March 2015

ATHEROSCLEROSIS: Investing In Your Arteries

What is Atherosclerosis:

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Plaque is made of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood). The most devastating consequences of atherosclerosis, such as heart attack and stroke, are caused by superimposed thrombosis. Plaque rupture is the most common cause of heart attack. The prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis requires control of the known modifiable risk factors for this disease like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. The treatment goals for patients with coronary artery atherosclerosis are to relieve symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) and to prevent future cardiac events, such as unstable angina, AMI, and death.

AyurVAID's treatment modality for Atherosclerosis includes both internal medications and therapies, judiciously administered after assessing the patient's individual clinical condition. Use of kapha medohara drugs like guggulu, shilajatu, loha preparations, treatment procedures such as enema - lekhana basti, kshara basti, yapana basti etc, use of mild purificatory treatments either vamana(emesis) / virechana (purgation) based on the patient tolerability are often employed. Significant improvement in the lipid profile and Doppler study can be brought about by appropriate Ayurveda treatment. Thus manifestation of secondary complications; which may lead to morbidity and mortality could be prevented inturn.

  1. Atherosclerosis develops gradually. Mild atherosclerosis usually doesn't have any symptoms. You usually won't have atherosclerosis symptoms until an artery is so narrowed or clogged that it can't supply adequate blood to your organs and tissues. Sometimes a blood clot completely blocks blood flow, or even breaks apart and can trigger a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of moderate to severe atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are affected. The following are the serious diseases caused by atherosclerosis.

  2. If there is atherosclerosis in your heart arteries (Coronary artery disease), you may have symptoms, such as chest pain on exertion or pressure (angina) associated with or without chest tightness & shortness of breath or fatigue.

  3. If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries in your arms and legs, the legs usually show symptoms of poor circulation first. For example, pain in the calf muscles when walking (intermittent claudication) is the most common symptom. Poor wound healing or decreased pulses in the feet are other signs.

  4. If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your brain, you may have signs and symptoms such as sudden numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, or drooping muscles in your face. These signal a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which, if left untreated, may progress to a stroke.

  5. If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your kidneys, you develop high blood pressure or kidney failure.

  6. If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your genitals, you may have difficulties in your reproductive functions. Sometimes, atherosclerosis can cause erectile dysfunction in men. In women, high blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the vagina.

The disease has been shown to place an enormous burden on society.
  • Studies show that about 8-9% of the adult population suffers from some form of Rheumatic disease - and about 5-6% of the population has joint (or related) diseases.

  • About 1% of the world's population is afflicted by Rheumatoid Arthritis, and women are affected three times more often than men.?

  • Although it can occur at any age, it begins most often between ages 25 and 55.

  • The prevalence of RA in adults in India varies from 0.5-3.8% in women and from 0.15-1.37% in men, with peak incidence in the fourth decade of life.

Hardening of the arteries occurs over time. Besides ageing, factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis include:

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Smoking and other tobacco use

  • A family history of early heart disease

  • Lack of exercise

  • Increasing Age

  • Male gender

  • Genetic abnormalities

Clinical Diagnosis:

During a physical examination, signs of narrowed, enlarged or hardened arteries, include:

  • A weak or absent pulse below the narrowed area of your artery
  • Decreased blood pressure in an affected limb
  • Whooshing sounds (bruits) over your arteries, heard using a stethoscope
  • Signs of a pulsating bulge (aneurysm) in your abdomen or behind your knee
  • Evidence of poor wound healing in the area where your blood flow is restricted

Lab Investigations:

  • Blood tests:

    1. Lipid profile which includes serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, LDL, HDL, VLDL etc.
    2. Glycemic control which includes Fasting and postprandial blood sugar, HBA1C etc.

  • Doppler ultrasound to measure the degree of any blockages, as well as the speed of blood flow in your arteries.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) - reveal evidence of a previous heart attack.
  • Stress test
  • Angiography- Cardiac catheterization and angiogram. This test can show if your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked.
  • Other imaging tests- Computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to study your arteries.


