Millions of people die each year from heart disease worldwide. These include diseases such as Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction), Cardiac Arrest to name a couple. However with a careful lifestyle we can look after our hearts and our health.
Symptoms vary according to the cause of heart disease, but some common features are:
- Radiating pain in the left arm
- Heaviness in the chest
- Heavy perspiration
- Irregular pulse
The causes of heart problems are multiple, so only the most common are discussed here. High cholesterol is a primary cause, as fats are carried from the liver to the heart and can accumulate in the surrounding arteries. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, also puts strain on the heart. Smoking has been found to increase the heart rate, and increases blood pressure. Obesity and diabetes also play a role in weakening the heart and making it susceptible to disease.
If you suspect you are suffering from any of the causes or symptoms mentioned above please visit your Ayurvedic consultant or a health practitioner immediately.
Ayurveda views the heart as an upside-down lotus, through whose petals our blood flows through. Ayurveda prescribes a number of lifestyle, dietary and treatment measures to ensure that the petals remain open and our hearts stay healthy.
Regular exercise is vital to reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Daily walks, jogs or swims need to be built into your routine. Helpful yoga asanas to practice include Mudra and the Moon Salutation. Regular meditation can also help control hypertension, without any of the side effects of chemical based drugs. A helpful breathing exercise is Shitali pranayama: make a tube with your tongue and inhale through this tube into the abdomen; hold your breath for a few seconds, then continue by breathing out through your nostrils.
•Restrict protein to 50-60gm per day and salt to 2-3gm per day
•Avoid animal products and excess carbohydrates
•Sweets, dairy and fatty foods should be limited
•Introduce plenty of fibre and calcium-rich foods into your diet
There are a number of Ayurvedic massages that treat the causes of heart disease. For example, Sirodhara (head massage) helps to tackle the underlying causes of high blood pressure; while Njavarakizhi (muscular massage) can be useful in treating the symptoms of diabetes. To assess which treatment is most appropriate for your particular situation please speak to our Ayurvedic doctor.
Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna); Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora); Indian gooseberry (Amla); Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
- Mix 1 gm of garlic with a glass of buttermilk. Drink twice a day to reduce blood pressure.
- Soak 1tsp fenugreek seed in water for a night and munch them early in the morning on empty stomach to reduce cholesterol
- Eat watermelon with a pinch of cardamom and coriander to regulate blood pressure.
IMPORTANT: Don't take any medicines without consulting a qualified Ayurvedic Doctor/health professional. All yoga and meditation must be taught by qualified instructors.