According to modern science cholesterol is a waxy substance that our bodies need but only up to a certain level. We need cholesterol to produce healthy cell membranes, sex hormones and vitamin D. Our bodies simply cannot function properly without cholesterol and become out of balance if we have too much or too little.
We get cholesterol from two sources, first we get it from the food we eat and second our liver produces cholesterol to maintain body functions. When we avoid high cholesterol foods, our liver must make up the difference needed to fulfill what our bodies require.
Cholesterol continually circulates in the blood, supplying cholesterol wherever it is needed. When the level of cholesterol increases it is considered an imbalanced state that is harmful to our bodies. The increased cholesterol clogs the circulatory channels of the body.
According to Ayurveda, cholesterol is related to the kapha dosha and plays an important role of supporting and lubricating the numerous circulatory channels. Many organs and tissues rely on the lubricating qualities of the kapha dosha, especially the nervous, muscular, and circulatory systems.
When the channels become clogged, the arteries and veins become rigid and hard due to the lack of lubrication. And nerves cannot transmit signals quickly due to the lack of lubrication of the myelin sheath. Excess kapha in the form of fat or cholesterol, means there is an excess of the earth and water elements. The excess kapha clogs both the micro and macro channels of the body and obstructs the other two doshas, vata and pitta from functioning properly. This is the cause for many types of health problems.
We can maintain good cholesterol levels within the normal range by following a proper diet and lifestyle. Ayurveda says anything in excess or deficient quantity will cause diseases and all life is sustained only when the three doshas are in a healthy state of balance.
Ayurvedic Supplements for Supporting Healthy Cholesterol
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Arishtams and Asavams are medicinal herbs processed by fermentation. The process of making an Arishtam or Asavam is lengthy and begins by boiling dried herbs in water to extract the medicinal qualities of the herbs. This is called an herbal decoction.
Ayurveda, as well as other systems of Indian medicine use metals and minerals to support healing. The use of metals for healing is also amply described in Chinese and Egyptian medicines as far back as 2500 B.C.. Bhasmas are unique to Ayurveda and the use of metal and mineral preparations have been documented since the 7th century A.D.
The Ayurvedic text lists four types of fats with medicinal healing qualities. They are ghritam (ghee), oil (sesame), vasa (muscle), and majja (marrow). Each one has its own unique properties, however ghritam has several special qualities that are unmatched. Ghritam will maintain its own healing qualities even when combined with herbs with different qualities.