Secrets of the Healthy Heart (Dr. Ramesh Patil. MD MEDICINE )

The heart is the motor that keeps the blood in motion throughout all the blood vessels in the body.
The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, veins, arteries and capillaries. The primary function of the heart is to circulate the blood, and through the blood, oxygen and vital minerals are transferred to the tissues and organs that comprise the body. The left side of the main organ (left ventricle and left atrium) is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of the body, while the right side (right ventricle and right atrium) pumps only to the lungs for re-oxygenation of the blood.The heart itself is divided into three layers called the endocardium, myocardium and epicardium,(liquidation) which vary in thickness and function.

The cardiovascular system includes the heart and the blood vessels, and the respiratory system contains those organs which are responsible for carrying oxygen from the air to the blood stream and expelling the waste product of carbon dioxide. Blood is that sticky, red fluid that circulates throughout our bodies in veins and arteries. The heart pumps oxygen into the blood and collects carbon dioxide from it to be expelled through the lungs. We usually think of respiration as the process of the lungs after air is breathed in through the mouth or nose. The lungs do play a very important role, but every living cell in the body is involved in this process. Respiration is the act of burning energy from oxygen. Breathing is an obvious part of the respiratory passages, but these also involve yawning, sneezing, coughing, hiccups, the power of speech, and the sense of smell. The respiratory flow has been "kidnapped" by the larynx, or voice box, which uses it to create a multiple range of sounds so that humans can communicate vocally. These systems' tasks include organs which take up space in the face and neck and most of the chest. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are basic to life and breathing, like the beat of one's heart, is an automatic function which is controlled by the brain.
It is interesting to note that when tissues and organs are deprived of oxygen, blood will turn blue.We all have heard this cliche before ... "I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue."



The heart is the pump responsible for maintaining adequate circulation of oxygenated blood around the vascular network of the body. It is a four-chamber pump, with the right side receiving deoxygenated blood from the body at low presure and pumping it to the lungs (the pulmonary circulation) and the left side receiving oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumping it at high pressure around the body (the systemic circulation).
The myocardium (cardiac muscle) is a specialised form of muscle, consisting of individual cells joined by electrical connections. The contraction of each cell is produced by a rise in intracellular calcium concentration leading to spontaneous depolarisation, and as each cell is electrically connected to its neighbour, contraction of one cell leads to a wave of depolarisation and contraction across the myocardium.

This depolarisation and contraction of the heart is controlled by a specialised group of cells localised in the sino-atrial node in the right atrium- the pacemaker cells.

  1. These cells generate a rhythmical depolarisation, which then spreads out over the atria to the atrio-ventricular node.
  2. The atria then contract, pushing blood into the ventricles.
  3. The electrical conduction passes via the Atrio-ventricular node to the bundle of His, which divides into right and left branches and then spreads out from the base of the ventricles across the myocardium.
  4. This leads to a 'bottom-up' contraction of the ventricles, forcing blood up and out into the pulmonary artery (right) and aorta (left).
  5. The atria then re-fill as the myocardium relaxes.

The 'squeeze' is called systole and normally lasts for about 250ms. The relaxation period, when the atria and ventricles re-fill, is called diastole; the time given for diastole depends on the heart rate.

How the Heart Works

The heart is an amazing organ. It continuously pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body to sustain life. This fist-sized powerhouse beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping five or six quarts of blood each minute, or about 2,000 gallons per day.

How Does Blood Travel Through the Heart?
As the heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels, called the circulatory system. The vessels are elastic, muscular tubes that carry blood to every part of the body. Blood is essential. In addition to carrying fresh oxygen from the lungs and nutrients to the body's tissues, it also takes the body's waste products, including carbon dioxide, away from the tissues. This is necessary to sustain life and promote the health of all parts of the body.
There are three main types of blood vessels:

  A. Arteries: They begin with the aorta, the large artery leaving the heart. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to all of the body's tissues. They branch several times, becoming smaller and smaller as they carry blood further from the heart and into organs.
  B. Capillaries: These are small, thin blood vessels that connect the arteries and the veins. Their thin walls allow oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and other waste products to pass to and from our organ's cells.
  C. Veins: These are blood vessels that take blood back to the heart; this blood has lower oxygen content and is rich in waste products that are to be excreted or removed from the body. Veins become larger and larger as they get closer to the heart. The superior vena cava is the large vein that brings blood from the head and arms to the heart, and the inferior vena cava brings blood from the abdomen and legs into the heart.

This vast system of blood vessels -- arteries, veins, and capillaries -- is over 60,000 miles long. That's long enough to go around the world more than twice!
Blood flows continuously through your body's blood vessels. Your heart is the pump that makes it all possible.

Where Is Your Heart and What Does It Look Like?
The heart is located under the rib cage, slightly to the left of your breastbone (sternum) and between your lungs.
Looking at the outside of the heart, you can see that the heart is made of muscle. The strong muscular walls contract (squeeze), pumping blood to the rest of the body. On the surface of the heart, there are coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle itself. The major blood vessels that enter the heart are the superior vena cava, the inferior vena cava, and the pulmonary veins.The pulmonary artery and the aorta exit the heart and carry oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
On the inside, the heart is a four-chambered, hollow organ. It is divided into the left and right side by a muscular wall called the septum. The right and left sides of the heart are further divided into two top chambers called the atria, which receive blood from the veins, and two bottom chambers called ventricles, which pump blood into the arteries.
The atria and ventricles work together, contracting and relaxing to pump blood out of the heart. As blood leaves each chamber of the heart, it passes through a valve. There are four heart valves within the heart:

  Mitral valve
  Tricuspid valve
  Aortic valve
  Pulmonic valve

The tricuspid and mitral valves lie between the atria and ventricles. The aortic and pulmonic valves lie between the ventricles and the major blood vessels leaving the heart.
The heart valves work the same way as one-way valves in the plumbing of your home. They prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction.
Each valve has a set of flaps, called leaflets or cusps. The mitral valve has two leaflets; the others have three. The leaflets are attached to and supported by a ring of tough, fibrous tissue called the annulus. The annulus helps to maintain the proper shape of the valve.
The leaflets of the mitral and tricuspid valves are also supported by tough, fibrous strings called chordae tendineae. These are similar to the strings supporting a parachute. They extend from the valve leaflets to small muscles, called papillary muscles, which are part of the inside walls of the ventricles.

How Does Blood Flow Through the Heart?
The right and left sides of the heart work together. The pattern described below is repeated over and over, causing blood to flow continuously to the heart, lungs, and body.

  A. Right Side of the Heart
  Blood enters the heart through two large veins, the inferior and superior vena cava, emptying oxygen-poor blood from the body into the right atrium of the heart.
  As the atrium contracts, blood flows from your right atrium into your right ventricle through the open tricuspid valve.
  When the ventricle is full, the tricuspid valve shuts. This prevents blood from flowing backward into the atria while the ventricle contracts.
  As the ventricle contracts, blood leaves the heart through the pulmonic valve, into the pulmonary artery and to the lungs where it is oxygenated.
  B. Left Side of the Heart
  The pulmonary vein empties oxygen-rich blood from the lungs into the left atrium of the heart.
  As the atrium contracts, blood flows from your left atrium into your left ventricle through the open mitral valve.
  When the ventricle is full, the mitral valve shuts. This prevents blood from flowing backward into the atrium while the ventricle contracts.
  As the ventricle contracts, blood leaves the heart through the aortic valve, into the aorta and to the body.

How Does Blood Flow Through Your Lungs?
Once blood travels through the pulmonic valve, it enters your lungs. This is called the pulmonary circulation. From your pulmonic valve, blood travels to the pulmonary artery to tiny capillary vessels in the lungs.
Here, oxygen travels from the tiny air sacs in the lungs, through the walls of the capillaries, into the blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, passes from the blood into the air sacs. Carbon dioxide leaves the body when you exhale. Once the blood is purified and oxygenated, it travels back to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins.

What Are the Coronary Arteries of the Heart?
Like all organs, your heart is made of tissue that requires a supply of oxygen and nutrients. Although its chambers are full of blood, the heart receives no nourishment from this blood. The heart receives its own supply of blood from a network of arteries, called the coronary arteries.

Two major coronary arteries branch off from the aorta near the point where the aorta and the left ventricle meet:

  Right coronary artery supplies the right atrium and right ventricle with blood. It branches into the posterior descending artery, which supplies the bottom portion of the left ventricle and back of the septum with blood.
  Left main coronary artery branches into the circumflex artery and the left anterior descending artery. The circumflex artery supplies blood to the left atrium, side and back of the left ventricle, and the left anterior descending artery supplies the front and bottom of the left ventricle and the front of the septum with blood.

