Understanding the Ayurvedic Technique to Manage Cholesterol
Liver, the largest gland in the body, is one that is responsible for making cholesterol. While many assume cholesterol to be the “bad guy”, it is in fact essential for the body as it helps to produce new cells, vitamins, and hormones. But, just how anything in excess is harmful, overproduction of cholesterol tends to have a negative impact on overall health. Bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein in excessive amounts leaves you with a higher risk for heart disease or a stroke.
Ayurveda’s Take on Cholesterol
Cholesterol in terms of Ayurveda plays a key role in supporting the body’s circulatory system that includes the arteries and veins. Only when metabolic waste substances (Ama) begin to accumulate in the body like toxins is when cholesterol turns harmful. If these accumulated toxins are not timely flushed out from the body it develops into unhealthy lipids or bad cholesterol. This eventually causes various heart diseases like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, stroke among others.
The Ayurvedic belief focuses on a more preventive type of treatment rather than a direct cure. According to Ayurveda, the improper dietary and lifestyle habits is what gives rise to the formation of Ama or toxins that lead to cholesterol. To lower this cholesterol naturally, Ayurvedic concepts don’t just focus on consuming cholesterol-lowering foods, rather they recommend lifestyle changes that work on reducing cholesterol by working on your unique metabolic type (dosha).
What is a Metabolic Type?
Every individual is unique, every person has certain traits and characteristics that seperates them from others. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, our body is governed by 3 different doshas or energies, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas or energies in combination are responsible for individual characteristics like your digestive capacity, skin and hair health, mood and temperament. Every individual has a unique composition of these three doshas that defines who you exactly are. It is only when your doshas are imbalanced that you start to notice overarching patterns of metabolic diseases like cholesterol.
- Vata Dosha Imbalance: A person having this kind of imbalance is likely to experience joint pain, low metabolism levels, a disturbed sleep - wake cycle and lack of mental focus. To manage cholesterol levels by working on the imbalance Vata dosha, Ayurveda recommends these individuals will be advised to avoid raw and uncooked foods, coffee and consume meals in smaller quantities with controlled calorie intake.
- Pitta Dosha Imbalance: Individuals with this kind of imbalance are short-tempered and likely to experience hair loss, digestive problems and constantly feel thirsty. To reduce cholesterol levels by working on pitta dosha imbalance, these individuals will be advised to consume plenty of cooling water, follow a diet that contains more vegetables, pulses and fruits and strictly avoid caffeine and smoking.
- Kapha Dosha Imbalance: People with this dosha imbalance are likely to experience low energy levels, loss of appetite, respiratory problems and are more prone to feeling lazy and oversleeping. To effectively reduce the cholesterol levels and balance Kapha dosha, Ayurveda will advise these individuals to avoid any kind of sugar, avoid intake of a heavy meal before going to bed and always have warm water.
Benefits of Knowing your Metabolic Type
One might wonder… why is it necessary to know the metabolic type of the person? Knowing your metabolic type will help you know your body requirements and in turn make the required changes to reduce cholesterol and maintain optimal health. By finding your unique metabolic type, you will be able to understand the following:
- If you have a metabolic disorder like cholesterol, thyroid, etc.
- If you have a poor digestive system
- If your sleep levels are satisfactory
- If your hormonal functioning is optimal
- If your immunity is in check
Once you are able to identify what exactly is causing high levels of cholesterol, with the help of Ayurvedic techniques a holistic healing treatment plan can be recommended, one that is personalized specifically for your metabolic type. This healing plan includes a diet that is completely designed as per your body needs. This might require you to fast (Langhan) as suggested by the doctor and not to forget your daily doses of herbal mixes.
Few Things to Remember while on an Ayurvedic Cholesterol Treatment:
- Consistency is key: If you wish to see yourself completely free from cholesterol, you have to stick to the protocol which includes following the diet plan. This also means when and how you take these herbal mixes also play an important role.
- Intake of medicine: The thing about being on a natural treatment is that the medication requires the stomach to be in the right state of mind. You might be required to carry out fasting for a short period of time depending on your metabolic type.
- Complete the course: This is the most crucial part of being on an Ayurvedic plan. Most tend to drop off on not seeing the desired results but the important thing to remember is that no journey is complete before reaching the destination. The results will only be seen if they are taken in the right manner, in the right dosage, and at the right time.
Traya’s approach to treating metabolic disorders like cholesterol is one that is not just authentic but also 100% personalized as per the individual’s metabolic type. At Traya, we first find the reason behind what’s causing your spike in cholesterol levels with the help of a holistic science approach. We identify the dosha that’s causing the disturbed state and help you get through a healing state and finally bring you to an ideal state free of metabolic disorders.
Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.