According to Ayurveda literature, the heart is considered to be one of the most important “MARMA”, that is, a very vital part of human body. It is so important according to Ayurveda that it gets a separate mention in “TRI-MARMIYA” chapter by Charaka achrya as – ASHRAYA of atma, soul, and feelings. According to Ayurveda philosophy, how we feel in our hearts is the measure of who we really are, where as, what we think in our mind is often no more than a superficial impression, passing momentarily through us via the senses. This way, heart is even considered to be above mind and hence, heart diseases reflect deep seated issues of identity, feelings, and consciousness.
Heart diseases, nowadays, are a major reason behind death due to illness around the world. This is largely because in today’s fast and competitive life, emotions and feelings are denied and ignored. Today’s life aims more towards personal achievements rather than communion with others. Many of us literally die of broken hearts or spiritual starvation. The saints of Ayurveda understood this fact and prescribed Satvajaya chikitsa or mental hygiene for this. Heart, according to ayurvedic philosophy, is organ of emotions, and ayurvedic treatment for heart diseases emphasizes that emotional causes should always be considered first while treating heart ailments. Such causes include – difficulties in work or relationships, depression, low self-esteem etc.., which usually indicate that at inner level we are not in touch with our own hearts.
According to Ayurveda, heart is closely associated with Pranvah shrotas (Respiratory system), and Anavah shrotas (Digestive system). Ayurveda says that HRIDYA (Heart) has three functions – receiving, giving away and moving for continuous activity to execute two earlier functions. Circulation of blood and transportation of nutrients and oxygen through it are major functions of heart. If such vital organ is afflicted with disease pathology, naturally all life processes are also impaired to great extent.
Ayurveda has many herbs which are beneficial for different conditions of cardiovascular system. Amla – The Indian Gooseberry – is considered as the best rasyan or drink which mitigates all heart ailments or hriday-dosas. This edible fruit’s tissue contains protein and ascorbic acid, having concentration much higher as compared to that present in apple. Many known antioxidants, Gallic acid, Catechol, Ellagic acid, Vitamin C, carotene, and superoxide-dismutase enzyme have also been reported to be present in this fruit. As Amla is also rich in natural flavonoids, thus it promotes health vigour and stamina too, thereby reducing cholesterol and blood sugar.
Arjuna Terminalia arjuna, according to Ayurveda, is another beneficial herb. It is good for heart, cures injury inside lungs, neutralizes toxins, effective in controlling fat, diabetes and wounds and mitigates kapha and pitta dosas. Arjuna active constituents include tannins, cardenolide, triterpenoid saponins (arjunic acid, arjunolic acid, arjungenin, arjunglycosides), flavonoids ellagic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Using of Arjuna bark in milk is highly recommended for heart pain.
Today, there are many organizations which harness the powers of these herbs and add to them the usability of modern world by creating ayurvedic products and medicines. The products of companies like Baidyanath, Himalaya and few others have a range of medicines which are not only easy to take but also are close to nature there by keeping negative effects to minimal. For heart issues, there exists a range of Arjuna, Amla, and Cardiwin tonics. In Ayurveda, it is a belief that cardiac aliments, hypertension and dyslipidemia never occur alone but are supplemented by stress, tension, and thus the herbal preparations like stresswin, brain tab, ashwagandha and sarswat churan in ayurveda aim towards not only the curing of heart issues but also act as a soothing agent for the patient, calming him from inside. This all leads to less of stress along with resolving of heart ailment – leading to long lasting solution.