About good and bad cholesterol
Ayurveda successfully lowers high cholesterol. The cholestrol can always be within optimal range if we follow the principles and lifestyle of Ayurveda, as well as its principles with regard to nutrition, so it won’t cause us any health problems.
We should mention that there are two types of cholesterol –Good and Bad. Generally, this substance is on fatty basis and it can‘t dissolve in the blood, it only builds up in the blood vessels and in the cells. It is produced upon internal processes in the organism, and it is also imported with foods of animal origin.
According to Ayurveda, good cholesterol is required to lubricate and nourish various conductive channels of the body,as with age some of them get drier, fragile and their conductive function decreases. Thus good cholesterol participates in the formation of cellular walls, in theformation in the intestines of bile acids for digestion, production of various hormoness and Vitamin D and so on. It is with high density and eliminates excess fat, which reduces harmful cholesterol. This happens when excess cholesterol is transferred to the liver and from there – to the intestines, and finally the body gets rid of it.
The density of the Bad cholesterol is low. It builds up in the arteries and narrows their conductive channel. This reduces the amount of blood that enters the heart. This makes it function harder, which causes damages and various diseases–high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and other, all leading to premature death.By itself, however, high cholesterol doesn’t show any visible symptoms, and although more than 50% of people over 35 years have high cholesterol, they don’t know it. And if this lasts for a long time it can cause a realrisk of serious illnesses.
High cholesterol occurs when there is a disturbance in the processing and metabolism of fats and their penetration into the blood. This is usually related to problems with the liver that processes the substances, or to thyroid problems, which affects metabolism.
Ayurvedic diet to lower the cholesterol
According to Ayurveda, the main cause of high cholesterol in the bloodis the improper nutrition that has increased Kaphadosha. This is the vital energy in the body, which has to regulate the optimal condition of the fluids in the organism, including the blood.
At the same,other vital energy – Pitta, is also related to high cholesterol. Pitta is responsible for the transformations and the disturbances often lead to improper digestion and metabolic problems, as the fats can‘t be processes completely, so they build up in the blood vessels. The third energy – Vata, also can contribute, directly or indirectly, to high cholesterol, as it can clog arteries.
Vatadosha is responsible for the movements, including both of blood circulation in the physical aspect and of energies. Thus, because of Vata, hardening of the arterial wall can occur, or the other two energies can be blocked, which can cause different health problems. Therefore, the Ayurveda specialist has to prescribe a complex diet to lower the cholesterol.
In general, the heavy, oily and cold foods, fried, meat, fatty fish, whole milk, cheeses, fermented dairy products, eggs, butter, cakes, cold drinks have to be eliminated from the menu.
In general, the cholesterol is related to animal products, so the vegetarian diet is very good to lower the cholesterol. The food consumed must be low-calorific, the water intake has to be increased–it is a great detoxifying agent and helps for the elimination of the built up toxins from the arteries.
Fruits and vegetables should be consumed more – especially fresh. Leafy vegetables help to eliminate toxins and residue, as carrots are very good for the health. Soy and soy products have beneficial effect oncholesterol control. To lower it are also useful theoatmeal, millet, lentils, beans, peas and other cereals, etc. Legumes contain water-soluble fiber called pectin, which remove cholesterol. It is best to cook with ghee butter or with olive oil. The recommended fruits are apricots, plums, apples.
Useful to reduce bad cholesterol are also the walnuts and almonds. Studies have shown that the consumption of 30 nuts daily for a month reduces the cholesterol by about 1.5 times and improves the elasticity of blood vessels. This is due to the Omega-3fatty acidsthat block and eliminatethe most harmful fats deposited in the blood vessels.
Herbal medicines in Ayurveda that help to lower and control the cholesterol
The garlic is widely used in Ayurveda to lower the cholesterol in blood. It is one of the most common natural remedies for cardiovascular diseases, because it removes the plaques that are built up in the blood vessels and bad cholesterol, accordingly.
It is combined withginger powder, which improves the digestion and metabolism, including fat processing. In addition, ginger balances blood pressure limits and prevents platelets from sticking together and forming clots that can block the arteries. These two ingredients are combined with lemon juice, one of the healing properties of which is liver cleansing from toxins and improvement of processing of substances. This combination should be consumed before eating.
