High Cholesterol

Bhagwati Ayurveda & Panchkarma Research Centre/High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

Hypercholesterolemia, also called high cholesterol, is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood.It is a form of high blood lipids and hyperlipoproteinemia (elevated levels of lipoproteins in the blood)

Cholesterol is one of three major classes of lipids which all animal cells use to construct their membranes and is thus manufactured by all animal cells. Plant cells do not manufacture cholesterol. It is also the precursor of the steroid hormones and bile acids. Since cholesterol is insoluble in water, it is transported in the blood plasma within protein particles (lipoproteins). Lipoproteins are classified by their density: very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). All the lipoproteins carry cholesterol, but elevated levels of the lipoproteins other than HDL (termed non-HDL cholesterol), particularly LDL-cholesterol, are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.In contrast, higher levels of HDL cholesterol are protective


LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream can settle as fatty deposits on the inside of your blood vessels.

These build up over time to become scars, called plaques. LDL cholesterol also stimulates extra cell growth in the lining of the arteries, reducing their diameter. Plaque can damage and clog the arteries, including the coronary arteries feeding the heart. This process is called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and can result in angina (chest pain), heart attack, or stroke. High levels of LDL cholesterol cause more plaque buildup and increase the risk of a heart attack.

High cholesterol usually has no obvious symptoms.

Like high blood pressure, it’s a “silent” condition that offers no early warning. Most people first discover the problem during a routine blood test and physical exam. They often find they have high blood pressure as well. There is an association between the two.

You can get symptoms from the complications of high cholesterol.

These include angina and pain in the calves caused by narrowed arteries to the legs. The main complications of high cholesterol are heart disease and stroke.


  • diabetes mellitus type 2
  • obesity
  • alcohol use
  • monoclonal gammopathy
  • dialysis
  • nephrotic syndrome
  • hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • anorexia nervosa
  • medications


From an Ayurvedic point of view, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) indicates weak digestive fire at the tissue level. Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or toxins (ama) which then block the channels in the body. Hypercholesterolemia is a perfect example of toxins blocking the body channels. Ayurvedic High Cholesterol treatment for balancing body cholesterol consists of herbal medications that eliminate the toxins from the channels and restore the digestive fire to proper function. Advice on diet and regimen adjustments are also given to support the treatment.

Ayurvedic Treatment Options to Reduce Cholesterol

1.) Guggulu

  • Ayurveda recommends the use of Guggul as treatment of high levels of lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia). One tablet, twice a day is recommended for six months for reducing high cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • pharmacological effects of Guggul were compared with clofibrate. Ether extract of Guggul (1.5 gms/day) was given to 41 patients. On the other hand, clofibrate (92 gms/day) was prescribed to 10 patients. It was concluded that both the drugs were equally effective in controlling serum cholesterol and triglycerides. The incidence of reported side-effects was less with Guggul
  • Fifty patients with a history of coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia and obesity were treated with daily doses of 10-15 rams of Guggul for three months. After completion of the study, 25 per cent reduction in serum cholesterol and 30 per cent reduction in serum triglyceride were observed.
    • Benefits of Guggulu :
    • Guggulu supports normal cholesterol levels
    • Helps maintain a normal weight
    • Supports normal lipid levels and metabolism
    • Supports normal immune system function

2.) Lashuna

  • Garlic or Lashuna is excellent for preventing as well as curing heart disease. One capsule, thrice a day is effective in reducing high blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Allicin is produced when garlic is crushed for medicinal or culinary use. It is produced by enzymatic reduction of alliin in the presence of an enzyme allinase. Allicin is a highly unstable compound. When allicin is cooked in water, it produces diallyl sulfide. This change is considered to be useful as allicin is known to cause gastritis.
  • Allicin has been demonstrated to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver. It is postulated that allicin forms bonds with sulphydryl compounds (they are involved in the biosynthesis of cholesterol) as a result of which cholesterol biosynthesis is stopped. Garlic has been shown to be as effective as bezafibrate in lowering cholesterol levels.

3.) Arjuna

  • Arjuna: For angina pectoris, Arjuna is the drug of choice. Arjunarishta is a standard Ayurvedic remedy for strengthening the heart. Six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of the preparation mixed with equal water, twice a day, should be given for six months. Arjuna tablets are very effective in reducing high levels of blood cholesterol.
  • Clinical studies with Arjuna have shown beneficial effects in congestive cardiac failure and Mitral Regurgitation.
  • Arjun is a rich source of coenzyme Q-10 which has the LDL lowering effect.


Diet & Lifestyle advice:

  • As stated earlier, the fatty and high-calorie diet is often responsible for hypercholesterolemia.
  • Therefore, taking light, low-calorie diet is important to avoid high cholesterol.
  • Maintaining regular food timings and taking dinner early in the evening is also useful.
  • Yoga, Suryanamaskar and Pranayama are useful while dealing with hypercholesterolemia.
  • Paying attention to digestion and excretion and avoiding indigestion is important when you have high cholesterol.