In the last blog you would have realized that BP lowering (i.e. anti-hypertensive) allopathic medicines have severe side effects in the long run like dry mouth/eyes, mouth blisters, burning mouth syndrome, brain disorders like depression, vertigo, alzheimer, dementia, irritated mind, insomnia, parkinson’s, bloating, constipation, kidney failure, unexplained weight gain or weight loss.. The list is long and different people taking these medicines face different challenges (to visualize their effect and to understand that how these medicines change our blood flow and bring serious imbalances, please watch this video)
And therefore, it is important to understand the root cause of high blood pressure which Ayurveda can explain along with its cure. But before proceeding further, here is a testimonial to prove that high BP can be cured by using the principles of Ayurveda especially in those cases which have not got spoiled due to prolonged use of allopathic BP medicines.
So what causes hypertension? let us spend a few seconds to discuss this. Because of the untiring 24/7 pumping of blood by our heart, our blood vessels experience certain amount of pressure which is required and for which a healthy body is well equipped. The problem comes when our blood vessels begin to narrow and/or the blood becomes so thick that it is doesn’t flow freely thereby causing excess pressure on the heart as well as the blood vessels thereby narrowing them. So why does this narrowing/thickening happen? let us understand the reasons but before that you must go through this blog to understand what is prana vata and how its imbalance affects us and how it gets affected by foods ⇒ IMBALANCED PRANA VATA- THE ROOT CAUSE OF MOST OF THE DISEASES/CHAOS AND SATTVIC FOODS/LIFESTYLE -THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT
REASON ONE (Due to Rajasic Mind/Overactive prana vata)
A person with high prana vata sooner or later begins consuming those sour, spicy, bitter, salty and excess of sweet foods to push more blood towards their brain which otherwise is getting less blood since high prana vata means less blood towards the brain. All this leads to high pitta accompanied with pseudokapha (that kapha which is accompanied by sourness where cells in the body expand and congest the environment). The result is that blood flows through narrowed blood vessels as cells lining the blood vessels expand making them narrow leading to high pressure against the walls of blood vessels. All this further increases pitta as high BP increases faster circulation of blood leading to increased generation of heat. As such till such time prana vata is not settled the person feels like having more of spicy, sour, sweet, bitter foods to feed and relax the brain. Thus the foremost step towards curing such people should be to settle their prana vata by giving them medicines like mukta vati or manas mitra (in the night) which will increase blood towards their brain through gravity. Another simultaneous step should be to reduce pitta and sourness in the body by abstaining from highly pungent and sour foods and if need be take foods/medicines like :-
(a) mukta pishti (as pearl reduces acidic environment and rose in it reduces sourness since rose is astringent)
(b) milk with turmeric as turmeric is astringent (which neutralizes sourness) and warm and milk pacifies excess pitta (even triphla with milk can help since it is hot and astringent and can help in removing plaque and sourness from the body)..
(c) pomegranate since pomegranate is astringent and sweet (and fruits of this nature like apple, custard apple).. Sour fruits like banana, orange, lemon should be avoided till such time BP comes in control as they can increase a bit of pitta though they are alkaline after digestion.
*** Please note the mukta vati/manas mitra and other bitter herbs should be avoided in the day time to control BP since they will increase prana vata by bringing down blood from the brain due to gravity. Yes they can be used if and when pitta (acidity) is high in the stomach but for a short time till such BP issue is not resolved. They can also be used for sometime by those whose vata is not very high. The problem with allopathic BP medicines is that since one doesn’t learn to eat and live as per constitution due to dependence on allopathic BP meds, his/her aggravated doshas which are the cause of high BP keep increasing with time since they get a wrong feeling that their BP is in control. So if one remains on BP meds for too long, then vata increases so much because of less blood volume that taking astringent herbs/foods like pomegranate, turmeric or triphla may further increase vata thus taking the person in a vicious circle. And therefore it is better that one comes out of the trap of allopathic BP meds asap. Also note that ayurvedic meds or even foods to undo high BP don’t need to be taken for ever unlike allopathic meds. Of course one would need to follow certain precautions. And if one is transiting from allopathic to Ayurveda then one should taper off allopathic meds and not remove them suddenly.
Precautions once BP is cured.
A person who gets BP of this nature (characterized by high and throbbing Pitta pulse due to excess sourness) if not treated for long by controlling his/her aggravated doshas (remember allopathic BP meds don’t know how to control aggravated doshas) is likely to develop excess vata in the system which is due to loss of blood volume (high pitta) and also due to excess of plaque formed in the body due to high pitta/sourness. Thus such people after getting cured should very strictly follow diet and lifestyle as per Vata pyramid.
