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Heart Care in Ayurvedic medicine

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"Ayurveda" which is also known as "Ayurvedic medicine", as many of us knows is one of the world's oldest healing systems developed in India thousands of years ago. Ayurveda promotes good health and wellness, though it also has treatments for specific conditions. Ayurvedic medicine is based on the belief that, health and wellness are a delicate balance of “mind, body and spirit”. All the three have to be in harmony for good health, disruption of which leads to poor health and sickness.

According to Ayurvedic nomenclatures, every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe viz., space, air, fire, water and earth. These elements should combine in the right manner to form the “life energies” or “doshas”. The combination of the doshas; space and air which forms “vata dosha”, fire and water which forms “pitta dosha” and water and earth which forms “kapha dosha” controls the function of the body. For each individual, it is a unique mix of dosha which need to be in balance for normal body function.

Of all the three doshas, vata dosha is the most powerful which controls basic body functions such as division of cells, breathing, mind, blood flow, heart function and excretion. Imbalance in “vata dosha” can lead to anxiety, asthma, heart disease, nervous system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and skin problems. According to Ayurveda, heart diseases together are known as “Hridaya Roga”, which could be due to either of the doshic cause. Depending on the cause the heart diseases are named as “Vataka Hridaya roga” or “Paittika Hridaya roga” or “Kaphaja Hridaya roga”.

In the human body, though, all organs have their function heart is the most important. This is so, because the heart has to pump blood to all the other organs and function tirelessly every second of our life. In doing so, heart is the organ that goes maximum wear and tear of all organs. Most of the heart diseases are triggered by the blockage of the coronary arteries due to which supply to the heart is reduced. The reasons of the clogging of the arteries are many, which could be food, obesity and even mental worries and tensions.

Some foods that are recommended for heart health are Arjuna which improves cardiac muscle function and also pumping activity of the heart. Thus Arjuna is effective to promote cardiac function, regulates blood pressure and tones the heart. Ajamoda is known for its stimulant and carminative properties and prescribed as sedative and tonic, and also as a decoction or liquid extract. The fatty oil from seeds of sources of Ajamoda is used in medicinal preparations as an antispasmodic and nerve stimulant. It is also known for diuretic properties that help with heart problems.

Some other Ayurvedic foods for heart health are Gokshura which has multiple medicinal usages. Some of which are diseases of the genitourinary system, kidney diseases, gravel, and heart diseases and other conditions. Another food in Ayurvedic medicine for heart health is Dadima found in pomegranate is said to reduce LDL “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL “good cholesterol”. This reduces the oxidation of LDL, which is supposed to be the major cause of heart diseases. Draksha in Ayurveda is said to enhance capillary strength and vascular function which in turn promotes heart health and decreases PMs problems.

To pump up the heart, some easy ways in Ayurveda are Pippali commonly known as black pepper which is known to thwart heart attacks, Vasa is known for stimulating uterine function, Cinnamon is known for fat burning properties by which it helps the heart, and Guduchi is known for multiple medicinal usages.

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