• Dr.Jeevan.E.P

Ayurveda Care for a Healthy Heart

Advances in the modern medical science reduced a lot in the deaths by heart attacks, but the increased angioplasty and Bypass surgery is showing that the hearts are still vulnerable to get hear attacks. The cause for this is, we do not have any influence over our hearts. According to WHO also, the coronary heart diseases and heart diseases are the cause of our civilizational diseases.

And Ayurveda explained this the life style is especially important in prevention of so many diseases.

In the present circumstances if any body is having an heart attack we should immediately bring them in to a modern cardiac hospital. But for a prevention of such attacks and for a healthy heart there are so many methods in Ayurveda, which we can adopt, in our daily life.


Heart- The ruling nertwork.

In Ayurveda, Heart is mentioned as the main center for administration more than the other organs. The importance has also given as the seat of mind and one of the main vital organ- Marma. The union of all the arteries , veins and also the vital force which is essential for our sustain called Ojas is also situated in the Heart. Even though the heart is a very special organ, the heart can not take a decision alone. The food what we intake, the Prana what we respire, our thoughts what produced in the mind, the influence of surrondings, the reactions what we make with the others-society, more than that the spiritual consciousness controls the heart functions.

Because the heart is situated near the stomach and any digestive imbalances creates the most of the diseases and the gas formations oppositely influence the health of Heart.

Vatais the root cause of any movements. And the movement is the cause of Life. Contractions, expansions, rice, down like Vata creates subtle and big movements. The natural movements of Vata, which is blocked by anything like fat, emboli, aneurism, make a traffic block, which created in heart attacks. The accumulation of fat in the arteries (Athero sclerosis) is not only the cause of Heart attacks. That may be one among the several other causes. Even without any structural causes, we are aware that, there are people who are dying with heart attacks.

Heart attacks are produced mostly from the people who cannot bear the physical and mental strain. To understand this we should not limit our knowledge of heart into a coronary artery but to have a holistic approach. Ayurvedic Holistic approach in the treatment of heart disease is to consider the blood and its qualities, muscular tissue, the nearest organs, arteries, veins and the nutrition. Usually we are not aware of the presence of our heart. But when we know the pain on the chest, contractions, heaviness, palpitations, burring eructation we understand the presence of heart. In such cases of symptoms we should seek a medical opinion.


The importance of Prevention

The heart is one of the machine in the human factory. The duty of this machine is to work according to our life style. These life information or style is coming to the heart through our generations, traditions and our daily life style. How much we can give this information in a positive way is the success of Life. That means the heart and I as an individual is not two. Most of us consider that all most all our organs are as unimportant second party. We always interested to give pleasure to our senses like tongue, eyes and nose and silently telling to the other organs that the rest of the work “you do”.

Without thinking that how much work should be done by our internal organs especially stomach, we take in the late evening a full stomach of food like Pizza, Cheese plate, bovine meat etc. and going to sleep! Here is the most unwanted accumulation of toxins which we created by our modern life style. And here is the importance of preventive medicine in our “civilized “life style.

Life style should be looked through the food intake, daily routines, sleep, exercises, natural urges and mental attitude.

Food

How we are taking is more important than what we are taking! The food which is light, easily digestible, nutritionally important, depends on the digestive capacity and according to constitution is very important more than going to exotic foods and calorie food. Any food which can be taken opposite to the above rules for a particular period of time, even it is biologically grown, vegetarian MC Donald’s or vegan- that will results in indigestion, mal- absorption of nutrients, and there by results in accumulation of excess fat, toxins or edema. These indigested matter in prolong time is the cause of LDL or triglycerides. If you compare a mixture to the stomach where a lot of fruits and vegetables are filled up, and the mixture is not able to move, this is may be the same picture when you fill the stomach with more than its capacity which will immovable in nearest future. You may be aware of so many people with big belly and a pacemaker.


Sleep

Sleep is one of the main three pillar to protect the health of a person. Cholesterol, Diabetes, Blood pressure, coronary artery diseases etc. like metabolic diseased people should not sleep during the day. Day sleep increases obesity and unwanted fat. During summer a small nap is good after lunch. The people who work in the night shift can sleep 3-4 hours during the day . Waking up in the late after 7 o clocks is not good for the heart patients. At least around % o clock to wake up, to respire good air and a morning walk, meditation, pranayama etc. reduces the heart diseases.


Exercises

Exercises should not be done every day in the same manner. More than how many hours you have done the exercise, it is better to do the exercise depends on your strength. For example: on a sunny day the rivers and lakes are drying out, the water content in our body from the blood, muscles and tissues are also dried out. If you have unwanted fat in your blood or channels, the viscosity of blood also increases. So we should drink the appropriate fluids, but there is no need of vigorous exercises. Cycling, swimming, marathon and drinking ice-cold water or beer can badly affect our heart.

