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Ayurveda for high cholesterol

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Article by Sajimon George


Dr.Sajimon George BAMS, Director and Chief consultant, Ayurclinic Pty. Ltd. Melbourne

Impaired Lipid metabolism is a major health hazard to modern life. Around 50% of people over 25 years of age are affected by increased lipid levels. This happens either due to increased dietary intake, increased synthesis or decreased elimination.

Ayurveda oldest holistic medical system purified and nourished by centuries suggests ways to correct this condition.

Types of Hyperlipidemia

1.      Hypercholesterolemia - Serum cholesterol level increases.

2.      Hypertriglyceridemia – Serum triglyceride level increases

3.      Hypercholesterolemia with Hyper triglyceridemia – Both cholesterol & triglyceride level increases


Clinical features of increased lipid levels

1.      Atherosclerosis – Increased low density lipids (LDL) sticks to inner wall of blood vessels results in atherosclerosis. Later calcium is deposited in these plaques and makes it hard and loosing natural elasticity.

a.      Coronary artery disease and heart attack – Atherosclerotic changes happens to coronary artery which supplies blood to cardiac muscles and this results in deficient blood supply to cardiac muscles and gradually leads to Heart attack.

b.      Aortic aneurism – When cholesterol is deposited in inner walls of aorta which carry blood from heart to other parts of body. Weaker portion of aorta bulge out resulting in aneurism.

c.       Peripheral Vascular disease - Atherosclerotic changes of blood vessels which supplies blood to legs results in peripheral vascular disease.

2.      Metabolic syndrome – Diabetes, Hypertension, constricted blood vessels of heart, increased fat deposit on hips, variation of cholesterol levels in blood together causes metabolic syndrome.

3.      Stroke - Caused by blockage of either vertebral artery or carotid artery resulting from deposition of fat.

4.      Liver diseases – Fatty liver, Non alcoholic steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, are caused by deposition of fat and cholesterol in liver.

5.      Renal diseases – Deposition of cholesterol in renal arteries results in renal artery stenosis leading to renovascular hypertension. Gradually it may lead to renal failure.

Ayurvedic approach

Concept of Dhatu

            Dhatu – Seven types of body tissues which forms physical body. They are

1.      Rasa – Purified subtle part of properly digested food.

2.      Rakta – Blood

3.      Mamsa – Flesh

4.      Medas – Fat

5.      Asthi – Bone

6.      Majja – Bone marrow

7.      Sukla/Arthava – Reproductive tissue


Each of these dhatus are subtler or purer than the previous dhatu and nourished by the same. For example fat(medas) is nourished by flesh(mamsa)and flesh (mamsa)by blood (raktha).The fire(agni) inherent in fat cause digestion and supply of nutrient or subtler  part of fat to the subsequent bone(asthi) dhatu.

Hyper lipidemia

According to this science of wellbeing, Hyperlipidemia is caused by improper functioning of fire (agni) principle. This causes impairment of conversion of one dhatu to the next. Specifically fire principle in the fat dhatu starts malfunctioning and conversion to next dhatu ie, bone dhatu is failed. This causes accumulation of unhealthy and partly digested fat (medas) all along channels (srotas) which transport it. Etiology for improper functioning of fire or agni principle include sedentary life, lack of exercise, higher dietary intake of oily ,fried ,sweet food ,curd, day time sleep & indulgence in chilled food.  

Ayurvedic management

Correction of fire principle is the basic treatment for increased lipid levels. Dietary and lifestyle modification can avoid further aggravation of Vata, Kapha and, fire principle. Ayurvedic medicines and treatment procedures suggested by a qualified and learnt physician after assessing the patient is required. Proper management will trigger fire principle and thus will help proper conversion of fat dhatu.


General treatment


1.      Cleansing procedures

      A patient with deep rooted impairment will require basic cleansing procedures like panchakarma. Every procedure may not be required for everyone and it will be decided by the physician.



2. Powder massage (udwarthana)

      Massage by suitable herbal powders is useful after cleansing.

3. Lifestyle modification


Ayurvedic diet

      Easy to digest food, leafy vegetables, egg white, fruits are advised. Fried preparations and dairy products with high fat content need to be avoided.


Modification of activities


·         Regular exercise after medical opinion

·         Avoid day sleep and sedentary life.

·         Maintenance of healthy body weight

·         Cessation of smoking

·         Limit alcohol consumption.

11 Jul 2012

Article/Information supplied by Sajimon George

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.