• Dr A A Mundewadi

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Long-term Management of Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a medical condition in which blood flows abnormally in a reverse direction from the left ventricle of the heart to the left atrium. Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), rheumatic heart disease, infective endocarditis, annular calcification, cardiomyopathy, and ischemic heart disease are the common causes for this condition. In the initial stages of this condition, there may be no, or minimal symptoms; as the disease progresses, affected individuals may experience breathlessness, lung congestion, and heart failure. Clinical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, ECG, 2-d echo, and cardiac catheterization may be required for an accurate diagnosis of this condition.

Conservative therapy includes diuretics, medicines to improve heart function, blood thinning drugs, and regular medication for prevention of infection. Surgical options include repair or replacement of the damaged valve; with repair being the preferred option for most patients. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be added in the long term management of MR patients to improve quality of life, reduce symptoms, and postpone the requirement for surgical intervention, which has its own inherent risks.

It is important to use herbal medicines which improve heart efficiency and function, and reduce inflammation and prevent infection. However, the use of Ayurvedic medicines which act on the mitral valve, especially on the tendon chords and muscle attached to it, is of greater importance and relevance in treating MR, since the efficacy of these medicines determines the overall success and utility of the treatment.

Treatment is usually given for a period of about 6-8 months. Further treatment decisions will depend upon the response of the patient to the treatment given thus far. Maintenance therapy, in the form of a few medicines, may be required in patients with severe mitral regurgitation. Most patients with moderate mitral regurgitation may be safely managed on a long term basis with the help of Ayurvedic herbal medicines.

Ayurvedic treatment, herbal medicines, mitral regurgitation, MR

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