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In order to understand what hypertension is, you need to know a little about the cardiovascular system.
The heart is a muscular organ pumping blood to all parts of the human body by the process of contraction. Pure (oxygenated) blood is carried by the arteries (referred to as Dhamani in Ayurveda) and impure (deoxygenated blood) by the veins (referred to as Sira in Ayurveda).
Blood pressure is defined as the lateral pressure exerted by the blood flow on the elastic wall of the arteries. The upper value of blood pressure is known as systolic blood pressure. Lower value of blood pressure is known as diastolic blood pressure. In Ayurveda, hypertension is known as Uccharakatchapa.
Systolic BP greater than or equal to140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP greater than or equal to 90 mmHg is the currently accepted measure for normal blood pressure.
Cardiovascular diseases, including essential hypertension, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and cardiomyopathy were the cause of 2.3 million deaths occurring in India in 1990. India is also on the top as far as the incidence of diabetes mellitus is concerned.
As per expert opinions, this death rate is expected to have doubled by 2020. The increase is much more than 77% for China, 106% for other Asian countries and 15% for economically developed countries. Hypertension is the major culprit responsible for stroke deaths (57%) and coronary artery disease (24%) deaths in India.
Arteriosclerosis: Age factor is the leading cause of hypertension. As the time passes, the elasticity of the blood vessels (particularly, arteries) decreases and there occurs congestion of blood. Hardening sets in the arteries (medically described as sclerosis) and this process is addressed as, arteriosclerosis. Elevated levels of blood pressure can result bleeding (brain hemorrhage) and even, loss of vision.
Hyperlipidemia: Increased consumption of fatty foods is another factor responsible for the growing incidence of hypertension. Foods containing high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fats) accumulate in the inner wall of the arteries. Gradually there is a rise in fats (lipids) in the blood and the condition is known as hyperlipidemia (excess levels of fat in the blood).
Dietary patterns: Increased salt intake in the diet leads to hypertension as it results in sodium and water retention in the body and consequence is high blood pressure. Under these conditions, there is copious diuresis (increased urinary flow) to get rid of excess water and sodium. Thereby, reduction of salt intake is the initial step in the treatment of hypertension. Unlimited use of painkillers and steroids is linked with incidence of hypertension. Kidney and endocrine disorders have strong associated with hypertension.
The majority of people with hypertension have no signs or symptoms. This is true even if blood pressure recordings (systolic and diastolic) are on the higher side. In a few cases, one may notice flushing, headaches (in temporal region), shortness of breath (dyspnoea) or nosebleeds (epistaxis). These signs and symptoms are not considered to be specific until or unless, blood pressure reaches an alarmingly high value.
Beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers are the mainstay of allopathic treatment for hypertension. Atenolol, proparanolo, nifedipine, candesartan, olmesartan and ramipril are life saving antihypertensive drugs which have benefited humanity in many ways. However, long-term use is not safe and some drugs have serious ill-effects, including loss of libido, vivid dreams and depression.
Guggul: Ayurvedic physicians prescribe Guggul as a treatment for high blood pressure when cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated (hyperlipidemia). One tablet, twice a day is normally given for six months to reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Guggul is, however can be dangerous in pregnancy. It should also be avoided if the patient has a history of chronic gastritis.
Garlic is a good natural aid to prevent high blood pressure. It has a good clinical effect on diastolic blood pressure. In addition, garlic tackles hyperlipidemia as effectively as statins like atorvastatin.
Arjunarishta is the standard Ayurvedic treatment to maintain a healthy heart. Six teaspoonfuls of the preparation mixed with equal water, twice a day, should be given for six months.
Sarpagandha is the herb of choice in the Ayurvedic treatment of high blood pressure. ½ teaspoonfuls (2.5 g) of Sarpagandha powder, twice a day is clinically proven in restoring normal blood pressure. Two tablets of Sarpagandha, twice a day, are highly beneficial in treating hypertension. Sarpagandha has some side effects, if used for long term therapy. It should be taken under expert medical supervision.
In addition to medicine, lifestyle changes are a must in the proper management of coronary heart disease.
Nirogam’s Mukta Vati is an effective easy-to-take Ayurvedic remedy for Hypertension.
MUKTA VATI is a fast-acting and safe herbal remedy to
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