Hypertension is known as High BP or high blood pressure in layman’s language. It is a condition where the blood flows through your blood vessels with a greater force than normal. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg.
Causes of Hypertension
- There is no definite cause for primary hypertension. It gradually develops as age progresses due to unhealthy food habits like eating too much salt, preserved, canned foods, deep fried oily foods, stress, obesity, lack of physical exercise, hereditary reasons, drug abuse, using tobacco, alcohol and smoking, etc.
- Secondary hypertension is caused due to underlying medical conditions and medications. This could include adrenal gland tumours, problems involving thyroid or kidneys, sleep apnoea, or congenital defects in the blood vessels. Some medicines that can cause secondary hypertension are painkillers, cough/cold decongestant medication, painkillers, etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
The most dangerous aspect of hypertension is that you may not know that you are suffering from it. Hence, it is also called as ‘the silent killer’. Initially, there are no symptoms and going for regular checkups is the only way to identify high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is extremely high you may notice the following symptoms:
- Visual distortion
- Angina (Chest pains)
- Arrhythmia (Irregular heartbeat)
- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath
- Nose bleed
- Traces of blood in urine
- Confusion and Anxiety
- Feeling dizzy or faint.
Management of Hypertension
Both lifestyle changes and medications play an equal role in the management of hypertension.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes
- If you are obese, reduce your weight.
- Reduce the amount of salt intake in your diet.
- Eat freshly prepared food, avoid preserved or canned food, pickles, sauces as they may contain sodium.
- Minimise the intake of sea foods.
- Restrict alcohol and smoking.
- Avoid deep fried, oily food stuffs.
- Include more vegetables, fruits and low fat dairy products.
- Regular exercise like brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, etc., at least 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week.
- Avoid working hard under the hot sun.
- Relax yourself by meditation, slow and deep breathing exercises.
- Have sound sleep of 7-8 hours a day.
- Go for regular checkups rather than just monitoring at home.
Home Remedies for Hypertension
You may also try the following home remedies for beneficial results:
- Boil 3-4 cloves of garlic in 100 ml of milk (diluted with water), boil till the milk reduces to half the original quantity. This milk decoction should be taken at bedtime. This remedy is beneficial to keep blood pressure as well as serum cholesterol level under control.
- A tablespoon each of fresh gooseberry juice and honey mixed together, should be taken daily morning.
- Grapefruit is useful in preventing high blood pressure.
- Simmer 20 grams of fresh parsley leaves gently in 250 ml of water for a few minutes. This can be taken several times a day.
- Include curry leaves and garlic in your diet.
- Prepare a small bolus by grinding tulsi leaves and curry leaves together. Consume this daily for beneficial results.
- Consume few sunflower seeds regularly to lower your cholesterol level.
- Water boiled by adding 2 tbsp of coriander seeds can be taken daily.
- Vitamin B3 also known as niacin, helps improve blood circulation, strengthen the nerves and prevent the nerves from breaking under pressure. Wheat bran, wheat germ, whole grain products, milk, green vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts and egg yolks are rich in Vitamin B3.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Hypertension
- Mix ½ tsp of gokshuradi churna in 1 glass of milk , ½ glass of water and boil till it reduced to 1 glass. Drink this before going to bed.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of dashamoola churna in 1 liter of water and keep drinking this water instead of normal water.
- Aswagandha, Shankapushpi, Brahmi, Punarnava, Sarpangandha churna
- Dashamoola kashayam, Gokshuradi guggul, punarnavadi kashayam, punarnavadi guggulu, Chandraprabha vati, Prabhakara vati, Mukta vati, Manasamitra vati, etc.
- Ayurvedic therapies like Thalam, Shirodhara, Abhyanga, Shiro pichu.