These arteries and their branches supply all parts of the heart muscle with blood.
Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries and prevents the heart from getting the enriched blood it needs. If this happens, a network of tiny blood vessels in the heart that aren't usually open called collateral vessels may enlarge and become active. This allows blood to flow around the blocked artery to the heart muscle, protecting the heart tissue from injury.

How Does the Heart Beat?

The atria and ventricles work together, alternately contracting and relaxing to pump blood through your heart. The electrical system of the heart is the power source that makes this possible.
Your heartbeat is triggered by electrical impulses that travel down a special pathway through the heart.

  The impulse starts in a small bundle of specialized cells called the SA node (sinoatrial node), located in the right atrium. This node is known as the heart's natural pacemaker. The electrical activity spreads through the walls of the atria and causes them to contract.
  A cluster of cells in the center of the heart between the atria and ventricles, the AV node (atrioventricular node) is like a gate that slows the electrical signal before it enters the ventricles. This delay gives the atria time to contract before the ventricles do.
  The His-Purkinje network is a pathway of fibers that sends the impulse to the muscular walls of the ventricles, causing them to contract.

At rest, a normal heart beats around 50 to 99 times a minute. Exercise, emotions, fever, and some medications can cause your heart to beat faster, sometimes to well over 100 beats per minute.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are a feeling that your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering. You may notice heart palpitations in your chest, throat, or neck.
Heart palpitations can be bothersome or frightening. They usually aren't serious or harmful, though, and often go away on their own. Most of the time, they're related to stress and anxiety or to consumption of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. Palpitations also often occur during pregnancy.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease
In about one out of seven cases, the cause can't be identified.
In rare cases, palpitations can be a sign of a more serious heart condition. Therefore, if you have heart palpitations, make arrangements to see your doctor. And seek immediate medical attention if along with palpitations you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or fainting.
After taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam, your doctor may order tests that can either confirm or rule out an underlying cause. If an underlying cause is found, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate palpitations. If your palpitations are not related to an underlying cause, lifestyle changes, including stress management and the avoidance of common triggers, can help prevent them.

Causes of Heart Palpitations

Many things can cause heart palpitations. In the vast majority of cases, the cause is either related to your heart or is unknown. Non-heart-related causes of palpitations include:

  Strong emotions such as anxiety, fear, or stress. Palpitations often occur during panic attacks.
  Vigorous physical activity.
  Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or illegal street drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.
  Certain medical conditions. These include thyroid disease, a low blood sugar level, anemia, some types of low blood pressure, fever, and dehydration.
  Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or the perimenopausal period. Sometimes, palpitations during pregnancy are signs of anemia.
  Certain medications. These include diet pills, decongestants, asthma inhalers, and some medications used to prevent arrhythmias (a serious heart rhythm problem) or treat an underactive thyroid.
  Certain herbal and nutritional supplements.
  Abnormal electrolyte levels.

Some people experience palpitations after eating heavy meals that are rich in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Sometimes eating foods with high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can bring them on. If you have heart palpitations after eating certain foods, the problem could be food sensitivity. Keeping a food diary can help you identify which foods to avoid.

Palpitations can also be related to underlying heart disease. When they are, palpitations are more likely to represent arrhythmia. Heart conditions associated with palpitations include:

  Prior heart attack.
  Coronary artery disease.
  Other heart problems such as congestive heart failure, heart valve problems, or heart muscle problems.

Assessment of Heart Palpitations
Your doctor will conduct a physical examination, take your medical history, and ask about your current medications, diet,and lifestyle. The doctor also will ask when, how often, and under what circumstances palpitations occur
Sometimes, a blood test can reveal the presence of anemia, electrolyte problems, or thyroid abnormalities and help identify the cause of palpitations. Other useful tests include:

  Electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG can be done either while you are at rest or while you are exercising. The latter is called a stress ECG. An ECG records your heart's electrical signals and can detect abnormalities in the heart's rhythm.
  Holter monitoring. A Holter monitor is worn on the chest. It continuously records your heart's electrical signals for 24 to 48 hours. It can detect rhythm abnormalities that weren't identified during a regular ECG test.
  Event recording.An event recorder is worn on the chest. You use a handheld device to record the heart's electrical signals when symptoms occur.
  Chest X-ray.
  Echocardiogram. This is an ultrasound examination of the heart. It provides detailed information about the heart's structure and function.

If necessary, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for additional tests or treatment.

Treatment of Heart Palpitations
Treatment of heart palpitations depends on their cause. In most cases, palpitations are found to be harmless and often go away on their own. In those cases, no treatment is needed.
If palpitations are not due to an underlying condition, your doctor may advise you to avoid the things that trigger them. Strategies may include:

  Reducing anxiety and stress. Common stress-reduction therapies include relaxation exercises, yoga, tai chi, biofeedback, guided imagery, and aromatherapy.
  Avoiding certain foods, beverages, and substances. This may include alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and illegal drugs.
  Avoiding medications that act as stimulants. These include cough and cold medicines, and certain herbal and nutritional supplements.

If lifestyle changes fail to reduce or eliminate palpitations, your doctor may prescribe certain medications. In some cases, beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers are used. If your doctor finds that your palpitations are related to an underlying condition, such as anemia, the focus will be on treating that condition. If the palpitations are caused by a medication your doctor will try to find another medication you can use. If the palpitations represent an arrhythmia, medications or procedures may be required. You may also be referred to a heart rhythm specialist known as an electrophysiologist.

Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart. They can include:

  Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries)
  Heart attack
  Abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias
  Heart failure
  Heart valve disease
  Congenital heart disease
  Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  Pericardial disease
  Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
  Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. It is important to learn about your heart to help prevent heart disease. And, if you have cardiovascular disease, you can live a healthier, more active life by learning about your disease and treatments and by becoming an active participant in your care.

Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is atherosclerosis, or hardening, of the arteries that provide vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart.

Abnormal Heart Rhythms
The heart is an amazing organ. It beats in a steady, even rhythm, about 60 to 100 times each minute (that's about 100,000 times each day!). But, sometimes your heart gets out of rhythm. An irregular or abnormal heartbeat is called an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia (also called a dysrhythmia) can involve a change in the rhythm, producing an uneven heartbeat, or a change in the rate, causing a very slow or very fast heartbeat.

Heart Failure
The term "heart failure" can be frightening. It does not mean the heart has "failed" or stopped working. It means the heart does not pump as well as it should. This then leads to salt and water retention, causing swelling and shortness of breath. The swelling and shortness of breath are the primary symptoms of heart failure.
Heart failure is a major health problem in the U.S., affecting nearly 5 million Americans. About 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.

Heart Valve Disease

Your heart valves lie at the exit of each of your four heart chambers and maintain one-way blood-flow through your heart. Examples of heart valve problems include mitral valve prolapse, aortic stenosis, and mitral valve insufficiency.

Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is a type of defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs before birth. It affects about eight out of every 1,000 children. Congenital heart defects may produce symptoms at birth, during childhood, and sometimes not until adulthood. In most cases scientists don't know why they occur. Heredity may play a role, as well as exposure to the fetus during pregnancy to certain viral infections, alcohol, or drugs.


Cardiomyopathies are diseases of the heart muscle itself. People with cardiomyopathies sometimes called an enlarged heart have hearts that are abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. As a result, the heart's ability to pump blood is weakened. Without treatment, cardiomyopathies worsen over time and often lead to heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Pericarditis is inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart. It is a rare condition that is often caused by an infection.

Aorta Disease and Marfan Syndrome
The aorta is the large artery that leaves the heart and provides oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. These diseases and conditions can cause the aorta to dilate (widen) or dissect (tear), increasing the risk for future life-threatening events, such as:

  Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  High blood pressure
  Genetic conditions such as Marfan Syndrome
  Connective tissue disorders (that affect the strength of the blood vessel walls) such as, scleroderma, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease, and Turner's syndrome

People with aorta disease should be treated by an experienced team of cardiovascular specialists and surgeons.

Other Vascular Diseases
Your circulatory system is the system of blood vessels that carry blood to every part of your body. Vascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system. These include diseases of the arteries and blood flow to the brain.

