Did you know there’s an old-time secret to a healthy heart? It lies in a simple Ayurvedic preparation known as Arjuna Ksheerapaka. Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), is an herb well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effects on the heart. In this preparation, the powerful, healing forces of Arjuna are infused into cow’s milk which acts as a potent carrier for the healing properties of the herb. The recipe is made by boiling dry, powdered Arjuna bark with (pre-boiled and cooled) milk and water until the water has significantly evaporated. It’s then filtered through a fine sieve or cloth to collect the fortified milk. This wonderful home remedy has been used for thousands of years.
In 2018, an article published in The Pharma Journal on “Competent Sources of Bioactive Components in Functional Food and Drugs” states that Ksheerapaka is a milk extract of Arjuna that has been used as food and medicine since antiquity. They say “it possesses high nutritive and medicinal value”. Ksheerapaka is easily tolerated by healthy people as well as sick patients due to the healing compounds inherent in milk and when combined with herbs and used as medicine. When the temperature of milk is gradually increased, the solubility of fats and proteins also increases, likely enhancing the extraction of the medicinal properties and active constituents directly into the milk.
According to Ayurveda, Arjuna Ksheerapaka is indicated for the following:
- Lipid problems such as high cholesterol and high triglycerides
- A genetic pre-disposition / family history of heart problems
- Mild to moderate heart-related problems
- Severe heart-related problems
- Mild to moderate stress
Its benefits may include:
- Improves extreme emaciation due to injuries to the heart and chest, or due to the rise in pressure in the chest cavity
- Helps to alleviate toxicity and blood-borne diseases
- Decreases excess body fat
- May be used to prevent and treat lipid problems and abnormalities that are associated with heart disease
- Strengthens the heart function
- May decreases blood cholesterol levels
- It’s a natural cardio tonic
- Helps to treat diabetic ulcers
- Can be used as a home remedy, including for cardiac care after surgery and along with other medications (a qualified Ayurvedic health care practitioner should be consulted)
- May help treat vertigo
- May be useful in lowering blood pressure (consult with a qualified Ayurvedic health care practitioner)
- Removes excess Pitta and Kapha doshas which could potentially be harmful to the heart
- Helps to relieve stress, insomnia and depression
- Can be used both externally and internally for fractures and inflammatory conditions
- Helps to improve blood circulation
In the Journal of Traditional and Complimentary Medicine, published through NIH (the National Institutes of Health), a study compared two formulas – Arjuna Ksheerapaka and a standard hydroalcoholic extract (a tincture) of Arjuna. Although information regarding the therapeutic activity of Arjuna Ksheerapaka was limited, researches noted that “The therapeutic potential of T. arjuna is well defined in the traditional literature and also validated as an adjunct therapy to prevent and ameliorate coronary artery disorder(s) via its anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects…”
The research showed that both formulas displayed anti-inflammatory activity in animal studies with different results depending on the stage of inflammation. The tincture showed a greater amount of activity during the first phase of inflammation and Arjuna Ksheerapaka showed a relatively higher anti-inflammatory effect in the later phase. However, on the whole, Arjuna Ksheerapaka acted more potently in “in vivo” (on a living organism) circumstances as opposed to “in vitro” (in glass or a test-tube) circumstances in which the tincture was more potent. The researchers conclude that the “ease of preparation” of Arjuna Ksheerapaka gives it an advantage for adopting it as a home remedy. “Development of standardized, synergistic, safe and effective traditional herbal formulations like AKP (Arjuna Ksheerapaka) with scientific evidence may offer faster and more economical alternatives”.
Ayurveda recognizes that each person is constitutionally unique. What is right for one person may not be good for another. For the best, safest results, please contact an Ayurvedic practitioner skilled in the knowledge and use of medicinal plants, herbs and spices.