Hypertension afflicts a wide proportion of adult population all over the world. High blood pressure is the gift of modern lifestyle, some people say. It is stated to be a silent killer. There are many, many people who regularly consume drugs for controlling high blood pressure, in as much as it has become a habit with them. It afflicts people in their prime of youth. It would be worthwhile to take a fresh look at the cause of hypertension in terms of functional fundamentals of the human body. And fundamentals of health and disease are not explained better by any theory other than the philosophy of vitiation or normalization of ‘doshas’ contained in Ayurveda. High blood pressure, when within certain limits, is a symptomatic although in 20% of the hypertensives it produces no symptoms even when as high as 170/100 or even 180/110. The symptoms usually experienced by patients of hypertension are head ache, loss of sleep, restlessness, palpitation and sometimes ringing in the ears. General weakness and apathy may also be the concomitant symptoms. Hypertension, according to Ayurveda, is caused by vitiation of vata. The vitiated vata enters the blood stream and produces symptoms of hypertension. The causes behind vitiation of vata are separately indicated in this portal. Besides the factors responsible for vitiation of vata per-se, other factors that vitiate vata are vitiation of kapha and vitiation of pitta which affect the normal functioning of vata. Thus if the prakriti of a person and hence his dominant dosha is known, a lifestyle regimen to keep that dominant dosha within normal limit is the first requirement. These days, a very large proportion of the population is of vata prakriti or vata dominated constitution. Based on all these considerations, we can formulate a proper regimen for purpose of preventing hypertension. This could be as below:
- Regular physical exercise
- Avoidance of fried, dried, stale, baked foodstuffs and very moderate intake of salt.
- Avoidance of other vata – vitiating foods.
- Going to sleep early (around 9.30 or 10 pm) at night and getting up before sunrise next morning.
- Avoidance of excessive worry, tension, grief, frustration, anger, hatred and jealousy.
- Overwork and overstrain of body and mind should also be avoided.
The reason why hypertension is a household ailment today is that people lead sedentary lives, consume lot of fried, stale, baked or dried foods, do not get up early in the morning and are often given to the aforesaid negative emotions. Late night activities and late night dinners have become the fashion of the day. The lifestyle of people naturally invites hypertension which if allowed to continue and increase predisposes a person towards heart and kidney diseases and strokes. The intake of large quantities of salt with food regularly is also considered as a culprit for causing hypertension. Excessive use of salt overstresses the kidneys which in turn puts extra strain on the heart and high blood pressure results.
Certain home remedies for prevention and control of hypertension are also given below:
- Chew and swallow 2 or 3 cloves of garlic every morning with water. Garlic is an excellent medicine for not only hypertension but a great variety of ailments. Pitta prakriti persons should take garlic with meals only.
- Light, gentle exercise like walking or any other aerobic activity should be performed for at least half an hour each day regularly. Exercise, regularly undertaken is the best insurance against high blood pressure. But exercise is not to be overdone.
- Dissolve the juice of half fresh lemon in about 100 ml of water and drink this water first thing every morning. Regular use of lemon makes the blood vessels more elastic and softer. It strengthens the heart and prevents serious episode of heart attack.
- Take daily dose of two tea spoonfuls of a mixture of equal quantities of onion juice and honey.