High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat present in the blood in small quantities. It forms a part of the cell walls, nerve coverings and brain cells. So it has an important function in the body. As per density, cholesterol has been classified into high density cholesterol, low density cholesterol and very low density cholesterol. While high density cholesterol is supposed to be cardio-protective, low density cholesterol and very low density cholesterol may cause coronary blockages if present in excess quantities. Having excess cholesterol in the body is called hypercholesterolemia in medical terms.

Causes

In majority of cases, fatty, high calorie diet and obesity are responsible for increase in cholesterol. High level of saturated fats found in meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, fried and processed foods are blamed for increased cholesterol levels. In some cases genetic factors may also be responsible for high level of cholesterol in individuals. High cholesterol is also linked with people who drink excessive alcohol and smoke regularly.

Also, lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain resulting in increased LDL level and reduction of HDL leading to elevated total cholesterol levels. Diseases such as hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, nephrotic syndrome, fatty liver and obstructive jaundice too can cause hypercholesterolemia.

Ayurvedic View

From an Ayurvedic point of view, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) indicates weak digestive fire at the tissue level. Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or toxins (ama) which then block the channels in the body. Hypercholesterolemia is a perfect example of toxins blocking the body channels. Ayurvedic treatment for balancing body cholesterol consists of herbal medications that eliminate the toxins from the channels and restore the digestive fire to proper function. Advices on diet and regimen adjustments are also given to support the treatment.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

         As stated earlier, fatty and high calorie diet is often responsible for hypercholesterolemia.

         Therefore, taking light, low calorie diet is important to avoid high cholesterol.

         Maintaining regular food timings and taking dinner early in the evening is also useful.

         Yoga, Suryanamaskar and Pranayama are useful while dealing with hypercholesterolemia.

         Paying attention to digestion and excretion and avoiding indigestion is important when you have high cholesterol.

Home Remedies

         Mix one teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder (amla) in a glass of warm water. Drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach.

         Take one teaspoon each of black pepper powder, dry ginger powder, turmeric powder and amla powder. Store in a glass container. Take one teaspoon of this mixture twice daily with lukewarm water.

         Take 3 parts ground turmeric, 6 parts ground cumin, 6 parts ground coriander, 6 parts ground fennel, 2 parts ground fenugreek, 1 part dried ginger powder and 1 part ground black pepper. Combine the spices and store in a sealed container. When preparing your meal, saut茅 a teaspoon of spices in a small amount of ghee or olive oil. Combine with vegetables.

         Add two teaspoons of coriander seed powder to one cup of water. Boil the mixture and then strain it. Drink this once or twice a day. You can add milk, sugar, and cardamom to it and use it as an alternative for your regular tea.

         Boil few leaves of mint with water. Add some honey and pepper powder. Drink lukewarm 2-3 times a day.