Cardio Support for Total Heart Health
A Knowledge Article with Anand Srivastava, Chairman of Maharishi Ayurveda Products Pvt. Ltd.
Vata dosha, the mind-body principle governed by air and space, is responsible for movement throughout the body. When looking at heart health, movement is the most important activity of the heart. To strengthen the activities of the heart and to support the proper movement, Vata dosha needs to be balanced. Along with the essential flow of blood through the heart, providing oxygen to all tissues of the body, the blood transports other things as well, such as essential nutrients, hormones, and an entire host of biochemicals that allow for the complex interactions of our metabolism. The flow of blood is the first function of the heart. Nutritive fluid, known as Rasa (one of the seven dhatus or body tissues), moves with the blood, supplied by the heart. Rasa is the first product of metabolism of our food, and after this all of the other dhatus, or tissues of the body, are formed.
Less known and not fully recognized by modern medicine is the second function of the heart, the flow of emotions; and for this the heart and its physical functions must be strong.
Let’s discuss Cardio Support, our cardio management herbal formula. As with all of the Maharishi Ayurveda formulas each ingredient is picked for it balancing effects. The first ingredient in this heart strengthening formula is arjuna, which is helpful in the physical and emotional functioning of the heart. It reduces Pitta and Kapha, and when those two are reduced, Vata is strengthened. Imagine a seesaw with three sides, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When one is down the other two go up, and when two are down the other one goes up. The doshas are all working together. The next ingredient, Boerhavia, stimulates Vata and reduces Pitta and Kapha. It is a very good tonic for the emotional heart, as it helps in the activities of the brain. Sacred Lotus helps protect the heart muscles, regulates the flow of blood, and supports the emotional heart. Guggul enhances Pitta, and it’s included in Cardio Support because of its very special ability to support and enhance the qualities of the herbs that are used along with it. Then Heart-leaf sida strengthens the muscles of the heart and helps reduce Pitta. Cabbage rose is a cooling heart tonic that stimulates the system, reduces Pitta, and balances the emotional heart.
Next there is Winter begonia, a diuretic that helps with the filtration process of the blood, which is important because the same blood is circulating throughout the body, again and again. The blood filtration process includes a pass through the kidneys and then back to the heart where it is oxidized, and then the process repeats. Next is Mineral pitch, which is a very good rasayana that preserves health and longevity and is helpful in kidney function. It is also a good source of minerals and the micro nutrients that are required to keep the heart functioning optimally. It is helpful in brain functioning which supports the emotional heart as well. Mineral pitch helps with strengthening the muscular activities of the heart. Indian tinospora, another diuretic, reduces Pitta and is helpful in physical and emotional functions of the heart. Sacred lotus is a tri-doshic rasayana that works as a heart protective. Tribulus is a cooling herb helpful in supporting healthy functions of the kidneys including the filtration of blood. Next is Licorice, a heart tonic. Then Pearl, a natural source of calcium. When you look at the function of muscles (the heart is a muscle), the role of calcium is essential. After pearl, is Hemidesmus indicus which is a blood purifier that provides strength for the physical and emotional heart. Zinc oxide supports Pitta and healthy functioning of the liver and urinary system.
Mica, a rasayana, enhances the power of the rest of the herbs in this formula. It is a yogavahi, meaning it enhances the effects of yoga, or, in this context, the union of all the herbs together in combination. We use a very fine Mica that is easily assimilated and helpful both to the physical heart and the emotional heart. The mica goes through 100 steps of detoxification and purification, all completed according to the ancient Ayurvedic texts, converting it into a bhasma (or micronized incinerated calx of minerals), which results in a very fine mineral ingredient that is easily absorbed.
Lastly, we include coral, pearl oyster shell, conch, and cowrie shell, which are all forms of calcium. These are very fine sources of calcium from the animal kingdom called Jeiv calcium in Ayurveda. Jeiv means living creature or living being. The source of this Jeiv calcium is aquatic life. These marine organisms extract calcium from the water and in turn form a protective shell. This process of forming the shell is a function of digestion and takes place after the complete process of digestion, so the harshness of naturally occuring mineral calcium is reduced. Having already passed through a living organism’s digestion, the calcium is more easily absorbed. We source the calcium from areas that are not known to be polluted, and also test the quality of calcium for heavy metals and pollutants. No animals are harmed in the use of the shells, as we use only naturally found, abandoned shells. During the processing of the calcium ingredients, the harsher outer layer of the shell is removed and only the inner, pure layer, which has been exposed to less pollutants, is preserved and used. This processing of shell calcium is all done by hand, as the nature of the shapes of the shells makes it difficult for machine processing. When ready, the shells are purified with milk and different juices to create a bhasma, and only then they are ready for use.
The synergistic function of the ingredients in Cardio Support help support muscle strength, blood flow, kidney function, and also to some extent serve as a brain tonic and rasayana. Cardio Support is formulated to be a wide spectrum heart tonic. Not only does it take care of the heart muscles and the flow of blood, but it is also very helpful in all of the other aspects related to the heart, including our emotional functioning. Many of the key ingredients are supportive of the kidneys, which are closely related to the heart, as cardiovascular activity includes the healthy functioning of the heart and the kidneys. The kidneys are involved in the circulation and purification of blood, so, in a heart tonic, the healthy functioning of the kidneys is just as important as the function of the heart.
Our physiology has its own intelligence. It knows what to do and when to do it. Heart functioning, hearing, breathing, and other automatic functions are performed by the physiology under a very elaborate set of intelligence. The detachment from, or loss of awareness of, our inner intelligence is called pragya aparadh. When we experience inner or outer stress it can begin to disturb our systems and the “dis-ease” process starts. When we are unaware of the initiation of the disease on the most subtle of levels, then disease can begin to move deeper and deeper into the system. Proper production of and levels of Ojas, the reserve of balanced activities in all of the dhatu production and agnis (inner fires), helps in preventing the violation of, or loss of, our inner intelligence, thereby keeping us healthy.
When the heart is strengthened it supports the production of Ojas. When Ojas is vital, our health is maintained, strengthened, and protected. Cardio Support helps in the proper functioning of the body so Ojas is produced.
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