What exactly is Mukta Vati?
A great question to start with… A couple of days ago I had never heard of Mukta Vati and then, whilst doing some research into alternative medicines for hypertension, I came across this interesting sounding product. Of course my interest was piqued and before long I was up to my elbows in research to uncover the secret of this intriguing holistic blood pressure treatment – coming from the world of Ayurvedic Medicine.
The Ins and Outs of Ayurvedic Medicine
Before delving further into Mukta Vati itself, I am going to take a quick diversion into Ayurvedic Medicine, as this is a treatment modality which many Westerners are probably not very informed about – myself included!!
Well, first of all Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which has the meaning of “life knowledge”. And the origins of Ayurvedic Medicine come from the Indian subcontinent stemming from around 1000 BC, or even earlier.
In the Ayurvedic philosospy health depends on the maintenance of balance within one’s life. So, to suppress natural urges can lead to illness, whilst at the same time moderation in satisfying such urges is also called for. So, for example overindulging in food and drink would likely cause an imbalance which could lead to ill health.
Taking this one step further this system of medicine incorporates three main bio-elemental forces, or DOSHAS (called Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and it is in the balance of these three energy/life forces that good health can be maintained.
Ayurvedic practitioners use a holistic approach to diagnosing and treating ailments. Typical types of treatments include exercise, massage, yoga and meditation to help balance the energies of the mind and body. And plant based therapies use fruits, leaves, roots, bark and seeds, for example cinnamon, turmeric and cardamon which can be combined into different herbal medicines for treating different ailments.
For a broader discussion of Ayurvedic Medicine see HERE
Where does Mukta Vati fit in?
Mukta vati is actually a preparation which contains a mixture of natural herbs to lower blood pressure. The ingredients have been shown to work together to help balance the Doshas and thus promote good health, including normalizing blood pressure. There are a number of different herbs in traditional Mukta Vati, so let’s have a look at a typical sample of them and see what they do!!
- Gotu Kola (Brahmi – Indian name) helps to strengthen the circulatory system by purifying the blood, fortifying the blood vessels and improving blood flow, It also nourishes and supports the adrenal glands which is important for dealing with stress.
- Aloe Weed (Shankhpushpi) helps to restore a feeling of calm to the body by bringing the doshas back into balance. This benefits not only blood pressure, but also anxiety, stress and sleeplessness.
- Arjuna Tree (Arjuna) is used traditionally to strengthen the cardiovascular system which benefits blood pressure. Is also good for controlling cholesterol levels and has a mild diuretic effect which also helps manage BP.
- Climbing Staff Treee (Jyotishmati) – the naturally occurring alkaloids in this plant serve to fortify the circulatory system, as well as boost oxygen flow to the heart tissues.
- Winter Cherry Root (Ashwaganda) – also called Indian ginseng, this root not only boost energy but also has a very strong anti-oxidant effect and combats the level of toxins caused by stress in the blood stream which again is beneficial for blood pressure.
- Gulancha Tinospora (Guduchi) – an overall tonic to support the whole body. Also has diuretic properties which support healthy blood pressure levels.
- Fresh Water Pearl Powder (Mukta Pishti) – a heart tonic which promotes overall good health. In addition, Pearl Powder helps purify the blood of toxins which if left untreated can raise stress levels and blood pressure, too.
How Effective is it?
For this I checked out what users thought of two brands of Mukta Vati which are available on Amazon, and which seem to have the most reviews about them.
The first thing which grabbed my attention was the considerable difference in the price of the two different brands. The Ivy brand is considerably more expensive than the Divya brand, actually over 4 times as expensive for the same number of doses.
On Amazon.com Ivy brand is $37 per bottle, plus free shipping, whilst the Divya brand is $7.29 per box, plus free shipping.
Given that some of the ingredients in each brand are slightly varied this price difference may come down to a quality of ingredients, or even a strength of ingredients issue. For the record those ingredients which are included in both brands are:
- Gotu Kola or Brahmi
- AloeWeed or Shankhpushpi
- Climbing Staff tree or Jyotishmati
- Winter Cherry root, or Ashwaganda
- Gulancha Tinospora or Guduchi
- Pearl Powder
It was difficult to find a product label for the Divya Mukta Vati brand which showed actual strengths of each ingredient and the Divya brand also includes a further ingredient Ugra Gandha – a herb which like Climbing Staff tree boosts oxygen supply to the heart muscle.)
As for the Ivy brand I was able to find a product label – see image opposite …
However the actual individual quantities of ingredients are not specified, since the manufacturer claims that the combined (synergistic) effects of all the herbs together is what makes the product so effective. Anyhow serving size is recommended at 2 tablets or 800mg of the blend per day.
The one ingredient which the Ivy Brand has and the Divya Brand is missing is the Arjuna tree bark. The bark of this tree has been used to treat heart disease for centuries and is also highly prized for its anti-cholesterol and increased blood flow properties.
For more about the benefits of Arjuna click HERE
Both brands are reviewed on Amazon and the reviewers rating lists are shown below:
Whilst most consumers of the Ivy Brand found that the product brought their BP down, those who gave it a poor rating (1 or 2 stars) were unhappy with its results due to side effects, such as congestion, weakness, lethargy and a feeling of “mental cloudiness”. In three cases the product failed to bring the BP down and in one case it elevated the blood pressure instead.
As for the Divya Mukta Vati the one and two star ratings complained of the product causing a stuffy nose and not decreasing blood pressure.
Overall the number of satisfied consumers (those giving the product a 4 or 5 star rating) was better for the Divya brand at 94%, whilst the Ivy brand came in second at 85%.
My Take on this
Given the fact that the ingredients in each brand are very similar, and that the level of consumer satisfaction is superior for the Divy Mukta Vati brand, I would be inclined to try this brand first out of the two and see how well it works.
However I would like to add a caution that one ingredient which is used as part of a decoction in the further processing of the Divya Mukta Vati, namely RAUWOLFIA SERPENTINA (also called SARPAGHANDA) can have some undesirable side effects for some people and should be researched first before trying it.
I have also recently been informed that Ivy Mukta Vati also uses Rauwolfia in the end stage on its processing
SO THIS CAUTION NOW APPLIES TO BOTH BRANDS!
If it does work well, there is a buying option for 6 packets of the Divya brand at a discounted price.
However it should be borne in mind that taking such a supplement should still be part of a lifestyle change plan which will support optimal blood pressure, such as healthy diet, exercise and stress management.
Naturally, it would not be advisable for anyone already on prescription medications for BP control to experiment with taking such supplements without first consulting with a physician.
However, it may be possible to include Ayurvedic treatments in an overall blood pressure management plan which could lead to eventual reducing of BP medications if the supplements prove to be effective.
If anyone reading this has tried taking Mukta Vati for BP control I would love to know how well it worked for you. A comment below would indeed be appreciated.