Cholesterol has got a bad reputation due to its role in promoting heart disease. But it is not all good, nor is it all bad— it’s the excess cholesterol in the bloodstream which causes problems. Cholesterol levels usually tend to rise naturally as individuals get older. However, this condition is now prevalent even among young individuals due to lifestyle factors. It is found that in young people, the likelihood of getting a heart disease doubles with every 40-point increase in total cholesterol.
So, in current times, people of all ages need to be concerned about high cholesterol. They need to keep an eye on their blood cholesterol numbers at an early age. With the help of Ayurvedic treatment for cholesterol,they can easily and safely control their cholesterol levels. Individuals can also use Ayurvedic medicine for cholesterol management.
An important part of preventing and treating high cholesterol is understanding it.
So, let’s understand first what cholesterol is and how it becomes detrimental to your heart health. This blog post also shares some of the best Ayurveda tips and medicines that help you keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
Cholesterol Alone Is Not the Only Culprit of Heart Problems
Cholesterol is a type of fatty acid that your liver produces. It plays a key role in supporting and lubricating the body's numerous circulatory channels, or Shrotas. Our arteries and veins are categorized as larger Shrotas that carry blood to and from the heart and to perform well, these need to be elastic and flexible. While cholesterol helps in constantly lubricating and supporting the Shrotas, its increased level may damage them.
This happens because, over time, the walls of your arteries or Shrotas can become furred up with fatty deposits due to high cholesterol levels (Apachait Medha). When the condition is left untreated, atherosclerosis, also called “hardening of the arteries” occurs. This condition may cause heart attack risk and increases the risk of developing other heart-related problems. The condition may be even worse for your liver. Cholesterol, especially from foods mostly ends up in the liver and can increase your risk for fatty liver disease. A sluggish liver indicates that your body isn't flushing out the toxins properly, and you may also be at risk of liver disorders.
Causes of High Cholesterol- An Ayurveda Perspective
In normal situations, our bodies can manage cholesterol. However, cholesterol levels are affected by the imbalance caused by a weakened Agni, which leads to excess cholesterol.
Ayurveda says that our body is a combination of 3 Doshas or functional energies (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), Malas (metabolic impurities), and the 7 Dhatus or tissue elements (Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Meda, Asthi, Majja , and Shukra). All these dhatus are sequentially transformed from one form to another by the Agni (Digestive fire) or the 'biological fire' of the human body. ‘Meda’ dhatu, the dhatu tissue that represents fat, lubricates your body, and provides nourishment and energy if the digestive fire is in a healthy state. This Dhatu is also related to Cholesterol (lipid tissue).
The nutrients that we absorb are transformed into Dhatus by Agni. However, if your Agni is weak, the transformation may not be done in a proper manner, and this leads to the production of Ama(toxins). Ama is a sticky, foul-smelling waste product of improper digestion, which when combined with Meda Dhatus can block the channel of the body, such as arteries.
Risk factors and Ayurveda management of high cholesterol
We all know that good health starts with good digestion. The food we eat nourishes our body, but only if we can digest it properly. Our unhealthy behaviors like excessive sleep, overeating, and emotional eating- all tend to dampen the subtle nature of Agni and increase cholesterol. Consumption of heavy foods (Kapha aggravating foods) can easily disrupt the light, clear nature of Agni. Taking too much caffeine and meat and foods sourced from plants (grown in water) can also contribute to cholesterol levels. It is also advised not to consume foods when we are emotionally disturbed, bored, thirsty (instead of hungry), or the mind is dull and cloudy because due to these our Agni is bound to suffer.
So, to keep cholesterol levels under control one needs to embrace a healthy lifestyle and eating behaviors. Regular physical activity helps relieve stress and stimulates Agni, thereby helping manage cholesterol. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is equally important. It not only ensures optimum nutrition but also keeps cholesterol under control. Individuals can also follow dietary guidelines for Indians and follow these Ayurveda tips to get an idea about how they can plan their meals.
Eat 3 nutritious, well-balanced meals a day. Include different foods from each food group and eat foods in moderation (as mentioned in the guidelines)
Avoiding excessive intake of caffeine
Stick to a light, Kapha-pacifying diet. Include astringent foods including lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, and fruits like pears and apples
Bitter foods, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains like oats and quinoa are also beneficial for digestive health and cholesterol management
Avoid fatty food, cheese, processed foods, high-fat milk, or yogurt.
Minimise the consumption of sweets and cold foods and drinks.
Significance Of Ayurveda Herbs and Medicines in The Management of Cholesterol
Often, despite these changes, your cholesterol may remain above the targeted levels. This is where you may need ayurvedic medicine for cholesterol. If you are advised to take pills or medication to keep your cholesterol levels within healthy ranges, research suggests that ayurvedic medicine for cholesterol can be effective as well. These are also effective when used under a standard treatment plan. These are some of the most effective Ayurveda medicines and the best herbs for high cholesterol.
Lipomap – Lipomap, a potent blend of Ayurvedic herbs, helps you manage cholesterol. It is an effective Ayurvedic formulation that helps maintain the right cholesterol levels, lowers triglycerides (a type of fat or lipid found in your blood), increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL), and reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). The Ayurvedic goodness of Guggul and Aanantmoola in this Ayurvedic formula helps manage cholesterol levels naturally. Most importantly, it’s a safer and most effective option than the station, which makes it the best Ayurvedic medicine for high cholesterol.
Guggul- This potent herb has a remarkable ability to bring cholesterol levels within healthy ranges. Its regular use also promotes supple arteries. Thanks to its stimulating nature, it helps kindle the digestive fire, thereby promoting healthy digesting and preventing the production of Ama
Arjuna - This is also one of the best herbs for high cholesterol. Using Arjuna bark(chaal) powder is useful to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Its Kashaya (astringent) and Kapha pacifying properties prevent the accumulation of excessive cholesterol in the body, thereby keeping it in a healthy range. This herb gives the best results when consumed early in the morning, before breakfast with lukewarm water.
Tulsi -Tulsi or Holi Basil leaves are also a good option as they are easily available and have cholesterol-lowering properties. This herb is used for preparing multiple medicines. It is a proven medicinal herb with the ability to disintegrate cholesterol from the body. People with uncontrolled cholesterol levels can take 2-3 leaves of tulsi daily.
Individuals of all ages should keep their cholesterol levels in check as uncontrolled cholesterol may cause life-threatening conditions like heart disease. Maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol begins with understanding your cholesterol level. As there are no warning signs of high cholesterol, it’s important that you keep monitoring your cholesterol levels. Ideally, every adult, aged 20 or above, needs to get screened regularly to keep an eye on cholesterol numbers. Ayurveda suggests that some herbs and their blends can help reduce cholesterol levels naturally, without any side effects. These Ayurveda medicines, along with a healthy lifestyle support your physiology so that you can easily manage cholesterol levels.