Reason Two (Excessively high kapha mind close to tamasic one/underactive prana vata)
Such a case is when a person has very high kapha meaning more blood (amounting to low metabolism) towards the brain. The result is that such people would have calm and confident mind (unlike the third case) however they will also be stubborn or lets say less flexible in their ideas / opinions / thoughts as compared to those of reason three. Also to note that human body works on an axis of low blood towards one side and more blood towards another (this will be touched in my blogs on medical astrology) and therefore a person with lot of blood towards brain is likely to have less blood towards the lower body. This leads to weak pancreas leading to lesser production of insulin. Thus, in all probability, such people are also likely to develop diabetes due to low metabolism and poor insulin production which is called as Diabetes type 1.5. Such people are also likely to develop issues like UTI etc. because of weaker lower body parts.
*** Astrologically such cases would be of those who have Ketu in the first house especially along with another kapha planet like jupiter.
Cure for reason 2
Contrary to previous reason, such people would be benefited by vasodilating foods and medicines, if taken in the morning. However as seen earlier even here not all vasodilating foods are good for such cases (since tea/coffee, garlic/onion are pungent too apart from being vasodilating and astringent and would rather increase pitta instead of reducing it) because here the aim is to reduce excess blood from the brain and increase it towards the lower body parts. And therefore only those foods will help here which are bitter (vasodilating), astringent as well as sweet e.g. Mukta vati, bael fruit, and even veggies like palak paneer (north indian dish made out of spinach and cottage cheese).
*** Allopathic medicines belonging to ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker) group being vasodilating if taken in the morning are okay for this type of case (reason four), however no vasodilating food/medicine should be continued for too long and should be discontinued (tapered off) once kapha has been pacified in the brain. Secondly since allopathic meds do not understand the principle of six tastes, the user continues to take high pungency foods along with such medicines leading to damage to the lower body parts.
So finally to conclude:-
(a) Different people have different constitution and therefore their cure must also be different.
(b) Contrary to the current norm that one has to take BP lowering medicines forever, hypertension is curable, meaning medicines to control it is not supposed to be taken forever. If you are taking it forever or for too long then it is clear that the medicine is not hitting the root cause and is rather aggravating the condition. This logic is applicable for all therapies including ayurveda.
(c) Prolonged usage of allopathic BP lowering drugs can bring irreversible changes (or difficult to reverse just as you read in my case history) in the long run where such natural cures may also become ineffective and that’s why it is better that you switch over to Ayurveda as soon as possible for controlling high BP. This is because as stated earlier, allopathic BP lowering drugs reduce blood from the upper part of the body including brain, face, throat etc. thereby further increasing the hyperactive brain along with other painful conditions. So when one takes ayurvedic medicines, they help in increasing blood towards core of the brain by pulling it from other parts of the body however in the bargain this drastically drops blood supply on the facial area since upper part of the body was as such getting less blood due to prolonged use of allopathic BP medicines. All this leads to issues like blocked nose, headaches etc which look as side effects of Mukta vati though they have cropped up because of a prolonged usage of allopathic drugs.
(d) While switching over from allopathy to ayurvedic cures of hypertension, one should ensure that while taking ayurvedic meds/bael fruit, one tapers off allopathic medicines while monitoring BP on daily basis. Most of the cases get cured and become medicine free (even ayurvedic) within five to fifteen days itself. Also remember that during this transition, time of consumption of allopathic and ayurvedic med should have a gap of at least 8 hrs and time of ayurvedic med should be consumed as mentioned in cures against different reasons.
(e) its extremely important to know that which bracket you fall in when trying to cure yourself of high BP issue. This is because using cure without proper diagnosis can boomerang. To give you an example, a person with high BP because of reason two if given cure as per reason one, will further add more blood (kapha which is opposite of vata) towards brain and would further increase BP and vice versa. And therefore even if one is confident of diagnosis, one should monitor BP on daily basis (may be twice or thrice a day), to check if one is on the right path.
(f) Last but not the least, this article was to give you an insight of how ayurveda can cure different types of BP and not to go for self medication. It is highly recommended that one consults an ayurvedic expert who can judge your constitution by reading your behavior and pulse and treat you accordingly. Of course, knowledge from this article will help you to judge the expertise of the attending practitioner and also understand your constitution :-).