Hrichool (Angina Pectoris )
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Introduction

 

Angina pectoris is a very lethal condition that develops in people as they progress in age. It usually makes its appearance as a person reaches the age of 50 years and most often, it claims the life of the person it affects. It is today one of the leading causes of deaths of people all over the world.

Definition of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

 

Angina pectoris or angina, as it is simply referred to, is a chronic pain in the chest which obstructs the flow of blood to the heart. The obstruction in the flow of blood is usually due to atherosclerosis which builds up cholesterol in the arteries providing blood to the heart, leading in severe chest pains.

The name of the disease is derived from the Greek word ankhon which means ‘strangling’ and the Latin word pectus which means ‘chest’. Hence, angina pectoris literally means ‘a strangling feeling in the chest’. Its Sanskrit term is also derived from two words – hriday meaning ‘heart’ and shool meaning ‘thorn’. So hrichool means ‘a thorn in the heart’. Both these names are indicative of the type of pain that is a characteristic of angina pectoris.

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Types of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

There are three main types of angina pectoris. Refer to the following table for details.

Type of Angina Pectoris

Features

Relief

Stable Angina

Stable angina is the most common type of angina. It is usually caused due to some sort of physical exertion. People with stable angina pectoris feel a constant rhythm in the beating of their hearts and can predict when an attack of chest pain will occur.

Stable angina can be relieved by resting a little and taking the prescribed medicine for angina. Stable angina is not a fatal condition, but it can soon complicate into an unstable angina or lead to a myocardial infarction, i.e. heart attack.

Unstable Angina

Unstable angina comes on without warning. It does not require physical exertion as its trigger; it can come on even when the person is at rest. There is a sudden sharp pain in the chest without any provocation, and it almost always leads to a heart attack. Unstable angina cannot be predicted in advance.

Unstable angina cannot be relieved by rest or by taking any medicine. Very urgent medical attention is needed, with possible hospitalization and surgery.

Variant or Prinzmetal’s Angina

Variant angina attacks occur always at night – between midnight and early dawn. It is a rare condition. Though the pain is quite severe, it does not always lead to death.

Variant angina can be relieved by medicines that are previously prescribed by the doctor.

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Causes of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

The major cause of angina pectoris is ischemia, i.e. congestion of the chest cavity. The coronary arteries bring the blood to the heart. If there is any congestion in the coronary arteries, then the blood supply to the heart is obstructed and the result is angina pectoris.

The following are the major reasons why the heart arteries can be blocked:-

(i) Atherosclerosis – Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of cholesterol in the major arteries bringing blood to the heart. Due to this accumulation, the lumens of the arteries become narrow and the blood supply to the heart is obstructed.

(ii) Stress and tension – People living in a constant state of stress and tension require more blood supply to their brain as their brain is working more than normal. As a result, the heart has to pump more blood into the cranial region. After some time, the heart gets exerted and could lead to an angina pain.

In Ayurveda, the air element of the body is called as the vata dosha. Hrichool is caused when there is an imbalance in the vata dosha of the body. The major causes which trigger hrichool according to Ayurvedic principles can be:-

  • Ativyaam – means overexertion of the body
  • Ativyavaya – means overindulgence in sex
  • Abhighaat – means mental trauma
  • Bhojana – means diet
  • Patan – means a sudden fall or physical shock

People who are at Risk of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

There is a large category of people who are at high risk of angina pectoris in the world today. Since angina is largely considered to be a lifestyle disease, there are particular groups of people who are more susceptible to develop angina than others. The following is a list of the people with higher risks of angina:-

People with diabetes and high blood pressure

People who have a family history of angina pectoris

People who are addicted to cigarette smoking

People who are in a constant state of stress and tension

People who live a sedentary lifestyle with less exercise

People whose diet is rich in cholesterol sources, such as fatty foods

People who are overweight

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Symptoms of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

The prominent symptoms of angina pectoris are almost the same in all people suffering from the condition. The following are the key aspects of anginal pains:-

The initial symptoms of angina pectoris are chest congestions, which can be described as pressing, choking, squeezing and burning kind of sensations. There may be a constriction in the throat.

The anginal pains originate in the epigastrium, i.e. in the upper central region of the chest cavity. This is the region behind the breastbone.

From the epigastrium, the pain can radiate to the back, neck, jaw and shoulders.

Angina pains last for more than one to five minutes, depending on the severity of the condition.

There is generally breathlessness and violent gasping accompanied by the pain.

Nausea and vomiting is common.

One important factor to note is that most angina pains are brought about by some kind of trigger (except in unstable angina). The major triggers for anginal pains are as follows:-

  • Physical exertion
  • Emotional stress
  • Heavy food
  • Going to bed immediately after a heavy food
  • Extreme emotions such as anger, fear or happiness
  • Cold weather

Variant angina can also be triggered by nightmares.

