|Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent
It is a common hidden disease after 40 and has no symptoms. It can be detected
only by measuring it through an instrument known as sphygmomanometer.
If undetected, it may cause fatal damage due to the involvement of heart, brain and
kidney. When detected, it can be cured through medications by the administration of
antihypertensive drugs. These drugs are said to have their own side-effects. Instead it is
advisable to adopt and follow certain nonpharmacological methods i.e. measures which does
not involve intake of antihypertensive drugs, to lower high blood pressure.
Your ultimate goal should be prevention of this condition.
Certain preventive nonpharmacological measures involve:
- Low salt intake - Only 2-4 g of salt should be taken, otherwise the
blood pressure will rise. Patient should take minimum salt in each meal, preferably in one
cooked vegetable. Avoid pickles, pepper, snacks, sauce, etc. as they contain lot of salt.
- More potassium, i.e. citric fruits like orange, malta, kenu, mousmi,
etc. should be taken.
- A high fiber diet (i.e. green vegetables, whole cereals, unpolished
rice, etc. ) is useful.
- Garlic is regarded as an effective means of lowering blood
pressure. It is said to reduce spasms of the small arteries. It also slows down the pulse
rate and modifies the heart rhythm.
- Indian Gooseberry A table spoon each of fresh amla juice and honey
mixed together should be taken every morning in this condition.
- Lemon It is a rich source of vitamin C, which is found both in the
juice, and the peel of the fruit. This vitamin is essential for preventing capillary
- Grapefruit Grapefruit is useful in preventing high blood pressure. The
vitamin C content in the fruit is helpful in toning up the arteries.
- Watermelon A substance extracted from watermelon seeds is said to have
a definite action in dilating the blood vessels; this results in lowering the blood
- Potato Potatoes specially in boiled form are a valuable food for
lowering blood pressure. When boiled with their skin, they absorb very little salt. Thus
they can form a useful addition to a salt free diet recommended for patients with high
- Vegetable Juice Raw vegetables juices, especially carrot and spinach
juices, taken separately or in combination, are also beneficial in the treatment of high
blood pressure. If taken in combination, 300 ml of carrot juice and 200 ml of spinach
juice should be mixed to make 500 ml or half a litre of the juice, and taken daily.
- Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, etc should be followed under strict
medical advice, because only limited activity is allowed in the case of persons suffering
from severe hypertension or its complications.
- Reduction of weight is required, if one is overweight.
- Eat less fat. Too much dietary fat and cholesterol can clog arteries
damaged by high blood pressure and cause artherosclerosis.
- Stop smoking and limit the consumption of alcohol.
Smokers who have high blood pressure are three to five times more likely to die from heart
disease than a non-smoker is.
- Shavasna - Regular Shavasna should be undertaken. It is highly
beneficial for the control of hypertension. In mild cases the blood pressure may be fully
brought down to normal levels, while in moderate to severe cases, doses of
antihypertensive drugs can be brought down. This asana is a conscious skeletal muscle
relaxation exercise, and is strongly recommended for hypertensive patients. It should not
be undertaken immediately after meals.
If above measures are regularly followed, this occult disease, i.e. hypertension, can
be prevented in most cases.
Medication should only be taken when the above measures of prevention fail.
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