An Ayurvedic approach to hypertension

In this article, researchers from India provide a detailed review of available Ayurvedic literature to understand the physiology of blood pressure and etio-pathogenesis of hypertension from the perspective of Ayurveda. Their review was published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

  • Different theories have been proposed to explain hypertension from an Ayurvedic perspective, but there is no consensus among the experts.
  • Many parallels have been drawn between Ayurvedic concepts, such as Shad Kriyakala or the six stages of Dosha imbalance and Avarana of Doshas or the occlusion in the normal functioning of the Doshas, and the modern pathogenesis of hypertension to gain a deeper understanding of it.
  • Because hypertension in its mild to moderate stages does not have specific symptoms, it cannot be considered as a disease in Ayurveda.
  • Instead, it only appears to be an early stage of pathogenesis and a risk factor for the development of diseases affecting the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
  • Improper food habits and modern sedentary lifestyle with or without genetic predisposition provokes and vitiates all the Tridoshas to trigger the pathogenesis of hypertension.
  • Hypertension should be understood as the Prasara-Avastha, which means spread of vitiated Doshas, specifically Vyana Vata, Prana Vata, Sadhaka Pitta, and Avalambaka Kapha together with Rakta in their disturbed states, from their specific sites.
  • The Avarana of Vata Dosha by Pitta and Kapha can be seen in the Rasa-Rakta Dhathus, which in turn hampers the functioning of the respective Srotas (micro-channels) of circulation.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that hypertension in Ayuverda can be understood as a psychosomatic hemodynamic condition where Vata Pradhana Tridoshas are vitiated, affecting the Rasa-Rakta Dhatus as Dooshyas with both Sarva Shareera (whole body) and Manas (mind) as its Adhisthana (site), and it can be effectively treated through lifestyle modifications only aided by medications if necessary.

Read the full paper at this link.

Journal Reference:

Menon M, Shukla A. UNDERSTANDING HYPERTENSION IN THE LIGHT OF AYURVEDA. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. October – December 2018;9(4):302–307. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.10.004

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