Herbs For Blood Pressure And High Cholesterol
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality now a days. It is often termed as the "silent killer" as it produces no symptoms in typical presentation. If left untreated, however, it can play havoc on blood vessels and internal organs, setting the stage for the later development of a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.
In people with mild to moderate blood pressure, lifestyle changes; combined with helpful natural nutritional supplements, can dramatically lower blood pressure and may eliminate the need for prescription drugs as well.
There are so many Ayurvedic herbs and modern food supplements for prevention and treatment of hypertension. These can be used as an adjuvant to the drug therapy.
Vitamin C in the form of Amla Juice
Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidant that is required by the body for removal of free radicals inside the body. The free radicals are the substances that are formed during various metabolic processes within our body. They damage the inner lining of our arteries and are responsible for ageing, wrinkles, premature death. Their formation is also dependant on the level of stress and anxiety. Vitamin C scavenges free radicals and protects us from their harmful effects.
The antioxidant vitamin C may also help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol by enlarging blood vessels and helps in formation of arterioneogenesis. i.e. formation of new arteries. Recent studies found that higher blood levels of vitamin C were correlated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Amla is the richest natural source of Vitamin C. It has 30 times more vitamin C than oranges. Pure Amla juice
Can be consumed dailiy for prevention of complication of hypertension as well as many other dreadful diseases.
Co-Enzyme Q 10 is the natural vitamin like micronutrient which is required by the heart muscle for proper functioning. It provides energy to the heart muscle cells. The daily requirement for prevention of heart disease and cholesterol maintenance is between 30 to 60 mg/day.
Natural Co-Enzyme Q 10 is present in the bark of a tree “ Terminalia arjuna”. Ayurveda recommends Terminalia arjuna to be taken in the form of “Arjuna Ksheer pak” i.e. in a herbal tea form. This tea of Arjun should be boiled in milk and water because the Co-Enzyme Q 10 is better absorbed with milk lipids. Co-Enzyme Q 10 also helps in normalizing blood cholesterol levels.
Suggested dose: While making Arjun tea one should use 3 to 5 gm of the herb powder to get maximum benefits.
Flaxseed and Fish Oils
Flaxseed is the only vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids, very essential to keep the cholesterol levels in control. Flaxseed oil should be consumed by people suffering from disturbed cholesterol metabolism. Flaxseed oil is used in Ayurveda for prevention of heart problems, cancers and many other chronic ailments. It has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in numerous double-blind studies. Only extra virgin cold pressed Flaxseed Oil should be used for oral consumption. It should not be heated or used for cooking. The Omega-3 fatty acids get destroyed if the oil is heated or used for cooking. It should be refrigerated to ensure freshness and efficacy. For cooking purpose, Mustard oil or Olive oil can be used.
Suggested dose :
Flaxseed oil: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day. Take with food to enhance absorption.
Fish oils: 1,000 mg 3 times a day. Use fish oil supplements if you don't eat fish at least twice a week. Keep refrigerated to ensure freshness
Garlic is another wonderful natural remedy to keep cholesterol and heart related problems away. It inhibits clot formation by making platelets less likely to clump, and it can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent formation of artery-clogging plaques. Garlic contains compounds which are good for digestion of lipids and heavy diets. According to Ayurveda Garlic is extremely useful for “Vata” conditions and is a miracle cure for paralysis and motor nerve disorders.
500 mg twice a day i.e. 1-2 buds once daily. It can be taken with honey or boiled in milk to reduce the heating effect.
Ashwgandha ( Withania somnifera)
Ashwgandha is also known as “Indian Ginseng” in international herbal market. This herb has marvelous properties to alleviate stress, anxiety. It is known to possess adaptogenic properties i.e. it helps body to adapt to various stresses and cope with them. It is rejuvenates cells, relieves fatigue and gives strength to the neuromuscular system.