Symptoms & Types

There are many types of heart disease. Here's where to get quick facts on each one including warning signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of Heart Disease
Coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack -- each type of heart problem requires different treatment but may share similar warning signs. It is important to see your doctor so that you can receive a correct diagnosis and prompt treatment. Learn to recognize the symptoms that may signal heart disease. Call your doctor if you begin to have new symptoms or if they become more frequent or severe.

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina, or chest pain. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or painful feeling in your chest. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina may also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, or back.
Other symptoms of coronary artery disease include:

  Shortness of breath.
  Palpitations (irregular heart beats, or a "flip-flop" feeling in your chest).
  A faster heartbeat.
  Weakness or dizziness.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone.
  Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm.
  Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn).
  Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
  Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath.
  Rapid or irregular heartbeats.

During a heart attack, symptoms typically last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or oral medications. Initial symptoms may start as a mild discomfort that progresses to significant pain.
Some people have a heart attack without having any symptoms, which is known as a "silent" myocardial infarction (MI). It occurs more often in people with diabetes.
If you think you are having a heart attack, DO NOT DELAY. Immediate treatment of a heart attack is very important to lessen the amount of damage to your heart.

Symptoms of Arrhythmias
When symptoms of arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rhythm, are present, they may include:

  Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heart beats, fluttering or flip-flops in your chest).
  Pounding in your chest.
  Dizziness or feeling light-headed.
  Shortness of breath.
  Chest discomfort.
  Weakness or fatigue (feeling very tired).

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of arrhythmia. Most people with AF experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  Heart palpitations (a sudden pounding, fluttering, or racing feeling in the heart).
  Lack of energy.
  Dizziness (feeling faint or light-headed).
  Chest discomfort (pain, pressure, or discomfort in the chest).
  Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing during normal activities).

Some patients with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms. Sometimes these episodes are brief.

Symptoms of heart valve disease may include:

  Shortness of breath and/or difficulty catching your breath. You may notice this most when you are doing your normal daily activities or when you lie down flat in bed.
  Weakness or dizziness.
  Discomfort in your chest. You may feel a pressure or weight in your chest with activity or when going out in cold air.
  Palpitations (this may feel like a rapid heart rhythm, irregular heartbeat, skipped beats, or a flip-flop feeling in your chest).
  Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing during normal activities).

If valve disease causes heart failure, symptoms may include:

  Swelling of your ankles or feet. Swelling may also occur in your abdomen, which may cause you to feel bloated.
  Quick weight gain (a weight gain of two or three pounds in one day is possible).

Symptoms of heart valve disease do not always relate to the seriousness of your condition. You may have no symptoms at all and have severe valve disease, requiring prompt treatment. Or, as with mitral valve prolapse, you may have severe symptoms, yet tests may show minor valve disease.

Symptoms of Heart Failure
Symptoms of heart failure can include:

  Shortness of breath noted during activity (most commonly) or at rest, especially when you lie down flat in bed.
  Cough that is productive of a white sputum.
  Rapid weight gain (a weight gain of two or three pounds in one day is possible).
  Swelling in ankles, legs, and abdomen.
  Fatigue and weakness.
  Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
  Other symptoms include nausea, palpitations, and chest pain.

Like valve disease, heart failure symptoms may not be related to how weak your heart is. You may have many symptoms, but your heart function may be only mildly weakened. Or you may have a severely damaged heart, with few or no symptoms.

Symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart defects may be diagnosed before birth, right after birth, during childhood, or not until adulthood. It is possible to have a defect and no symptoms at all. Sometimes it can be diagnosed because of a heart murmur on physical exam or an abnormal EKG or chest X-ray in someone with no symptoms.

In adults, if symptoms of congenital heart disease are present, they may include:

  Shortness of breath.
  Limited ability to exercise.
  Symptoms of heart failure (see above) or valve disease (see above).

Congenital Heart Defects in Infants and Children
Symptoms of congenital heart defects in infants and children may include:

  Cyanosis (a bluish tint to the skin, fingernails, and lips).
  Fast breathing and poor feeding.
  Poor weight gain.
  Recurrent lung infections.
  Inability to exercise.

Symptoms of Heart Muscle Disease
Many people with heart muscle disease, or cardiomyopathy, have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and live a normal life. Other people develop symptoms, which progress and worsen as heart function worsens.

Symptoms of cardiomyopathy may occur at any age and may include:

  Chest pain or pressure (occurs usually with exercise or physical activity, but can also occur with rest or after meals).
  Heart failure symptoms (see above).
  Swelling of the lower extremities.
  Palpitations (fluttering in the chest due to abnormal heart rhythms).

Some people also have arrhythmias. These can lead to sudden death in a small number of people with cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms of Pericarditis

Symptoms of pericarditis may include:

  Chest pain. This pain is different from angina (chest pain caused by coronary artery disease). It may be sharp and located in the center of the chest. The pain may radiate to the neck and occasionally, the arms and back. It is made worse when lying down, taking a deep breath in, coughing, or swallowing and relieved by sitting forward.
  Low-grade fever.
  Increased heart rate.

Heart Disease and the Doctor's Exam

Some standard and simple exam techniques provide your doctor with the first clues as to how your heart functions and whether you have heart disease. During your visit, your doctor will listen to your heart, take your heart rate, and check your blood pressure.

Checking Your Heart Rate

Your doctor feels your pulse in order to check your heart's rate, rhythm, and regularity. Each pulse matches up with a heartbeat that pumps blood into the arteries. The force of the pulse also helps evaluate the amount (strength) of blood flow to different areas of your body. You can tell how fast your heart is beating (heart rate) by feeling your pulse. Your heart rate is the amount of times your heart beats in one minute. To measure your pulse, all you need is a watch with a second hand.

  Place your index and middle finger of your hand on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. You should feel a tapping or pulsing against your fingers.
  Count the number of taps you feel in 10 seconds.
  Multiply that number by six to find out your heart rate for one minute (pulse in 10 seconds x six = ____ beats per minute)

When feeling your pulse, you can also tell if your heart rhythm is regular or not.

Checking Your Heartbeat

Your doctor listens to your heartbeat with the aid of a stethoscope. The opening and closing of your valves make a "lub dub" noise known as heart sounds. The doctor can evaluate your heart and valve function and hear your heart's rate and rhythm by listening to your heart sounds.

Checking Your Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force or pressure exerted in the arteries by the blood as it is pumped around the body by the heart. It is recorded as two measurements:

  Systolic blood pressure: Pressure in the arteries during the period of the heart's contraction (the higher number)
  Diastolic blood pressure: Pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed, between heartbeats (the lower number)

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which refers to how high the pressure in the arteries can raise a column of mercury in a sphygmomanometer, a device for measuring blood pressure. Normal blood pressure for an adult, relaxed at rest, is less than or equal to 120 over 80. The 120 is the systolic pressure; the diastolic pressure is 80. Blood pressure may increase or decrease, depending on your age, heart condition, emotions, activity, and the medications you take. One high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure. It is necessary to measure your blood pressure at different times while resting to find out your typical value.

Checking Your Heart by a Physical Exam
Your doctor can also tell about your heart's function by examining other parts of your body, such as your eyes, arms, legs, and skin.

Checking Your Heart Through Blood Tests
Your doctor may recommend a blood test to check your cholesterol and other markers that may indicate heart disease.


An electrocardiogram (also called EKG or ECG) is a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches attached to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. An EKG may be part of a routine physical exam or it may be used as a test for heart disease. An EKG can be used to further investigate symptoms related to heart problems.

EKGs are quick, safe, painless, and inexpensive tests that are routinely performed if a heart condition is suspected.
Your doctor uses the ECG to:

  Assess your heart rhythm.
  Diagnose poor blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia).
  Diagnose a heart attack.
  Evaluate certain abnormalities of your heart, such as an enlarged heart.

What Happens During an ECG
During an EKG, a technician will attach 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. Men may have chest hair shaved to allow a better connection. You will lie flat while the computer creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses traveling through your heart. This is called a "resting" EKG. This same test may also be used to monitor your heart during exercise.
It takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes only a few seconds. Your EKG patterns will be kept on file for later comparison with future EKG recordings. If you have questions, be sure to ask your doctor.

What Is a Holter Monitor?
In addition to the standard EKG, your doctor may recommend other specialized EKG tests, including a holter monitor or a signal-averaged electrocardiogram.

A holter monitor is a portable EKG that monitors the electrical activity of a freely moving person's heart generally for one to two days, 24 ours a day. It is most often used when the doctor suspects an abnormal heart rhythm or ischemia (not enough blood flow to the heart muscle).
It is a painless test; electrodes from the monitor are taped to the skin. Once the monitor is in place, you can go home and perform all of your normal activities (except showering). You will be asked to keep a diary of your activities and any symptoms you experience and when they occur.