Another option is to drink a cinnamon tea with trikatu twice a day, as some honey should be added. The cinnamon has various healing properties, as some include boosting the digestive system and lowring the cholesterol.
Trikatu is a combination of ginger, pippali and black pepper.In addition to helping the digestion and metabolism, trikatu burns the toxins and purifies the blood. Another formula of Ayurveda that helps to lower the bad cholesterol is the combination of katuka, mumijo and chitrak with warm water and honey. Katuka is good for the liver and bile ducts. The healing resin mumijo stimulates metabolism in the organism and regeneration of tissues, as chitrak activates digestion, burns toxins, purifies blood and lowers the cholesterol, accordingly.Turmeric, rosemary, basil are also used, as they contain antioxidants and have cardio-protective effect, also lowering the cholesterol. Fish oil is beneficial to prevent blood clots and to lower the cholesteroldue to the omega-3 fats.
There are some very easy and affordable ways for home application: in the morning, on an empty stomach, drink hot water with a spoonful of honey. This helps to eliminate fats and to reduce cholesterol respectively. The effect is enhanced if you add a spoonful of lemon juice or 10 drops ofapple vinegar.
Asanas that help to lower the cholesterol
Ayurveda uses also yoga asanas that help to lower and control the high cholesterol in addition to the diet, daily regimen consistent with the biorhythms of the body, healing remedies and toxin cleansing.
There are asanas that are suitable for people who haven’t practiced yoga in their lives. These asanas and exercises are not difficult and don’t require a lot of time, but they have beneficial effect on the relaxation of certain muscles and massaging the internal organs, and through the breathing practices the energy rhythms are regulated. One month is enough to see positive results from the yoga practice if you do the asanasfor 30 minutes per day. By practicing, your cholesterol will return within normal levels and won’t increase. The asanas are effective because they reduce the fats in blood.
In addition to the other effects, the Bicycle asana, for example, improves the liver function, as the organism gets rid of the extra fats and cholesterol. The shoulder asana stimulates digestion and thus helps the optimal processing of fats, which prevents their accumulation;
Digestion and the liver are stimulated by exercises for flexibility of the back in sitting position. The seated position is also useful with legs stretched forward and bending the body towards them. In addition to the liver function, this exercise activates also the kidney function and helps to remove excess fat.
Breathing practices for problems with high cholesterol
The Yogi breath is one of the exercises that are applied by Ayurveda to lower the cholesterol. Use your thumb to close the right nostril, then inhale through the left one. Then close the left nostril and exhale from the opened right nostril. Repeat this exercise several times, as through this pranayama one can improve his concentration.
The breathing is deep and intense in Bhastrika. You should sit in a comfortable position and place your hands on your knees. The breathing is fast, through both nostrils, as the cycle is between four and ten times. When inhaling, the abdomen goes inside, and when you exhale, it is intense by emptying the abdominal cavity. Keep your breath for a while. Then close the left nostril and exhale through the right one. Keep your breath for a while according to your capacity.
Kapalabhati helps to regulate metabolism, as well as to burn fat and release toxins.It should be practiced on an empty stomach in a relaxed seated position, as you use only the muscles of your abdomen. Breathing is performed only through the nose, evenly and deeply, upon stabilization of the breathing you should exhale fully, as you tighten the abdominal muscles, in order to release as much air as possible. After the intense exhaling starts the passive inhaling. It repeats about 20-30 times. After that cycle inhale normally several times. Then repeat the cycle twice more.
It should be noted that even if the yoga practices are easy, you should consult with an Ayurvedic specialist, because some of them may be contraindicative, for example, in in conditions such as asthma, cardiac diseases and so on.
Apart from yoga, it is recommended to practice physical activity on a daily basis. At least for half an hour, five days a week you should walk. Swimming is very good, as well as aerobic gymnastics that can be practiced three times per week. This will increase the Good cholesterol.
Another important thing is the weight- extra kilograms, as this is one of the main factors contributing to high cholesterol. Smoking is a major risk factor because it damages the blood vessels, making them vulnerable to fatty deposits, as this leads to a decrease in good cholesterol.