What possible preventive methods does Ayurveda suggest for high blood pressure patient?
Most of the modern anti-hypertensive medicines have their own side-effects; long-standing usage of such drugs leads to other complications and diseases in your body. A detailed description about lifestyle and food habits is described in Ayurveda. These principles are mostly accepted worldwide and have scientific evidences as well.
- Some Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, treatises of Vagbhata etc describe that unduly increased intake of salt leads to vitiation of Vata and rakta. They cause symptoms like muscle flaccidity (sithilataa) and diseases of blood vessels. So to prevent hypertension, Ayurveda advises low-salt diet. A new research on salt diet says that, sodium intake reduced and controlled.
- The recommended maximum amount of salt one should eat depends on their age. The criteria listed below (data according to Gov of UK nhs.uk/ )
- 1 to 3 years- 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
- 4 to 6 years- 3g of salt a day (1.2 g sodium)
- 7 to 10 years – 5g of salt a day (2g sodium)
- 11 years and over – 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium)
- Potassium deficiency causes retention of sodium and leads to hypertension. To avoid these effects, our diet should contain more potassium-containing foods like banana, coconut water, leafy vegetables etc. in out diet. New research on potassium intake says that 50 -120 m.equ/day of potassium intake reduces blood pressure by about 6mm of Hg systolic and 3.4mm of Hg diastolic pressure.
- Calcium ion competent with sodium ion reduces excitability of nerves and muscles. By taking 1.5 gm of elemental calcium diet daily reduces the risk of osteoporosis and hypertension.
- Studies say that 250mg of caffeine raises 5 -15 mm of Hg systolic pressure and retains it for 12 hours. So, those who have a habit of high intake of caffeine should reduce the daily usage of caffeine.
- 30 ml of alcohol per day in the form of whisky may be beneficial for coronary circulation. Required quantity of alcohol should be used in a disciplinary manner; if not, it shows its toxic effect.
- According to Ayurveda, alcohol (madya) in small dose acts by virtue of its sharp (teekshna), pervading (vyavaayi), quick acting (aasukaari) qualities, is able to remove blockage of channels (sroto-vibandha-naasana). Excessive intake of alcohol leads to alcohol toxicity (madaatyaya) which is a morbid condition.
- Adoption of smoking is another causative factor for hypertension. Carbon monoxide stimulates atherosclerosis in coronary arteries; nicotine stimulates adrenergic nerves to cause increasing oxygen demand and also decreasing good cholesterol (HDL). These effects lead to vascular disorders. To control these effects, cut off the smoking habits. According to WHO estimation, most of the cardiac problems in developing countries are due to smoking.
- Diet should contain unsaturated fatty acids such as soya bean oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and corn oil. High fiber diet and nutritious diet, Indian gooseberry (Amalaki), grapes and all vitamins are more beneficial to control and prevent hypertension. Such food substances act like anti-oxidants. Garlic, onion, spinach, oatmeal, carrot and almonds are very beneficial to hypertensive patients.
- Panchakarma has tremendous power to eliminate the toxic effects from the body and rejuvenate each and every cell of the body. Oil application (abhyanga) has great role in preventing hypertension by effecting relaxation to the body, It facilitates sleep, makes mind peaceful and is the most effective treatment to reduce mental stress.
- Irrigation therapy (Shirodhara) with oil is useful to reduce hypertension.
- In obese patients, upward powder massage (udvartanam) is very beneficial as it reduces Kapha and fat (medas). It converts LDL into HDL. If we treat with the five medical operations (Panchakarma), modulating the therapies according to the cause, we can prevent hypertension.
- In addition to this Charaka Samhitahas mentioned about suppressible urges (dhaaraneeya-vegaah) such as lust (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), confusion (moha), excessive pride (mada) and competition (maatsarya). These should be suppressed. Otherwise these urges will stimulate adrenergic nerves, release catechol amines at nerve endings and cause hypertension.
So, adopting ancient Ayurvedic principles, maintenance of lifestyle and proper directions from an efficient Ayurvedic Doctor can solve psychological disturbances. Maintaining physical and mental health keeps a person happy and cheerful, and gives a life devoid of pain. In order to prevent damage to critical organs and conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure that may be caused by high blood pressure, it is important to screen, diagnose, treat, and control hypertension in its earliest stages.
Yoga: The natural treatment for high blood pressure
Yoga and meditation play an important role in lowering of hypertension since decades. By improving one’s lifestyle through mental relaxation and stress, for management and control of the condition, Yoga & Naturopathy are a beneficial step.In such cases, one should practice relaxation asanas and meditation poses. Some asanas are very helpful:
- Instead of doing deep breathing and Kumbhak, simple practice rechak-purak in Sukhasama or Vajrasana should be done.
- Chandrabhedi Pranayama
- Shalabhasana Dhanurasana
- Cleansing exercise like Jalneti is also helpful.
- A positive result may also be seen by regular practice of Yog Nidra.
One should consult doctor before starting any asana. Age, Gender, other disease including hypertension and pregnancy are some cases where doctors and yoga guru’s advice is very much needed