The complications of atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are blocked. For example:

  • Coronary artery disease.It can cause chest pain (angina), a heart attack or heart failure.
  • Carotid artery disease. It can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
  • Peripheral artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries in arms or legs, you may develop circulation problems in your arms and legs called peripheral artery disease. This leads to less sensitivity to heat and cold, thus increasing your risk of burns and /or frostbite. In rare cases, poor circulation in your arms or legs can cause tissue death (gangrene).
  • Aneurysms: Pain and throbbing in the area of an aneurysm. Rupture of an aneurysm may leed to internal bleeding.
Ayurveda Concept

Atherosclerosis: An Ayurveda Perspective

This is related to changes in to blood circulation associated with aging. Vata is predominant in old age, which indicate the principle responsible factor for catabolism. The presence of vata in old age is readily expressed as our body degenerates and exhibits weakening and wasting of the tissues, seen in disorders like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and thinning of the skinning, problems that affect the elderly. As we age our ability to rejuvenate cellular tissue is impeded due to a decline in cellular metabolism, hence we are unable to replace and repair cellular tissueat the rate at which it is degenerating.

Once Vata affects the Jatharagni , the digestive process in the GI tract starts to affect the metabolism at each of the seven stages involving the seven dhatus, thus debilitating the digestion steadily. In atherosclerosis, dhatu agni is affected by vata at the level of rakta dhatu – blood, thereby leading to improper formation and functioning include the blood vessels and small tendons. Decreased metabolic function at the level of adipose tissue increases the formation of adipose tissue resulting in excess meda dhatu either as subcutaneous fat or fat that surrounds the organs. Increased meda dhatu formation begins to encroach on the upadhatu of rakta dhatu - blood, that being the arteries and blood vessels. As the meda dhatu accumulates in the raktavaha srota it begins to block the flow of Vyana vayu which carries the blood from the heart to the peripheral tissues. Due to blockage of Vyana vayu blood pressure is increased to counter the kapha stagnation and as a result hypertension presents as a clinical sign. Kapha type symptoms such as obesity, oedema, lethargy, sinus congestion and high blood cholesterol.

Ayurveda approach to medical management

It includes the principles like, nidana parivarjana (avoiding the causative factors), ahara (diet), vihara (life style management) and chikitsa( treatment) with specific kapha medohara drugs like guggulu, shilajatu, loha preparations. These drugs are capable of removing deposited and accumulated fat like substances from the srotasas and Dhatus (microcirculatory channels) which ultimately help in checking the onset of Atherosclerosis and treatment procedures such as enema like lekhana basti, kshara basti, yapana basti etc, use of mild purificatory treatments based on the patient tolerability. All these are likely to influence and correct the lipid metabolism. Thus bringing the efficient management from the level of the root cause and thereby help prevent the manifestation of complications.

AyurVAID’s unique assessment protocol includes a detailed thorough clinical examination based on Ayurveda Classical Principles. This will help you in knowing the causes of Atherosclerosis and understanding the pathogenesis of the disease. Based on this, doctor will plan a personalised treatment plan which would include diet, lifestyle, and medicine and Treatment recommendation. Intensive treatments will lead to deep cleansing of your body which will address the root cause of atherosclerosis. After the main treatment, you will be advised medicines, diet and lifestyle to prevent progression of the disease.

Recipe: Kokam Soup

9 dried Kokam fruits, 4 cups water, 2 tablespoons ghee, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 4 curry leaves(fresh or dried), 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves chopped, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoon chickpea flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 pinches black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 tespoon salt, 1 tablespoon jaggary or sugar.

Wash and soak the Kokam fruits in 1 cup of the water for 10-20 minutes. Then squeeze the fruit several times into this water and remove it from the water. Heat a saucepan until medium-hot and add the ghee, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves and bay leaves. Stir or shake the pan until the seeds pop. Pour in the fruit water plus 2 more cups of the water.

Mix the chickpea flour with the last cup of water very well, then add to the soup. Stir to prevent lumps forming. Add the cinnamon, black pepper, clove, salt and jaggery. Stir and boil gently for 5 minutes.


