High blood pressure (hypertension) is a severe health condition that significantly increases the risks of the brain, kidney, heart, and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature deaths worldwide, and over 1.28 billion adults worldwide, aged 30-79 years, suffer from hypertension. In 2020, hypertension was a primary or contributing cause of over 670,000 deaths in the United States.
While conventional high blood pressure medications have severe side effects on health, Ayurveda presents a natural, holistic, safe, and effective way to help you alleviate the condition. Read ahead to find out how you can lower your blood pressure naturally.
Hypertension happens when the long-term pressure of blood is very high. This condition is usually with hardly any signs or symptoms, even when the blood pressure levels are dangerously high. Hence, most patients remain unaware for years that they have it, and thus, hypertension is called a ‘silent killer.
Only when the condition reaches very severe or life-threatening levels do the following symptoms start occurring:
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Early morning headaches
- Buzzing in the ears
- Vision changes
- Anxiety and confusion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tremors
If it is not controlled in time, hypertension can seriously damage the heart, harden the arteries, decrease the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, and lead to heart attacks, strokes, and irregular beats (causing sudden death). When the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body is hampered, it causes severe damage to the kidney and brain as well.
The Ayurveda Perspective
As per Ayurveda, hypertension happens because of an imbalance in the Vata dosha of the body called Raktagata Vata. Its various causes include
- Insufficient sleep,
- Sedentary lifestyle,
- Excess stress and competition,
- Over consumption of oily, fatty, greasy, salty, heavy, and non-vegetarian diet,
- Eating chemically processed foods,
- Addictions like tobacco, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.
- Family history of high blood pressure or heart diseases.
To help manage hypertension, Ayurvedic doctors recommend tweaking your diet and lifestyle.
You must first reduce the intake of unhealthy, junk, and processed foods rich in trans-fats, saturated fats, preservatives, maida (refined flour), sodium, and other indigestible ingredients. They aggravate Vata in the body and cause various other digestive issues as well. You must replace them with more fruits, vegetables, and greens.
Consuming a balanced diet consisting of nuts, moong, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, beans, celery, carrot, tomatoes, pomegranates, sesame, wheat bran, beetroot, watermelons, apples, red cabbage, drumsticks, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, ghee (clarified butter), and digestive herbs is immensely helpful.
You can add tulsi/cardamom/ginger/green tea, orange juice, olive oil, coconut water, etc., to your diet. Moreover, raw garlic can reduce cholesterol levels and curb high blood pressure. You must only eat fresh, warm, and home-cooked foods. Reducing salt intake to less than 5g per day is essential because high sodium level in blood is one of the most prominent causes of high blood pressure.
As mentioned earlier, you can have high blood pressure for years without seeing any symptoms in your system. Hence, it is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, the consequences can be severe.
It is essential to include regular exercise and sleep in your routine. The science of Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes being physically fit and active regularly. Meditation and certain yoga asanas like Shavasana, pranayama, anulom-vilomma, mayurasan, shirshasan, etc., play a major role in alleviating hypertension and bringing balance to the system.
Even simple breath awareness meditation is immensely effective. While exercising is important, excessive physical activity is harmful to hypertension patients. Hence, manage your schedule with proper intervals and breaks.
Ayurvedic doctors further recommend avoiding staying awake late at night. Your meals should be balanced and well-spaced. Avoid binge-eating and drink adequate water at regular intervals to keep yourself hydrated and balance the Vata dosha.
Do not sleep immediately after a meal, as the body needs time to digest the food and absorb the nutrients properly. Have a minimum of 3-4 hours gap between eating and sleeping. You must also reduce your addictions if you have any, be it consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or smoking.
Ayurvedic doctors prescribe certain natural treatment processes like panchakarma, virechana, and other herbal therapies. It helps eliminate metabolic toxins from the body that block the blood vessels and other bodily cells, to restore blood-vascular health and reestablish heart function.
Furthermore, Vasti (medicated enemas) effectively clean the colon and restore Vata balance as the colon is the house of the Vata energy. Moreover, Ayurvedic medicine consists of various potent herbs that help alleviate hypertension.
For instance, Arjuna has strong cardioprotective traits that protect and strengthen the heart muscles. It prevents plaque from accumulating in the blood vessels. It further widens and eases stiff blood vessels, normalizes blood pressure, and alleviates hypertension symptoms. Ajwain inhibits and production and function of the stress hormones that shrink the blood vessels and raise the blood pressure.
Amalaki (India gooseberry) helps detoxify the blood and relax the cardiovascular organs. Tulsi helps effectively rectify the weakening symptoms of hypertension like fatigue and headache. It prevents calcium from entering the arteries, loosens the blood vessels, and acts as an effective antihypertensive agent.
Sarpagandha Vati For High Blood Pressure
Sarpagandha vati is one of the most effective ayurvedic medicinesfor alleviating hypertension. The herb Sarpagandha (rauvolfia serpentine) comes with amazing phytonutrients and antihypertensive and sedative qualities. It helps unwind the tight blood vessels, regulate blood flow, and decrease the pressure on the heart.
This formulation comes with another vital ayurvedic herb, Vijaya. Vijaya directly influences the body’s cardiovascular organs as it binds with the body’s cannabinoid receptors and affects the function of the various vital organ systems. A study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine found that Vijaya caused a significant reduction in the mean 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels among older adults.
Moreover, by binding to the receptors in the brain, Vijaya further helps induce sleep and alleviate insomnia, reducing anxiety, stress, confusion, and other mental health issues. It helps patients manage their severe hypertension symptoms and prevent the disruption of their daily lifestyles.
The other herbs in this Ayurvedic medicine include khurasani ajwain, jatamansi, pipalimula, and excipients. They have a direct action on balancing the aggravated Vata dosha. They all work together to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure), lower fast heartbeats (tachycardia), and improve overall health and quality of life.
To know more about how Ayurveda and Sarpagandha Vati can help you reduce high blood pressure and manage its symptoms, Contact Hempstreet and get the best consultation for yourself.