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Preventive Cardiology in Ayurveda

More than 50% of the deaths and disability from heart disease and strokes can be cut down by a combination of simple and cost effective national efforts and individual attentions to reduce major risk factors. the major leading causes of deaths in developing countries. It is estimated that 90% of cardio vascular diseases (CVD) is preventable. Prevention of CVD involves improving risk factors through: healthy eating, exercise, avoidance of tobacco smoke and limiting alcohol intake.

As per Ayurveda, the food consumed by an individual is transformed in the intestinal tract by the action of koshtagni i.e, digestive fire. Production of ahararasa, which is normal in quality and quantity, depends upon the normalcy of koshtagni. The Rasa Dhatu is the first Dhatu which gets formed from the Ahara Rasa i.e. nutrient portion of food after proper digestion of food and is circulated by the action of vyana vayu throughout the body providing nutrition to seven dhatus, viz, Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja and Sukra. The organs and channels through which this Rasa Samvahana (circulation) takes place are collectively termed as Rasavaha Srotas and Hridaya along with the ten Mula Dhamanis (great vessels) are considered as Mula (main organ) of this Srotas. In contrast, if the quality and quantity of Ahara and /or Kostagni are not in appropriate condition, it leads to improper digestion of food and subsequent formation of abnormal Rasa dhatu which has direct impact on Hridaya, the seat of Rasavaha srotas. In other words, the indiscretions followed by human beings in terms of Ahara (diet) and Vihara (lifestyle) can directly cause impairment of Agni and thus leads to formation of vitiated rasa dhatu. This vitiated rasadhatu is not capable of performing its normal functions of providing proper nutrition to seven dhatus in human body.

According to Ayurveda, excessive consumption of food which is heavy to digest, dry, cold and with bitter or astringent qualities, excessive physical exertion, altered patterns of sleep including day sleep, forceful withholding of urges or initiation of urges, excessive indulgence in purgation, emesis or enema procedures, mental stress, excessive fear, over thinking, anxiety and indulgences in medications to counteract these things can be broadly classified into Aharaja, Viharaja and Manasika factors which in turn vitiate the agni and subsequently the rasadhatu. The impaired rasadhatu in circulation, in presence of impaired agni at the levels of koshta and dhatus and vitiated vyana vayu, eventually paves the way for metabolic disorders such as medoroga, sthoulya, prameha etc which are milestones in the pathogenesis of hrid-vikara.

Common causative factors

The common causative/predisposing factors for hridrogas as described in authoritative texts of Ayurveda are enumerated below so that these can be prevented for a healthy heart.

  1. Excessive use of hot (Ushna), oily (Snigdha), spicy (Iikta) and fried food items.
  2. Excessive use of astringent (Kashaya rasa) and irritant (Tikshna) food items.
  3. Use of incompatible diet (viruddhaahara).
  4. Excessive physical exercise or lack of exercise.
  5. Excessive stress, fear and anger.
  6. Retention of natural urges (Adharniya Vega).
  7. Excessive fasting (Ati-karshari).
  8. Over eating and irregular food habits.
  9. Improper application of vasti and drastic purgatives.
  10. Excessive consumption of alcohol/tobacco/cigarette etc.
  11. Injury over chest ( Vaksha pradesh).

Common Symptoms of Hridroga

  1. Anorexia (Aruchi)
  2. Dis-taste of mouth (Mukhavairasya)
  3. Nausea (Kaphotklesh)
  4. Increased thirst(Trishna)
  5. Dyspnoea (Shwas)
  6. Fainting (Murchha)
  7. Hiccough(Hikka)
  8. Chest pain (UrahShool)
  9. Cough (Kasa)
  10. Vomiting (Chhardi)
  11. Pallor/Cyanosis (Vivamata)
  12. Stupor (Pramoh)
  13. Coating inside throat (Galoplepa)
  14. Fever (Jwar)
  15. Productive Cough (KaphaShthivan)

Food articles to be consumed /not to be consumed regularly

Ayurveda prescribes specific diet patterns in the diseased conditions. According to the principles of Ayurveda, derangement of the digestive power occurs in many diseases and hence it is important to restore normalcy of the digestive power.

Food articles to be consumed regularly

Sr.No Aahara Dravyas
1. Sastika(type of Rice) A kind of rice harvested in sixty days
2. Shali (type of Rice) Oryza sativum Linn
3. Mudga (Pulse)  Phaseolus mungo Linn.
4. Saindhava (type of salt) Rock salt
5. Amalaka(fruit) Emblica officinalis Gaertn.
6. Antarika Jala Rain Water
7. Ghrita Ghee
8. Jangala Masa (mear) Meat of animals dwelling in arid climate
9. Madhu Honey

Food Articles not to be Consumed Regularly

Sr.No Aahara Dravyas
1. Dadhi Curd
2. Kurcika If milk cooked with curd or butter milk it will separate into liquid
3. Kilata The solid part separated form kurcika
4. Kshara Alkaline Preparations
5. Shukta Mixing mastu (whey) with honey, jiggery, Kanji etc. and keep for three days-the fermented preparation callled as Sukta
6. Aamamulaka Uncooked radish
7. Krisha Aamisha Meat of emaciated animals
8. Shuska Aamisha Dried Meat
9. Varaha Aamisha Pork
10. Avi Aamisha Meat of sheep
11. Go-Aamisha Bear Meat
12. Matsya Fish
13. Mahish Aamisha Meat of Buffalo
14. Masha Black gram
15. Nishpava Bean
16. Shaluka Tuberous root
17. Bisa The fiber of lotus
18. Payasa Sweets prepared by grinding cereals
19. Virudha Sprouted seeds
20. Shuska Shaka Dried Leaves
21. Yavaka Rice of Yavaka variety of paddy
22. Phanita  Molasses

The unwholesome form of vegetables and fruits

  • Vegetables infested with insects, exposed to wind and sun for long time, dried up, old (Puraana) and unseasonal (Anartavam) are unwholesome. When they are cooked without adding fat (Nisneha-Siddham) and residual water after boiling as not filtered out (Aparistttam), vegetables becomes unwholesome for use.
  • Fruits which are old, unripe, afflicted by insects and serpents, exposed to snow or sun for long time, growing in the land and season other than the normal habitat and time and putrefied are unwholesome.

Source : Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences



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