In Ayurveda, the secret to lifelong health lies in harnessing nature’s gifts, particularly when it comes to heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, so it is essential to look at heart health. Exercising and eating a nutritious diet can help, but it is not enough. So here are the top 3 Ayurveda herbs for heart health.
Ayurveda and Heart Health: A Natural Synergy
In the Ayurvedic tradition, maintaining heart health is a balance of diet, lifestyle, and the use of specific herbs. With heart disease – all three doshas are out of balance, and these 3 herbs for heart health are central to this holistic approach, each offering unique benefits to the cardiovascular system.
Arjuna: Ayurveda’s #1 Heart Herb
Arjuna, known scientifically as Terminalia Arjuna, is one of the top 3 in Ayurveda for heart health. Revered for its strengthening effect on the heart muscle, it is a cardioprotective herb that supports not only cardiac muscle but enhances coronary blood circulation too.
Used as a heart tonic, studies show that the bark of Arjuna shows a significant reduction in chest pain by lowering levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Angina (chest pain) is due to an aggravated Kapha, but the pain associated with it is a symptom of aggravated Vata. An aggravated Kapha leads to the production of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the body.
This Ama accumulates in the heart channels and causes a blockage, leading to an aggravated Vata. This causes pain in the chest area. Arjuna has Kapha balancing properties. It helps to reduce Ama, removes the blockage of heart channels, and calms the aggravated Vata. This helps reduce chest pain.
Ginger: The Versatile Heart Healer
Ginger is a common kitchen spice. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it beneficial for heart health, helping to reduce heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and blood pressure. It works by preventing blood clots in the blood vessels of the heart. The antioxidants present in ginger help in reducing the formation of plaque in the arteries caused by high cholesterol. Ginger has active compounds that are cardioprotective.
It is a cardiotonic, antihypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemia, and antiplatelet. Therefore, it reduces blood pressure, helps with your blood lipid profile, and helps prevent blood clots, which are some leading causes of heart disease and major cardiac events.
Ginger can be incorporated into a healthy diet to help manage the risk of heart disease. However, it is important to discuss the addition of ginger, especially as a supplement, because it may interact with some heart medications and blood thinners.
Ashwagandha: Stress Relief for Heart Health
Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, completes the list of the top 3. Known for its stress-reducing properties, Ashwagandha helps in mitigating stress-related effects on the heart; the stress hormone, cortisol, gets released into the bloodstream at times of stress. People undergoing stress typically experience irregular heartbeat and palpitations. Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogenic herb, or a herb that’s effective in managing stress.
If you suffer from heart palpitations, they are a common symptom of anxiety, whether it is chronic anxiety or caused by an immediate factor. A study done at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center, indicated that ashwagandha extracts acted like GABA, the neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety. This is the reason ashwagandha is touted as an antianxiety herb
A study on stressed people showed that administering high-concentration, full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract in the form of capsules for 60 days brought the cortisol levels of the test subjects down by 28 percent. The decrease in cortisol levels also marks a reduction in palpitation.
Given that ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels and brings down blood pressure by lowering cholesterol levels, it is one of the best herbs for people with palpitations due to either stress or blood pressure issues. Besides taking 1–2 teaspoons of ashwagandha root or leaf powder twice daily, boiled in water or mixed with milk or honey, avoid stimulants like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and even diet pills.
Incorporating the 3 Best Herbs for Heart Health in Daily Life
Integrating the top 3 best herbs for heart health into your daily routine can be transformative. These herbs can be consumed in various forms, including teas, powders, and supplements, and are a cornerstone of Ayurvedic heart health maintenance.
Beyond Herbs: Ayurvedic Practices for Heart Health
In addition to these top 3 best herbs for heart health, Ayurveda recommends a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques like yoga and meditation for optimal heart health.
Heart Health Redefined with Ayurveda
Adopting Ayurveda’s approach, particularly its top 3 best herbs for heart health, can lead to a profound improvement in heart wellness. This holistic path is not just about treating symptoms but nurturing the heart in a natural, balanced way.
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