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Hypertension

Updated: Nov 7, 2023


Hypertension

In the present times, life has become easy for the man due to modernization but man has also paid for it by becoming prey to many lifestyle disorders. These factors have an impact on the mind as well as homeostasis of the body and lead to many lifestyle disorders such as hypertension, diabetes etc.


As per the World Health Organization (WHO) report, about 40% of the people aged more than 25 years are suffering from hypertension. It is a most potent risk factor for diseases of the heart, brain, kidneys, and peripheral arteries if not managed timely. It is a silent killer as 85% of the patients who have high blood pressure are asymptomatic.


For its management, reducing body weight, healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking, increasing physical exercise are commonly recommended by the physicians.


WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?


Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms even if blood pressure readings have reached high levels.


Some Of The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure Are:

  • Headache

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nosebleeds

These signs and symptoms are not specific and not every patient might have them.


WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF BLOOD PRESSURE IN AYURVEDA?


The oxygenated blood that is ejected out of the heart firstly which is distributed throughout the body and simultaneously the deoxygenated blood returns back to the heart via blood vessels. This return of blood towards the heart is controlled by Vata especially Samana Vata.


​Master Charaka has clearly described that Vyana Vata, sub-dosha of Vata dosha constantly forces the blood out of the heart and distributes it throughout the body. Thus, it can be concluded that systolic blood pressure which is attained during the contraction of the heart is controlled by Vyana Vata.​


The rate of its pulse generation is controlled by the autonomic nervous system via sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibres emerging from the brain. It is the Prana Vata that is situated in the brain and does dhamani dharana (arterial perpetuation). Thus, systolic blood pressure is controlled by Vyana Vata and Prana Vata and they control circulation. In general, Vata controls all the neural mechanisms.



Reference: Astang Hridayam Sutrasthanam, Chapter No. 12, Shloka No. 6-7


​Meaning: Vyana Vata is located in the heart, it speedily moves throughout the body, performs functions such as flexion and extension, opening and closing of eye lids etc. All the activities in the body are regulated by Vyana Vata.​


The diastole is attained when the heart muscles relax which occurs when the blood flows through the narrow vessels of the heart and arteries and there is no active push by the heart. Thus, diastolic BP can be considered under the domain of Kapha dosha especially Avalambaka Kapha.​


The auto-rhythmicity of the heart is due to the action potential created by the rapid influx of Na+ and Ca++ ions and the efflux of K+ ions across the membranes of SA Node. This mechanism is controlled by Pitta dosha, mainly Sadhaka Pitta situated in the heart.


HYPERTENSION AND ITS MANAGEMENT IN AYURVEDA


Some natural remedies help to stabilize the blood pressure and keep the heart healthy.Some of the home remedies for the management of Hypertension are:


1. Orange Juice and Coconut Water

These are the good source of potassium. Coconut water reduces the systolic pressure and supports the functioning of cardiac muscles. Mix fresh orange juice with fresh coconut water in the ratio 2:1. Drink ½-1 cup of this juice 2-3 times a day for the treatment of high blood pressure.


2. Watermelon Seeds

An amino acid present in the watermelon seeds lowers the vascular resistance hence helps in lowering down the blood pressure.Roast 10 gm. watermelon seeds and grind them. Add this powder to the 2 cups of water and boil this mixture for about 10-15 minutes. Strain the liquid and consume twice daily in the morning and evening.


3. Bananas

High salt or sodium in the diet can raise blood pressure. Consume bananas in the diet as they are the rich source of potassium. Potassium counters the ill-effects of excessive sodium in the diet.


​4. Pomegranate Juice

Fresh pomegranate juice is also quite effective for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is a rich source of polyphenols which are considered as a rich source of anti-oxidants. It reduces high blood pressure and improves the blood flow to the arteries.


Single Herbs That Are Recommended In The Management Of Hypertension Are:


​1. Lasuna (Allium sativum)

​It is quite effective in lowering the blood pressure especially the systolic part as it contains compounds that are rich in sulphur. These sulphur containing compounds acts on the nitric oxide which relaxes the arteries and lowers the systolic blood pressure.


2. Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)

Arjuna acts as a best cardiac tonic. This herb corrects the disturbances in circulation and also alleviates stress.


3. Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina)

Sarpagandha is considered as a hypotensive plant. It contains alkaloids such as reserpine but it should be used under medical supervision.


4. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

It is a wonderful herb that provides strength to the muscles of the heart, relieves stress and acts as a rejuvenator.


5. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

This wonderful fruit has immense health benefits because of its rich anti-oxidant properties. Regular use of Amla helps in improving the overall functioning of the heart and reduces cholesterol levels as well.According to Ayurveda, avoiding the etiological factors of the disease is the first line of management.

DIET AND LIFESTYLE

  • Practice Pranayama for at least 2-3 minutes in a day.

  • Oil massage is also recommended as it reduces the stress which is one of the major causes of hypertension.

  • Include fruits such as oranges, pomegranate, tender coconut water, vegetables, nuts, beans, celery roots, flaxseeds etc.

  • Avoid the intake of excessive cold, hot, dry, stale, preserved, packed food, heavy to digest, junk foods.

  • Morning walk for 30-45 minutes regularly is recommended.






DIET FOR HYPERTENSION
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