Ayurvedic Cures for High Blood Pressure
by Richard Daub
Normal blood pressure is classified by the American Heart Association as 120/80, and levels above this are considered high, which is clinically referred to as hypertension. The first of the two numbers represent systolic pressure, a measure of the blood flowing away from the heart. The second number is the diastolic pressure, a measure of the blood flowing to the heart. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional remedy native to India that is used for various ailments, among which is the treatment of high blood pressure.
Although there is no significant clinical research data for the treatment of high blood pressure using Ayurvedic medicine, numerous products are marketed for this purpose and are available for purchase over the counter and on the Internet. One such online company is AyurvedicCure.com, which markets a number of Ayurvedic medicines that it claims helps reduce high blood pressure. The company lists five natural capsules that it says can be used as a treatment for high blood pressure: Dilguard, Cardocare, Arjuna, Garlic and Ashwagandha.
IndianChild.com indicates that treatment of hypertension using Ayurvedic therapy is highly individualized and emphasizes the use of herbs such as sankhapuspi and ashwagandha, which are believed to protect and strengthen heart muscles. They also indicate that bark from Arjuna trees help decreases hypertension, and that leaves, berries and flowers from the Hawthorn tree help regulate heartbeat, which helps improve blood pressure. They also indicate that dandelion and Reishi improve body functions that contribute to lowering blood pressure.
The Mayo Clinic indicates a number of ways that sufferers of high blood pressure can help prevent or reduce their condition in addition to taking medicines. Methods include eating healthy foods like vegetables, whole grains, fruits and dairy products low in fat; reducing salt intake; losing weight; exercising for at least 30 minutes per day; limiting intake of alcohol; stopping smoking; managing stress; practicing relaxation methods such as slow or deep breathing; and monitoring blood pressure from home and alerting your doctor of any unexpected elevations.
Ayurvedic medicines have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so it would be wise to use these products with extreme caution. Additionally, a 2004 study by the Harvard Medical School titled "Heavy Metal Content of Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine Products" found that one out of every five Ayurvedic herbal medicine products purchased in Asian grocery stores in the Boston area contained toxic metals, including mercury, arsenic and lead, and recommended mandatory testing of such products.