High blood pressure (HBP) is a common issue, especially in the United States. The CDC reports 45% of the US population is taking medication for hypertension (1).
As blood is pumped from the heart, the amount of pressure forced against the walls of the arteries is what is known as “blood pressure”.
The narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure will be due to the required force to pump the blood.
Arteries become narrow for various reasons, including high cholesterol as well as aging. Whatever the reason for narrowed arteries, HBP is an ominous sign for cardiovascular and kidney health.
When HBP becomes chronic, it is known as hypertension.
But HBP does not have to be permanent: Ayurveda has solutions for managing high blood pressure. When turning the light of Ayurveda onto HBP, there is a priority toward each person’s imbalance and recommendations are made based on the best diet and activities for each person. For a deeper understanding let’s take a closer look at what high blood pressure really is.
Root Cause Is Vata Dosa
Vata is the force that drives and motivates all movement in the body. It is responsible for all input and output of sensory and motor functions. Vata controls the functions of the mind, sense organs and the higher process of thought and emotion.
The other two dosas pitta and kapha are dependent on vata for normal or abnormal movement. Therefore, the abnormal movement of vata dosa is at the root cause of high blood pressure, as well the other two dosa may be involved depending on the person's imbalance.
Lowering HBP with Ayurveda
If your diet is high in animal protein, consider going vegetarian. It is scientifically proven that vegetarian diet reduces high blood pressure. Heart healthy plant foods include celery, carrot, garlic, flaxseed, tulsi tea, green tea, ginger cardamom, orange juice, non-fat yogurt, tender coconut water, water melon, wheat bran, black plum, ginger, pomegranate, moringa, banana, almond, walnut, and olive oil.
Beneficial Foods, Teas and Supplements
- Fish oils, hibiscus tea, and dark chocolate reduce high blood pressure.
- Green Coffee Extract – raw coffee beans which have not been roasted contain chlorogenic acid and ferulic acid which reduce blood pressure.
- Caffeine increases blood pressure especially for those who have high blood pressure, therefore it should be limited.
- Green Tea or Green Tea Extracts reduce blood pressure. EGCG is present in green tea and known to reduce diastolic blood pressure.
- Magnesium is also known to help reduce blood pressure.
- Vitamin D naturally found in sunlight, cold water fish, eggs, cod liver oil, and mushrooms helps to reduce blood pressure.
- Bananas are a perfect food very high in potassium. Potassium balances excess sodium which is known to raise blood pressure. Other sources of potassium are potato with skin, orange juice, and yogurt.
- Coconut Water has a good amount of potassium and magnesium, both are beneficial for reducing systolic pressure and supports cardiac muscles.
- Watermelon is another great food for lowering blood pressure. It is high in citrulline, an amino acid known to reduce vascular resistance.
- Ginger-Cardamom Tea is beneficial for high blood pressure.
Beneficial Stress Reduction Techniques
- Yoga and Pranayama
- Meditation and Pranayama
- Walks in nature still the mind
- Laughing – try a laughing yoga class
Modifying your diet and lifestyle choices is essential for improving heart health. We recommend consulting an Ayurvedic doctor for a personalized Ayurvedic health plan.
Three Products To Help High Blood Pressure
- Arjuna Arishtam supports healthy heart function and reduces high blood pressure.
- Khadira Arishtam is a useful for heart, skin and liver disorders, balances pitta and rakta.
- H.T.KOT tablets (gulika) support healthy heart function, high blood pressure, anxiety, and nervousness.
For more information read our related article “A Healthy Heart with Ayurveda”.
Original source: Dr JV Hebbar, EasyAyurveda.com
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