In common language atherosclerosis is called ‘hardening of arteries’. It’s a condition in which cholesterol rich plaque deposits along the arterial walls. Plaque starts building up as a result of some injury to the endothelial lining of the arterial wall.
An injury can be caused due to the presence of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, system wide inflammation and many other factors. As a result white blood cells along with lipids (fats) start depositing along the inner lining of the artery. The muscle layer of the artery may also grow resulting in a blockage (plaque) large enough to block the artery.
Sometimes the plaque is disturbed and blood platelets also start accumulating resulting in the formation of a clot that can completely block the artery. If the clot completely blocks blood supply to a major artery leading to the heart, it results in ‘heart attack’.
Similarly if an artery leading to the brain is blocked it results in a ‘stroke’. Thus atherosclerosis needs immediate attention and treatment. Prevention and management of atherosclerosis may be supported with natural Ayurvedic herbal remedies, as discussed further in this article.
Having known the devastating effects that atherosclerosis can have, it’s very important to select an appropriate form of treatment. Complementing your health with the natural way may be an option. The healing science of Ayurveda is potent enough to treat this disorder.
According to Ayurveda atherosclerosis is caused due to altered Vata Dosha in the heart and around it. Excessive intake of oily food leads to alteration in the Pita and Kapha Dosha also.
Nature has provided us with many natural remedies for atherosclerosis in the form of herbs. Some of the common herbs used traditionally in Ayurveda include:
Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna) - It is one of the most revered Ayurveda cardiac tonic since ancient times. It may help reduce the cardiac build-up in the arteries, lower blood pressure and strengthen heart muscles.
According to Dwivedi.S, Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) is a very effective herb for cardiovascular conditions, atherosclerosis being one of them. Its stem bark possesses glycosides, large quantities of flavonoids, tannins and minerals.
Flavonoids have been detected to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering effects while glycosides are cardio tonic, thus making Terminalia arjuna unique and useful for this condition. Experimental studies have revealed that its bark may have significant inotropic and hypotensive effect thus may be increasing coronary artery flow and protecting myocardium against ischemic damage.
Guggul (Commiphora Mukul) - This herb may be useful in the treatment of many diseases. It can help by lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and raise the HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Guggulsterons found in guggul can bring down the triglyceride levels.
Satyavati et al conducted the first study on rabbits. It was demonstrated that administration of gum guggul significantly lowered the serum cholesterol levels of hyperlipidemic rabbits, prevented cholesterol-induced arteriosclerosis and decreased the body weight of the animals.
Another study by Singh et al, examined the effect of guggulsterone on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats. Chander et al examined the effect of guggulsterone on serum lipid levels in triton and cholesterol fed rats. The results showed significantly reduced serum lipid levels.
Pushkarmool (Inula Racemosa) – Pushkarmool when used with guggul can bring down the LDL levels and it may also be effective in the treatment of angina.
Singh et al highlights the uses of Pushkarmool (Inula racemose) in the treatment of atherosclerosis. In a study done on 200 patients it was found that total cholesterol decreased in 39%, triglycerides in 51%, and total blood lipids in 32%.
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)- It may help to normalise the functioning of heart. It may act as a hypotensive agent and help maintain the blood pressure at normal level.
Besides these herbs punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), bala (Sida cordifolia), gotukola (Centella asiatica), yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and aloe vera have been used traditionally for the natural treatment of atherosclerosis.
Reversing atherosclerosis is possible but, it needs drastic changes in lifestyle and food habits. However complete reversal of the damage done might not be achieved but improvement is possible which is worth the effort. The following suggestions may be considered:
Reduce blood pressure and hypertension- Reduce your weight to help reduce hypertension. Salt intake should also be reduced.
Exercise to stay fit- Stick to an exercise regimen, it will help you reduce stress and high blood pressure. Go for a brisk walk every day for half an hour.
Reduce cholesterol- This will help in stopping and even the reversal of plaque build-up. Reduce the consumption of foods like cheese, whole milk and eggs.
Quit smoking- It oxidises LDL and leads to its deposition in the arteries.
Reduce alcohol intake- It leads to weight gain and hence increased blood pressure.
Dietary changes can go a long way in the prevention of atherosclerosis and a number of other heart diseases. Some of the dietary suggestions that can definitely prevent heart disease are as follows:
Some wonder foods that may help you clean your arteries naturally are avocado, nuts, asparagus, pomegranate, broccoli, turmeric, persimmon, orange juice, spirulina, cinnamon, cranberries, green tea, watermelon and spinach. You may try to include them in your daily diet.
Ayurveda the ancient science of healing that originated in India has now become very popular worldwide because of its innumerable benefits. Ayurvedic treatment unlike the modern medicine treats the causes of the disease instead of suppressing the symptoms.
It makes the body feel holistically happy and rejuvenated. Having known the benefits of Ayurveda you must try the treatment offered by the Pure Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic in Melbourne. The treatment here includes a detailed session with the patients so that a customized treatment can be formulated, as every individual has a different constitution.
Best quality ayurvedic herbs are sourced so that effective formulation can be devised for our patients. Panchakarma detox forms an important part of the treatment methodology followed at our clinic that is performed under the supervision of our team of doctors. It’s a detoxifying therapy that helps to remove excess byproduct in the form of toxins from the digestive system, blood vessels, nervous system and lungs. It strengthens the muscles and joints and improves appetite, concentration and memory.
1.Dwivedi S, ‘Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.--a useful drug for cardiovascular disorders’, Pubmed.gov, US national Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Nov 1;114(2):114-29. Epub 2007 Aug 10, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17875376
2.Singh et al, ‘Herbal Treatment for Cardiovascular disease the evidence based therapy’, Research Gate, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/41000552_Herbal_Treatment_for_Cardiovascular_disease_the_evidence_based_therapy
3.Singh et al, Satyavati et al,Chander et al ‘Gum Guggul: An Ayurvedic Boom’, International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2014; 6(2); 347-354, https://impactfactor.org/PDF/IJPPR/6/IJPPR,Vol6,Issue2,Article37.pdf
Disclaimer: Pure Herbal Ayurveda Clinic does not claim to cure heart diseases. The information on Ayurveda products and medicines on our website is for educational purposes only. One should not buy these products over the counter. These should only be taken after ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner. The uses and indications of these herbal products are based on Traditional Ayurvedic text books. These herbs should be supplemented with appropriate diet and lifestyle to get beneficial effects. Although there is a lot of research done on Ayurveda these days, yet these herbal products might not hold enough current research based evidence.
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease