The Holistic Approach: Ayurvedic Treatment for High Blood Pressure and Hypertension Control
High blood pressure is a common disorder resulting from unhealthy lifestyles and habits. There are possibilities that a regulated lifestyle can help prevent and cure this condition.
Before getting into the treatment aspects of it, let us get a good introduction to this deteriorating modern condition.
What is Blood Pressure, and How do you measure it?
The pressure exerted on the walls of your artery by the blood inside it is known as blood pressure (BP). It is not uniform. It goes on a bumpy ride throughout the day.
A sphygmomanometer is commonly used to measure blood pressure. The blood pressure value is expressed using two numbers in a fraction form. The upper number, Systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The lower number, Diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
A typical blood pressure measures less than “120/80mmHg”, read as “120 over 80”.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High Blood Pressure (HBP), also known as Hypertension, is a condition that arises when your BP monitor consistently records higher measures of blood pressure than normal.
- Systolic BP in the range of 120-129 is considered elevated BP.
- Stage-I HBP, systolic range is 130-139, and diastolic range is 80-89.
- Stage-II HBP, the diastolic range is 140 and higher, and the diastolic range is 90 higher.
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What causes High Blood Pressure?
There is no one definite cause of hypertension. Let’s see some of the major contributors to this condition.
- Poor Nutrition: Due to modernization, eating habits have drastically changed in an unhealthy way for the basic human body.
- Stress: High levels of prolonged physical and emotional stress bring about detrimental coping methods that lead to HBP.
- Physical Inactivity: Physical inactivity has been deadly to human physical and mental health; it doesn’t leave hypertension behind.
- Smoking and Drinking: Tobacco usage and alcohol consumption highly influence blood pressure.
Family History and Genetics-
- Research shows evidence that hypertension is prone to have a genetic disposition and can run in families down the generations.
- Certain gene mutations and variations facilitate susceptibility to this condition.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is commonly occurring with this condition.
- Kidney diseases: Imbalanced fluid levels in the body often lead to hypertension.
- Hormonal imbalance: Improper functioning of adrenal glands, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, etc, can lead to hypertension.
- Age, Gender, Ethnicity, and Medications also play a major role in this condition.
Symptoms of Hypertension-
Mild to moderate hypertension does not show symptoms. However, risky hypertension level shows headache, nose bleed, anger, irritability, sensitivity to light, dizziness, etc. The sudden surge in the BP can lead to heart and brain strokes, heart attack, heart failure, etc. So checking blood pressure at regular intervals is advised to ensure its normal range.
Ayurveda’s approach to Hypertension-
According to Ayurveda, Hypertension is not a disease but a condition that can be understood by observing and determining the involved Doshas ( Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
There is no standard point of view about this condition in Ayurvedic terms, but it explores the neural, hormonal, psychological, physiological, and environmental causes of this condition.
The underlying causes of this condition, according to Ayurveda in relation to Tridoshas, can be explained as,
Blood pressure is controlled by various factors in the body, including short-term and long-term regulatory mechanisms.
Short-term neural mechanisms work from the brain center by autonomically regulating blood pressure through baroreceptors and chemoreceptors.
Long-term mechanisms include the regulation of blood pressure by the working of hormones and chemicals. Removal of excess water and sodium by the kidneys to maintain balanced BP.
Primary Ayurvedic Remedies and Treatments-
There are various herbs and herbal concoctions, and spices used for treatment.
Let’s explore some prominent remedies.
- Garlic: Raw garlic contains an active compound called allicin that facilitates the free flow of blood in the vessels.
- Punarnava: A concoction made of hawthorn and passion flower used to treat HBP.
- Rauwolfia: A medicinal plant that is used for various other ailments too. It is a potent hypotensive plant.
- Cucumber and Radish: They have diuretic properties and help in osmoregulation.
- Spices: Spices such as Black pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and ginger have been used to treat heart and cholesterol-related problems for ages.
- Parsley Family: Herbs related to the parsley family, like parsley, coriander, and Centella Asiatica, are shown to have anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avoid high-fat, overly processed foods.
- Include fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
- Cut back on non-veg and dietary intake.
- Prefer homemade meals.
- Timely intake of a balanced diet.
- Getting rid of smoking and alcohol
- Proper time management
- Exercising a healthy sleep routine
- Following proper circadian rhythms
- Reducing stress by including Yoga practice
- Staying physically active
Ayurvedic Approach to Cure-
Ayurveda doesn’t rely on treating the symptoms alone butt intends to treat the underlying cause. It uses different mechanisms and employs them from different angles. The most prominent approach in Ayurveda to treat any condition is Ayurvedic Detox.
The preliminary phase is Purvakarma. It involves the release of toxins from the bowels and skin. Excessing toxins from the body involve oil massage, steaming, and Shirodhara-application of oil to the forehead.
The next more intense and prominent phase includes-
- Virechana: Blood vessels are cleansed by purging bodily toxins using various powders and herbal concoctions.
- Vaman: Forced vomiting using herbal concoctions
- Vasti: Oil enema or decocted enema is used to cleanse the colon
- Rakta Moksha: cleansing of blood
- Nasya: Clearance of nasal canals
In coordination with the above, proper diet, regular massage, physical activity, and mindful relaxation practices are also immensely effective in bringing about a drastic change.
Most modern health conditions can be cured or prevented by fundamental lifestyle changes, and Ayurveda best explains and follows it. Getting professional help and being consistent will provide results.
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