The daily routines and proper exercises according to the climate or which exercises is useful for each constitution etc. are still ignorant by so many people. We just mimic what the others do, but never thought that that is good for you.


Natural urges

Feces, Urine, Flatulence, Thirst, Hunger, Cough, hyperventilation like there are 14 natural urges produced by our body for the prevention of diseases. Because of our modern fast life, some time we ignore or suppress these urges. We should understand that these suppressed urges will slowly and later results in the heart diseases.


Mental attitude

Happiness is inside us. How we see the world and react it the basic approach of mental health.


Heart and its different aspects.

Intrinsic or Extrinsic ways there can be diseases for heart.

The diseases which are produced by the Heart itself are always can be correlated with some of the state of diseases or symptoms.

1. The abnormalities in the subtle and big movements of the heart are the one of the main disease of the heart. The deformities of the valves, tachycardia, and bradicardia like rhythmic problems can be included in this category. And if it is with piercing pain, breaking pain, hyperventilation like symptoms this will be mostly with the Vataja vitiated diseases or functional heart diseases in modern medicine

2. The heart diseases with the symptoms of excessive perspiration, giddiness, thirst, burning eructation’s can be considered as the Pittaja vitiated heart diseases or inflammatory heart diseases.

3. Unctuousness, coldness, heaviness, laziness, excessive fat, High values of LDL, atherosclerosis are the main symptoms when Kaphaja is vitiated in the heart diseases. Rigidity, heaviness f chest cough etc. is the other symptoms associated with.

4. More than this with the all the above symptoms mixed and also with infections there can be heart diseases. Viral infections, bacterial infection etc can be grouped under this category which is called Krimija heart diseases.

5. Apart from this, heart diseases can be seen associated wit other diseases. Anemia, edema, hemorrhoids, alcoholism are some of the examples.


Ayurveda explains step-by-step treatment in all these conditions. Ayurveda also explains that the diseases which are incurable but palliative treatments with herbal medicines and nutrition.

Treatments

Treatments are depends on the stage of the disease, dosha of the disease and the patient’s condition. Today the most common disease is coronary heart disease and the heart attacks. The accumulated fat in the arteries to make it melt and expels through the excretory system is a questioning remedy. A reversal of heart blocks is a challenging idea in the field of Ayurveda. But if the patient, the concerned cardiologist and Ayurveda doctor is working together, answer is very near.

The people who wants to prevent from heart disease, patients who are already had an heart attack and to prevent and protect the heart from recurrence is also the main focus of Ayurveda in treatment aspects.

Treatment methods

1. Uro-Pichu- Oils like Dhanwantharam thailam, Bala thailam are kept externally on the chest with cotton cloth with low heat is called Uro Pichu. When the oil is reduced from the cloth, it is again poured and kept for a particular time.

2. Uro-Vasthi- The medicated oils are kept on the chest by making a bridge with dough. The oil should be luekewarm

3. Abhyangam- Application of medicated oil on the whole body

4. Avagaham- Whole body bath in the medicinal water.

5. Virechana- With the specified medicinal herbs to make a therapeutical purgation

Plants

Arjuna, Guduchi, Gokshura, Guggulu, Lasuna, Puarnava, Sundi, Amalaki, and Vilwa are cardio protective plants.

Gugguluthiktakam, Indukantam , Bal jeerakadi, dasamulam like kashayams;

Churnas like Guggulu panchapalam, triphaladi, Avipatti; Prabhakara vati, Vayu gudika, Maha Dhanwantharam like Gudikas; are used by Ayurveda physicians in various conditions of heart diseases.

Usiang Agastya Rasayana daily not only good for heart but also for the whole body to improve strength and vitality.

Bareley is the best among grains and the boiling of barley can be done with medicated water from dasamula or laghu panchamula.

Butter milk boiled with Curry leaves, garlic and dry ginger is a best drink.

Herbal teas from Ajwan, dry ginger, or cumin is used in heart diseases. And as a pickle amalaki in in rocksalt.


Would like to know more about heart in Ayurveda?

According to Ayurveda “HRIDAYA” is most important marmaand pranayatana. It is also the root place of Rasaand Rakta vaha srotas. Modern science says Heart is cardinal organ of respiratory and circulatory system. It is very essential to know Ayurvedic anatomy, physiology of hridayain modern terms, to know pathology of heart diseases and then we will be able to give ayurvedic solution to modern heart diseases.

