Much research has been carried out on the use/mode of action of Ayurvedic herbs on multitude of health conditions. Most of this research is based on active principles/alkaloids of these herbs. Studying these herbs in the light of active principles/alkaloids is injustice to the science of Ayurveda as it lays emphasis on whole herbs and not active principles.
In Ayurveda the potency of a herb is determined by taste, post digestive effect, heating or cooling effect etc.
Here are five common herbs and combinations which have been used for centuries for cardiac and cardiovascular health:
Also known as ‘Rason’ or ‘Lasuna’ in Sanskrit is a much celebrated Ayurvedic herb. It has a pungent and heating property. While it does not give direct nutrition to the heart but it reduces cholesterol levels and plaque formation by improving metabolism.
1-2 cloves of garlic should be taken per day with water depending on the levels of cholesterol. Those who find the taste unpalatable can use it in food but in a higher quantity. People suffering from bradycardia (low heart rate) can use a preparation of garlic and milk known as ‘lasuna ksheer paka’ (garlic boiled in milk).
Boil 2 cloves of crushed garlic in 100ml of cow’s milk and 200 ml of water. Boil this mixture down to 100 ml. Strain and drink in the morning then repeat this procedure in the evening. Repeat the sequence for 15 days and then reduce to once a day for a month. This should work to restore the heart rate to normal levels.
In people who have had attacks of angina (chest pain), the following preparation can work wonders to prevent precipitation of another attack and ward off the feeling of heaviness of chest in between attacks.
3 tablespoons of garlic juice added to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice along with a pinch of salt and 5 drops of honey. This mixture should be taken twice a day.
Those with ‘pitta’ (fiery) type of body constitution should keep an eye on their blood pressure levels while taking any garlic preparation as the pungent and heating properties can pump up the b.p. levels.
A very good herb to improve lipid metabolism. It helps in digestion of ‘ama’ (toxins) which ultimately clog the arteries by plaque formation.
2 tablespoons of ginger juice mixed in 1 tablespoon of jaggery powder( brown sugar) also known as ‘guladrak’ in Sanskrit works very good in peripheral vascular disease (narrowed arteries reducing blood flow to limbs, heart and brain)
Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
The most famous Ayurvedic herb for the cardiovascular system. It is a cardiotonic. While the 2 herbs mentioned previously work on existing clots and plaques, Arjuna prevents new clot formation.
Promotes overall heart health by improving the cardiac circulation. Those who enjoy a good appetite and don’t suffer from any heart disease can keep their heart hale and hearty by using the following technique:
Boil 7 g of coarse Arjuna bark powder in 1 glass of milk and 3 glasses of water till only milk remains.
Those not blessed with a good appetite can enjoy the benefits of this herb by using 1.5 g of powder with water.
These herbs can go a long way in rejuvenating our most important organ and reducing the dependence on chemical medicines.