Cardiovascular Diseases

Definition

Cardiovascular disease includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, heart failure, congenital heart disease and stroke. it is also called heart and circulatory disease.

Throughout the developed world, coronary heart disease is the foremost cause of morbidity and mortality.

Coronary heart disease and stroke may be caused by the same problem- atherosclerosis. This is when the arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material called atheroma within their walls. If a piece of the atheroma in your arteries breaks away, it may cause a blood clot to form. If the blood clot blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, your heart muscle may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Cardiovascular Diseases:

According to Ayurveda, the heart is one vital organ that has the spirit of all body tissues and further helps in maintaining and promoting a healthy life. The body is governed by three doshas named as Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and the human heart is also managed by three sub-doshas commonly known as Vyana Vata (blood flow and beat), Sadhaka Pitta (emotional balance), Avalambaka Kapha (Sense of security). Thus a healthy heart leads to a healthy mind.

In Ayurveda, the coronary heart disease results from a Kapha- provoking sedentary lifestyle, coupled with excess consumption of fatty foods, especially trans-fats, and insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables.

Ayurveda aims at striking at the very root of the disease, by addressing the disease holistically at its very root.

Causes:

The main aspect of the disorder is a physical deterioration of the structure of cardiovascular vessels walls. The deterioration of structure can be of three main types:

  • Clogging of vessels with cholesterol and plaque
  • Damaged areas due to increased pressure and free radical activity
  • Loss of vessel wall thickness

The physical deterioration of cardiovascular vessels predisposes individuals to a wide variety of symptoms including pain, weakness, shortness of breath, palpitations and fainting.

Individuals with cardiovascular disease also have heightened the risk of serious, life-threatening disorders mainly from tissue damage due to a poor oxygen supply.

Other risk factors include;

  • Overweight and inactivity
  • Overeating
  • Sugar intolerance and diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Too much saturated and trans fats in the diet
  • Excess stress

Symptoms:

  • Changes in complexion
  • Breathlessness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of appetite.

Vata symptoms of heart disease:

  • Palpitations
  • Arrhythmia

Pitta symptoms of heart disease:

  • Angina
  • Yellow coloration caused when the liver is congested by heart failure.

Kapha symptoms of heart disease:

  • Drowsiness
  • Cough
  • Heavy sensation in the heart

Line of treatment:

Ayurvedic Treatment for Cardiovascular Diseases:

Depending on the pathology, the line of treatment is decided; Ayurveda treatments are supportive and supplementary to the mainstream conventional medicine.

Treatments – The treatment modalities includes panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and lifestyle changes.

  • Panchakarma – Virechana, Basti
  • Externally – Abhyanga, Shiro dhara, Hrid Basti
  • Internally – Herbs which regulates the blood flow and strengthens the heart as Arjuna (terminalia arjuna), Guggulu (Commiphora mukkul)

Activities:

  • Specific Asanas, Panayamas, meditation
  • Food and Lifestyle changes:  specific to the individual’s constitution, health condition nature of work and geographical conditions.