What Is an Event Monitor?
If your symptoms are infrequent your doctor may suggest an event monitor. This is a device that, when you push a button, will record and store the heart's electrical activity for a few minutes. Each time you develop symptoms you should try to get a reading on the monitor. They are typically used for one month.This information can later by transmitted by telephone to the doctor for interpretation.

What Is a Signal-Averaged Electrocardiogram?
This is a painless test used to assess whether a person is at high risk of developing a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia. It is performed in a similar manner to the EKG, but uses sophisticated technology to look for heart arrhythmias.

Chest X-ray
A chest X-ray (also called chest film) uses a very small amount of radiation to produce an image of the heart, lungs, and chest bones on film.

Your doctor uses a chest X-ray to:

  Look at the structures of the chest (bones, heart, lungs).
  Evaluate placement of devices (pacemakers, defibrillators) or tubes placed during hospitalization for treatment and monitoring (catheters, chest tubes).
  Diagnose lung and cardiac diseases

Stress test
A stress test can be used to test for heart disease. Stress tests are tests performed by a doctor and/or trained technician to determine the amount of stress that your heart can manage before developing either an abnormal rhythm or evidence of ischemia (not enough blood flow to the heart muscle). The most commonly performed stress test is the exercise stress test.

Your doctor uses the stress test to:

  Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity
  Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia
  Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation
  Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease
  Identify abnormal heart rhythms
  Help you develop a safe exercise program

An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound to evaluate your heart muscle, heart valves, and risk for heart disease.

Your doctor may perform an echocardiogram to:

  Assess the overall function of your heart.
  Determine the presence of many types of heart disease.
  Follow the progress of heart valve disease over time.
  Evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatments.

Cardiac Catheterization is also called a coronary angiogram that means running a catheter into your heart. It's done to help doctors see what's going on in there, and whether they need to operate.

Electrophysiology the EP test that takes measurements of your heart rhythm and recording the electrical activity and pathways of your heart.

CT Scan Computed tomography of the heart can visualize your heart’s anatomy. Calcium-score heart scan and coronary CT angiography are just a few types used to diagnose heart disease.

Myocardial Biopsy is when a doctor uses a special catheter to remove a piece of your heart tissue for examination.

Heart MRI is a great way for doctors to get a look from the outside how your heart is working.

Pericardiocentesis is also called a pericardial tap that means using a needle to get a sample of the fluid in the sac surrounding the heart.

Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
Medical care is essential. Once heart disease is diagnosed with the goals of stabilizing the condition immediately, controlling symptoms over the long term, and providing a cure when possible.


Angioplasty and Stents
Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that can be used to open blocked heart arteries. Stent placement is another option that can be done during angioplasty. A stent helps keep clogged heart arteries open, then reabsorbs, appears safe.

Heart Bypass Surgery
Heart bypass surgery can be used to treat heart disease when your coronary arteries are blocked. Your doctor may treat the problem by giving the blood a new pathway to the heart.

Valve Disease Treatment
When treatment for heart valve disease includes surgery, it can be performed by traditional surgery or minimally invasive balloon valvuloplasty.

For many people with heart disease, drugs alone will not convert an arrhythmia to a normal heart rhythm. For these people, a procedure called cardioversion or electrical cardioversion may be necessary.

EECP can help stimulate blood vessels to develop small branches, creating a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries that cause the chest pain.

Ablation is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. The type of arrhythmia and the presence of other heart disease will determine whether ablation can be performed surgically or non-surgically.

A pacemaker is a small device that sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate and rhythm. A pacemaker may also be used to treat fainting spells (syncope), congestive heart failure, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)
Treatment for abnormal heart rhythms is possible with an ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

Lead Extraction
A lead extraction is the removal of one or more leads from inside the heart. Leads that are placed outside the heart during open heart surgery cannot be removed during this type of procedure.

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
The left ventricular assist device, LVAD or VAD, is a kind of mechanical heart. It's placed inside a person's chest, where it helps the heart pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

Heart Transplant
A heart transplant is the replacement of a person's diseased heart with a healthy donor's heart. The donor is a person who has died and whose family has agreed to donate their loved one's organs.


ACE Inhibitors
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are heart medications that widen or dilate your blood vessels to improve the amount of blood your heart pumps and lower blood pressure.

Angiotension II Receptor Blockers
These heart drugs decrease certain chemicals that narrow the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily through your body. They also decrease certain chemicals that cause salt and fluid build-up in the body.

Antiarrhythmia drugs are used to treat abnormal heart rhythms resulting from irregular electrical activity of the heart.

Antiplatelet Drugs
Antiplatelet drugs are used to treat heart disease. They are a group of powerful medications that prevent the formation of blood clots.

Aspirin Therapy
For more than 100 years, aspirin has been used as a pain reliever. Since the 1970s, aspirin has also been used to prevent and manage heart disease and stroke.

Beta-Blocker Therapy
Beta-blockers are one of the most widely prescribed class of drugs to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and are a mainstay treatment of congestive heart failure.

Calcium Channel Blocker Drugs
Calcium channel blockers are heart disease drugs that relax blood vessels and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while also reducing the heart's workload.

Clot Buster Drugs
Clot buster drugs, or thrombolytic therapy, are a type of heart medication given in the hospital through the veins (intravenous) to break up blood clots.

If you have heart disease, Digoxin is a medication that helps an injured or weakened heart work more efficiently to send blood through the body.

iuretics, commonly known as "water pills," help your body get rid of unneeded water and salt through the urine. Getting rid of excess fluid makes it easier for your heart to pump and controls blood pressure.

Nitrates are vasodilators that are used to treat angina in people with coronary artery disease or chest pain caused by blocked blood vessels of the heart.

Warfarin and Other Blood Thinners
Warfarin, which goes by the brand name Coumadin, is an anticoagulant medication. This means that it helps prevent clots from forming in the blood. Blood thinners are used to treat some types of heart disease.

Living & Managing

Living with heart disease isn't simple. But it's something millions of people manage to do. Here are tips for taking control of your life. There's no 100% cure for heart disease. But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do.

  Recovery after Heart Surgery or someone you love returns home after heart surgery.
  Finding Strength During Tough Times.
  Caregivers should be mindful of the psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual aspects of health and illness, as well as the effects of these factors on themselves and their loved ones.
  It's very likely your doctor will encourage you to get involved in a cardiac rehab program.
  Safe Exercises for Heart Disease.

Heart-Healthy Cooking
A heart-healthy diet is one of the most important steps for a person with heart disease; combined with a healthy lifestyle, it can slow or even reverse the narrowing of arteries and prevent further complications.
Caregivers can help a loved one who has heart disease by adopting a diet that reduces LDL (''bad'') cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood sugar, and reduces body weight. The most powerful nutrition strategy helps people with heart disease focus on what they can eat, and in fact, research has shown that adding heart-saving foods is just as important as cutting back on others. As a caregiver, here are some strategies to help you plan meals for someone with heart disease

  1. Serve more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes
  2. Choose fat calories wisely
  3. Serve a variety -- and just the right amount -- of protein-rich foods.
  4. Limit cholesterol consumption
  5. Serve complex carbohydrates
  6. Serve meals regularly

Got heart disease? Nothing is more important than eating heart-friendly foods

Recovery Starts in the Hospital
Recovery begins in the hospital. Typically, a person is in the hospital for three days to a week after a heart attack. But if there were complications or if you have had certain procedures such as bypass surgery, you will likely be kept longer. You won't be dismissed until your condition is stable and it is safe for you to go home.
One of the first changes you may notice in the hospital is that your medication routine might change. The doctor might make adjustments in the dosage or the number of medicines you are already taking. And the doctor will likely put you on new medicines. These medicines will treat and control the symptoms (such as chest pain) and contributing factors (such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol) related to your heart attack.
It's important to talk with the doctor about your medicines. Make sure you:

  Know the names of all the medicines you take and know how and when to take them.
  Ask your doctor about possible side effects.
  Ask what each medicine does and why you are taking it.
  Make a list of the medicines you take. Keep it with you in case of an emergency or in case you need to talk with another health care provider about them.

