High blood pressure is one of the most common after-30 ailments. And funnily enough, many people accept it as the way of life. The interesting thing about hypertension is that as people lose weight, their blood pressure tends to normalize, but only during normal activities. No sooner do they get perturbed, ever so slightly, than the blood pressure shoots up again.
This of course brings us to the belief that to actually control blood pressure, one must manage it holistically. Blood pressure management necessitates the following:
To control high blood pressure, one must cut down on heavy salted foods, pickles, processed and refined food, maida, sooji and alcohol. Foods that are good for managing blood pressure are oats (can be eaten as oat porridge or oat bread) and barley.
The unique effect of barley is that it helps the body get rid of all that excess water through the kidneys. This, in effect, decreases the load on the heart.
Vegetarians across the world in general tend to have lower blood pressure, so being a vegetarian once a week may be a good idea. Add lots of fruits and vegetables to the diet, they will help lower blood pressure. In a harvard study of over 31,000 middle aged people, it was seen that people who ate little or no fruits were 46 per cent more likely to be hypertensive.
Vitamin C found in amla, oranges, lime and many other fruits have a protective effect on the blood vessels.
Potassium in the diet lowers blood pressure. In a study conducted in Italy, it was seen that after a year of adding potassium to a diet of hypertensive patients, 81 percent lowered their dose of medication. Foods rich in potassium are potato, peaches, prunes, spinach, oranges.
Calcium rich foods also decrease the blood pressure, and adding green leafy vegetables is a good source of calcium. Finally, losing excess weight helps lower blood pressure.
Yoga and Pranayam-
Breathing is one of the simplest ways to balance and control the nerves and our ancient practice of pranayam has shown the beneficial effects of naadi-shodhan.
However, some detox/cleansing breathing techniques are not recommended for high blood pressure. Therefore, consulting an expert before beginning is a must.
Encourage regular exercise program. Stop smoking. Test cholesterol. Renal and endocrine causes should be ruled out.
Nature Care: Garlic is regarded as one of the most effective remedies to lower blood pressure. Garlic has the power to ease the spasm of the small arteries. amla, lemon and watermelon also help in reducing hypertension. Foods rich in calcium like dairy products and potassium like fruits and vegetables have an important role in stabilizing hypertension. ”
Parsley juice in fresh form (good for adrenals and thyroid) and alfa-alfa sprouts are great for hypertensives (however, do not take garlic in hot weather). There are many other herbs that can be prescribed by a herbologist/naturopath.
Aromatic herbs such as ylang-ylang have a relaxing effect on the nerves. they can be used as bathing oils or as additions to massage oils (easily available at stores).
Music and Sound Therapy-
Many sounds and music are very soothing for the nerves. Depending on personal tastes, one can find spa music available at most stores or try chanting ‘Om’. Try pranayam- check your pulse and blood pressure before and after pranayam and hopefully you will notice some change.
Hypertension Signs and Symptoms: The person may present with headache, tiredness, dizziness, pain and aches in the leg, back, shoulder region, arms, pain in the heart region, frequent urination, fatigue, emotional upset, tiredness, wakefulness, excessive perspiration.
Complications: Stroke due to cerebral heamorrhage (bleeding) or cerebral infarction, brain damage. Loss of vision. Congestive heart failure, heart attacks, blood vessel damages. Kidney failure.
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