While traditional medicine has much to offer, more and more patients are also looking at alternative medicine, much of which can be used in conjunction with traditional medical practices to bolster your treatment, recovery, and overall health. This is also true of high blood pressure, which is a problem for more than a third of all Americans.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has historically has been treated with a series of drugs, including Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Beta-blockers, Calcium-channel blockers (CCBs), Diuretics, Alpha-blockers, Alpha-beta blockers, and more. In other words? Lots and lots of drugs, often in concert with a low-sodium diet.
And many of those drugs have been proven to be very effective when used correctly. There are just also other things you can do that can also help, including lowering your sodium intake and lowering your stress levels, for instance.
Related to that, some studies suggest that as an alternative medicine treatment used to complement traditional treatments, Ayurvedic medicine can also help lower your high blood pressure.
Let me back up for a moment: High blood pressure results from increased pressure on the walls of blood vessels, and over time, can result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In particular, doctors consider a blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher to be problematic. Blood pressure also consists of two numbers, systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The first number, systolic pressure, refers to the pressure on blood vessels in your arteries as the heart contracts; the second number, diastolic pressure, refers to the pressure as the heart relaxes. Blood pressure that is too low may result in problems, as well, such as passing out or fainting and can be a symptom of much larger medical issues, but high blood pressure is far more common.
Ayurvedic medicine can be an effective alternative treatment, especially when used in concert with traditional treatments of high blood pressure (or hypertension) because it may help address some of the root causes of your high blood pressure.
For instance, many studies have suggested that stress may be a major factor in high blood pressure. Ayurvedic medicine, which derives from ancient Indian tradition, may prove effective in helping lower that stress.
Toward that end, Ayurvedic medicine makes those following recommendations when it comes to changing your lifestyle, all of which can be connected to reducing high blood pressure:
- A diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat and salt is part of Ayurveda and also recommended as part of a treatment for hypertension.
- Not only is exercise good for your muscles, it’s also good for your heart and for reducing stress. Both as part of traditional treatments and as part of Ayurveda, it has much to recommend it.
- Stress reduction. Meditation and yoga are both parts of Ayurveda, and both have been proven to reduce stress levels, which in turn helps reduce high blood pressure.
Let’s look a little more closely at each piece.
Diets which are rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber and low in red meat, salt, and processed food are better for you no matter what, but they’re especially important when it comes to fighting hypertension. Ayurvedic medicine preaches a balanced heart-healthy diet, one which avoids coffee (and other sources of caffeine), eggs, meat (especially red meats), pickled foods, and salt and prescribes an increase in fruit and vegetable intake, especially of such foods as garlic, lemon, parsley, and more.
Ayurvedic medicine secondly preaches a reliance on low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, and intentional walking (brisk enough to raise your heart rate), each of which are good for your body and your mind, as they improve circulation and flexibility without stressing joints that may not be ready for more strenuous exercise.
Ayurvedic medicine lastly preaches a freeing of your mind through meditation and focused breathing. Both of these things have been linked to decreased stress, which in turn has been connected to lowered blood pressure.
All of these are holistic approaches which can work in concert with any prescribed medication to help lower your blood pressure, and none of these approaches are difficult to embrace. As a result, Ayurvedic medicine can be a tremendous help in combating your hypertension.