In the time of COVID-19, taking care of your heart is more important than ever before. While we all have been hearing and watching ads and news about how important it is to take care of our heart health, most of us actually are not following it in true spirit until there exists the problem. Why wait for an accident? Apart from aiming to get that slim, slender body type, we should also think about the adequate functioning of our heart too. Heart, as we all know, plays one of the most crucial roles in the running of entire body organs. It cleans the blood, nurtures good white blood cells, stimulates the growth of red blood cells, maintains a good balance of bodily fluids in various parts, and also transports the nourishment throughout the body. It's like an engine that needs to be maintained for the smooth bodily function.
Signs of a healthy heart include regular heart rate, normal blood pressure, a feeling of wellbeing, good exercise capacity, good skin colour, good digestion and a normal range of cholesterol and triglycerides. On the other hand, the signs of an unhealthy heart are low energy and emotions, reduction of exercise tolerance and capacity, more tiredness, mauve/purple colour to the fingernails and lips, raised blood pressure, abnormal pulse rate and pain in the chest.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the top cause of death on the planet. It could be due to many causes such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, pollution, and rare and neglected conditions such as Chagas Disease and cardiac amyloidosis etc. In the current time of COVID-19, CVD patients are faced with a double threat - not only are they more at risk of developing severe forms of the virus, but may also be afraid to seek ongoing care for their hearts. Considering the lack of awareness about heart diseases, every year on 29 September, World Heart Day is celebrated to increase awareness about the CVD (Cardiovascular Diseases) as the world’s leading cause of death. People need to be educated about the risk factors such as the use of tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, that leads to at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke, which could be avoided.
As per principles of Ayurveda, many diseases are due imbalance of doshas which get vitiated and also blocking of channels with toxins (called ama) causing a harmful effect. The main Ayurvedic approach is to pacify these doshas, to stop the destructive processes, and to cleanse the ama from the channels to allow more of the body's healing to be active. There are ample references and indications about the intake of certain Ayurvedic herbs for the heart, which helps and maintains the heart’s function properly. Let's take a look at some of the notable herbs and their effect in improving heart health.
The best way of management for heart diseases is to adopt a holistic approach as described in Ayurveda. Researchers have shown that heart issues could be reversible with the help of Ayurvedic management methods. There are various natural and Ayurvedic ingredients that are used as medicines for curative purposes, maintenance purposes including tailor made teas and infusions.
Arjuna: Heart diseases are caused mainly because of congestion, hardening and inflammation of the arteries that causes a restriction in blood flow. These hardened arteries also put a lot of pressure on heart tissues and muscles. Known as Ayurveda's wonder, this herb helps in the reducing congestive arteries, cardiac muscles strengthening and keeping the blood pressure low.
Alsi/ Linseed/ Flax Seeds: The seeds are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids ALA, lignans and fibre. These are potentially beneficial in the terms of lowering blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol
Garlic: This is one of the greatest treasures of Ayurveda. It is not only a good cardiac tonic, but also improves blood circulations, reduces cholesterol deposition inside in blood vessels. It could be used in raw form and frozen too.
Triphala: It is perfect for people suffering from high cholesterol and also important herb for weight loss. When combined with other herbs it also breaks down the blood fats present in the body effectively.
Ashwagandha: This could also be called as Indian Ginseng, a miraculous herb. It has numerous indications. Herbal tea bags containing Ashwagandha are good for reducing tension and stress, which are major causes of heart diseases. It is known for reducing the tension of the mind and the body and also helps in heart muscle strengthening. It pacifies vitiated doshas of the body.
Rose: Flowers of the plant are known as the king of flowers. Rose has not only medicinal value but also cosmetic value. It purifies the blood and also bears anti -inflammatory and antiulcer properties also. It pacifies anxiety, offers good heart support and pacifies and balances tridoshas of the body.
If you're new to Ayurvedic medicines, you can begin with trying the best tea for heart health, Heart Strong Infusion, which is a pure herbal infusion that boosts heart health, reduces inflammation & supports antioxidant activity in the body. This infusion also helps in pacifying the Pitta & Kapha Doshas and are available in a pack of herbal tea bags which can be easily used with warm water and added honey or lemon for taste
The cooling and detoxifying properties of rose are used via rose water and rose oil; however, Rose Petal Infusion is also an equally nourishing way of enjoying its ayurvedic properties. Made from pure dried rose petals this infusion is best for known for its cooling effects on body and mind. This infusion is Pitta balancing, and thus helps with any heart-related issue and is even good for detoxification.
You can get these herbal infusions as well others from the links below -
Apart from taking ayurvedic medicines regularly, other important positive lifestyle habits that we can imbibe to improve heart health are as follows:
- Combine buttermilk along with garlic and have it two times in a day. Garlic is very crucial and useful in controlling blood pressure and thus helps in improving heart problems.
- Perform massages with warm medicated oils as detailed in Ayurveda, it helps in melting away aches, improves circulation of blood and lymph, reduces psychological tiredness, and thus helps decreases blood pressure and heart rate.
- Meditation is the next best method to pacify anxiety and restore health. Meditating for just 10 to 20 minutes twice in a day could help in healing a person's heart.
- Follow Pranayapma or breathing exercises. This exercise has beneficial effects on the functioning of the cardio-pulmonary system. Pranayama helps support heart muscles & lungs and aids in improving the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood vessels.
Your health is wrapped up in your lifestyle and your genes, therefore drinking herbal teas suited to your body type, taking medicines timely, having a good balanced diet, exercising regularly and taking the necessary precautions you'll be able to see good results.