What with people from all walks of life - be it students, working professionals or busy homemakers enduring huge amounts of stress in their day-to-day life, hypertension is no longer a chronic ailment that affects only the older population. Presently, everyone right from young adults to the middle-aged suffer from instances of high blood pressure and this condition occurs rampantly in both men and women. Statistics too, indicate alarming trends, signifying that a quarter of the world’s population i.e. 25% of all people globally suffer from hypertension. And unfortunately, this illness takes a toll on one of the most crucial organs in the body – the heart.
In a normal healthy individual, the blood pressure range is between 90/60 mm Hg to 120/80 mm Hg, meaning that the speed of blood flow to and from the heart is ideal. Blood pressure is measured in terms of millimetres of mercury, which is denoted by the abbreviation mm Hg, wherein the first top value is systolic blood pressure and the second bottom number shows diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure signifies the force in the arteries while the heart is beating and diastolic blood pressure is tension in the arteries when the heart is resting in between two consecutive beats. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure readings above 140/90 m Hg, with values over 180/120 mm Hg implying rather grave circumstances. It is triggered by undue strain exerted by blood flow on the walls of the arteries – the blood vessels that transport blood containing oxygen from the heart to other tissues, organs. Serious cases of persistent high BP considerably raises the risk of acquiring heart disease and stroke in the affected individual. While following the DASH diet, cultivating an active lifestyle and taking prescription medicines does help to regulate blood pressure, certain herbal solutions from Ayurveda complement these restorative measures and work wonders in effectively managing hypertension, augmenting heart health.
In the time-honoured ayurvedic scriptures, hypertension is denoted by many terms including “Rakta Gata Vata”, “Rakta Vriddhi”, “Rakta Vikshepa” and others, primarily highlighting the fact that it is a disorder associated with “Rakta” or blood and its circulation. Moreover, the ancient manuscripts of Sushruta Samhita, Charaka Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya state that hypertension is triggered due to exacerbated Vata dosha leading to disharmony in the three bodily doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The common symptoms of hypertension include Sheeghra Gama Rakta i.e. very fast-paced blood circulation in blood vessels, accompanied by Shiroroga i.e headache, Klama or fatigue and Bhrama meaning feeling dizzy or faint. Besides providing insight into the causes, symptoms of hypertension, Ayurveda also offers some phenomenal herbs that bring down high BP, promote smooth blood circulation to and from the heart, as well as uplift cardiac wellness.
Superb Herbs To Treat Hypertension:
The bark extracts of arjuna consumed as powders and decoctions, work wonders in resolving instances of hypertension. This potent herb is packed with amazing cardioprotective traits which fortify heart muscles. Moreover, it possesses remarkable anti-hypertensive compounds, which effectively widen and ease the stiff blood vessels, to normalize blood pressure and alleviate discomforting symptoms of hypertension.
Amalaki or the Indian gooseberry is a ubiquitous sour herbal food in Indian kitchens which is also a great natural remedy for hypertension. Amla contains abundant reserves of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements which scavenge toxins from the blood vessels and relax the strain on the tubular structures leading to the heart.
Punarnava is a natural diuretic, which eases blood flow via renal passages and ensures a healthy blood supply to the kidneys. This beneficial herb rejuvenates heart wellness by lowering blood cholesterol levels, making cardiac muscles more robust, controlling blood pressure fluctuations and decreasing the risk of acquiring cardiac ailments like CVD, arrhythmia.
Sarpagandha is a powerful herb that holds a treasure trove of phytonutrients, specifically alkaloids with antihypertensive and sedative qualities. The roots of this plant are utilised in making herbal medicines to treat high blood pressure, that unwind extremely tight blood vessels to regulate blood flow and lessen severe force on the heart.
Tulsi is a marvellous ayurvedic herb that lowers high blood pressure and efficiently rectifies weakening signs of hypertension like headaches and fatigue. The verdant green leaves of tulsi are bestowed with eugenol, which is a natural calcium channel blocker that obstructs the entry of calcium into arteries and loosens the blood vessels, thus being an effective antihypertensive agent.