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High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension - to give it the correct medical term – is regarded as the silent killer. It is a disease of the modern age. The fast pace of life and the mental and physical pressures caused by the industrial and metropolitan environments give rise to psychological tensions. Worry and mental tension increases the adrenaline in the blood stream and this, in turn, causes the pressure of the blood to rise.
Mild and moderate hypertension may not produce any symptoms for years. The first symptoms may appear in the form of pain toward the back of the head and neck on waking in the morning, which soon disappears. Some of the other usual symptoms of hypertension are dizziness, aches and pains in the arms, shoulder region, leg, back, etc., palpitations, pain in the heart region, frequent urination, nervous tension and fatigue, crossness, emotional upset, tiredness and wakefulness.
A person suffering from high blood pressure cannot do any serious work, feels tired and out of sorts all the time. He may experience difficulty in breathing and suffer from dyspepsia. Hypertension, if not eliminated, may cause heart attacks or strokes or other disability conditions such as detachment of the terina.
The modern medical treatment of high blood pressure is highly unscientific as it brings down the pressure by drugs without making any effort to remove the underlying causes. Drugs may temporarily reduce blood pressure, but they do not cure the condition and are harmful in the ultimate analysis. All drugs against hypertension without exception, are toxic and have distressing side effects. The safest way to cure hypertension is to remove the real cause. The natural way of dealing with it is to eliminate the poisons from the system which cause it. Persons with high blood pressure should always follow a well-balanced routine of proper diet, exercise and rest. Diet is of primary importance. Meat and eggs cause the blood pressure to rise more than any other food. The pressure is lowered and blood clotting diminished by partaking of a higher fruit content, lower protein and non-flesh diet. A natural diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of a traditional diet, is helpful in getting rid of the poisons from the body. A hypertension patient should start the process of healing by living on an exclusive fruit-diet for at-least a week, and take fruits at five-hourly intervals thrice in the day. Oranges, apples, pears, mangoes, guava, pineapples, raspberry, water-melon are the best diet in such cases. Bananas and jack fruit should not be taken. Milk may be taken after a week of ‘fruits only’ diet. The milk should be fresh and should be boiled only once. The patient can be permitted cereals in his food after two weeks.
Vegetables are also good for the patient of hypertension. They should preferably be taken raw. If they are cooked, it should be ensured that their natural juices are not burnt in the process of cooking. Vegetables like cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, onion, radish, cabbage and spinach are best taken in their raw form. They may be cut into small pieces and sprinkled with a little salt and the juice of a lemon added to them so as to make them more palatable.
Garlic is regarded as one of the most effective remedies to lower blood pressure. The pressure and tension are reduced because it has the power to ease the spasms of the small arteries. Garlic also slows the pulse and modifies the heart rhythm besides relieving the symptoms of dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath and the formation of gas within the digestive tract. The average dosage should be two to three capsules a day to make a dent in the blood pressure. Indian gooseberry (amla) is another effective food remedy for high blood pressure. A tablespoonful each of fresh amla juice and honey mixed together should be taken every morning in this condition. Lemon is also regarded as a valuable food to control high blood pressure. It is a rich source of vitamin P which is found both in the juice and peel of the fruit. This vitamin is essential for preventing capillary fragility.
Watermelon is another valuable safeguard against high blood pressure. It was proved in recent experiments that a substance extracted from watermelon seeds has a definite action in dilating the blood vessels, which results in lowering the blood pressure.
Recent studies have revealed an important link between dietary calcium and potassium and hypertension. Researchers have found that people who take potassium-rich diets have a low incidence of hypertension even if they do not control their salt-intake. They have also found that people with hypertension do not seem to get much calcium in the form of dairy products. The two essential nutrients seem to help the body throw off excess sodium and are involved in important functions which control the working of the vascular system. Potassium is found in abundance in fruits and vegetables and calcium in dairy products.
Exercise plays an important role in curing hypertension. Walking is an excellent form of exercise. It helps to relieve tension, builds up the muscles and aids in the circulation of blood. As the blood pressure shows signs of abating, more exercise like bicycling, swimming, jogging should be taken.
Yogic asanas such as surya namaskar, makrasana,matsyasana, vajrasana, ardhapadmasana, pavan-muktasana, shavasana and simple pranayama like anuloma-viloma and abdominal breathing are beneficial. All asanas should, however, be discontinued except shavasana if the blood pressure is above 200 millimeters.
Prolonged neutral bath daily for an hour or so at 90 o to 95 o will be beneficial. Cold compress should be kept on the head during this bath. Other water treatments include hot foot or leg bath for 10 minutes, hot compress over the heart replacing it as bath cools down. Persons suffering from hypertension must ensure at least eight hours of restful sleep, because proper rest is an important aspect of the treatment. Most important of all, the patient must avoid over-straining, worries, tension, anger and haste. He must try to be cheerful and develop a contented mind. The natural treatment may take sometime but it is the safest and best way to get rid of this disease.
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