Ayurveda considers Hypertension as an ancient disease probably beginning with the earliest known civilizations. ‘Acharya Charaka’ (father of Ayurvedic Medicine) has described this condition as ‘Raktagata Vata‘ (problem in blood circulation) which deserves respect and approval, and has called this condition where the vayu (air) gets aggravated inside the rakta (blood) resulting in distress free pain in the whole body, and if not managed properly leads to one pathological stage to another, i.e. from initial Raktagata Vata to raktavrita Vata (blockage) to raktashonita Vata (complications), resulting in initiation of disease process in the mind and body, as a result it is rightly classified as one of an example of Psychosomatic.

PS:- In present scenario, hypertension is largely asymptomatic and is often diagnosed on routine examination with complaint of early morning headache (localized to occipital region), followed by dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, thus it also goes by the name ‘silent killer‘ since it can go undetected for years.

Hypertension-High-Blood-Pressure

Although there are no accurate/ pinpoint rules or cut off line, but nevertheless it is defined as a condition if on various discrete occasions the systolic blood pressure is above 140 mmHg or the diastolic pressure is above 90 mmHg, thus the patient is considered to have “elevated blood pressure” and one should label it as hypertension only if the reading remains on the higher side after taking blood pressure recordings on different time of the day  (1-2 weeks) in relation to height/weight/waist-hip ratio and physical examination, investigations does go in the favor of hypertension, i.e. presence or absence of target organ damage, any other cardiovascular risk factors and/or contributing factors.

While in majority of the population [95%] the cause of their high blood pressure is not known and is called as ‘essential or primary hypertension’ and although it can’t be permanently cured, but the elevated blood pressure in such individuals can be reduced by certain dietary measures and lifestyle modifications such as reduction of salt, reduction of weight, increase in physical activity, while in 5% of the remaining a definite cause of high blood pressure exists [most often associated with the endocrine system] and is called as ‘secondary hypertension‘ where treatment is directed to remove the associated condition or underlying cause  of hypertension with non pharmacological measures along with Pharmacological treatment.

Dietary Regimen:

Hypertension-Dietary-Regimen

Pathya [wholesome diet]: old brown rice, oats, porridge,  milk, apple, black grapes, papaya, pomegranate, coconut water, banana, oranges, lemons , drumstick, Tulsi, bhui amla, radish, sesame, dates, raisins, cardamom, rice gruel, rock salt, barley, black gram, pigeon pea, spinach, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, wheat grass juice, fish,  celery, carrot, watermelon, wheat bran, black plums, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolates, spare diet, fasting, exercise, deep tissue massage [Abhyanga], good conduct [both physical and mental], light diet, drugs/action, losalt, morning walk, yoga, breathing and relaxation techniques, weight reduction, regular aerobic physical activity,

Apathya [unwholesome diet]: salt, salt rich items [chips, popcorn, pickles, chutney, sauce, namkeen, namkeen biscuits], protein rich diet, fatty/oily food, baking powder, milk products, white sugar, refined/fried/junk food, curd, spicy food, dry fruits, egg, meat, tomatoes, nicotine, slimy food, overeating, excess anger – exertion – grief – stress, cold bath, sitting for long hours,  alcohol, smoking, caffeine, kapalbhati, isometric exercise, saturated fats, avoid banana, potatoes- licorice if taking medicine for high blood pressure

Home remedies:

Red-Periwinkle-Home-Remedy

Remedy I

Drink 1 cup juice of red periwinkle [सदाबहार] leaves and flowers for 6 months.

Remedy II

Add 50 grams of dry ginger powder in 250 ml water till 1 cup remains, filter it and add 4 spoons of honey, drink daily for a month.

Remedy III

Mix 4 spoons of onion juice in 2 spoons sugar plus 2 spoons white butter, and eat for 1 month.

Onion-Juice-Home-Remedies

Remedy IV

Add ½ spoon roasted turmeric powder to one coconut water, then add 1 spoon ghee and drink it daily for 1 month.

Remedy V

Mix 1 spoon long pepper powder to 1 spoon jaggery and eat daily for 1 month.

Remedy VI

Add 1 spoon smashed fenugreek seeds and boil in 4 cups of water till 1 cup remains. Filter it and add 4 spoons of honey and drink daily for 1 month.

Remedy VII

Eat 10 garlic pods daily either by frying it in oil or clarified butter or adding sugar to 10 garlic pods paste.

Garlic-Milk-and-Honey

Remedy VIII

Take a piece of garlic in a dose of 50 paisa and mix similar dose of milk and honey, take this mixture everyday as part of breakfast/refreshment/snack.

SUMMARY

The foremost plan of therapy of high blood pressure should be functional and practical control of blood pressure to check, alter the course of complication(s) and thus minimize the comprehensive threat of an individual without disturbing the constitution of life, i.e. drug therapy should bring about a desired result in lowering the elevated blood pressure within normal range, while controlling other adjustable risk factors. Also, cautious reduction of blood pressure to the optimum level over an interval of 2-6  months should be an advisable therapeutic intent since one should be aware , that dangers of hypertension mainly include target organ damage [TOD] such as: left ventricular hypertrophy [LVH], retinopathy, nephropathy, cerebrovascular accidents [CVAs], renal failure [CKDs]: all life threatening and insuperable problems, and for this treatment plan to work  one must encourage hypertensive patients to have regular medical examinations and to follow with the prescribed drug therapy, along with necessary methods to reduce associated risk factors for cardiac diseases, also in order to help prevent and diagnose hypertension one must encourage people to have regular blood pressure checkups, by teaching individuals what their blood pressure reading is and what the numbers mean, and also by encouraging diet and lifestyle changes which may delay or prevent hypertension. Some of the result oriented and evidence based medicine which are highly effective in hypertension and is available locally and can be made at home are: Lashun ksheer pak, Arjun ksheer pak, Ashwagandha, Amla,  apart from arjunarishta, brahmi vati, sarpagandha churna, mukta pishti, garlic pearls.

At last, it is highly recommended to do Yoga Exercise to maintain a healthy body and mind.

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Dr Munish Sood

Dr Munish Sood

B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu) Kayachikitsa
He is an Ayurveda Specialist with working experience of almost 18 years as: Sr. Consultant cum Physician (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, JNANI Hospital: (An Undertaking of Tibetan Craft Community, Tashijong, Kangra), Paprola. Consulting (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, DTIL Hospital, Chimbalhaar, Palampur. Sr. Medical Officer, Simla Sanitarium & Hospital, Himachal Pradesh. Assistant Professor & Medical Officer, SUDAC & Hospital, Hoshiarpur.