Heart disease is basically a clinical syndrome. It is characterised by pain in the chest. Such pain is generally caused due to over-exertion. Simply because one experiences such occasional pain after hard labour should not be a cause of worry. Rest can bring relief. Such a condition is normal as the heart is over-taxed.
More often than not, such pain emanates in front of the chest and over the sternum. Then it can spread to the right or left side of the chest. The left side is affected more often then the right.
The pain can also radiate to the abdomen’s upper portion, jaws, neck and arms. Among these external organs, the chest pain spreads first to the left arm in particular and the entire left portion in general.
Such a pain is very often misinterpreted by the lay man as a heart disease. But, that is not the case.
What is a heart disease?
Though the characteristic feature of heart ailment is the pain, yet the differentiating feature is that in this case the chest pain is gripping and keeps on recurring. It is not necessary that only hard physical work or mental strain will bring about the pain. A person while lying down can also have the acute pain.
Causes of chest (heart) pain
There are many causes of chest pain. The primary cause though is obstruction of the coronary arteries.
These muscular pipes (arteries) crisscross the walls of the pumping machine known as the heart. They carry blood to and from the heart. By carrying out this double action, the arteries keep on nourishing the heart as well.
Our hearts keep on working 24 hours incessantly. Therefore, the heart always spends a lot of energy. To refurbish the heart, it is necessary that the pumping machine is kept in the optimum state. This is done naturally by the arteries. This is done through the adequate and timely supply of oxygenated blood via the arteries to the heart.
Hence, it is but natural that once any impairment occurs in this important function of the arteries, the heart is robbed of nourishment. Then, the malfunctioning blood vessels (arteries) cannot supply the necessary amount of fresh (oxygenated) blood.
It is during such abnormal situations that the heart sends SOS signals. These signals are in the forms of discomfort in the chest and/or pain.
The pain can be mild and occasional. It can also be very acute. Besides, the pain may remain static or can be a “roaming” type.
In Ayurvedic terminology, heart disease is termed Bridroga. There are three classifications of heart diseases. This division is made on the basis of the typical type of pain and the part of the body that is first affected. These are Kaphaja bridroga, Paittika bridroga, and Vatika bridroga.
According to Ayurvedic principles, the mind and the physique are interlinked via the heart.
Malfunctioning of one of these parts leads to the disturbance in functioning in the other portions of the human body as well.
It is for this reason that the heart patients are advised to remain stress free. They are advised not to undertake any types of mental tension including anger, worries and anxieties. Such persons are also asked not to indulge in excessive sexual activities.
Kaphaja bridroga is characterised by a mild pain. The other symptoms of Kaphaja bridroga are drowsiness, cough and nausea.
Paittika bridroga is identified by the symptom of a burning sensation along with the pain in chest.
Vatika bridroga pain spreads from the chest to other parts of the patient’s body and also from the left side to the right. The pain is also rather acute in nature.
Such patients should regularly have ghee or butter prepared from cow’s milk. These two items as well as cow’s milk are quite beneficial for such people.
What not to eat
- The following items are strictly prohibited for patients suffering from heart ailments:
- Never give the patient groundnut or groundnut oil.
- Similarly, keep the person away from fried things.
- He/she should not also have all forms of pulses including preparations that include pulses.
- All stimulants including tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks are strictly debarred from such people.
Other important points
- Heart patients should have a stress-free lifestyle.
- They should also have sound sleep at night.
- They also require adequate rest in the daytime.
- Such people should never stay awake till late into the night.
- They should retire early at night and also rise up early in the morning.
- These patients should practise mind control.
- They must also practise the Yogic meditation and breathing exercises.
All ailments can be cured: The strategy
All persons must mould their mind to heal their hearts naturally. It is possible. In fact, mall the ailments – be they of the mind or the body – are cured with the right and positive bent of mind. You must have the will power to live and enjoy life to the brim.
If you think you are weak, you are; and if you suppose that you are beaten, you have already accepted defeat.
So, keep smiling, have a positive and strong bent of mind; and live life to the full!
