Having high cholesterol levels can be harmful in the long run. Also known as hypercholesterolemia, it is one of the major causes of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.
Do not know that our body does needs cholesterol, as it is needed in optimum quantity. As you must be aware of the good and bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. With our lifestyle and eating habits, the abnormal increase in bad cholesterol can really harm the blood vessels and overall heart health, making it critical to take control of this situation as soon as possible.
If you have undergone a test related to your lipid profile and find your bad cholesterol levels way beyond the stated limits, then your doctor might prescribe you medications. Also, there would be instructions from him/her to follow a heart-friendly diet and adopt a form of physical activity.
Adopting the necessary lifestyle changes will certainly help you. But do you know there are certain herbs and formulations in Ayurveda that can also help in lowering cholesterol in the most natural way possible? These herbs have minimum side effects. So are safe for use.
Few tips and home remedies that you can follow to lower your cholesterol levels
- Diet Changes
You need to avoid fried and greasy foods and increase the intake of dietary fibers. These can be taken in the form of fruits, beans, fruit, flax, and oats, etc. Eating more plant-based foods will also help in lowering LDL levels. You should also stay clear of saturated fats such as lard, butter, hard cheeses, cream, ice cream, beef, pork, poultry with skin, palm oil, and coconut oil.
- Manage Body Weight
It is seen that overweight people are much more likely to store bad cholesterol in their bodies. Shedding even a few pounds, i.e., 5-10% of the weight will improve the condition considerably. The levels of LDL levels will decrease in the blood with the loss of weight.
- Increase in physical activity levels
Exercise or any form of physical activity will help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Eliminate processed foods and added sugar
Consuming processed foods, junk foods, and added sugar is linked to a greater risk of heart disease and related risk factors like high LDL (bad) cholesterol. You will have to make the necessary changes in your diet and consume freshly made home food with less processed oils.
Ayurveda’s take on High Cholesterol
In Ayurveda, cholesterol imbalance is caused due to the imbalance in digestion, assimilation, and elimination processes. The production of cholesterol does not necessarily need to be lowered, but it needs to be balanced. It is said that when the process of digestion is balanced, then the body produces the optimum amount of cholesterol that is needed in the body.
The imbalances in the meda dhatu result in the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the body. So, meda dhatu needs to be in balance.
Also, we cannot ignore the role of the liver in the management of cholesterol as the liver not only produces cholesterol, but it is also part of the digestive system.
The liver does the main screening of the toxins before they can enter the bloodstream. It must be noted that if the liver is overloaded with Toxins(Ama), then the 13 types of digestive fires (Agni) are also disturbed.
To conclude, the mixing of ama with fat tissue is the main reason behind imbalanced cholesterol levels and the imbalance in the liver function results in the quality and purity of fat tissue to be compromised.
Some herbs are potentially powerful in bringing the medha dhatu in balance. The commonly used herbs are garlic, guggul(Commiphora mukul), and arjuna (Terminalia arjuna).
Other herbs that have shown considerable benefits are turmeric, ginger, shilajit, licorice, Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa), Cyperus rotundus, Tribulus terrestris, punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Nigella sativa, garcinia,triphala, and),Terminalia chebula (haritaki),Emblica officinalis (amalaki),shilajit (silajatu-suddha) and Terminalia bellerica (Bibhitaki)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is another Ayurvedic herb that may help lower bad cholesterol.
One of the best Ayurvedic medicine for cholesterol in India is Lipomap.
It is an effective Ayurvedic formulation that maintains Cholesterol levels, lowers triglycerides, increases HDL (High Density Lipids), and reduces VLDL (Very Low-Density Lipids) and LDL (Low Density Lipids).
To Sum up
Managing your cholesterol levels can be quite difficult at times, but it can be accomplished easily with diet and lifestyle modifications. Regular monitoring and check-ups are also important. I have also explained the Ayurvedic herbs that can help you in the management of LDL levels. These herbs have minimal or no side effects, but it is recommended to talk to your Vaidya or Physician for maximum health benefits.