These days, hypertension is a very common problem. It is a lifestyle disorder – not something you are born with, but something acquired due to a faulty lifestyle. Hypertension can vary depending upon different personality types. People with a ‘pitta’ personality, for instance, who suffer from hypertension, are usually prone to headaches, red eyes and digestive problems.
In the ‘kapha’ kind of hypertension, we see that people, besides having high blood pressure, will also be obese and prone to high cholesterol. In the ‘vata’ kind of hypertension, we find that blood pressure keeps fluctuating and is connected to stressful situations. These people also have problems sleeping and suffer from gas.
You can use an integrated method to manage hypertension.
Nutrition: The main emphasis is on avoiding foods that promote high blood pressure and replacing them with foods that lead to a normalising of blood pressure. Avoid non-vegetarian options, eggs, alcohol and tobacco.
Foods that help during an attack of high blood pressure are vegetable juices – both raw and fresh juices containing parsley, celery, spinach, carrot and raw potato. These ingredients act at many levels in the circulatory system to decrease blood pressure. Firstly, they help to balance the calcium, sodium and potassium levels of the body.
These salts have a key influence in normalising the flexibility of the blood vessels, which ultimately helps in the lowering of blood pressure. Many research papers have also proved that consuming a clove of garlic daily has a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure. Amla, in any form, is also beneficial. Other foods that are helpful include watermelon seeds and khus khus seeds – these should be crushed, mixed with a little milk and taken at night with an apple.
During an attack of high blood pressure, you must restrict the quantity of food and at night, just have an apple with a glass of skimmed milk to which the crushed seeds have been added.
Pranayam and Yoga: Yoga is excellent when it comes to controlling high blood pressure. You can do the following pranayams – anilom vilom, sheetali, ujjayi and brahmbari – to manage episodes of high blood pressure. Omkara meditation – chanting ‘Om’ – is a powerful way to control your nerves.
Lifestyle therapies: Chamomile tea and chamomile oil are very relaxing for sufferers. Lavender oil can also be applied on the pulse points at night before you go to sleep, and inhaled.