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We are living in an era of rapid urbanization and industrialization. As a part of this, people have gone so far from the basics and Mother Nature. Lifestyle diseases have become a common taboo and are at the surge.
Heart attack is one among those conditions which is dangerously hiking even among the younger population. Have you ever thought about why heart-attacks are readily increasing nowadays even amidst all this medical and technological development?
Well, this article will definitely throw some light on the causes, effects and consequences of heart-attacks and how Ayurvedic principles and herbs can make a positive impact in these conditions.
While going through our ancient Ayurvedic Samhitas, we can see that even though, heart is included under the three vital organs of our body; heart diseases do not come under the major or life-threatening diseases.
Sometimes, it may be because of the fact that they were not much prevalent in those times. People were more active and lived in harmony with nature. Now let us see how our habits have changed in this twenty first century, making us more prone to heart attacks and how it can be tackled.
The main causes may be listed under the following titles
Change in Ahara (food habits)
Ayurveda advises the consumption of only two main meals per day- morning and evening. Despite it being the best method, this is not practically possible for most of us mainly due to the nature of the job and various other reasons.
Also it says another option – eat (only) when hungry. Too much hunger and too much food intake can equally derange the balance in your body. Today we are having untimely and multiple unhealthy meals which serve as one among the prime factors for heart attacks.
Unhealthy food habits include excessive intake of heavy, unctuous and incompatible foods which remain undigested and produce ‘Ama’ (toxins) in the body. This ‘Ama’ is capable of blocking the channels thereby producing heart attacks. It also deteriorates the quality of blood.
What is the relation between food and heart?
According to Ayurveda, the heart is the seat of ‘Rasa Dhatu’. Rasa is the essence of food that we take. It is clear that any defect in the food that we take is going to be detected by the heart. So be mindful of the fact that any junk going in your tummies is going to make its consequence in your heart too.
Therefore, striking a good appetite should only be your new norm to have food if you wish to have a healthy heart. Another important thing is Kalabhojana (timely food).
When you start following your appetite, timely food starts following you as well. Here the body starts adjusting itself to the mechanism. Those types are better to be avoided because they produce excess stickiness (kleda) in the body and can stick to the channels and produce blockage.
Refined items (maida, refined sugar, refined oil and refined salt) are a big ‘NO’. They produce more harm than good. Along with this, habits like smoking and alcohol intake should be strictly prohibited as it highly increases the risk for heart-attacks.
Ayurveda mentions about fourteen natural urges whose prolonged suppression disturbs the balance in the body resulting in various disorders.
It is to be noted that suppression or forced execution of ten out of these fourteen urges leads to heart diseases. People are always in a hurry that they find it difficult to make time for even getting rid of their urine and stools when the impulse strikes.
It is almost hard to believe that a suppressed flatus can result in heart attack. Right? But it is true. Ayurveda gives utmost importance to Apana vata as its vitiation can aggravate all the other types of vata dosha. And Adhovata (flatus) is a form of Apana vata.
Lack of activity
Rising technology and increase in desk jobs has made the modern man sedentary. People are finding it almost impossible to get some personal time for self-care and family.
Absence of movement leads to improper blood circulation and deposit of toxins in the blood vessels. Therefore, getting engaged in any kind of physical activity is a must.
Vyayama improves the ‘karmasamarthya’ (functional efficiency) which is generally weak in a heart patient. But always keep in mind that over-exertion can also be one among the reasons for a heart-attack.
Hence Ayurveda advises to perform physical activity using only half the strength of one’s body. Activity time and type should be selected only after considering the body strength and climatic conditions.
For example, summer heat makes the body further weak and is unable to withstand more exertion. So exercise should be done accordingly.
Stress, negative feeling and hostility can put more pressure on the heart as Ayurveda considers that Manas (mind) is located in the hridaya (heart). We are under constant pressure from everywhere which needs to be tackled from inside out.
Also, it indirectly leads to sleeplessness which can further worsen the condition. Ayurveda and yoga is very supportive in keeping the inner balance through meditation and various herbs.
Effects and consequences
Heart-attack is a silent killer. Sometimes it can take your life with the blink of an eye or it can make your life a mess. It can give a huge blow to the lives of our loved ones who are dependent on us.
It is totally a misunderstanding that heart-attacks can occur only after a particular age. It can happen at any time and solely depends on the lifestyle that we have adopted in the previous years of life. Also, you can be more prone to it if there is a family history.
Since the functional capacity of the heart gets reduced, it can affect the job efficiency and social life. A weak heart makes the person feel always exhausted. Furthermore, it can lead to financial instability due to expensive medicines and surgical interventions.
Ayurveda mentions the ‘hridyagana’ which is a group of drugs that are heart-protective. It involves
- Amra(Mangifera indica)
- Kuvala (Zizyphus sativa)
- Vrikshamla (Garcinia indica)
- Dadima (Punica granatum) etc
Which can altogether maintain the structure and function of the heart. Further to this, herbs like
- Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
- Vacha (Acorus calamus)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Dadima (Punica granatum)
- Sunthi (Zingiber officinale)
- Mareecha (Piper nigrum)
- Pippali (Piper longum) etc
These help in improving appetite, digestion and clearing the channels. Water boiled with dry ginger and coriander can be used for drinking.
Every block in our body which is capable of making a heart-attack is the sum total of unhealthy food, inactivity, suppression, stress, sleeplessness and ill feeling towards others.
Working on all these factors together alone can prevent heart attacks in future and protect our heart. It is actually us who decide whether to have a happy and healthy life or to be a good-for-nothing soul for the rest of the life until another heart-attack occurs. Be the game-changer and go for a healthy routine.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurveda) is an expert Ayurvedic Doctor based in Chandigarh, India, and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda – Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic, and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit www.planetayurveda.com