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High Blood Pressure

CATEGORY: Cardiovascular

Publication: Ayurveda - The Science of Traditional Medicine
Author: Vaidya Bhagwan Dash / Suhasini Ramaswamy

Blood pressure varies from person to person depending upon their age, sex, physical, and mental work done by them.  Older males and those who are exposed to more mental and physical work than normal maintain a higher blood pressure than others.  In young people, damage to the functioning of the kidneys may cause high blood pressure.  Excessive intake of salt, lack of exercise, mental worry, sleeplessness, among others, is responsible for high blood pressure.

Treatment

All medicines which alleviate vayu and strengthen the nervous system are useful in this condition.  Garlic is an excellent drug as it produces a heating effect on the body when taken raw.  Garlic made into a paste and mixed with butter-milk is very effective in treating this condition.  Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentia) is a common drug used very also widely in the allopathic system of medicine.  In Ayurveda, the whole root of this drug is used in its raw state.

For patients suffering from chronic hypertension, dhara therapy in which various of oil or taila are used is considered to be the most effective.  The patient lies on his back and kshirabala taila, medicated oil is made to drip on his forehead (between the eye-brows) from a small hole made at the bottom of an earthen vessel.  This is done once every day preferably in morning for about half an hour.  This therapy enables the patient to sleep soundly at night and the blood pressure gradually comes down.  The same oil is also used for massaging the head as well as the body.  A few drops can also be taken internally.

Diet and regimen

Spicy food, hydrogenated oils should be strictly avoided, though butter prepared from cow’s milk is permitted.  Vegetables like bitter ground and drumsticks which help to clear the bowels are useful.  Yellow varieties of pumpkin should be avoided.  All types of dry fruits, oranges, bananas, guavas and apples are helpful.  Inhaling almond oil or almond oil taken in a cup of warm milk helps in soothing the nerves and thus reduces blood pressure.  Fruits and boiled vegetables are considered better than cereals and pulses.