• Dr A A Mundewadi

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Management of Aortic Regurgitation

Aortic regurgitation is a medical condition in which the aortic valve does not close fully and causes some blood flow leakage back into the left ventricle while it should be pumped fully into the aorta. While aortic regurgitation may not cause symptoms initially and for a long time, eventually, affected individuals develop symptoms such as fatigue and fainting due to less oxygen supply, as well as breathlessness and heart failure due to enlargement of the left ventricle. Individuals suffering from this condition are also more at risk of getting endocarditis. Congenital causes such as a two leaflet valve instead of the normal three leaves, old age, infections like rheumatic fever and endocarditis, high blood pressure, and aortic stenosis are known causes for this condition.

A clinical history, clinical examination, and tests like ECG, 2d echo and chest X-ray are usually sufficient for a diagnosis of this condition; rarely, cardiac catheterization may be required. Conservative treatment is given in the form of regular monitoring, lifestyle changes like regular exercise, weight control and quitting smoking, and medications to reduce high blood pressure. Surgical procedures involve valve replacement using open heart surgery or by a catheter procedure known as TAVR which is less invasive.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be judiciously used in the successful long term management of aortic regurgitation. Herbal medicines are used to control blood pressure, reduce obesity, reduce calcium deposition and thereby reduce thickening, hardening and scarring of valve leaflets, use specific medicines to make the aortic valve and adjoining tendon chords more pliable and efficient, improve heart muscle strength, elasticity and efficiency, and improve cardiac output. If required, herbal medicines can also be given to treat or prevent long term infection and inflammation.

Most patients with mild to moderate aortic valve regurgitation can be managed very well using Ayurvedic herbal medicines. Treatment is usually required for about 8-10 months. For patients with moderately severe regurgitation, some medicines to maintain heart efficiency and normalize blood pressure may be required on a long term or lifelong basis. Patients with very severe aortic regurgitation are best treated surgically; however, those who are not fit for surgery - for various reasons - may still be managed well with Ayurvedic herbal treatment.

Ayurvedic treatment, herbal medicines, Aortic regurgitation, AR, TAVR

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