What is High Blood Pressure or Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the measure of force exerted by blood which pushes outwards on the walls of the arteries. The Journal of Hypertension found that 29.8% of the population in India suffers from high blood pressure or hypertension.
Blood pressure is normally recorded as two numbers written as a ratio. The number above (systolic) measures the pressure in the arteries when the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) contract. The number below (diastolic) measures the pressure in the arteries in between the heartbeats, when the ventricles are relaxed.
Damage occurs when the force of blood in the arteries is high over time. As a result, this stretches the tissue that forms the arterial walls beyond their healthy limit. High blood pressure is when blood pressure goes higher than 140 over 90 mmHg, which is the medical standard.
Causes and Effects of High Blood Pressure
Various factors contribute to elevated blood pressure, such as genetics, diet, stress, lack of exercise and smoking. As the condition is largely symptom-less, hypertension is widely known as the “silent killer”, which is why it is crucial to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
High blood pressure will increase your risk for several health problems, including: heart attack, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, vision loss, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
There are many ways to both prevent and reduce high blood pressure, which include lifestyle changes as well as other home remedies for hypertension. Below are some Ayurvedic remedies for high blood pressure.
Cinnamon: An aromatic seasoning that can be added to your diet with no effort. Consuming cinnamon on a daily basis can lower your blood pressure, especially if you have diabetes. Simply sprinkle a pinch or two of cinnamon on your oatmeal, breakfast cereal and even in your tea or coffee. Cinnamon can enhance the flavor of your curries, stews and stir-fry dishes.
Basil: This is not only a delicious herb that can be added to foods; it’s an effective treatment for high blood pressure. Basil has been found to lower blood pressure, albeit for a brief duration. Add fresh basil to your food as a garnish on your salads, pastas, soups and other dishes.
Cardamom: A seasoning that is commonly used in India, cardamom is a staple in many dishes. Studies have shown that participants who took powdered cardamom daily for a period of several months had significantly lower blood pressure readings. This spice is one of the best Ayurvedic remedies for hypertension.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed is abundant in omega-3 fatty acid, which have been found to significantly reduce blood pressure. Flaxseed reduces serum cholesterol, acts as an antioxidant and improves glucose tolerance. You can easily grind flaxseed yourself in a coffee grinder. This ground flaxseed can be stirred into any dish whether it be smoothies, soups or baked products.
Ginger: Ginger has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure by improving blood circulation and relaxing the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. This allows the blood to flow freely and lower blood pressure. Commonly used in Asian cooking, ginger is a highly versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into sweets as well as beverages, in addition to savory dishes. Simply grate, chop or mince fresh ginger and add into your vegetable dishes, soups, stir-fries, desserts or tea for refreshing taste.
French Lavender: Lavender’s calming scent is not the only beneficial aspect of the plant, this herb has been found to reduce blood pressure as well. While not many people consider using lavender as a culinary herb, its flowers can be used in baked goods while its leaves can be used in the same manner as rosemary.
Garlic: Fresh garlic helps blood to flow freely and lowers blood pressure. Fresh garlic can be added to a variety of different recipes. If the flavor of garlic is too strong for your taste, roast it before consuming. If you are seriously averse to consuming garlic at all, opt for garlic supplements.
In addition to using these natural Ayurvedic home remedies for high blood pressure, lifestyle factors play a major role in treating hypertension. If you can control your hypertension with a healthy lifestyle, it can mitigate or reduce the need for medication. Simple lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, cutting back on salt, eating a healthier diet and practicing meditation or relaxation techniques will go a long way in managing, treating or preventing high blood pressure.