Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to work. Over time hypertension can lead to serious heart conditions and other illnesses. Recently high blood pressure in middle age has been linked to cognitive decline later in life. Statistics show that hypertension affects over 70 million adults in the United States alone.
The good news is that hypertension is treatable using natural approaches. However, there is no single approach that works for everyone. The causes and symptoms of high blood pressure can vary from individual to individual. Luckily Ayurveda understands and addresses this uniqueness. If you have hypertension, a consultation with an Ayurvedic expert skilled in the ancient science of pulse assessment can help determine which particular imbalances are responsible for your specific condition.
People with Pitta and Vata predominant constitutions (and Pitta and Vata imbalances) are more prone to hypertension than Kapha types. Here are some possible causes of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha types of hypertension:
Vata – Anxiety and mental stress and strain can aggravate Vata and put pressure on the nervous system. Other contributors include not getting enough sleep, having an irregular lifestyle, and working, watching TV or working on computers late at night and constantly rushing from activity to activity
Pitta – Because one of the main seats of Pitta is in the heart, emotional stress can create imbalances in Pitta dosha. Eating spicy, salty, or sour food is another factor that can aggravate Pitta. When Pitta is out of balance, people have a lessened capacity to deal with emotional challenges in a balanced manner. The resulting anger or hostility can lead to high blood pressure.
Kapha – Sluggish digestion, sedentary habits, and a diet filled with fats, sweets and processed foods can lead to being overweight, feeling depressed, and having high blood pressure
The Ayurvedic approach to pacifying these imbalances may include dietary and lifestyle recommendations, yoga exercises, meditation, specialized Panchakarma or purification therapies and herbal supplements.
Here are a few “universal” recommendations that can apply to anyone with high blood pressure:
Regular routine and meals
Follow a regular daily routine that includes getting to bed before 10:00 in the evening. Have your main meal at midday and try to make it both relaxed and substantial. If the midday meal is rushed, digestion will be incomplete and the body will not be prepared for the more hectic second half of the day. This will put pressure on the nervous system and exacerbate the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Practice the Transcendental Meditation technique
A 1992 study of hypertension in African-Americans (who are three times as likely to suffer from the disorder as the rest of the population) found that the blood pressure of those who practice TM was reduced by twice as much as compared to a group who practiced a muscle relaxation technique. And blood pressure actually increased slightly in another group that simply followed the usual recommendations for reducing hypertension.
In general, the best way to lower high blood pressure is to create greater balance and harmony in the mind and body. The good news is that while you’re working to reduce blood pressure, you will also be creating balance health, both physically and mentally.
For information on consultations with an Ayurveda expert or on Panchakarma treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website: