Ayurveda and yoga in cardiovascular diseases

Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.
Cardiology in Review (Impact Factor: 3.24). 05/2005; 13(3):155-62. DOI: 10.1097/01.crd.0000128730.31658.36
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ayurveda is derived from 2 Sanskrit words, namely, "Ayus" and "Veda," meaning life and knowledge, respectively. It literally means science of life. Ayurveda, of which yoga is an integral part, is widely practiced in India and is gaining acceptance in many countries around the world. It is a comprehensive and a holistic system, the focus of which is on the body, mind, and consciousness. The Ayurvedic treatment consists of the use herbal preparations, diet, yoga, meditation, and other practices. Based on the review of available studies, the evidence is not convincing that any Ayurvedic herbal treatment is effective in the treatment of heart disease or hypertension. However, the use of certain spices and herbs such as garlic and turmeric in an overall healthy diet is appropriate. Many herbs used by Ayurvedic practitioners show promise and could be appropriate for larger randomized trials. Yoga, an integral part of Ayurveda, has been shown to be useful to patients with heart disease and hypertension. Yoga reduces anxiety, promotes well-being, and improves quality of life. Its safety profile is excellent. Its use as a complementary therapeutic regimen under medical supervision is appropriate and could be worth considering.

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