Mitral valve regurgitation and aortic valve regurgitation are valvular heart diseases in which the mitral and aortic valves do not function efficiently, leading to backward flow of blood. Common symptoms for both conditions include breathlessness, fatigue, chest pain, cough and symptoms of right or left ventricular failure. Rheumatic heart disease is a common cause in developing countries whereas mitral valve prolapse and aortic valve prolapse, resulting from myxomatous degeneration, are common causes of these two conditions respectively in developed countries. Coronary artery disease resulting in myocardial ischemia or myocardial infarction can also result in valvular regurgitation.
While these two conditions are separate clinical entities with distinct clinical features, the underlying mechanism in both is the same. Since the principles of Ayurvedic treatment for both conditions are the same, these two conditions have been clubbed together in this article. The main stay of treatment for both conditions is surgery. Ayurvedic medicines can be given as additional therapy to improve the functioning of the valves, control symptoms, prevent or delay heart failure and also prevent other long term complications. Medicines are given to strengthen the tendons which are attached to the valves inside the chamber of the heart. Medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Laxadi-Guggulu, Maha-Rasnadi-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Drakshasav, Dashmoolarishta, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Draksha (Vitis vinifera), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Laxa (Purified wax), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Asthishrunkhala (Cissus quadrangularis) are used for this purpose.
Medicines like Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Arjunarishta and Punarnavadi-Qadha are used to treat heart failure. Medicines like Medohar-Guggulu, Triphala (Three fruits), Trikatu (Three pungent herbs), Psyllium (Plantago ovata), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Lashuna (Allium sativum), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Chavya (Piper retrofractrum) and Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) are used to prevent coronary artery disease from progressing.
Acute breathlessness resulting from valve regurgitation constitutes a medical emergency and requires treatment in an intensive care unit. Ayurvedic medicines can be given to patients with mitral and aortic valve regurgitation who are not fit for surgery or who would like to try alternative medical options before opting for surgery. All patients affected with these conditions should be under the regular supervision and care of a Cardiologist.