Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine for Heart Disease

A number of herbs and botanicals in traditional Ayurvedic medicine are used to treat heart disease, cholesterol, and circulatory problems. For example, the resin from Commiphora mukul, both commonly and in Sanskrit referred to as guggul, is used to treat high cholesterol in people with vata doshas and obesity for those with kapha doshas. Another botanical, arjuna, is from the bark of a large tree (Terminalia arjuna) native to India and other southern areas of Asia, and is considered the best treatment for heart disease. In Ayurveda it is considered comparable to the pharmaceutical heart drug digitalis. 1

Modern clinical research does corroborate some of the reported benefits of these traditional herbal remedies:

  • Arjuna. Studies suggest that arjunolic acid may be therapeutic for heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as mitigating the cardiovascular effects of diabetes. 39
  • Berberine. Clinical trial evidence indicates that berberine (a constituent of the barberry plant (Berberis vulgaris) can help improve carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and boost endothelial function and cardiovascular health. 40
  • Mixed Herbal Formulas. Research demonstrates that two specific Ayurvedic herbal preparations (Maharishi Amrit Kalash) were over one hundred times more effective than Probucol (a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication) in the prevention of oxidation of LDL cholesterol. 12
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According to the Mayo Clinic, Probucol has since been taken off the market
for safety reasons.
 
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