Last week I took a more technical look at cholesterol to lay the groundwork for this rather complex subject. It is important to know, however, that in Ayurveda, we are not talking about cholesterol as such, but rather about meda dhatu, the lipidic tissue of the body. In Ayurvedic practice, we try to balance this tissue and the level of healthy fats in the body, which indirectly helps to balance the level of cholesterol in the body.
The meda dhatu is mainly influenced by our digestive fire (agni). When we eat foods containing oils and fats, it is our digestive system that assimilates them: it breaks down the food, helps to eliminate toxins, and ensures that the food is processed, especially for the constitution of body tissues, such as lipidic tissue. Cholesterol is one of the constituents of this tissue. Thus, if the digestion of fats is disturbed at a certain point, the production of meda dhatu is also disturbed, both in quantity and quality. Therefore, the cholesterol level is also affected.
The liver plays an important role in the digestion process, especially in terms of eliminating toxins (ama) out of the body. When there is an overload of toxins, which can be caused by different factors that I will enumerate later, there is an imbalance of the meda dhatu or a meda dhatu containing toxins (ama). It is particularly in the latter situation, when toxins are present, that the level of cholesterol in the lipidic tissue becomes unhealthy because it is present in too large a quantity.
WHAT CAUSES DIGESTIVE IMBALANCE?
There are several factors that can unbalance digestion…
Mental imbalance: due to external pressures, intense mental activity, a strong emotional charge.
Physical imbalance: due to an imbalance in eating habits: eating too much, not enough, or foods that are difficult to digest.
- Environmental imbalance: due to the ingestion of food polluted with toxins or out of season, for example.
SOME BASIC TIPS TO LOWER HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL…
YOUR DIET. Diet is one of the most important habits to watch when high blood cholesterol is suspected. Of course, foods that are fried or high in saturated fat should be avoided or at least kept to a strict minimum. Examples include dairy products, bacon, fatty meats, etc. The same goes for processed foods and added sugars, which can increase the risk of heart disease or high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. I recommend that you choose more plant-based foods and increase your intake of dietary fiber: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains. The power is in the fork!
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Exercise or any form of physical activity helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood. Get your body moving every day!
MEDITATION / YOGA. To calm the mind and help digestion. Studies show that relaxation exercises, such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises tend to reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Get out your meditation cushion and yoga mat!
DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. There is also evidence that certain herbs and dietary supplements can help reduce high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Examples include arjuna powder, garlic and Guggul (Commiphora mukul). However, it is recommended that a specialist be consulted when taking such supplements to ensure their proper use.
Panchakarma treatment to counteract bad cholesterol and invigorate the body in general
In Ayurveda, there is an effective treatment to restore the body and mind from various medical conditions, and thus the high level of bad cholesterol. That's why I'm mentioning it here, for your information ;-) It is a treatment that includes meditation, massage, and yoga to rejuvenate and strengthen the body, mind, and consciousness. In Ayurveda, health is synonymous with the absence of toxins (ama) in the body. Panchakarma, which translates from Sanskrit as « five » and « action » and refers to the 5 purifying treatments of this ancient medicine:
- Vamana: emetic therapy
- Virechana: purgation
- Nasya : nasal treatment
- Anuvasana basti : oil enema
- Niruha Basti : decoction enema
There are specialized therapists who can help you for this treatment, which can last for several weeks. It is a unique and holistic traditional treatment that removes all toxins from the body and opens the subtle channels of the body. Thus, the level of cholesterol in the body can be restored through this process.
It is important to establish and take into consideration your tridoshic constitution and your respective needs before taking actionable steps. You can make an appointment with me by clicking here for any questions you may have on the subject!
Once again, the subject presented above is for information purposes only. It is therefore important to seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health professional if you have any questions regarding your cholesterol levels and any other medical conditions.