Your Emotional Health After a Heart Attack
After a heart attack, it's common to have negative feelings such as:


These feelings often last for about two to six months. They can affect your ability to exercise, interfere with your family life and your work, and have a negative impact on your recovery. Talking with your doctor or a mental health specialist can help you deal with negative feelings. It's easy to give in to those feelings, so be sure to let your family and your doctor know about them. If they don't know, they can't help.

Making Changes to Reduce Heart Risk
Make these changes to help reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease:

  Stop smoking.
  Treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  Manage diabetes and obesity.
  Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  Become more active.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
According to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet:

  Is low in total fat.
  Contains at least four to five cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
  Has at least two servings (3.5 ounces per serving) of fish a week.
  Includes at least three 1-ounce servings of fiber-rich whole grains every day.
  Is low in sodium (less than 1,500 milligrams per day).
  Contains no more than 36 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages a week.

Because you need calcium and vitamin D, be sure you get enough low-fat or non-fat fortified dairy foods in your diet. Avoid processed meats.
There may be certain other restrictions on your diet because of medications you take. Ask your doctor if there are certain foods you should not eat.
Changing your diet is easier if you work with a dietitian. He or she can help you plan menus and find recipes. The dietitian will also help you find resources that will let you focus on eating healthy foods.

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

One of the most dangerous aspects of hypertension is that you may not know that you have it. In fact, nearly one-third of people who have high blood pressure don't know it. The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is through regular checkups. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.
Untreated hypertension can lead to serious diseases, including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and eye problems

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

  Severe headache
  Fatigue or confusion
  Vision problems
  Chest pain
  Difficulty breathing
  Irregular heartbeat
  Blood in the urine
  Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

While the cause of high blood pressure in most people remains unclear, a variety of conditions such as getting little or no exercise, poor diet, obesity, older age, and genetics can contribute to the development of hypertension.

What Is Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure?
The blood pressure reading is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is written as systolic pressure, the force of the blood against the artery walls as your heart beats, over diastolic pressure, the blood pressure between heartbeats. For example, a blood pressure reading is written as 120/80 mmHg, or "120 over 80". The systolic pressure is 120 and the diastolic pressure is 80.

What Is a Normal Blood Pressure?
The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure has classified blood pressure measurements into several categories:

  Normal blood pressure is systolic pressure less than 120 and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg.
  "Prehypertension" is systolic pressure of 120-139 or diastolic pressure of 80-89 mmHg.
  Stage 1 Hypertension is blood pressure greater than systolic pressure of 140-159 or diastolic pressure of 90-99 mmHg or greater.
  Stage 2 Hypertension is systolic pressure of 160 or greater or diastolic pressure of 100 or greater.

What Health Problems Are Associated With High Blood Pressure?
Several potentially serious health conditions are linked to high blood pressure, including:

  Atherosclerosis: a disease of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque, or fatty material, on the inside walls of the blood vessels; hypertension contributes to this buildup by putting added stress and force on the artery walls.
  Heart Disease: Heart failure (the heart is not strong enough to pump blood adequately), ischemic heart disease (the heart tissue doesn't get enough blood), and hypertensive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickened, abnormally functioning heart muscle) are all associated with high blood pressure.
  Kidney Disease: Hypertension can damage the blood vessels and filters in the kidneys, so that the kidneys cannot excrete waste properly.
  Stroke: Hypertension can lead to stroke, either by contributing to the process of atherosclerosis (which can lead to blockages and/or clots), or by weakening the blood vessel wall and causing it to rupture.
  Eye Disease: Hypertension can damage the very small blood vessels in the retina.

How Do I Know if I Have High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure often doesn't have any symptoms, so you usually don't feel it. For that reason, hypertension is usually diagnosed by a health care professional during a routine checkup. If you have a close relative with hypertension, or other risk factors, it is especially important to pay attention to your blood pressure reading. If your blood pressure is extremely high, you may have unusually strong headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or poor exercise tolerance. If you have any of these symptoms, seek an evaluation immediately

What Is the Treatment for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure treatment usually involves making lifestyle changes and, if necessary, drug therapy.
Lifestyle changes for high blood pressure include:

  Losing weight
  Quitting smoking
  Eating a healthy diet, such as the DASH diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains and low in salt and fat
  Reducing the amount of salt in your diet
  Regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking)
  Limiting alcohol consumption
  Seek treatment for sleep apnea

Commonly prescribed high blood pressure drugs include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and alpha-blockers (alpha-adrenergic antagonists).

What Are the Side Effects of High Blood Pressure Drugs?
As is true with any medication, high blood pressure drugs have side effects. Among the most common are the following:

  Diuretics: headache, weakness, low potassium blood levels
  ACE inhibitors: dry and persistent cough, headache, diarrhea, high potassium blood levels
  Angiotensin receptor blockers: fatigue, dizziness or fainting, diarrhea, high potassium blood levels
  Calcium channel blockers: dizziness, heart rhythm problems, ankle swelling
  Beta-blockers: dizziness or lightheadedness, decreased sexual ability, drowsiness, low heart rate
  Alpha-blockers: dizziness, headache, pounding heartbeat, nausea, weakness, weight gain

What Type of Diet Should I Follow if I Have High Blood Pressure
A healthy diet, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, is effective in helping to lower high blood pressure. The DASH diet calls for a certain number of daily servings from various food groups, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The following steps can also help:

  Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  Eating less of foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as fried foods
  Eating more whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  Eating less red meat and sweets
  Eating foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  Eating foods with less sodium

When Should I Call My Doctor About High Blood Pressure?
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it's important to see your doctor on a regular basis. He or she can answer your questions during these visits.
However, there may be other times when you may need to speak to your doctor. For instance:

  If you aren't responding to the prescribed treatment and your blood pressure is still high
  If you are having any side effects from the blood pressure medication; if this happens, your doctor may wish to adjust the dosage of the medication or put you on another medication.

Are There any Drugs that Cause High Blood Pressure?
Some drugs that you take for another condition may increase blood pressure. These include amphetamines, methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate, Methylin, Ritalin), corticosteroids, hormones (including birth control pills), certain migraine medications, cyclosporine, and erythropoietin.
Also, many over-the-counter medications that contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine (for example, allergy and cold medicines and appetite suppressants) can increase blood pressure. Don't stop taking any prescribed medication, including high blood pressure drugs, without talking to your doctor.

High Blood Pressure Prevention
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart and kidney diseases, stroke, and heart failure. High blood pressure is especially dangerous, because it often gives no warning signs or symptoms. Fortunately, you can find out if you have high blood pressure by having your blood pressure checked regularly. If it is high, you can take steps to lower it. Just as important, if your blood pressure is normal, you can learn how to keep it from rising.

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure?

  Maintaining a healthy weight
  Getting regular exercise
  Reducing salt intake
  Avoiding alcohol
  Reduce stress
  Other nutrients may also help prevent high blood pressure.
Here's a roundup of the research: Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Rice Bran Oil, Omega3/ Fish Oil Supplements, Garlic

High Blood Pressure and the Diet

One step to lower high blood pressure: Incorporate the DASH diet into your lifestyle. Doctors recommend:

  Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  Cutting back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats
  Eating more whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  Eating less red meat (especially processed meats) and sweets
  Eating foods that are rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium

The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an example of such an eating plan. In studies, patients who were on the DASH diet reduced their blood pressure within two weeks. Another diet is DASH-Sodium calls for reducing sodium (salt) to 1,500 mg a day (about 2/3 teaspoon). Studies of patients on the DASH-Sodium plan significantly lowered their blood pressure as well.

Ayurvedic Approach to Hypertension

Hypertension is one of the major causes of disability and death all over the world. Hypertension causes heart attacks, strokes, kidney failures and other disorder if it is neglected and remains untreated. In many cases, hypertension does not cause any symptoms until it causes complications such as heart attack and stroke and plays a role of silent killer in the body. So it is important to realize that you may have high blood pressure and only way to find it out that get your blood pressure checked at regular intervals.
Blood pressure is high when arterial blood pressure is elevated above the normal ranges. The normal blood pressure reading is systolic 120 over diastolic 80.

