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Ayurvedic Steps to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Preventing Heart Disease and Promoting Heart Health


Ayurvedic Steps to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Preventing Heart Disease and Promoting Heart Health

Cardiac health through ayurveda

The heart, the incredibly vital organ not only holds a significant and profound role beyond its physical blood-pumping function but is also  considered  as the seat of consciousness, known as "Hridaya." This concept encompasses not only the physical heart but also its emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects.


It's considered as ‘seat of consciousness’ because it has a hub of emotions, thoughts, and spirituality and is deeply linked to our mental and emotional states.


The hridaya (heart) is seen as a central and crucial organ that integrates various aspects of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being associated with elements like annarasa (nutrient fluid or essence as a result of food), rakta (blood),  ojas (energy), manas (mind), buddhi (instructional force that help the mind make decisions) and athma (spirit).

 

Doshas and their influences on  heart health

 

In Ayurveda, the heart is regarded as a residing place for the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha( fundamental energies that govern all biological and psychological functions). This relationship underscores the interconnectedness between the heart and the overall balance of the doshas within the body.

Like when doshas aggravates,it may result in symptoms like

 

 

·         Vata Dosha: Aggravated Vata dosha can lead to irregular heartbeats and palpitations

·         Pitta Dosha: Aggravated pitta dosha can cause inflammation in the heart, raising hypertension and other inflammatory heart diseases. 

·         Kapha Dosha: Aggravated kapha dosha can result in the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis

 

Srothas that are linked to the root of the heart 

·       Mano Vaha Srotas refers to the channel of the mind, which pervades the entire body and is integral to various mental and emotional functions like thinking, feeling, discernment, memory, and communication

·       Prana Vaha Srotas refers to the channel responsible for the circulation of Prana, the vital life-force energy, throughout the body integrating into the respiratory system and extending its influence to various aspects of mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

·       Rasa Vaha Srotas refers to the channel responsible for the circulation of Rasa, which includes lymph and plasma playing a crucial role in delivering nutrition and nourishment to every cell and tissue throughout the body.

 

 

In Ayurveda, the heart (Hridaya) is central to overall health, and its well-being is influenced by various lifestyle disorders like lack or excess exercise/physical strain, strenuous work, mental strain, mental or emotional stress and sedentary lifestyle and dietary factors like intake of incompatible food (excess oily, spicy, heavy, creamy foods). Abnormalities or imbalances (Vikruthavasta) in the heart can lead to serious conditions known as Hridaya Rogas (heart diseases), including coronary heart disease, Angina., Heart attack, Heart failure., Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), Valve disease., High blood pressure, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Mitral valve regurgitation, Aortic stenosis, Mitral valve prolapse, Myocardial infarction, Dilated cardiomyopathy, etc 


The Ayurvedic Approach to Caring for the Heart

·       Sirodhara

Shirodhara is another traditional Ayurvedic treatment that can be beneficial for people with hypertension. Shirodhara involves pouring warm oil or other liquid over the forehead, which is believed to help calm the mind and reduce stress. This can be particularly beneficial for people with hypertension, as stress is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure

·       Pizhichil

Massage in which the body is engulfed in warm medicated decoction, oil or ghee according to the patient’s condition. 

 

Improves blood Circulation

The optimum heat of the oil and synchronized massage with the medicated oil helps in dilating the microchannels of the body thereby letting the blood to reach every corner of your body. This will relieve any disorders related to impaired circulation.

Massage will improve the circulation in the body. All the organs in the body get enough blood supply; keeping it healthy. The blood vessels’ walls are kept strong and without any obstruction

·       Urovasthi 

Uro vasti in the affected region is localized using a herbal paste, in which warm medicated oil is poured and kept for 30 to 40 minutes. Urovasti is more focused on the functioning and health of the heart and the lungs.This is a very effective treatment for all types of heart diseases and muscular chest pain. It also strengthens the overall functioning of the heart. 

·       Benefits of urovasthy

·       Improves Breathing Functions.

·       Reduces Excess Kapha Or Vata Dosha.

·       Nourishes The Heart And Helps In Better Functioning Of The Vital Organs.

·       Soothes The Nerves Supplying Respiratory Organs, Enhances Local Blood Circulation And reducing muscle Tension.

·       Abhyanga

Abhyanga, therapeutic massage is an ancient practice that improves circulation, reduces stress, and promotes relaxation. By enhancing blood flow and lymphatic drainage, this therapy contributes to the overall well-being of the heart.

 

·       Nasya: 

Nasya therapy involves the administration of herbal oils into the nasal passages. This practice of nasyam  is integral for maintaining respiratory health and has a significant impact on overall well-being, including heart health

 

Appropriate  Exercise and Yoga for Optimum Heart health:

In Ayurveda, proper exercise is recognized as a key component of maintaining overall health, including the health of the heart. Exercise helps to balance the doshas, release accumulated tension, and enhance the flow of Prana (life-force energy).

Incorporating exercise and yoga into one’s daily routine helps improve circulation, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy heart.

 

The choice of exercises and yoga poses can be customized based on an individual’s dosha.


Pranayama

Prana is considered the subtle essence of the life force that animates every living being. It is the fundamental energy that sustains life, infusing every cell and tissue throughout the body.

It  restores fluidity and vitality to channels of the body, releases accumulated tension, and offers deep support to the nervous system.

Pranayama plays a crucial role in supporting heart health in Ayurveda by calming and purifying the mind, and by activating the body's subtle channels.


