Strong beating sound in the chest, chest pain, breathing troubles, trembling of arms and legs, etc., are the symptoms of this disease.
Causes: There can be many reasons behind heart disease.
1. Persons who keep their stomachs full and heavy need a greater blood supply for their stomachs, and their hearts have to overwork in order to keep up that extra supply. Consequently their hearts become weak.
2. Persons above thirty-five or forty years of age who consume an excessive quantity of non-vegetarian food out of greed may also suffer from heart disease; because non-vegetarian food increases the acidity of the blood, and this compels the heart to overwork in order to purify the blood; and the heart becomes weak. An increase in the acidity of blood also gradually weakens other organs of the body, and those weaknesses directly or indirectly weaken the heart.
3. Taking excessive fatty and oil food and not undertaking a proportional amount of physical labour loads the human nervous system down with fat, and as a result it becomes impossible for the nerves to properly assist the heart. As a result the heart becomes weak. Fat accumulated in the nerves and blood vessels terribly hampers the blood circulation, and in order to maintain the circulation, the heart is forced to overwork. As a consequence the heart soon becomes weak.
4. Due to debility of the liver, surplus fat of the body may get a chance to accumulate in the nerves and blood vessels, and the heart naturally becomes weak. Usually patients of this condition have chronic dysentery also.
5. Another reason for heart disease is the practice of eating too much food at one sitting with little or no appetite; because taking a large quantity of food enlarges the stomach, and that enlarged stomach starts putting pressure on the heart above it. Persons who do not have breakfast and an afternoon snack usually eat heavy meals at lunch and dinner. If such a habit continues day after day, their stomachs get enlarged and they suffer from heart disease.
6. Constipation is another reason for heart disease. If the bowels are not cleared, the accumulated stool decays inside the body and breeds a certain type of germ. If these germs get a chance to strike the heart, the patient suffers from heart disease.
7. Ill-tempered persons also run the risk of heart disease, because in anger the flow of blood to the head and face becomes suddenly accelerated (which makes these people turn red). To supply this extra blood, the heart has suddenly to work very hard. That is why persons who are habitually ill-tempered suffer from weakness of the heart. For the same reason, extreme shyness may make the heart weak.
8. In extreme fright also, the blood all of a sudden leaves the other parts of the body and rushes towards the heart in great quantity. It is difficult for the heart to stand this pressure, so in extreme fright the heart pounds or palpitates, and often even stops beating and causes death. (People have often been known to die of heart failure in fear of imaginary ghosts; and just before death or immediately thereafter, such terror-stricken people suffer from bleeding from the mouth and nose, and other people see it and think that the victims have really been killed by ghosts.) So fearful persons are often found to be suffering from heart disease.
9. For the same reason, indulgence in sex causes the heart to strain and the breathing to become heavy. So habitually passionate people also suffer from heart disease. Too much seminal loss in young people also brings about heart disease.
10. Use of wine, tobacco, viŕi, cigarettes and other intoxicants in excessive quantity brings about constipation, which is one cause of heart disease. Moreover, intoxicants increase the acidity of the blood, weaken the glandular system, and ultimately prevent the active cooperation of the heart and the glands, causing them to fall sick.
11. When a person suffers from some devitalizing or chronic disease for a long time, his or her blood will become weak. And to revitalize that blood, the person’s heart has to overwork, and gradually the heart becomes weak. That is why with beriberi, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diabetes, gonorrhoea, syphilis and female disease, the longer a patient suffers, the more the heart becomes weak, and when it becomes extremely weak it stops and the patient dies.
Treatment: Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, (don’t drink too much water), Yogamudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Bhújauṋgásana, Váyavii Mudrá or Váyavii Práńáyáma, and Padahastásana.
Evening – Yogamudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Bhújauṋgásana, Padahastásana and Váyavii Mudrá or Váyavii Práńáyáma.
Remember that patients should practise no ásanas and mudrás other than Utkśepa Mudrá when the disease is critical. Only after some improvement in the disease should these ásanas and mudrás be practised. When patients are more or less cured, they should practice Karmásana instead of Padahastásana. The practice of Vyápaka Snána is also especially helpful in this disease.
Diet: Only fruits and milk should be taken with this disease. Breakfast and afternoon snacks should also be composed of fruits and milk only. At noon a very small quantity of easily-digestible and non-constipating food should be taken; it is better to refrain from eating rice or rut́i but a little boiled rice can be taken. At the evening meal nothing except fruits and milk should be taken. (Patients should not eat bananas after sunset.) Those who cannot digest milk or who for some reason are unable to procure it, may drink curd-water instead. One should not add salt to food while eating. Care should be taken to let the breath flow through the right nostril for some time after a meal.
Dos and don’ts: Patients should never eat a lot at one sitting – rather they should eat a small quantity at a time, several times. When patients are critically ill they should eat nothing but milk, fruit juice (especially orange/tangerine and tomato), milk or water with honey, and the juice of spinach, kalamii, beto, punarnavá, shushuni or shulphá. When thirsty, drink water with a little lemon juice.
Sleeping during the day, keeping late nights, and greedily eating a full stomach of food are all very dangerous for heart patients. Dinner invitations usually involve rich food, so patients should not accept dinner invitations. They should go to bed between 8 and 8:30 in the evening.
One should again remember that eating a small quantity of spinach, beto, kalamii, shulphá, shushuni or punarnavá – leafy vegetables – is good for heart patients. Bara eláca is also particularly helpful in curing this disease. Utmost attention must be paid to clearing the bowels.
Heart patients should sleep at least nine hours a night. The mind should always be held back from anger and lust. Physical and mental exertion, garrulousness and sex should all be strictly avoided.
Some remedies: 1. Every day in the morning and before retiring to bed at night, patients should take a spoonful of bára eláca, powdered along with the husk, with honey. This will give good results.
2. The juice of shulphá greens mixed with honey is very useful in heart disease.
3. A spoonful of cinnamon powder with a little honey, taken twice a day, will bring excellent results.
4. Take 1/16 tola of bhúmi kuśmáńd́a powder with a little honey twice a day.