It is essentially a clinical syndrome of
characteristic chest pain produced by increased work of the
heart. It is usually relieved by rest. In most cases, it is
manifested in front of the chest and mostly over the sternum. It
may spread towards the left or right side of the chest. The pain
radiates towards the left side very often. It may spread to the
arms, neck, jaws and even the upper part of the abdomen. The
left shoulder and the left arm are very often affected. The
common man calls it heart disease. In Ayurveda it is known as
bridroga. It is of several types depending upon the
characteristic features of the pain. If the pain is acute, and
of shifting nature, this is usually known as vatika bridroga. If
it is associated with burning sensation, then it is called
paittika bridroga. In kaphaja bridroga, the pain is usually very
mild and it is associated with heaviness, nausea and cough.
It is caused by the obstruction to the
coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels which travel
through the wall of the heart and nourish the heart muscle.
Since the heart muscle spends a huge amount of energy, it needs
ceaseless nourishment. It naturally demands a good supply of
blood. Any impairment of these blood vessels interferes with
adequate blood flow to the heart muscles. If this blood flow is
significantly diminished then the heart signals its difficulties
by registering pain or discomfort in the chest.
Treatment Arjuna is the drug of choice for the treatment of this disease.
This is a big tree and its bark is used as medicine. The powder
or decoction of its bark is given to the patient during and even
after the attack. The powder is given to the patient in a dose
of 1 gm., four times a day. If the heart disease is of vatika
type, it is mixed with ghee. If it is of paittika type, then
milk is used. In kaphaja type of heart disease it is mixed with
honey or pippali powder. For decoction usually 30 gm. of the raw
powder of the bark of the drug is boiled with approximately 500
ml. Of water and reduced to one-fourth. This is then filtered,
honey or ghee is added to it, and given to the patient. With
honey, the decoction should become cold before mixing. Ghee is
mixed, when the decoction is warm, and is given to the patient
as such. There are many preparations of this drug, Arjuna.
Arjunarishta is commonlyused by physicians. Six teaspoonfuls of
this liquid drug are given to the patient twice daily after food
with an equal quantity of water. Arjuna is boiled in cow’s
ghee, and this medicated ghee is given to the patients in a dose
of 1 teaspoonful twice daily on empty stomach, mixed with a cup
of warm milk. This preparation is known as Arjuna ghrita. This
medicine should not be given to a person having a fat body. This
is likely to add to his fat and may create more problems.
Other medicines used for different types of heart diseases are
Hridayarnava rasa and Prabhakara vati. These medicines are
available in the form of tablets. Two tablets are given to the
patient, three or four times a day, depending on the seriousness
of the disease.
At the time of acute attacks, Mrigamadasava is the ideal drug.
It is a liquid medicine and given to the patient in a dose of ˝
to 1 teaspoonful mixed with equal quantity of water. These
medicines are to be used even after the attack has subsided. On
exertion the patient may get the attack any time. It is,
therefore, necessary for the patient to use the medicines
mentioned above for about 6 months continuously.
- Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
Fried things, pulses and their
preparations, and groundnut oil are prohibited.
Ayurvedic physicians allow butter or ghee, and not
groundnut oil. Cow’s ghee, cow’s milk and cows’
butter are useful for the patient. Buffalo ghee and
buffalo milk are not recommended. Stimulants like tea,
coffee and alcoholic drinks are very harmful for such
the functions of heart and mind interlinked. Disturbance
in one affects the other. Therefore, patients having
heart disease are advised by the Ayurvedic physicians to
refrain from anxiety, worry, excessive sexual
intercourse and wrathful disposition. All efforts should
be made for the patient to have good sleep at night.
Even rest during the day is essential. He should never
be permitted to remain aware at night for long.
bowels should move regularly. If there is constipation,
he is advised to take a glass of water early morning and
go for a walk every day.
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