Western herbs for Angina
The main constituents of Crataegus are flavonoides, triterpene saponines and few cardio active amines; the cardiovascular protective activity of the plant is attributed to the flavonoids that are concentrated in the leaves, berries and flowers. They enhance the activity of vitamin C and promote capillary stability. Due to the flavonoids crataegus has a significant antioxidant activity, besides it increases the coronary flow, increases the ability of the heart ability to utilize oxygen and the strength of heart contractions. Hawthorn also prevents the building up of cholesterol in the liver by encouraging the breakdown of cholesterol into bile acids; it affects intracellular calcium levels in the heart muscle, resulting in an improved cardiac function; it strengthens and regularizes the heartbeat. Unlike digitalis and other herbs with similar actions, hawthorn does not increase the risk of developing arrhythmias because it increases the refractory period. Clinical studies show that supplementation with hawthorn in patients with ischemic heart disease improves the performance of the heart, shortness of breath, improves blood pressure and reduces the frequency of angina attacks; besides no side effects are observed in many studies.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is best known as a relaxing herb, used for anxiety, depression and irritability, and a valuable remedy for palpitations with nervous origin and ischemia induced by coronarian spasms.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is known and used as a nervine and sedative, very useful for the circulatory system. It is used for palpitations, irregular heartbeats, hypertension and anxiety. Its association with hawthorn is very effective in hypertension.Image
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), frequently used a spice, has a strong antioxidant activity and is also known as a very good tonic for the heart and blood vessels, useful for preventing high cholesterol and ischemic heart disease and promoting a proper activity of the circulatory system. Especially when ischemic heart disease is associated with high cholesterol levels, the use of White birch (Betula alba), Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is very useful for decreasing cholesterol and also for reducing hypertension as all 3 herbs are efficient diuretics.
And last but not least we should underline the importance of the psycho-emotional balance, because the development of heart diseases is strongly connected with the capacity of love expressing. It is already proven that individuals with Type - A personality which is characterized with insecure and impatient persons, highly competitive, workaholic, incapable of relaxation and even hostile or aggressive present a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. At the other end of the scale, individuals that can be patient and relaxed and are able to express their feelings for the others are less prone to heart diseases.
Making love can soothe your heart
And as we live in a world that requires scientific evidence for everything, even the link between love expressing and heart activity has been clinically tested. Researchers from the University of New Carolina have developed two studies regarding this subject.
In the first experiment volunteer partners were put into separate rooms, blood pressure and levels of oxytocine and cortisol (stress hormone) were tested. Then they were placed in a quiet room and told to sit close together, holding hands, they watched a romantic video for 5 minutes and then talked for about two minutes about a time when they felt close as a couple. In the end partners stood for a half a minute hug. The findings of the researchers have shown that time spent with the partner and hugs are beneficial by decreasing the cortisol levels, reducing blood pressure and that that they protect against heart diseases by increasing oxytocin secretion. Oxytocin induces calm and distress and it is stimulated by touch.
Dr Sanjeev Sood is Prof and Head of Panchakarma Department, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar, India. He is teaching Ayurvedic Medicine also since 13 years. He is visiting faculty of Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology to EISRA – Nederland, ICAU – Belgium and Medicarom – Romania. He can reached on +919814004142 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
This article was published in the May, 2008 issue of “DAV’s Ayurveda For Holistic Health”



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