ANATOMY:

Heart is made up of specialized tissue called myocardium with four chamber and valves in between them and working in rhythmic manner continuously. According to Ayurveda myocardium can be correlated with mamsa dhatu. And those rhythmic contractions are due to Vata.Heart is a Pittaorgan, but at the same time situated in the Kaphaplace but with Vatafunction.

Both the brain and the heart are termed as Hridayaaccording to ayurveda in some or other instances. Why both? For the answer we have to look for the word meaning of Hridaya. It is:

HRU”- means Harati (to receive from).

“DA”- means Dadati (to give).

“YA”- means Yagati (to control).

All these functions are due to Vata, specially Pranaand Vyanavata. Natural Vata dosha is responsible for, well directed movement, due to chal guna- mobile property of Vata. Also hridaya is the place of sadhaka pitta,avalambaka kapha, and ojasand manas.

Ayurveda also described in same way, that samana vayubrings aahara rasa(nutrients) to hridaya and then vyana vayucirculate it to all over body and bring back. According to Sharangdhar acharya,prana vayubrings amberpiyusha means oxygen inside the body by every inspiration udana vayugives bala(energy) to cardiac muscle.

Sadhaka pittais responsible for normal functioning of “Buddhi”, medha, and pranagni. Kapha plays role of dharana and avalambana, (holding, lubricating and Shock absorbing property). According to ayurveda utpatti (origin)of hridaya is Prasadanshaof Raktaand Kaphaand hence considered as “sira marma” because siraare rakta updhatu. If you translate most of the words in other language the hidden meaning of Sanskrit will be lost. So to undersatand the meaning it is better to know the word meaning directly from the masters.


PATHOLOGY:

Hriday utpatti is very much important by the point of view of pathology and treatment.

All kinds of coronary artery diseases come under sira dushtithat is Rakta vikrutibecause siraand kandaraare raktaupdhatu.

WhenRaktavikrutiis due to pitta, permeability of sira increases due to laghu, ushnaand visra guna of Pitta, and haemorrhagic disorders occurs.

WhenRaktavikrutiis due tokapha, coagubility of blood increases, and atherosclerotic diseases occurs due to guru, sthiraand manda guna of kapha.

If Raktavikruti is due to vata,it mainly affect the rhythm of heart .So cardiac arrhythmia may develop or impulse conduction disorders like Bradicardia, tachycardia and heart block.

According to pathology there are five types of Hridroga: Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, Sannipataja and Krimija hridroga.

1) Vataja hridroga:

Acharya charka said that, vataprakopaka (vata vitiation) means rookshya (dryness), laghu (Lightness), sheetha (coldness) and dhatukshayajanan (Depletion of tissues) or alpasatwa aahara (malnutrition or long term fasting) and ati vyayam (excessive work)

Mental stress that is anxiety, sorrow, and hyper excitability is also equally responsible for vataja hridroga. Vata Vitiataion due to dry and light causes hardness means calcification of arterial walls i.e. Arteriosclerosis which leads to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular heart diseases like angina, HTN -which is known as “silent killer “. Ayurveda says old age is the dhatukhsyakaraka(degeneration) and Vata stage of life hence Vata vitiated diseases mainly occurs in old age. Modern sciences say arteriosclerosis generally occurs in old age. Hence we can say that all arteriosclerotic diseases should be treated as vataja hridroga by Ayurveda. Calcification of cardiac valves also comes under vataja hridroga.

If mobile quaity of vata increases due to strains work or heavy exercises then heart rate increases. If this continues for long periods then due to heavy work load cardiac muscles got hypertrophied and arrhythmia. If it again continued then heart muscle got fatigue leads to dilated cardiomyopathy. It leads to congestive heart failure.

2) Pittaj hridroga:

Acharya charaka described as due to ushna (hot), tikshana,(sharp) vidahi (burning), kshara,(alkaline) amla (sour)and lavana (salty) tastes, alcohol beverages, oily and spicy food, pitta dosha vitiation occurs, which ultimately does raktadushti . Fever, perspiration, excessive thrust, heartburn, giddiness, syncope, burning sensation all over body are the main symptoms of Pitta vitiated heart diseases.

According to modern we can correlate it with infective endocarditis, pericarditis, pericardial effusion or all inflammatory disorders of heart.

3) Kaphaj hridroga:

Acharya charaka mentioned that guru (heavy) and sthira(static) qualities kapha deposits at inner lining of dhamanies (arteries) called as ‘Dhamni pratichaya’-a kaphaja disease. Modern sciences called it as atherosclerosis, a one of the leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke in young peoples.

Symptoms of kaphaja hridroga are guru bharikam uram ashmavruttammeans chest heaviness like a stone is on chest, as seems in angina pectoris.

4) Sannipataj hridroga:

It is described with all above symptoms, but in high intensity, along with giddiness, syncope, nausea and acute chest pain. It is an emergency condition in which quick active management is essential.

