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The blood normally exerts some pressure as it passes through the blood vessels. However, due to various reasons, mainly narrowing of the blood vessels, the pressure exerted could be higher, which is known as hypertension.
In the Unani system, early reference to high blood pressure appears as Imtila, though it is today popularly known as Zaghtuddam Qawi. Imtila talks about symptoms including a headache, bulging eyes, epistaxis (bleeding nose), heavy headedness, and headache.
Types: Unani system believes in two ways that can increase blood pressure and therefore two types
- Increased amount of blood in the vessels, which is caused a hot, moist temperament or the sanguineous type.
- Dryness of the vessels (caused by narrowing) increases blood pressure, leading to the dry, cold melancholic type.
Causes: Unani believes high blood pressure as a result of the following sequence of events.
- Weakening of the arteries
- Increased food consumption, which produces more blood
- Weak arteries which are not able to accommodate the increased amounts of blood
- This is a vicious cycle where the arteries are further damaged, leading to further sluggish flow, further increasing pressure.
Complications: High blood pressure is not an isolated health condition. It leads to multiple complications like
- Chronic heart disease
- Angina pectoris (heart attacks)
- Stroke and paralysis
- Higher levels of cholesterol
- Predisposition to diabetes
Management: Managing high blood pressure is a combination of treatment and prevention. There are multiple Unani herbs, which are used in multiple formulations which help by
- Relaxing the muscles of the heart
- Improves blood flow
- Eases the blood flow through the arteries
These can be taken regularly along with restrictions on diet and lifestyle which can help in improving blood pressure. These changes would include:
- Increased consumption of potassium-rich foods as it will counter the effect of sodium which causes higher blood pressure readings
- Avoid adding extra salt and reduce eating the salted, fried foods. Especially, if you have a family history, it is time to reduce salt intake at an early stage. This helps prolong the onset of high blood pressure
- Herbs like garlic, pepper, ginger, and lemon are helpful in controlling blood pressure
- Herbal teas including hibiscus and green tea are proven to help control blood pressure as opposed to a cup of coffee
- Dark chocolate with more than 70 per cent of cocoa is beneficial for the heart
- Needless to say, regular exercise including brisk walking which can improve heart’s health
- Deep breathing which improves oxygen consumption across arteries
- Reduce consumption of alcohol
- Quit or cut down on smoking
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!