Symptoms of Hypertension:

  Pain experienced at the back of the head and neck on waking up, which soon disappears.
  Heart pain
  Frequent urination
  Nervous tension
  Difficulty in Breathing

Causes of Hypertension:

  Stress and hectic life-style.
  Vitiation of vata
  Smoking and an excessive intake of intoxicants
  Hardening of the arteries
  Metabolic disorders
  Excessive intake of common table salt
  Overloading of fast foods

Ayurvedic Diet for Hypertension:

  Avoid meat, eggs and salt
  Reduce protein intake
  Follow the following vegetarian diet:
Vegetables: Garlic, lemon,parsley
Fruits: Indian Gooseberry,Grape fruit, watermelon
Dairy: Milk,Cottage cheese,clarified butter.
  Coffee, which contains caffeine, enhances the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline and both are important in increasing blood pressure levels.
  Limit sodium in the diet.
  Cigarette smokers tend to have high blood pressure. Nicotine increases the resting heart rate and increases the release of the adrenaline

Correct your diet and control your weight. One important thing to do is lose any excess amount of body fat you have. One of the good reasons to be slim (lean) is to keep your blood pressure low, losing body fat will lower the pressure enough that a person need not take medicine to control blood pressure. Either you have normal blood pressure or you have hypertension with high cholesterol levels your diet should definitely of low fat, low saturated fat, and low cholesterol diet.With practice of dietary measures recommended in Ayurveda while elaborating ‘Medoroga Chikitsa’ will definitely beneficial in weight reduction. It will be helpful to minimize the risk of fatty cholesterol deposits and will prevent complication of high blood pressure.

Ayurvedic Life Style for Hypertension:
If you master the techniques of keeping your blood pressure down, you have much less chance of having hypertension later and you are less likelihood of having fatty -cholesterol deposits in your arteries. Even though you have normal blood pressure, you can benefit yourself with simple adjustment in lifestyle.
Regular Exercise is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure. Exercise has to be of right kind. A good exercise programme, particularly endurance exercises such as jogging or athletics, will cause the peripheral resistance to decrease. Exercise helps to eliminate body fat, lower total cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol that prevents fatty - cholesterol deposits. According to Ayurveda exercise improves the body, depletes excess fats, brings lightness of the body.
Improving your lifestyle by adoption of ethical elements mentioned in 'Achara Rasayana' is must if you really want to stay away from mental and physical stress and from eventual hypertension. It is certain that stress can cause hypertension. Anxiety, secondary to acute stage can cause rise in your blood pressure. Relaxation and removal of stress will help to lower mildly elevated levels of blood pressure.
Nurture love and affection. Love and affection and affectionate touch can significantly drop, your blood pressure. Speak truth. Lying has been found to boost blood pressure, because it require a lot of mental exercise. The more you lie, more you add tension, hence you are likely to get more stress, speak gently; don’t get annoyed, speaking loudly and rapidly can significantly raise your blood pressure during conversation. Sudden risk can shoot up your blood pressure higher. Chronic anger produces elevation in blood pressure and it can be a serious risk factor for coronary - heart - disease. So be cool, speak softly and even if it is event of extreme displeasure.
Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is as good as relaxation therapy, exercise or other methods used to overcome stress. Study shows that laughter decreases adrenaline and cortisol production. Laughter can help you if you are having high blood pressure. If you are frustrated, unhappy, angry, just laugh and find yourself away from rage. It is of the effective medicine you always have with your, without spending a penny for it.

Ayurvedic medications:

  Gau Peeyush (Cow-colostrum): Chlamydia bacterial infection is the major cause of clot formations in blood vessels in 80% of the heart patients. Immunoglobin content of cow cocostrum destroys Chlamydia.IGF-1 & Growth Hormones lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) & increases the good cholesterol levels.
Growth Factors help repair & regeneration of damaged heart muscles.
Forms new blood vessels & maintains the coronary blood supply.
  Drumstick: It contains vitamins which minimizes the increased levels of Homocysteine
  Aloe Vera: Minimizes levels of LDL & Triglycerides in the blood. Increases HDL. Controls blood pressure & regulates blood circulation in coronary arteries.
  Rajshimbi fibres: Raj-shimbi(soyabean) contains proteins which help the heart’s nerves and give them strengh. It helps to reduce the cholesterol present in the coronary artery
  Sarpagandha: For centuries Rauwolfia serpentina has been used to treat hypertension.
  Arjuna: Terminalia arjuna produced dose-dependent hypotension in anaesthetized dogs. Action of mechanism for this particular herb is that it acts like a beta-blocker and is a powerful antioxidant, liver protectant and contains cardio-protective, hypolipidemic, anti-angina and anti-atheroma properties.
  Gokshura: Tribulus terrestris(gokshura) is a natural herb used for treating many diseases including hypertension. It has shown to be diuretic and an ACE inhibitor.
  Punarnava: Boerhaavia Diffusa has diuretic and Ca2+ channel blocking activity.
  Rose Petal Jam(Gulkand): It has calming and mood lifting effects
  Garlic: or Rasona is most important substance helpful in alleviating vata dosha controlling blood pressure. Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglyceride that have impact on heart disease. A paste made of about 1 gm of garlic should be mixed with a glass of buttermilk. Drink this buttermilk twice a day. It will bring your blood pressure down. Eating 2/3 raw clove of garlic (prior to soaking it in buttermilk) on empty stomach in the morning will correct any vitiation of vata dosha and will help to lower your blood pressure.
  Triphala: Powder should be taken regularly at night with warm water. This will help maintain constipation and bowels will remain clean. Soak 1tsp fenugreek seed in water for a night and munch them early in the morning on empty stomach. It will reduce your cholesterol and excess fats.

Approach according to dosha predominance in Hypertension:
According to Ayurveda, high blood pressure involves all the doshas, the heart, and the blood vessels.We can see signs and symptoms of derangement of vata dosha mainly that of 'Vyana vayu' in high blood pressure. The treatment is to correct the balance of vata dosha.Pitta visiation is also seen often and should be trated.
People with Pitta and Vata predominante constitution and Pitta and Vata imbalance, are more prone to hypertension than any other. Unprocessed anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety and fear leads to mal-adaptation of the endocrine system, which then leads to conditions like hypertension. Treatment is based on bringing these imbalances back to normal. In the treatment of hypertension; nutrition, exercise, breathing exercises (Pranayama), yoga, meditation, behavioral modification along with various herbs and minerals are prescribed.

When Vata predominates, An increase in blood pressure will be followed by worry, strain, overwork, anxiety or insomnia. It frequently associated with nervous system disorders.anxiety, worry, stress, and strain, are usually the main factors, therefore, treat the psychological conditions.
Vata Treatment - Take 125 mg.of serpagandha (raulfia serpentina) and jatamansi 3 times daily for 2 – 3 months.
Garlic is very good for this condition. Eat an entire crushed clove (with honey) once or twice a week.
Take Ashwagandha preparations.

When Pitta predominates, anger,nose bleed, Irritability, and Violent headaches Sensitivity to light contribute to high blood pressure.
Pitta Treatment - Use tranquilizing herbs that have cold potency. For example, take 250 mg. of Brahmi at night.
To purify Pitta, take 1 gram each of Indian sarsaparilla (sariva) for 15 days.

When Kapha is prominent, there may be dull headache,edema, lethargy with obesity.blood pressure remains continually high. (no fluctuation as in Pitta hypertension.)
Kapha Treatment - Avoid dairy, butter, eggs and high fat foods.
1 gm. of guggulu or arjuna twice daily, or 250 mg. of shilajit 3 times daily for 3 months can be taken.
Kapha type of hypertension is almost due to arteriosclerosis (deposition of fat inside the arteries - making their lumen narrow- causing hypertension). All the above herbs remove arteriosclerosis. Optimal mixture is Triphala guggulu 1 gm. daily for 3 months.
100 mg. of cardamom and cinnamon 3 times daily is beneficial. Take these mixtures for 3 months. Regularly check blood pressure.

Yoga and Breath Therapy for Hypertension:
For complete tranquillity of mind, meditate in Corpse Pose. First, concentrate on the incoming and outgoing breath, focusing on the temperature of the breath as it flows in and out. You may notice the exhaled air is slightly warmer than the inhaled air. If you focus the mind on the breath for 10 minutes, mental disturbance gets diminished and blood pressure normalizes. Then you can meditate. Research has now shown that regular practice of Corpse Pose controls high blood pressure. Meditating and practicing breathing exercises regularly are essential to establishing a new relaxation response in place of the hypertensive reflex to stress. Chanting the mantra 'OM' or listening to a recording of it in the early morning and evening is also beneficial


  Niruha basti Chikitsa (non unctuous enema) will be beneficial in hypertension and should be given by experienced physician.
  Dhara therapy is also helpful in treating obstinate cases of hypertension. Oil processed with bala (sida cordifolia) and milk is allowed to drop in small droplets on the forehead of the patient.