5) Krimij hridroga:

Ayurveda says that ‘Hridaya krimi’- a special type of parasites also cause heart disease. The patients suffering from sannipataj hridroga, if take kledajanya aahara (slime producing foods) i.e. milk products like cheese, yogurt, cream , sweets, milk. This will be a good food for most of the parasites if a person is already in imbalance of kapha dosha. These krimi go into hridaya with rasa dhatu and make erosions and swellings in dhamaniesof hridaya. Symptoms of krimija hridroga are “suchivat tudyate” means stabbing, cutting severe chest pain, itching, nausea, chest discomfort. And advised to treat as emergency otherwise it leads to death.

TREATMENT:

Ayurveda stated that “pariharya visheshen manaso dukkha hetava”.

As hridya is the place of oja, prana, buddhi and mana- anxiety, stress, depression or mental stress should be avoided preferably. Shirodhara, Shiropichu, Hridvasti, Pranayama, Yoga, these are very effective for stress management. Follow the lifestyle stated by ayurveda.

If the accumulation of toxins are uncontralable sodhanatreatment should be done with panchakarma. After that again we should do samana therapy for remaining dosha with different herbal preparations under a qualified Ayurveda physician.

After sodana and samana, give rasayanaand hridbalya- (Heart tonics) should be followed for rejuvenation and revitalization. That will avoid the recurrence of the disease. If we adopt the modern emergency methods along with the preventive methods as a fusion of modern and traditional methods in our rehabilitation centrum or cardiac hospital, we can cure, prevent ,avoid recurrence and regenerate the patients who are suffering from this Mind-Body diseses.

Finally Ayurveda remind the sutra mentioned in Charak Samhita, the entire misery (diseases) related to both Mind and Body depends upon lack of knowledge or ignorance, and the entire happiness or healthy state resides in pure knowledge. Pure knowledge with thoughtful implementation of Modern perspective will definitely help in globalization the Ayurveda.




Spiritual Heart:

hrid=center

ayam=this

Most people, yoga adherents as well, think of the heart as being on the left side. When Mercedes De Acostamet with the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshiat his ashram the Maharshi placed his right hand in the form of a fist on her right breast and said:

"Here lies the Heart, the Dynamic, Spiritual Heart. It is called Hridaya and is located on the right side of the chest and is clearly visible to the inner eye of an adept on the Spiritual Path. Through meditation you can learn to find the Self in the cave of this Heart."

"Just as there is a cosmic center from which the whole universe arises and has its being and functions with the power or the directing energy emanating therefrom, so also is there a center within the frame of the physical body wherein we have our being. This center in the human body is in no way different from the cosmic center. It is this center in us that is called the Hridaya, the seat of Pure Consciousness, realized as Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. This is really what we call the seat of God in us.

"It is this Hridaya that is said to be different from the physical heart, regulating the blood circulation. The Hridaya has its being on the right side and is not commonly known or felt. The primary thought in us arising as 'I,' when traced to its source, ends somewhere in us and this place, where all thoughts die, where the ego has vanished, is the Hridaya. From this center is felt and enjoyed the Pure Consciousness.

"Hridaya described as 'the literal, actual, physical seat of the intuition of the Self' has the meaning explained above. Perhaps the words 'physical seat' may create some confusion. What it really means is that there is a center of Pure Consciousness in the physical body. It is related to the physical, but is not itself physical.

"The word Hridaya is a composite of hrid and ayam - "center, this". It is the center on the right, which we reach as a result of meditation (Samadhi). From the Hridaya, consciousness arises to the sahasrara through the sushumna and from there spreads out to all the parts of the body through the several 'nadis'. Then alone we become conscious of the objects around us. Man, due to the illusion that these have real existence, experiences suffering, as he strays far away from his Self. The seat from where all these arise and manifest is the Hridaya.

"Whether in sleep, joy, sorrow, fear or satisfaction, we return to this heart and that is why we feel lost to all consciousness of things around. If by meditation or Vichara we attain to our centre, the Hridaya, and thus are our real Self, we enjoy unalloyed bliss.

"In the course of tracing ourselves back to our source, when all thoughts have vanished, there arises a throb from the Hridaya on the right, manifesting as 'Aham' 'Aham'. This is the sign that Pure Consciousness is beginning to reveal itself. But that is not the end in itself. Watch wherefrom this sphurana (throbbing) arises and wait attentively and continually for the revelation of the Self. Then comes the awareness, oneness of existence.

"When we steady our breath we feel the steadying of our thoughts. Then the thoughts turn inward and melt away at a point. Watching this point, where the thoughts vanish, will also help us to merge ourselves in the Hridaya."