Among the modern lifestyle disorders, hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is on the top list among the cardiovascular disorders which are causing morbidity and mortality. Normal blood pressure is 120mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic in a healthy adult individual. If the force of blood on the artery walls is greater than normal values, the diagnosed condition is called hypertension. While having high blood pressure does not refer to emotional pressure, the condition is undoubtedly affected by stress and emotions in one’s lifestyle.
In Ayurveda, hypertension is a vata imbalance known as Raktagata Vata.
Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension is a typical lifestyle disease in the modern day caused by having an unmanaged life, stress and an improper diet. Some of the key factors are:
- Lack of proper rest and sleep
- Being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Stress and competition
- Over consumption of oily, fatty, salty, heavy and non-veg diet
- Certain addictions like alcohol, tobacco, smoking, etc.
- Use of incompatible food combinations
- A family history of heart disease or high blood pressure
Hypertension can be compared to a condition called Raktagata Vata. In this condition, the vitiated Vata gets lodged in the circulating Rakta Dhatu (blood) and causes disturbances in its circulation.
Symptoms of high blood pressure:
- Heaviness of the head and occipital headache
- Flushed face and red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Nosebleeds (if severe)
- Anger and irritability
- Burning sensations
Ayurvedic management of Hypertension
- End all kinds of addiction, like smoking and drinking
- Management of routine (e.g. scheduling time for work, sleep, etc.)
- Reduce non-veg diet and eat more greens and vegetables. Eat a diet filled with fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, beans, celery, carrot, garlic, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, turnips, tulsi tea, green tea, ginger, cardamom tea, orange juice, coconut water, water melon, black plum, banana, almond, walnut, olive oil, etc.
- Be physically active and do regular Yoga or some relaxing exercise
Ayurvedic Detox (Panchakarma)
Ayurveda believes it is best to treat the root cause rather than treat the symptoms only. Panchakarma is necessary for ridding toxins from the body and re-establishing heart health. Ayurvedic treatment is done according to the body constitution of a person; a prior consultation is required to access an imbalance and plan a personalised detox program.
Some highlights of the detox program:
Virechana (therapeutic purgation) – This is an ideal cleanse to eliminate the metabolic toxins and provide lightness to the body. This is where blockages in the body cells and blood vessels are removed, which restores blood vascular health.
Vasti (medicated enemas) – Vasti is the cleansing of colon, which is the house of Vata energy (movement energy). Here, different type of vasti, oil enemas and decoction enemas are administered for balancing the nervous system.
Shirodhara (oil treatment on the forehead) – This is a special treatment done on the head for relieving hypertension. The warm medicated oil is poured in streams on the forehead continuously, encouraging regular brain waves and correcting the movement of blood through the arteries.
Some effective Ayurvedic herbs used for the management of Hypertension:
- Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentine
- Lashuna / Rasona – Allium sativum
- Arjuna – Terminalia arjuna
- Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
- Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
- Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
- Shankapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
- Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
- Gotu kola – Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica)
- Giloy – Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Ayurvedic preparation for managing Hypertension:
- Sarpagandha churna, Sarpagandhaghana vati
- Arjuna churna
- Brahmi vati
Note: This article is composed for the public’s general awareness. Please do not use this information for your own diagnosis and treatment. Prior consultation with an Ayurveda doctor is recommended for the right diagnosis and treatment.