Cor Pulmonale – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Cor pulmonale is defined as an alteration in the structure and function of the right ventricle of the heart, caused by a primary disorder of the respiratory system. Pulmonary hypertension is a common link between lung dysfunction and the heart in cor pulmonale. Right-sided ventricular disease caused by a primary abnormality of the left side of the heart or congenital heart disease is not considered cor pulmonale. Common symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness, cough, chest pain, and occasional hemoptysis.

The Ayurvedic treatment of cor pulmonale is aimed at treating the underlying pulmonary disease, reducing pulmonary hypertension and improving right ventricular function. To treat the basic respiratory disorder, medicines like Shwaskuthar-Ras, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Kantakari-Awaleha, Vasa-Awaleha, Dashmoolarishta, Gojivhadi-Qadha, Som (Ephedra vulgaris), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Bruhat-Kantakari (Solanum indicum), Karkatashrungi (Pistichia integerima), Kulingan (Alpimia galangal), Dhatura (Dhatura fastuosa), Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) and Pippali (Piper longum) are used.

Inflammation in the lungs causes destruction of the lung tissue, which in turn causes micro-vascular obstruction to the capillary blood flow coming from the right ventricle. This is the basic cause of pulmonary hypertension which ultimately leads to cor pulmonale. In order to treat or prevent this, medicines like Ras-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Kushtha (Saussurea lappa) and Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa) are used. In order to prevent damage and hardening of the pulmonary arteries, medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Chandrakala-Ras, Kamdudha-Ras, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha and Saarivasav are used.

In order to strengthen the right ventricle and improve its function, medicines like Laxmivilas-Ras, Laxadi-Guggulu, Shrung-Bhasma, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu and Arjunarishta are used. Repeated courses of ‘Vardhaman Pippali’ are given in order to strengthen the lung and heart tissue. This consists of gradually increasing and then decreasing doses of Pippali, boiled in milk. Other medicines like Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Abhrak-Bhasma and Suvarna-Sameer-Pannag-Ras can also be used for this purpose.

Ayurvedic treatment can thus be used to treat cor pulmonale and improve the survival rate of patients affected with this condition. Although cor pulmonale commonly has a chronic and slowly progressive course, acute onset or worsening cor pulmonale with life threatening complications can occur. All such patients should therefore be under the regular care and supervision of a Cardiologist.

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