Till early eighties, it was widely believed that heart disease was virtually irreversible. This meant that once developed, the disease ran a progressive course until the coronary arteries were completely blocked. But recent studies have proven beyond doubt that not only it is possible to stall the process of artery blockage but also the blockage can be really reversed. This implies that through measures other than angioplasty (ballooning) or bypass surgery, it is quite possible to increase the blood flow to the areas of the heart that receive less than adequate blood supply due to clogging of the coronary arteries.
It is quite disheartening that the highly technological approach of the modern medicine literally bypasses the underlying causes of the heart disease. Ayurveda, on the other hand, aims at striking at the very root of the disease. A real cure for this disease is only possible if we adopt a holistic approach as the one advocated in Ayurveda and address the problem at its very root. Shunning the age-old principles of healing described in the Vedas- the great Indian heritage, as unscientific only just because they are old, is most unfortunate. However, due to the intensive research work of some doctors in the west, people now have come to believe that Heart Disease can be reversed.
There are some very effective natural treatments for regulating and strengthening the heart.

Here are some of the recommendations that Ayurveda makes:

Gau Peeyush (Cow-colostrum): Chlamydia bacterial infection is the major cause of clot formations in blood vessels in 80% of the heart patients. Immunoglobin content of cow cocostrum destroys Chlamydia.IGF-1 & Growth Hormones lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) & increases the good cholesterol levels. Growth Factors help repair & regeneration of damaged heart muscles. Forms new blood vessels & maintains the coronary blood supply.

Arjuna: Increase circulation: A major cause of heart problems is due to hardening, inflammation or congestion of the arteries which can restrict blood flow as well as putting pressure on the heart muscle and tissue. Arjuna is one of Ayurveda's wonder herbs for strengthening the cardiac muscle, reducing arterial congestion and lowering blood pressure.

Triphala Guggul: Reduce Blood fats and high cholesterol: If you suffer from high cholesterol try Triphala Guggul which combines a range of herbs known to tackle the causative problems of high cholesterol as well as reduce high levels of blood fats.

Ashwagandha: Relaxation: If you suffer from excess tension try using Ashwagandha . It is a wonder herb for helping reduce tension in the body and mind as well as strengthen the heart muscle.

Amla: Nourishment : Use of Amla fruit as an excellent anti-oxidant that can help to prevent arterial damage from free radicals as well as nourishing the heart tissue. Amla can help boost the immune system and nourish the heart. Amla and is a real boost to the strength of the heart.

Jatamansi: (Nardostachys jatamansi) has Nervine sedetive activity.

Devdar: Strengthens heart & reduces inflammation.

Ginger: Strengthens heart & reduces swelling & inflammation.

Drumstick: It contains vitamins which minimizes the increased levels of Homocysteine

Aloe Vera: Minimizes levels of LDL & Triglycerides in the blood. Increases HDL. Controls blood pressure & regulates blood circulation in coronary arteries.

Rajshimbi fibres: Raj-shimbi(soyabean) contains proteins which help the heart’s nerves and give them strengh. It helps to reduce the cholesterol present in the coronary artery

Gandhaira: It helps the heart to systole and diastole process easily.

Dietary suggestions

  Eat a nourishing diet that removes all processed foods, poor quality dairy, poor quality oils, hydrogenated oils. Increase foods that are excellent for the heart.
  Use garlic, turmeric, ginger and saffron. Include whole grains, pulses and foods high in essential fatty acids such as hemp seed oil.
  EFAs are renowned for helping to keep arteries clean and the heart strong.
  Avoid over-eating and eating frequently. Eat a light breakfast and dinner. Lunch should be the main meal.
  Milk products, fried foods, cold foods and acidic foods should be taken in small quantities.
  White flour products and foods that contain chemical preservatives and additives should be avoided.
  Animal products, especially red meat, are not good as they take a long time to be digested, and create a lot of toxins in the stomach.
  Seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables (steamed or cooked), Brown bread or Chapatti, salad, sprouts, vegetable soup, buttermilk, cottage cheese (paneer), a little quantity of fresh milk and ghee (clarified butter) prepared from cow's milk, make up an ideal list of food items to choose from.
  Anything sweet should be taken in moderation. Honey and jaggery are healthier than purified sugar.
  Fried things, pulses and their preparations, and groundnut oil is prohibited. Ayurvedic physicians allow butter or ghee, and not groundnut oil.
  Cow's ghee, cow's milk and cows' butter are useful for the patient. Buffalo ghee and buffalo milk are not recommended.
  Stimulants like tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks are very harmful for such patients.
  In addition to maintaining a healthy eating pattern, specific foods are often recognized as particularly heart-healthy. One of the most popular of these healthful foods is fatty fish with its high omega-3 fatty acid content. A recent study determined that women who consumed more omega-3 fatty acid laden fish (two servings weekly) had a reduced rate of death due to heart disease. These researchers found that this was independent of cardiovascular risk factors or other dietary sources that may influence the development of heart disease.

Additionally, flavonoids found in tea and cocoa have been recognized for their antioxidant benefit. By blocking oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol and reducing platelet clumping, flavonoids may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. An inverse association between dietary fiber intake and cardiovascular disease risk has also been proposed. This underscores the recommendation for increased consumption of fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.


Your heart needs a regular supply of oxygen and it also must not be overstressed. Practice light aerobic exercise and regular relaxation. Ayurveda would recommend some nourishing yoga practices, such as the dynamic 'Sun Salutation' as well as daily breathing practices (Pranayama). Ayurveda suggests exercising within your own limitations and does not encourage excessive exercise that leaves you tired. Yoga is exercise that leaves you energised and fitter.
A very common cause of heart diseases is mental stress. Regular practice of yoga and Pranayama (breathing exercises) reduces stress levels. Also, meditation has been scientifically proven to prevent as well as cure heart diseases.
Ayurveda considers the functions of heart and mind inter-linked. Disturbance in one affects the other. Therefore, patients having heart disease are advised to refrain from anxiety, worry, excessive sexual intercourse and wrathful disposition. All efforts should be made for the patient to have good sleep at night. Even rest during the day is essential. He should never be permitted to remain awake at night for long.

The patient's bowels should move regularly. If there is constipation, he is advised to take a glass of water early morning and go for a walk every day. A gentle laxative like Triphala choorna may be used if required .


A gentle head massage with or without oil several times a week is very beneficial. A full-body self-massage with oil once a week is also good.

Management by Yoga and Pranayama

Heart patients should practice pranayam and yoga asana for benefits. Nature therapy should be followed along with the practice of yoga. Kapalbhati, Anulom-vilom, Brahmari pranayam are very beneficial for heart patients. These are helpful in maintaining the overall health apart from heart.

Shashakasan: Regular practice of this asana works like natural massage for the heart. Hence it is very beneficial for the heart patients. Along with this, it strengthens the intestines, liver, pancreas and kidneys. It relieves mental diseases, stress, anger, irritability etc, it strengthens the uterus in women and reduces fat from stomach, waist and hips.

Mandookasana: is very beneficial for the heart patients. It activates the pancreas and cures stomach disorders.

Shavasana: is the best asana in case of mental stress, high blood pressure, heart diseases and insomnia. It relieves nervous weakness, tiredness and negative thinking. It gives complete rest to the body, mind, brain and soul.

Homeopathy for Heart diseases

The homeopathic goal is to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol to desired levels to prevent a heart attack.