The commonly prescribed Ayurvedic medications are Mrigamadasava, Prabhakara vati, Hridayarnava rasa, Arjuna ghrita, Arjunarishta, and Arjuna.
Any or all of the prescribed medicines should be continued for six months even after the attack subsides.
Mentionably, though the attack has been cured for the present stage yet the patient may again experience the pain during or after any physical exertion.
Hence the need for continuation of the medications even after the first pain subsides.
Mrigamadasava is prescribed during the acute attacks of chest pain.
The Dose: Mix a teaspoonful of Mrigamadasava with an equal quantity of water. The patient should be tendered this concoction twice daily.
Prabhakara Vati and Hridayarnava Rasa
Prabhakara vati and Hridayarnava rasa are available across the Ayurvedic counters in the form of tablets.
The Dose: The patient is given the appropriate doses of Prabhakara vati and Hridayarnava rasa (by the Ayurvedic physician) depending on the intensity of the pain and the seriousness of the ailment. Generally, a patient is given two tablets twice or thrice daily.
Arjuna ghrita is prepared with ghee prepared from cow’s milk.
Note : This medicated ghee should not be taken by people who are stout or have fat accumulation in their bodies. Else there may be complicacies and more accumulation of fat.
Preparation process : Boil Arjuna in ghee. Once the mixture attains the boiling point, allow it to cool down to room temperature.
The Dose : The patient should have one teaspoonful of Arjuna ghrita mixed with warm milk twice daily on an empty tummy.
Arjunarishta is another commonly recommended medication for heart patients.
The Dose : The patient should be tendered six teaspoonfuls of Arjunarishta mixed with an equal quantity of water twice daily after food.
There are several ways of preparing this drug. Arjuna is one of the main ingredients of all medications prepared for the heart patients.
Arjuna is large tree. The bark of this tree is used for the therapeutic preparations.
The patients are tendered either the dried and then powdered form of the Arjuna bark or as a decoction mixed with other things. The patients are recommended this medication both during and after the attack.
The Dose: The patient needs to be tendered one gram of Arjuna four times daily. Here are the other dosages depending on whether the attack is of the Kaphaja type or the Paittika type or the Vatika type.
For patients suffering from the kaphaja type
For those patients suffering from heart ailments due to the Kaphaja type, Arjuna is mixed with Pippali powder or honey.
Decoction Preparation process: To prepare the decoction boil 30 gram of the bark powder of Arjuna in 500 ml of water. Wait till the mixture is reduced by the boiling process to its original one-fourth quantity. Then filter the mixture when it is still hot. Add ghee to the mixture at that boiling stage.
One can, of course also add honey. But add honey only when the decoction’s temperature has become cold. Irrespective of whether you add ghee or honey, remember that the mixture must be kept on churning so that all the ingredients mix well.
Note: Don’t keep this decoction in a fridge. Cover and keep the mixture in room temperature.
The Dose: The patient should be given the decoction thrice daily. mixed with an equal quantity of water twice daily after food.
For patients suffering from the paittika type
Patients suffering from the Paittika type of heart ailments, Arjuna is mixed with milk.
Decoction Preparation process : Prepare the decoction by boiling 30 gram of the Arjuna bark powder mixed with 500 ml of cow’s fresh milk. Boil the mixture till the mixture reaches one-fourth of its original quantity. Keep on churning the mixture so that the ingredients combine together.
The next step is to filter the concoction through a white linen cloth immediately after it reaches the boiling point.
For patients suffering from the vatika type
Patients suffering from the Vatika type of heart ailments, ghee is mixed with Arjuna.
Decoction Preparation process: Prepare the decoction by boiling 30 gram of the Arjuna bark powder mixed with 500 ml of fresh water. Boil the mixture till the mixture reaches one-fourth of its original quantity. Thorough churning is required during the boiling stage so that the ingredients combine together. Add ghee prepared from cow’s milk when the decoction is hot.
Note: The decoction should not be preserved. Use fresh concoction each time.
The Dose: The patient should be given the decoction four times daily.