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Ayurvedic Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently high or elevated. It is also known as high blood pressure. Approximately 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years across the world have hypertension; 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have this medical condition.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, dementia, and vision loss. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide.

Blood pressure is divided by two measurements, systolic and diastolic pressures. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in arteries when the heart beats or contracts and the second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in arteries when the heart rests between beats.

Unhealthy diets such as high intake of salt, saturated fat, and trans fats, physical inactivity, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, being overweight or obese, family history of hypertension, older age, and coexisting diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease are factors that increase the risk of hypertension.

Most people with hypertension do not show any symptoms. Very high blood pressure can cause severe headaches, chest pain, dizziness, blurred vision or other visionary changes, nosebleeds, abnormal heart rhythm, etc.1,2

Hypertension can be classified into primary and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is due to lifestyle or genetic factors while secondary hypertension occurs secondary to any disease like chronic kidney disease, endocrine disorders, thyroid abnormalities, etc.

Stages of hypertension as per recent guidelines are as follows:

  • Normal: systolic blood pressure less than 120 and diastolic blood pressure less than 80mmHg.
  • Elevated: systolic blood pressure 120 to 129 and diastolic blood pressure less than 80mmHg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: systolic blood pressure 130 to 139 or diastolic blood pressure 80 to 89 mmHg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mmHg. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics are the prescribed anti-hypertensives.

Ayurvedic View on Hypertension

In Ayurveda, hypertension is not explained as an independent condition. The phenomenon is described by different names such as pittavruta vata, raktavruta vata, siragata vata, dhamani pratichaya, raktachaapa etc. It is a vata dosha predominant condition in which even pitta and kapha are also involved which vitiate rasa and raktha dhatu causing the phenomenon of hypertension.

In Ayurveda factors like madyapana (excess alcohol intake), atisnigdha aahara sevana (excess intake of oily food), divaswapna (excess day time sleep), bhaya (anxiety)and shoka (depression) and also diseases related with heart and kidneys, diabetes are explained that can cause hypertension.

Ayurvedic Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Treatment modalities in Ayurveda are the shodhana (purificatory therapies) and shamana (palliative therapies).

  1. Shodhana treatment (panchakarma treatments): Bahya snehana (massage with medicated oils), swedana (fomentation), Virechana (purgation therapy), Basti (enema therapy), Raktamokshana (blood letting therapy), Shirodhara (pouring of medicated oil or decoction over the forehead in oscillatory movements)
  2. Shamana treatments are the internal use of medicines with proper diet and lifestyle changes.

Ayurveda in addition to the above treatment aspects also always focuses on practices like Rutucharya and dinacharya (seasonal and daily regimen) where the diet and lifestyle according to season and routine in a day are followed to maintain the healthy well-being of an individual.  

Ayurvedic Medicines for High Blood Pressure

Depending on the cause various ayurvedic medicines are selected to treat high blood pressure. Below are a few which are commonly used

  1. Amrutashadanga Kashaya
  2. Asthavargam Kashaya
  3. Bhrihatyadi Kashaya
  4. Dashamoola Kashaya
  5. Drakshadi Kashaya
  6. Gandharvahastadi Kashaya
  7. Kalyanaka Kashaya
  8. Kokilaksha Kashaya
  9. Lashunaksheera Kashaya
  10. Maharasnadi Kashaya
  11. Nayopayam Kashaya
  12. Punarnavadi Kashaya
  13. Rasonadi Kashayam
  14. Abhayarishtam
  15. Dashamularishtam
  16. Avipathi Choorna
  17. Dhanwatharam Gulika
  18. Prabhakara Vati
  19. Bala Thaila
  20. Dhanwantharam Thaila
  21. Dashamulaharikati Lehyam

Diet and Lifestyle

  • Timely intake of food, whole grains, green gram, ginger, garlic, dalchini, drumsticks, horse gram, bitter gourd, black grapes, barley, carrot, apple, pineapple, etc. Regular physical exercise, regular brisk walking, practice of yoga, pranayama, proper sleep, salt-restricted diet, reduced alcohol or tobacco consumption, and reduced stress are the dietary and lifestyle habits to be adopted.2,6,7

Home remedies for high blood preasure

  • Celery: Juice of celery stalks mixed with a little honey.
  • Ginger: Lemon ginger tea may be beneficial to manage blood pressure.
  • Green tea: Drinking green tea with a little honey or lemon juice added to it can be helpful
  • Garlic: Eating 1-2 garlic cloves a day is beneficial for hypertension
  • One teaspoon of coriander and a pinch of cardamom is added to the fresh juice of peach and this is taken two to three times a day to control high blood pressure
  • Moong dal soup to which some cilantro, cumin, and a pinch of turmeric are added helps with hypertension.
  • To a cup of warm water apple cider vinegar in the amount of five to ten drops and one teaspoon of honey is added and taken on an empty stomach in the morning.
  • Two parts of orange juice and one part of coconut water as a drink for two to three times a day helps to regulate blood pressure.
  • Watermelon fruit along with a pinch of cardamom and a pinch of coriander also is beneficial in high blood pressure.
  • Watermelon seeds are dried and roasted. The seeds are then made into powder and added to two cups of water. This mixture is then boiled and filtered. The decoction of watermelon seeds helps in high blood pressure.
  • One tablespoon of Amla juice with an equal amount of honey taken on an empty stomach in the morning controls blood pressure.

When to see a doctor?

When the blood pressure reading rises suddenly and is above the reading of 180/120 associated with the symptoms such as severe headache, difficulty in speech, numbness, chest pain, changes in vision consult a doctor or emergency care.  

Conclusion

Hypertension is a medical condition which needs proper care to be evaluated periodically and prevent any further complications or premature death. A healthy diet and lifestyle is a must to regulate blood pressure. Regular health check-ups with monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar levels have become necessary in the present sedentary lifestyle of most of the population in the world. Ayurveda which recommends dietary regimen, seasonal regimen and daily regimen for a healthy living has gained importance to tackle hypertension. Practice of yoga and pranayama reduce stress. 

NOTE: “This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call or visit your doctor.” 
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