High cholesterol is a very common health problem among men and women especially among people who do not have enough physical work. After the age of 45, it is especially advisable to check the level of cholesterol in the blood. A high level of cholesterol can narrow blood vessels in particular, coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart muscles.
Ayurveda looks at cholesterol as a manifestation of Kapha dosha, one of the three doshas which keeps the body in a state of equilibrium. The other two Doshas are Vatha and Pitta. In Ayurveda, high cholesterol is seen as a product of Mandagni (weak digestion). In this condition, Ayurveda advises a diet that can improve the functions of Agni (digestive fluids) and does not contribute to further assimilation of Kapha in the system.
The preventive and curative measures for cholesterol in Ayurveda can be brought under the following three categories: Lifestyle, Diet, Processed preparations from natural sources.
- Do not sleep during the day. Even if you feel very sleepy due to some reason, sleep for a while in the sitting position during day time. Sleeping in a lying position increases Kapha in the body but if you sleep in a sitting position, Kapha does not increase.
- Walk for a while, if you walk two to three km a day at a fast pace with both hands swinging, that will burn down the Kapha in your body.
- Dry massage: A dry massage in an upward direction on the body for a period of 45 minutes to one hour with the Triphala powder and roasted, powdered horse gram is very useful. This can be done by a professional masseur.
- Take a glass of buttermilk mixed with a small onion chopped into small pieces every day after food.
- Chop a small onion and mix it with lemon juice. Have it as a side dish with your food.
- Use roasted garlic directly or as a chutney with your lunch.
- Take one meal with wheat or a rice product. The second with fresh fruits and the third meal with cooked vegetables.
Make your medicine
The following medicines are useful as a dietary supplement in the initial stages of cholesterol. You can choose one or two of these medicines for daily use, depending on the availability of materials around you.
These are simple and extremely safe herbs that are easily available in urban areas or commonly seen in the wild.
- Boreahviadiffusa (Punarnava) is a weed seen all over the country. Take 60 gm of its roots, clean well and chop into small two-inch pieces. Crush slightly so that when the roots are boiled with water the juice inside can ooze out easily. Add one litre of water to 60 gm root. Boil till the water reduces to 250 ml. Filter this decoction and remove the roots. Reduce this 250 ml of the extracted decoction on a low flame to 120 ml. Take 60 ml in the morning on an empty stomach and 60 ml in the evening, around 6 pm again on an empty stomach. You can use this process to make any fresh herbal decoction. Once you know how to make this medicine, it is as simple, as or as difficult, as making a perfect cup of black tea.
- Take about 100 gm of fresh drumstick leaves and make a decoction as instructed above (add one-litre water and reduce it to 120 ml) and take 60 ml in the morning and 60 ml in the evening with one teaspoon of powdered dry ginger and one teaspoon of honey.
- Take 5 gm of fresh ginger paste. Add enough honey to make it palatable and take it in the morning after breakfast.
- Take one teaspoon of tribhalaadichoornam (available in the market) mixed with 1 tablespoon honey at bedtime followed by drinking warm water.
- Tinosporacordifolia (Gudbhel or Guduchi ): This plant grows everywhere in India. Cut 30 gm of Tinosporacordifolia into small pieces and crush. Add 30 gm of TribulusTeriesting (Gokshura – Gokhru) a thorny plant seen all over in fields. Make a decoction of both these and take 60 ml in the morning and 60 ml in the evening. A perceivable result should be seen within 41 days of following this advice.