Although curcumin is perhaps the best-known natural product of Ayurvedic origin, it is not as extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine for the heart as arjuna and pushkarmoola.
Arjuna (bark from the plant Terminalia arjuna) is a "heart tonic" made into a paste (arjunaghrtam), a powder (arjunatvak), a tonic combining the herb and water (arjunatvagadi), or an "arjuna wine" (pardhadyaristam). There is laboratory research finding that it protects the heart muscle from tissue destruction when circulation is reduced, and there has been at least one clinical trial that found the herb helpful in treating left ventricular hypertrophy.
Dosage varies by preparation, and is best worked out with an herbalist familiar both with the herb and the arjuna product. You should let your doctor know you intend to take arjuna if you are on any prescription medications for congestive heart failure, atrial arrhythmia, or angina.
Pushkarmoola or pushkarmool (Inula racemosa) is an herb found in Kashmir. A nearly twenty-year-old study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that pushkarmoola probably is a natural beta-blocker, although its effects are largely limited to the heart. (Some of the older beta-blockers affect the lungs and can aggravate asthma.)
The herb is also used in treating angina, and is typically combined with another Indian herb, guggul (better known for lowering high cholesterol). Like arjuna, pushkarmoola's dosage varies by product and production method, and you should let your physician know you are taking the herb if you are on any prescription medications.
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