1. It stimulates normal gastric fire and detoxifies the body of toxins (ama).
2. It is also an excellent blood cleanser.
3. If taken before the meal, it acts as a appetizer.

Doctor of the month

Dr Varun B Gupta, B.A.M.S., M.Sc. (Med Plant Sci-Pharmacology), Ph.D

Dr. Varun Gupta, Research Associate at the AyurVAID Discovery Foundation, B.A.M.S. from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Nashik, completed his post-graduation and Ph.D. from IPGT & RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat. He earlier worked as a Research Associate in a CSIR-IGIB, New Delhi sponsored project on Ayurgenomics for about one year. He is an expert in Experimental as well as Clinical Pharmacology in respect of Ayurveda formulations, standardization and establishment of Research Methodology.

He has specialized in Dravyaguna (Ayurveda), Taxonomy (Botany) and is trained in Pharmacognostical - Phytochemical analysis relevant to Ayurvedic formulations (Rasa & Herbal both). He has been part of some Project based Research Studies as Research Fellow including experimental cataract study, toxicity and genotoxicity studies of Bhasma Formulations at Jamnagar. As part of his fellowship, he was associated with the preparation of 2 Monographs and assisted with the preparation of 2 other monographs. He has published 7 Research Articles in various reputed International peer-reviewed journals. He is a Reviewer for one of the most precise; International & Peer reviewed Ayurveda Journals – AYU and Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. He is also trained in ‘IAP-AAP-LDSC Neonatal Resuscitation Program under First Golden Minute Project by Indian Academy of Paediatrics’ as well as in Detailed Objective Phenotypings (Anthropometry, Spirometry, Gustatory and Heart Rate Variability Tests). He is a result driven professional with a verifiable career track of successful Research Projects, known for delivering good results with Experimental and Clinical Medicine in perspective of Ayurveda.


Dr Jayakumar R, Consultant Physician, Reproductive Health, AyurVAID Hospitals, Ernakulam, brings hope to those in despair. Mr and Mrs Q 42 and 39 years respectively, had been to several infertility experts in the country with the great hope of building their family. Mrs Q had an associated medical history of uterine fibroids accompanied with excessive and painful bleeding. But all they had was despair. Finally they chose to try Ayurveda. The couple consulted Dr. Jayakumar at AyurVAID, Ernakulam.

They underwent Ayurveda classical assessment according to AyurVAID’s protocols to address the root cause of infertility applicable to their case. Dr Jayakumar prescribed and supervised classical Ayurveda intensive therapies with the medicines and diet and lifestyle recommendations. Mrs Q on follow up was completely cured of uterine fibroids. Her bleeding was normal and regular without pain.

They were advised to follow the classical Ayurveda principles of HEALTHY EUGENICS – i.e. Suprajanan Shastra. They incorporated Ayurveda advice in their lifestyle and as a result one fine day came the GOOD NEWS!! In the month of Feb 2015, Mrs. Q was confirmed pregnant.

Dr Jayakumar has so far treated more than 80 couples with the condition of infertility due to various explained and unexplained causes and has achieved success, just as in the case of Mr and Mrs Q.

Dr Jayakumar completed his research and MD thesis in the area of fertility and reproductive medicine under several distinguished Ayurveda practitioners. He is skilled in doing the unique Ayurveda procedure ‘Uttaravasthi’ which is one of the key procedures in this specific Ayurveda specialty. Dr Jayakumar has in a short time span established himself as a confident flag bearer for the science of Ayurveda in effective treatment of this most fundamental of human needs.

AyurVAID conveys best wishes and congratulates Dr Jayakumar for his knowledge and skills par excellence in this field of Ayurveda Reproductive Medicine.

Appointments with Dr. Jayakumar may be fixed at 0484-2311399, 2320412 or by email at:

Battle against SWINE FLU [H1N1]: STOP THE SPREAD

Swine Flu panic is spreading fast with the death toll crossing 800 in India. Here are specific preventive steps recommended by Centres For Disease Control and Prevention

1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Greetings On Women's Day

Wishes for AyurVAID's friends, and the women in their family, all over the world.

Warmest wishes and regards,

Team AyurVAID