“Those who eat heavy, cold, and excessively oily foods in excessive quantity and do excessive mental work, suffer from disease of the vessels that nourish the heart.” —-The Charaka Samhita
Not surprisingly, these classic Ayurvedic text years ago identified the exact causes of heart disease as we know today: eating a fatty, rich diet in excess, and suffering from chronic mental and emotional stress.
Heart Disease Starts with Poor Diet and Weak Digestion
Cholesterol build up happens when you overwhelm your digestive tract with rich, fatty foods on a regular basis, and are not able to fully digest and metabolize this food. The resulting accumulation of toxins (called Ama in Ayurveda), including elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, are at the root cause of heart disease. Specifically, the Ayurvedic texts describe how ama builds up in the plasma, or clear part of the blood and from there causes damage to the arteries carrying blood and oxygen to the heart.
Modern medicine is recognizing that elevated cholesterol alone does not fully explain heart attacks. In addition to elevated cholesterol the other major toxins leading to heart disease are:
- Free radicals
- Overactive immune cells creating inflammation, measured as “c-reactive protein”
- Homocysteine buildup due to lack of folic acid
- Trans fatty acids from impure oils in your diet and
- Environmental toxins, such as mercury from contaminated fish.
From the perspective of Ayurveda, if these highly reactive toxins are allowed to stay in the body they interact with other impurities and eventually form an especially vicious form of unstable, irritating ama called ama visha which can directly damage the arteries. One example of this is LDL “bad” cholesterol – which is not truly bad until it is attacked by free radicals. Only then is it taken up by immune cells in the artery wall, beginning the process of plaque formation which blocks the passage of blood and causes heart attacks.
Lower Your Cholesterol the Natural way by adding herbs and formulations
Blood pressure, lipid & palpitation management.
Key ingredients & their benefits:
- Arjuna alone is capable of upholding the healthy heart alone. But alongwith Jatamansi, It helps manage high blood pressure, boosts HDL (the good cholesterol), lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol) and helps nearly all cardiovascular activity.
- Pushkar mool possesses anti-anginal, hypoglycemic properties and helps in maintaining the blood pressure which is already in the normal range.
- Devdaaru, Khursaini Ajwain & Kachoor helps manage all sorts of cardio-vascular diseases and lessen heart pain.
- Haritki helps reduce total cholesterol, triglyceride and keeps heart disease at bay.
Stress Management. Balance physical and mental stresses.
Strelax is a complete package to help manage stress plied up on your body and mind due to excess workloads and ever increasing demands in your personal and professional life.
- It helps balance all sorts of stress on your mind and body by suppressing stress hormones.
- Lowers stress and burden on your heart and thus highly recommended to the patients suffering from cardiac diseases.
- Helps control blood pressure, balances HDL-LDL cholesterol level and controls excess tri-glyceride.
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Dietary Tips for Lowering Your Cholesterol.
The following recommendations are aimed at optimizing digestion and clearing ama from your rasa (blood plasma) and medha (fat tissue).
- Sip hot water throughout the day. This is one of the simplest and most powerful Ayurvedic recommendations for cleansing the body. Ideally boil the water for 10 minutes and then place it in a thermos. To enhance the effect of the water on Meda (fat tissue) you may add the following spice to your thermos after the hot water has been placed in it. (1/8 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds-crushed a little to release their effect.)
- Set a regular schedule of meal times.
- Avoid eating until the previous meal is fully digested. Wait until you feel genuine hunger again before eating.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not “stuffed” and eat slowly. When you dine out, bring a bag of your favorite herbal tea to enjoy at the end of the meal instead of going back for seconds before what you’ve already eaten “hits bottom.” This will help you avoid over-eating.
- Drink one-half cup of warm water before the meal and sip more warm water throughout the meal.
- Eat proportionately more vegetables and legumes (including soy) than other food types such as breads, dairy and meats.
- Include fresh garlic in your daily diet. (However, garlic is “heating” according to Ayurvedic theory and could trigger hot flashes in those suffering from the condition.) Sauté one crushed garlic clove in a small amount of olive oil. Mix and eat with your vegetables, soup or grains. While studies on garlic extracts and powders have not shown it to be effective at lowering cholesterol, Ayurvedic texts describe many beneficial effects of fresh garlic on the heart and blood vessels.
Special Foods for Your Heart
The following tips include specific foods and spices described in the Ayurvedic texts as hridayam (hrih dyuhm)—meaning “directly nourishing and supporting heart health.” (Hridaya is the Sanskrit word for heart.)
- Squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime on your food just before serving.
- Add a few sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper to your meal before eating.
- Use freshly ground cardamom (or the whole pod or seeds as you prefer) daily as desired in your cooked cereal, cooked vegetables, tea, etc.
- Include fresh pineapple in your diet.
- Include some unsalted blanched almonds or walnuts in your daily diet. (Recommended in Ayurveda for thousands of years, nut consumption has recently been found to be associated with a dramatic reduction in heart disease risk, and it provides a rich, vegetarian source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.)
- Start your breakfast each day with a stewed apple or pear. This supports immunity, elimination, digestion, metabolism and balanced emotions
- Avoid herbal mixtures, foods, teas, etc. that contain licorice root if you are prone to high blood pressure.
- Favor the following foods to purify and balance the meda (fat) tissue: bran, whole cooked grains (especially barley and quinoa), green leafy vegetables (chard, kale, spinach, broccoli) and legumes (lentils, dahls, dried beans and peas).