Haritaki powder or Triphala powder/ Triphala capsules can be taken 3-6 gm(1 tablespoon) once at night with lukewarm water.

 

Article by
 
Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (Ayurveda-Herbal Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy)

Consultant Ayurvedic physician

Personal e-mail ID :herbalremedies123@yahoo.com

Residence :
# 3604, Sector 23- D
Chandigarh-160023 . India.            

Few Heart Friendly Tips

Ayurveda recommends dietary and life style changes to prevent and treat heart problems.

Gourd juice is really a miracle for treating coronary artery blockage.

Fiber rich diet, green leafy vegetables, fruits and vegetable like carrot, apples, and guava are recommended. Constipation must be avoided to prevent any heart problems according to Ayurvedic theories of healing. Constipation leads to vitiation of ‘Vata' and that causes angina and sudden heart attacks.

Heavy fried meals containing excess sugar, breads, meat and egg preparations, pulses and their preparations, curd, groundnut oil are strictly prohibited according to Ayurvedic principles. Stimulants like smoking, tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks are very harmful for such patients.

    • A 6 monthly screening of LDL-HDL balance, total cholesterol and triglycerides, levels.
    • Reduce intake of common salt (Dietary Sodium).
    • Get a deep sleep each night.
    • Minimize chronic stress.
    • Maintain a positive attitude towards life.
    • Have warm relationships and go through life with positive attitude, little anger, hatred or hostility.
    • Ayurveda recommends controlling your desires and wishes to get rid of stress, hypertension and coronary artery disease.
    • Incorporate yoga (Practice of ‘Pranayama' is most important for treating blood pressure and high cholesterol problem) meditation, naturopathy and routine exercises in your daily regimen. It is possible to reverse heart disease by doing moderate physical activity on a daily basis

 

 

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