High blood pressure is also called Hypertension and is the result of an increase of the arterial blood pressure, which causes the heart to pump blood into the arteries at a faster rate, which causes the heart to work harder, pumping blood through the blood vessels.
Blood pressure is determined by two measurements, systolic and diastolic pressures. The systolic pressure occurs when the heart muscle is contracting (systole), and the diastolic pressure is the interval when the heart is relaxed between contractions (diastole). Normal blood pressure while a person is at rest is within the range of 100-139 mmHg systolic and 60-89 mmHg diastolic. High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.
Hypertension is a significant risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, weakened arteries, and kidney disease. Even modest elevation of arterial blood pressure (i.e., 150/95) is associated with a shortened life expediency.
In Ayurveda, high blood pressure is the result of an imbalance in two doshas. These doshas are Pitta and Vata, and Ayurvedic treatment for high BP aims at balancing these doshas, but sometimes, an imbalance in Kapha too can lead to high pressure.
Reduce coffee and replace it with green tea (antioxidant).
Reduce salt intake to 2400mg (1/2 tsp.) per day.
4-8oz. of fresh red beet juice per day with fresh ginger (increase blood flow, liver protector also)
Best vegetables: Celery (has thalides which increase space in arteries), parsley, cucumber, onion (contains flavanol which reduces blood pressure), garlic (good blood thinner), bitter gourd, nettles, dandelion, misc. greens and spinach.
Best fruits: Lemon (softens the blood vessels), grapes, bananas, watermelon (antioxidant), and guava.
Best sweetener: Raw honey.
Best dairy: Cottage cheese, ghee, and low-fat milk.
Best animal proteins: 4oz. Wild salmon 4 x week and only light chicken.
Herbals: Chyawanprash (Vit C promotes widening of blood vessels), turmeric nectar (jam), or turmeric plus (capsules).
Vitamins & minerals: potassium, magnesium, and calcium (regulates blood pressure & relaxes blood vessels). Coenzyme (coq10 protects LDL for oxidation and lowers blood pressure.
Yoga considerations: no headstand or handstand. Only shoulder stand, which is supported. Reduce all poses with arms overhead and backbends like dhanurasana.
Introduce a mediation and pranayama sequence to balance blood pressure and the mind.
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