In Ayurveda it is used in rheumatic conditions and as a sexual stamina enhancer. It also increases the low sperm counts and is very useful in infertility. Regular use of Ashwagandha with milk is recommened in emaciation of children, protein energy malnutrition as well as insomnia in elderly due to stress and hypertension.
Suggested Dose :
Ashwagandha root powder can be taken 3-6 gm twice daily with lukewarm water or milk.
Brahmi ( Indian Peenywort)
This slender, creeping plant grows commonly in localized swampy areas of Asia, Africa, and the tropics. The size of an old British colonial-period penny — this is how it came to be known as Indian pennywort, marsh penny and water pennywort (with "wort" being the ancient anglo-saxon word for plant). . It is famous in western world as ‘Gotu Kola’. Gotu Kola Enhances Tranquility and regulates sleep pattern. It is a wonderful herb not only for blood pressure but also for memory weakness, lack on concentration It is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. Today, this herb has become popular to promote relaxation, cleanse the blood, enhance brain function, and for strengthening the collagen fibers of the body's connective tissues and circulatory vessels.
Since so often we find high blood pressure is related to daily stress, Gotu kola is an important herb for blood pressure patients. Boiled in water or direct juice can be taken at night for sound sleep and restlessness.
Brahmi juice can be taken 20 to 30 ml twice daily with equal quantity of water.
Brahmi powder can be taken 3-6 gm per day with lukewarm water.
Aloe Vera Juice :
Aloe vera is also called “ The miracle plant”. It has been studied to be effective in so many illenesses. The plant has outer thick leaf and inner soft gel. Aloe gel contains active substances known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Glycoproteins are protein-carbohydrate compounds that speed the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that stimulates skin growth and repair. They also help control the blood sugar levels and thus very useful in treating diabetes. These substances are also thought to stimulate the immune system. Aloe vera juice lowers down cholesterol levels by acting on liver metabolism. It increases the working capacity of liver cells. In Ayurveda it is known as “Kumari”. Kumari is said to possess the properties of removing endotoxins from the body. It is explained as
“Kumari bhedni sheeta tikta netrya rasayani
Madhura brahni balya vrishya vaat vish pranut”
Classical Ayurvedic Text. BPN- verse- 230.
i.e. Aloe vera removes endotoxins, it is soothing, bitter tonic, improves eyesight, rejuvenative (Anti-ageing), strengthens body, enhances immunity, increases vigour and vitality, relieves ‘Vata’ and removes ‘poisons’ from the body.
Cholesterol is considered as endotoxin or “Aama” according to Ayurveda. The best properties of “ Kumari Saar” the inner juicy portion of Aloe vera is to remove this ‘Aama’ from our body. According to Ayurveda this ‘Aama’ is the reason for formation of uric acid crystals, Gall bladder stones, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cysts and fibroids, cholesterol deposits.
Aloe vera juice can be taken 20 ml twice daily diluted with equal water.
Shankhpushpi ( Convolvulus pluricaulis)
Shankhpushpi is another useful herb famous for improving memory in children. The herb has cold, bitter tonic, relieves pitta and heat inside the body. It is also useful for high metabolic rates, wear and tear reactions. It calms down the hyperactive neurons and thus controls the blood pressure and improves memory. It also heals stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Suggested dose: 20 ml of Shankhpushpi juice or syrup can be taken twice daily for one month to get good results.
Haritaki ( Terminalia chebula)
Terminalia chebula is also commonly known as ‘Harar’ an age old remedy to relieve constipation. In Ayurveda, Haritaki is considered as mother of all herbs. Ayurveda considers ‘Vayu’ as a major culprit for hypertension. ‘Haritaki’ in combination with another two herbs ‘Amla’ and ‘Bahera’ makes the famous Ayurvedic preparation ‘Triphala’ . Triphala is best combination to get rid of hypertension, constipation and high cholesterol. Only Haritaki is very useful for lowering down blood cholesterol levels as well as controlling bouts of hypertension.
Haritaki powder or Triphala powder can be taken 3-6 gm (1 tablespoon) once at night with lukewarm water.
Blood Pressure Control