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Complications due to Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

The most important and serious complication of an anginal pain is myocardial infarction, i.e. heart attack. Heart attacks usually accompany pains of unstable angina, and they could be lethal.

Most stable angina pains develop into unstable angina if ignored. Hence it is absolutely vital to get medical attention when there is the beginning of any kind of chest pain.

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Transmission of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

Angina pectoris is a non-communicable disease. It is a metabolic disorder which runs in families. Hence, there is no question of transmission of the condition from one person to the other.

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Prevention of Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

Whether or not a person will have angina pectoris depends vastly on the kind of diet and lifestyle the person has. Prevention of angina pectoris is very effective if one keeps away from the triggering factors of the condition, which are as follows:-

A diet rich in fats, i.e. a cholesterol-rich diet

Having a full meal and going to bed immediately

A sedentary lifestyle without exercise

Heavy physical work, especially in the old age

Extreme changes of climate, especially in the old age

Emotional stresses and tensions

Smoking

High blood pressure and diabetes

Obesity

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Diet for Preventing Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

Obviously, a healthy diet goes a long way in preventing angina pectoris. The following basic guidelines need to be followed with meticulous care:-

Avoid fatty foods to the maximum possible extent. This includes fried food, milk products such as butter and cheese, full cream milk, oils, etc.

Fermented milk products are good for people with angina. This includes curds.

Use only vegetable oils for cooking. This includes sunflower, olive, groundnut and rapeseed oils.

Avoid salt in the diet. Do not consume foods that are too much salty.

In meats, red meats such as mutton, beef and pork must be avoided. White meats such as poultry and fish are beneficial.

Fishes with high body oil content must be preferred. This includes sardines, tunas, mackerels, salmons, herrings, etc. Canned fish must be strictly avoided. There should be at least two to three fish consumptions per week.

Carbohydrates should form the major part of the food. This includes cereals, wheat, rice, bread, potatoes and pasta.

It is found that a little bit of alcohol is actually beneficial for angina, but excess is harmful. The safe limit of alcohol is as follows:-

    For men: 21 units per week, and not more than 4 units on any one day

    For women: 14 units per week, and not more than 3 units on any one day.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Angina Pectoris (Hrichool)

Ayurveda is a treasure-house of remedies for angina pectoris. There is a long list of herbs that have been used since ancient times for the treatment of the condition. The following is a list of these herbs with their actions on the human body:-

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Alfalfa

Medicago satina

Alfalfa

Juice of the alfalfa grass is used for people with arterial and heart problems. The benefits of this juice are improved by taking it in a mixture with carrot juice.

Amla

Emblica officinalis

Indian Gooseberry

Amla tones up all the organs of the body, and that includes the heart. Thus it betters the pumping action of the heart.

Chachinga

Trichosanthes anguina

Snake Gourd

The leaves of the snake gourd have been traditionally used as medicine for treating pain in the heart due to physical exertion.

Haldi

Curcuma longa

Turmeric

Curcumin is a chemical compound present in turmeric. This compound is known to lower the amount of serum cholesterol and even the blood sugar level.

Kahu

Terminalia arjuna

Arjuna

Arjuna is perhaps the most beneficial herb used by Ayurvedic practitioners in the treatment of angina-related problems. The bark of the arjuna tree is known to have stimulant action on the heart.

Lahsoona

Allium sativa

Garlic

Garlic is beneficial for people with angina pectoris as it is a known blood thinner. For this reason, garlic must be included in the diet.

Peepal

Ficus religiosa

Peepal

The leaves of the peepal tree are effective in treatment of heart ailments. They are known to strengthen the heart and thus keep angina pectoris at bay.

Pyaaza

Allium cepa

Onion

Trials have shown that regular usage of onion for five months is beneficial in decreasing serum cholesterol. It is also beneficial in decreasing thrombosis.

Rojmari

Achillea millefolium

Blood Wort

The herb of blood wort is beneficial in the treatment of circulatory problems due to its stimulant action. It can bring down high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of angina pectoris.

Tilpushpi

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis

Treatment of angina pectoris is one of the most elemental purposes digitalis is put to. Digitalis stimulates the muscle activity of the heart and makes it pump better. Thus it forces more blood into the heart and improves nourishment.

Guggul is an age-old remedy used by Ayurvedic exponents for treating angina pectoris and its complications. Guggul is in fact a mixture of several substances that have been extracted from the Commiphora mukul plant. This medicine is effective in treating atherosclerosis, which is a leading cause of angina. This is because of guggulsterone, which is a compound found in the guggul plant.

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Comment Script

Comments

it is very usful harbal madecin for hart problam the prson who noleg about it pleas tell to ather hart pesint
#1 - alla din - 11/05/2011 - 01:32
Your suggestions are valuable for the treatment of stable angina.
#2 - drbhagender - 05/08/2014 - 09:39
very usefull keep going well
#3 - lalith - 07/16/2017 - 22:09
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