Leading Remedies in Homeopathy

  Aconitum is given immediately at the onset of a heart attack. There is numbness of the left arm.
  Cactus grandiflorus treats angina pectoris. The arteries and heart are weak due to atherosclerosis.
  Spigelia relieves violent cardiac palpitations with shooting pain in the breast area. An inability to sleep, worse sleeping on the left side.
  Craetaegus oxyacantha is a tonic for the heart. It treats coronary insufficiency. The pulse is rapid and visible. The pain on the left side of the chest radiates to the left arm.
  Aurum metallicum treats myocardial weakness. The chest pain is aggravated at night. A sensation as if the heartbeat will cease.
  Latrodectus treats precordial pain, the pain intensifies with breathing.
  Laurocerasus is indicated for heart failure.
  Digitalis treats cardiac muscle failure. There is a slow pulse, a tight heart, palpitation, the sensation as if suffocating, and all symptoms are aggravated sleeping on left side.
  Baryta carbonica is indicated for a senile heart, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and loss of memory.
  Viscum album treats hypertrophy of the heart.
  Glonoinum treats hypertension, atherosclerosis, and all heart conditions aggravated in the heat of the sun.
  Platina relieves spasmodic contraction of the muscle around the heart.
  Carbo vegetabilis is indicated for heart failure with cyanosis.
  Naja treats angina pectoris. The chest pains radiates towards the nape of neck to the left upper shoulder, and arm.
  Veratum album calms cardiac palpitations.
  Plumbum album is indicated for hypertension, sclerosis, and loss of memory.
  Strophantus is indicated if there is suspicion of a heart attack. The degeneration of the cardiac muscle accompanied by irregular heartbeat. The pulse rate is rapid at times and slow at other times.
  Tabacum treats hypertrophy of the heart.
  Kalmia treats bradycardia accompanied by rheumatism or gout.
  Gemmotherapy Treatment
  Acer campestre
  Olea europaea
  Prunus amygdalus
  Tamarix gallica
  Oligo Trace-Elements Treatment

Natural Supplements for Heart Attack Prevention

  Coenzyme Q10 improves heart function.
  Vitamin C serves as a healing action in the body.
  Vitamin E helps prevent the formation of blood clots which leads to a heart attack.
  Magnesium helps improve healing after a heart attack.
  Policosanol helps the liver produce less cholesterol.
  Probiotics prevent diseases and maintain good health.
  EPA/DHA lowers the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
  Fish oil supplement helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  Vitamin B complex helps prevent a heart attack.
  Gugulipid prevents plaque formation on arterial walls.
  Niacin lowers cholesterol in the blood.
  Potassium may help control heartbeat.

Naturotherapy For Heart diseases

By following a drug less method most of the above factors can be taken care of.

The quality of blood can be improved by following the strict regimen of diet which comprises.

  1. Caloric restriction, if overweight.
  2. 10–15% fat, 60–70% carbohydrate and 15–20% protein.
  3. Low in cholesterol.
  4. Low in salt which eliminates excess water.
  5. Increased dietary fibre.

Treatments such as neutral half bath, neutral half bath with friction and Epsom salt, and steam baths ( in case of mild hypertension), result in peripheral vasodilatation which relaxes the heart muscle and improves peripheral arterial resistance.
By means of hot and cold water treatments, blood circulation to the periphery as well as to the internal organs could be improved. By such treatments, popularly known as “Vascular training” the elasticity (constriction and relaxation) of the blood vessels could be improved.

  Cold spinal bath, ice massage to the head and spine, trauma and cold pack to head, cold friction, sponger bath, mud bath and cold chest packs all help in bringing down the blood pressure immediately.
  Mud packs applied to abdomen regularly improve circulation to the abdominal region.
  Full body massages done in reverse direction, once or twice a week, not only relax the skeletal muscles but also improve peripheral circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Magnet Therapy For Heart Diseases

Magnetic therapy is mainly based on the theory that whenever a magnet, usually embedded in a stretchy bracelet, touches the body, the magnetic fields will promote healing for a range of health problems.

Physicists have come up with an electromagnetic treatment that may get the attention of conventional medicine. They used very strong magnetic fields to thin blood going through a tube, which led them to theorize this could be done in humans as a blood-thinning treatment that could reduce the chances of a heart attack or a stroke.

When the magnets, similar to MRI magnets, are turned on, the electromagnetic field polarizes the red blood cells, which contain iron, and link them in short chains and make the blood cells move in one direction. These larger chains flow down the center and friction along the blood vessel walls is reduced. This thins the viscosity (gumminess) of the blood so it can flow more easily.

When the magnets were turned off, the blood’s original thickness started returning slowly over a period of several hours. The scientists believe with the appropriate magnetic field and pulse duration the magnets will control the blood’s viscosity and add to the arsenal of treatments for potential stroke and heart attack patients.
Right now, aspirin is the only form of blood thinner used. However, aspirin has side effects such as ulcers. The scientists believe they can adapt magnet therapy for clinical use with no unwanted side effects.

Mending A Broken Heart With Bach Flower Remedy

Your broken heart has rendered you miserable from head to foot. Thoughts about the breakup replay in your mind like a broken record making it difficult to concentrate. The mental chatter disturbs your sleep. You are stuck in an emotional mire and the unhappiness is unbearable.

Bach Flower Essences
Bach Flower Essences (BFE) can help soothe your heart and rescue you from the muck in a simple, gentle way. The homeopathically-prepared liquid preparations can actually shift those unwanted negative thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and personality qualities back to positive ones.

Discovered nearly seventy years ago by British physician and scientist Dr. Edward Bach, flower essences can support you in the 'letting go' process, so you can smoothly transition away from the source of your broken heart. Each of us acts and reacts differently to a broken heart--bringing our unique personality traits, attitudes and conditioned behavior into the experience. Some of you may experience deep sadness and loss, and be prone to sulking or feeling blame and self-pity, indicating the essence Pine. Others may feel uncontrollable rage; the essence Cherry Plum will bring control back to the mind.

To repair your heart, you'll probably need to begin with the essence Walnut to ease your transition and help you break ties to your past relationship. Feelings of anger, suspicion, revenge or jealousy would indicate the flower essence Holly which helps reestablish the potential for an open, loving heart.
If you're crying a lot and feeling utterly hopeless with no rainbow at the end of the tunnel, Sweet Chestnut will bring you hope for the future and brighten your days. BFE can also offer relief from depression, confusion, resentment, overwhelm, loneliness and fears of abandonment.
For feelings of sadness, grief and loss the essence Star of Bethlehem is indicated to soothe the heart. It can also help you recuperate when an unexpected breakup results in a shock to your emotional system.
Proper dosage and accurate selection of indicated essences is critical for success. After the correct essences are determined and taken, relief can begin within a few days continuing to deepen for several months.

Although flower essences are never indicated for physical symptoms, the body often heals when emotional balance is restored.

Seed therapy in Cardiac pains

Seeds of beet, buckwheat, dog-rose, garden radish and hawthorn fruits can be used in the heart region pains. You can as well cover the whole correspondence area with them. Having fixed the seeds in the correspondence points, you should periodically press on them causing a painful sensation.
If you are sure that the cardiac pains are provoked by an angina attack, you can apply a little mustard plaster to the heart correspondence area in addition to the above mentioned methods of therapy.The rules of mustard plaster application in the correspondence systems are the same as for the application to the body, till the burning sensation and skin reddening appear. You can also use a piece of capsicum plaster.

Su Jok (Acupressure)For Heart

Pains in the heart region are one of the most serious and frequent complains though the heart diseases. They are not always connected with caused by neurosis (in overstrain and stress), by spinal osteochondrosis, lung diseases and other illnesses. You should also bear in mind that the pains in the heart area can be caused by abuse of alcohol and smoking

Where the points are to help in cardiac pains?
These are the points corresponding to the heart. In the Symmetry line Symmetry line Diaphragm In the standard correspondence system to the body on the hand, the projection of the heart is on the both sides the left of the lower half of the symmetry line. In the systems, the heart correspondence area is located on finger’s middle phalanx. Slightly below its centre
How can we help ourselves if we have pains in heart region?
First of all, it is necessary to find the heart correspondence area and thoroughly massage it for 3 to 5 minutes with fingers or any kind of massager: a diagnostic stick, blunt end of a pen, pencil, key, etc. Remember that the massage should be painful! It’s best to be performed as interrupted pressing.
Massage of heart correspondence areas in heart pains: A — with the second and third fingers; B — with a diagnostic stick
After the pain decreases, be sure to warm up the heart correspondence area with a wormwood cigar or moxas. In men, warming should be done with an odd number of moxas and in women with an even number of moxas. Warming the heart correspondence points with threadlike moxas in minisystems of correspondence on the fingers’ nail phalanges will be especially effective

And then use surface applicators for prolonged stimulation: fix metal or magnet stars in the heart correspondence points, if such applicators are not available, you can use T4ike (with a stem) buttons, beads, etc.
Stimulation of heart correspondence areas with the left 2nd and 3rd
Warming the heart correspondence area with moxas in the minisystems
If you have pumpkin, guelder rose, vegetable marrow or cucumber seeds, look at them carefully: may be some associations will come to your mind. Of course, you’ve noticed that the shape of these seeds resembles a heart or a drop of blood. That’s why their application is especially effective in therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Pumpkin and vegetable marrow seeds are very convenient to use in the hand standard correspondence system as their size corresponds to the heart projection size, while the guelder rose and cucumber seeds are used in the insect systems.

Our Recommended Products

Dhanwantari Distributors Pvt. Ltd. © 2018 All rights reserved.