Yoga

Yoga improves blood circulation, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients are efficiently delivered to all tissues and organs, including the heart. This enhanced circulation helps prevent conditions like atherosclerosis and hypertension. Many yoga postures stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps in detoxification and removes stagnant toxins (ama) from the body.

Asanas like Adho Mukha Svanasana, Tadasana,sethu bandhasana , uttanasana ,yoga nidra help alleviating heart ailments


Ayurveda Lifestyle Practices for Heart Health

Balanced Diet According to the Dosha Constitution:

 

To promote normal functioning of the heart and optimal well-being for your body, you need to strengthen your Agni (digestive fire). Because it so directly determines the health of the plasma, the bodily tissues, and ojas, Agni is critically important when it comes to heart health. Diet plays a pivotal role in Ayurvedic heart care.

A few heart-healthy foods in Ayurveda include: 

·         Leafy greens

·         Amla (Indian gooseberries)

·         Whole grains

·         Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng)

·         Olive oil

·         Garlic

·         Nuts

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are examples of fiber-rich foods.

Low-saturated and trans-fat foods include lean meats, seeds, and legumes.

Antioxidant-rich foods include berries and spices like turmeric and ginger.

Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods include fatty seafood like salmon and sardines.


Regular Sleep and Exercise

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for heart health. Adequate sleep helps you relax, lowers blood pressure, and enhances overall cardiovascular health. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of consistent, quality sleep to maintain balance and support overall well-being.


Stress Management Techniques:

Stress management techniques, including meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness, are integral to heart care. These practices help soothe the nervous system and reduce the burden of stress on the heart.

Avoidance of habits such as excessive alcohol and tobacco is crucial in Ayurveda heart care. These substances can negatively impact heart health.


Herbs of rescue  for Ayurveda Heart Care

Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna 

·       Pushkarmoola (Inula racemosa )

·       Bala (Sida cordifolia ), 

·       Nagabala (Sida humilis ), 

·       Pippali (Piper longum ), 

·       Haritaki (Terminalia chebula )

·       Dashmoola,

·       Brahmi,

·       Gugulu

·       Ashwagandha 

·       Haridra

·       Tulsi   etc., clearly indicates that they possess hypotensive, hypocholesterolemic, anti-platelet, and thrombolytic activities which play a crucial role in the management of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders


Q: What is heart disease?

A: Heart disease refers to a range of conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, and heart defects present at birth.


Q: How can I improve my heart health?

A: You can improve your heart health by maintaining a balanced diet, staying physically active, managing stress, avoiding smoking, and getting regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.


Q: What is a heart-healthy diet?

A: A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It emphasizes limiting saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.


Q: What are the risk factors for heart disease?

A: Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and family history of heart disease.


Q: How can I lower my risk of heart disease?

A: You can lower your risk of heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including eating a heart-healthy diet, staying physically active, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco use.


Q: What role does the American Heart Association play in heart health?

A: The American Heart Association is a nonprofit organization that provides helpful information, resources, and guidelines to promote heart health, prevent heart disease, and improve outcomes for individuals with heart conditions.


Q: Why are whole grains important for heart health?

A: Whole grains are important for heart health because they are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and promote overall heart health.

 

How can I make my heart stronger?

Follow a strict life style routine, diet, and stress-free techniques for a healthy heart 


Which food is good for the heart?

Eat more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains and fat-free diet


How do I check my heart health?

Checking pulse rate,ECG , blood pressure are the basic tests 


Which fruit is best for heart patients?

Apples, melons, and grapes 


How can I check my heart health at home?

By monitoring the pulse rate and blood pressure


What are the first signs of a weak heart?

Fatigue and irregular pulse


How can I improve my heart health?

Following regular exercise, diet, and lifestyle 


What is heart healthy diet

·         Make vegetables, fruits, and whole grains the focus of your diet.

Limit sugar and salt,oil

Replace unhealthy saturated and trans fats with healthy unsaturated fats from plant and fish oils. 


What's healthy heart rate

60-  100 BPM


Who have healthy heart those who jog regularly or those who don't

Those who jog will have healthy heart


Will losing weight help heart health

Yes definitely


Do healthy hearts skip beats

Yes sometimes


Are peanuts for  heart healthy

Peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil are filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats


Do probiotics help heart health

It reduces the cholesterol thus helping in heart health


Does a heart healthy diet include eggs

Yes, but the number of eggs that you can consume change according to your health.


Is heart healthy diet low sodium

Yes due to the risk of hypertension


Is heart health genetic

heart disease isn't directly inherited from either parent. It's caused by a combination of changes that occur to many genes, as well as lifestyle factors.


Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?

Yes


Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?

Chelation therapy has long been used as a treatment for mercury and lead poisoning, but it isn't a proven treatment for heart disease. 


Coronary artery spasm: Cause for concern?

Indeed, it is. A coronary artery spasm refers to a brief contraction of the muscles in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the heart. This spasm can restrict or completely halt blood flow to a portion of the heart, leading to chest pain (angina) and potentially a heart attack if prolonged.


Erectile dysfunction: A sign of heart disease?

This could be an early warning sign


NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?

Yes


Your pet has your heart, but did you know they actually help prevent heart disease, too?

Owning a pet is associated with reducing your risk of heart disease and, helps lower unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.


Time to book a Heart Health Check?

As a preventive care – once a year

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