Hyperlipidemia in Ayurveda is correlated to the disorders arising due to excessive fat (Medoroga and Aama) in the body. Kapha (K-Dosh) provoking diet and lifestyle are the main causes of Medoroga, hence, avoiding the causative factor is pivotal in lowering cholesterol.
K-Dosh provoking factors cause accumulation of Aama (undigested and toxic product i.e., A-tox), vitiation of digestive fire (Agni i.e., A- Fire), and increased accumulation of Meda dhatu (MF-Dhat), hence, the management of Hyperlipidemia mainly involves correcting these imbalances. Ideally, measures to generate Vata Dosha (V-Dosh) reduces K-Dosh as these two are opposite in qualities. Also kindling the Agni (A-fire) is an important aspect that digests the A-tox and clears the obstructions in the channels (Srotas).
Also see the related article: Cholesterol – Modern And Ayurvedic Perspective
3 Ayurvedic Steps To Manage Cholesterol
The three essential steps to manage Hyperlipidemia could be categorized as below:
1. Lifestyle Management
Regular exercise, consumption of food after the digestion of a previously consumed meal, and the meal mainly consisting of yava (Barley) and godhum (Wheat) are the natural cure for the imbalances arising of excessive nourishment or obesity.
Daytime naps, sleeping immediately following meals, overeating, and sleep-over indulgence add to the accumulation of K-dosh resulting into A-tox, hence this has to be avoided.
Minimizing sedentary habits and staying active by engaging in creative pursuits – as much as possible – are vital in channelizing the Vata (V-Dosh) and reducing K-Dosh. Practicing yoga and pranayama is of assistance here. Yoga exercises like Suryanamaskar (Sun salutations), Shalabhasan (Locust Pose), Bhujangasan (Cobra Pose), spinal twists (Ardha Matsyendrasana), and Vajrasan could be inculcated in regular practice.
A balanced and fiber-rich diet mainly constituting of pungent, bitter, and the astringent-tasting food is essential for preventing the accumulation of K-Dosh and lowering excess fat (MD-Dhat) in the circulation.
Oats, quinoa, barley, and whole wheat are recommended. Include plenty of green vegetables (spinach, chard, kale, fenugreek leaves, mustard greens), fruits, and pulses (horse gram, green gram, chickpeas) to keep K-Dosh in check.
Garlic, ginger, cinnamon, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, flax seeds, and honey have a positive effect on the overall cholesterol ratio and could be included in the diet.
Healthy fats from nuts like walnut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds; and fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are good for increasing the level of HDL.
Drink Warm Water
Avoid fatty food like cheese, fried food, and red meat. Avoid foods that taste sweet and sour, of cold potency, and are heavy for digestion like junk foods, chocolates, cookies, ice creams, and chips. Avoid aerated drink, alcohol, cigarette etc… Excessive consumption of faulty foods vitiates the Agni (A-fire) and results into formation of A-tox.
2. Use Herbs
Herbs with pungent, bitter, and astringent taste, hot potency, dry in quality, and lighter on digestion predominantly has a K-Dosh pacifying action on the body after they undergo the final phase of digestion and assimilation (Vipaka).
First and foremost, the A-Fire has to be balanced and strong, only then the herbs and the diet regimen will act favorably on the body. Subdued A-fire (Agni-mandya) and channel obstructions (Srotorodh) are addressed by Deepan-Pachan herbs (Herbs that ignite A-fire and aids digestion).
Commonly used Deepan-Pachan herbs are:
- Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) Hingu (Ferula narthex);
- Ajmoda (Carum roxburghianum) Pippali (Piper longum);
- Maricha (Piper nigrum) Jiraka (Cuminum cyminum);
- Shunthi ( Zingiber officinale)
Lekhaniya and Medohara (Herbs with scraping property and fat-burning effect):
- Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
- Tulsi Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum)
- Guggulu (Commihora Mukul)
- Vacha (Acorus Calamus)
- Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)
- Bibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica)
- Amala (Emblica Officinalis) etc…
- Vyoshadi churna
- Medohar guggulu
- Triphala Kashayam with honey
- Yava-amalaki churna
- Guduchadi churna
- Punarnava guggulu
- Triphala kadha
3. Panchakarma Procedures
Panchkarma procedures are advised based on the Dosha imbalance, a severity of the disease, and physical strength of the patient. In this instance, taking into account the predominant K-Dosh imbalance, the following treatment would be primarily beneficial:
Massage with herbal powder done in an upward direction towards the heart by applying uniform pressure over the body. This increases the peripheral blood circulation, opens up the clogged pores, exfoliates the skin, generates heat, and liquefies fat in deeper layers beneath the skin.
Commonly used herbs for Udvartana are Triphala (ie Terminalia Chebula, Terminalia Bellirica & Emblica Offcinalis); Vacha (Acorus calamus), and Kulattha (Horse gram powder).
The patient sits in a covered chamber filled with medicated steam and the head pops out of the chamber to avoid direct steam over eyes and head. Steaming unclogs the pore, alleviates joint aches and stiffness, reduces fats, and facilitates absorption of medicine through the skin.
Dashamool decoction prepared from the combination of 10 herbs is commonly used. A decoction prepared from single herb like Bilwa (Aegle marmelos) and Patala (Ptereospermum suaveolens) could also be used for steam.
Udvartana (Powder massage) and Swedan (Steam) assists in clearing the obstructed channels and mobilizing the K-Dosh for easy elimination through the next panchakarma procedures.
It is herb-induced purgation under medical supervision. This enables the dosha and agni (A-fire) to fall back into the balanced state, removes excess fat, removes the accumulated waste products, undigested material, and toxins mainly from the gut, increases immunity, energizes, and instills a feeling of lightness in the body.
Based on the patient’s constitution and bowel habits, herb with appropriate potency is chosen for administration. Commonly used herbs are Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurrora), Danti (Baliospermum montanum), Nishoth (Operculina turpethum), Amaltas (Cassia fistula), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Aragvadha (Cassia fistula) etc… Herbal preparation like Ichhabhedi rasa and Jalodarari rasa are strong purgatives. Mild purgatives like Avipattikar churna and Triphala churna are advised to the patient for daily intake.
Medicated decoction is administered as an enema under medical supervision. Basti medicine is absorbed through the anal mucosa and assists in the elimination of excess K-Dosh and detoxification, relieves constipation, eliminates imbalances in V-dosh, and provides a generalized feeling of lightness in the body .
Lekhan i.e., scraping herbs like Triphala decoction along with honey, gomutra (cow-urine), and saindhav salt (rock salt) are ideally used.
Meaning Of Ayurvedic Terms
- Vata Dosh: V-Dosh is the bio-element with dominant Air & Ether
- KaphaDosha: K-Dosh is the bio-element with dominant Earth & Water
- Agni (A-Fire): Digestive Fire
- Aama (A-tox): Undigested and toxic product
- Srotas: Channels or passage
- Srotorodh: Channel obstruction
- Medadhatu (MF Dhat): Fat tissue
- Deepan-Pachan Herbs: Herbs that ignite A-fire and aids digestion
- Lekhaniya and Medohara: Herbs with scraping property and fat burner
- Agni-mandya: Subdued and vitiated digestive fire/A-fire
Medical Disclaimer: This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is not an alternative to the medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.