Herbal Supplements and Remedies for Hypertension and High Blood Pressure

Introduction

Globally more than 1.5 billion people have Hypertension or High Blood pressure. It is a chronic medical condition and often called a silent killer since it can cause a lot of damage to the affected before the disorder is identified. Usually when the heart beats, it creates force which gets transferred to the blood. The blood takes the force to the arteries and creates pressure within the arteries which is known as blood pressure.

Systolic pressure and diastolic pressure

During each heartbeat the blood pressure varies between a maximum or Systolic and a minimum or Diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the part of the normal cardiac cycle when the heart contracts and blood flows out of the heart while Diastolic pressure is that part of the cycle when the heart relaxes and fills with blood. Blood pressure readings measured via the “sphygmomanometer” correspond to the Systolic pressure and diastolic pressure readings. The abnormal elevation in either or both of these measurements will lead to hypertension. Below 120/80 is the normal value of systolic and diastolic pressures, 139/89 value represents pre hypertension and 140/90 or above value is considered as High Blood pressure.

Types and Causes of Hypertension

There are two types of Hypertension, Primary or essential and secondary.

Almost 90-95% of those diagnosed with Hypertension are affected by Primary or essential Hypertension. There are various causes for this condition.

  • Individuals who consume excess salt in their diet – specifically more than 5.8 grams a day, are more prone to high BP
  • Obesity, lack of physical activity
  • Aging
  • Genetic propensity
  • Excessive alcohol indulgence for those sensitive to alcohol

Secondary Hypertension is less common and affects only about 5% of the patients. This hypertension develops due to a disorder of any specific organ or blood vessel, hence called Secondary Hypertension. Secondary hypertension can be caused by endocrine diseases, kidney diseases, specific medication, tumors and sometimes occurs during pregnancy.

Long term and Short term effects of Hypertension

  1. Heart Attack and Heart Failure – When there is excessive pressure, the heart begins to function harder, which increases risk of heart attack. The heart muscles are thickened by the additional pressure leading to heart failure.
  2. Stroke – Any interruption in the flow of blood in the brain will cause stroke. The important parts in the brain get damaged due the disturbance in the blood flow. Stroke also occurs when there is any blockage in the blood vessels. Hypertensive patients are at high risk of stroke and brain hemorrhage.
  3. Kidney disease – The primary function of the sensitive filters in the kidney is to regulate the fluid in the body; Hypertension and irregular blood flow can damage sensitive kidney filters. High Blood Pressure patients are at high risk of developing kidney problems.
  4. Eyes – Hypertension can damage the tiny vessels in the eyes resulting in loss of vision.
  5. Hypertension or high blood pressure may lead to bone mass density loss, sexual dysfunction as well as epistaxis (nose bleed) or uterine bleeding.

Lifestyle changes which help in management of Hypertension

  • Diet – Add Fish, lean meat, chicken, fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in diet. Avoid unsaturated fats in your diet.
  • Reduce Weight – Reduce the excess weight, since excess of visceral and abdominal fat may worsen Hypertension and can also lead to other diseases like diabetes
  • Salt Intake – Maintain a low salt diet. Use low sodium salt and restrict your daily salt intake to less than 5.8 grams
  • Exercise Regularly – Exercise will help maintain proper circulation, burn calories and strengthen the heart

Home Remedies for managing Hypertension

  • Vitamin C helps in reducing hypertension. A teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with honey and water is a very beneficial for those suffering from hypertension
  • Amla or Indian Goose Berry is very beneficial for High BP. One tablespoon full of fresh Amla juice mixed with honey and taken every morning is beneficial in managing high BP
  • Fenugreek seeds can be taken with water in morning and evening on an empty stomach
  • Fresh papayas, eaten on an empty stomach can be beneficial. Papayas are rich in Carpain – a cardio supportive enzyme

Herbal Supplements for Hypertension

Garlic – Lasun

Lasun or Garlic reduces cholesterol accumulation. It helps in normalizing blood pressure and preventing heart disease.

Arjuna is an ayurvedic herb which helps to reduce hypertension, reduces cholesterol and protects and tones the heart.

Arjunin a cardioprotective herbal supplement improves blood circulation to the heart and helps to strengthen the cardiac muscles. It exerts mild diuretic action and relieves pulmonary congestion. It has antioxidant properties and helps to reduce breathlessness, lowers bad lipids and cholesterol.

Cardimap herbal remedy is a combination of ayurvedic herbs recommended for reducing anxiety, hypertension and insomnia.
Sarpagandha herb extract soothes and calms the brain and has reduces blood pressure. It is very beneficial for those suffering from hypertension. Jatamansi helps to treat hysteria and anxiety, stimulates the brain and improves mental retention. Shankhpushpi helps in mental development, and improves brain functioning and concentration. Brahmi is a well known brain and nervine tonic, useful in enhancing memory and treating anxiety induced insomnia. Pippah or Pippali is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic herbs. It reduces blood pressure works as a rejuvenator, enhances longevity, improves digestion and induces sound sleep.

Hypertension – Symptoms, Complications of this Silent Killer

Have you ever felt your heart to be pumping so hard especially when you are at the height of extreme emotions like anger or happiness? Have you ever felt a sudden rush of blood when you are nervous or excited? Are these conditions related to hypertension?

What is Hypertension?

Commonly referred to as high blood pressure, hypertension is a medical condition characterized by the elevation of blood pressure. There are different kinds of hypertension but the most common is the arterial hypertension. This condition could also be classified into two – essential and secondary.

Essential hypertension refers to the condition when there is no specific medical cause that could explain the occurrence. On the other hand, secondary hypertension is caused by secondary conditions like kidney malfunctions or adrenal tumors. When not treated immediately, this condition could become persistent and could cause a lot of other ailments especially those that concern the heart. It has known to be the common risk strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm. It is also said to be the leading cause of chronic renal failure. As an effect of hypertension, a person who frequently suffers such is known to have lesser life expectancy.

Though medicine poses specific ranges of blood pressure that are considered to be at the level of hypertension, the condition is still relative to a person. Sometimes, hypertension is dependent on how a patient can sustain certain blood pressures. When the blood pressure rises 50 percent above what is known to be the normal to a person, it already calls for a treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension is only determined through a blood pressure measurement equipment and reads the systolic and diastolic of the blood. There is actually no identified sign of hypertension; rather, it varies from one person to another. Some people report to have experienced headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurring of vision and facial flushing.

One of the misconceptions of hypertension is its association with stress, mental tension and anxiety. These conditions may affect the flow of the blood but those could not alone cause the imbalance condition of the blood flow. However, accelerated hypertension is closely associated with somnolence, confusion, visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting.

Being in a hypertension condition is not permanent; and it could not be severe enough to cause symptoms. Symptoms only surface when signs of end-organ damage are determined or are possible; otherwise, the condition is still considered accelerated hypertension. Malignant hypertension, on the other hand, is caused by increased intracranial pressure. These could be diagnosed through retinal examination.

Another misconception is that hypertension is known to be only experienced with people in old age. However, this condition could also occur in children and teenagers. Obesity in children is known to be a factor of developing the occurrence of such phenomenon. The detection and intervention in childhood hypertension could be determined though early evidence of the development of atherosclerosis. Aside from that, temperature could also affect the condition in children especially that they are in the height of an active lifestyle.

Complications of Hypertension

Hypertension , as mentioned earlier, could cause a lot of complications. Alone, it is not considered as illness since it is temporary. However, this condition increases the risk in developing other health conditions. Complications include cerebrovascular accidents or strokes, heart attack, heart failure, damage to the retina of the eye and renal failure.