The pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries while it flows through them is known as blood pressure. When this pressure is consistently too high, it is referred to as high blood pressure medically known as hypertension. The normal blood pressure ranges between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
Categories To Define High Blood Pressure
1. A reading of systolic between 120-129 mmHg and diastolic less than 80mmHg is elevated blood pressure. Here usually no medication is recommended and only lifestyle changes are advised.
2. Stage 1 Hypertension: A reading of systolic between 130-139 mmHg or diastolic between 80-89 mmHg.
3. Stage 2 hypertension: Systolic reading 140 mmHg or higher and diastolic reading 90mmHg or higher.
4. Hypertensive Crisis: Systolic reading higher than 180 mmHg and/or diastolic higher than 120 mmHg. It requires urgent medical attention.
Homeopathic Medicines For High Blood Pressure
The top homeopathic medicines to manage high blood pressure (HBP) are Aconitum Napellus, Glonoinum, Crataegus Oxyacantha, Nux vomica, Kali Phos and Natrum Mur.
1. Aconitum Napellus
Aconitum Napellus is a natural medicine sourced from plant monkshood. It can be used for managing high blood pressure along with anxiety and restlessness. The person markedly feels a sudden fear of death. Other accompanying symptoms include palpitations, pressure on the left side of the chest, and sensation of weight under the breastbone. Pain in the heart extending to the left shoulder is also felt.
Key indicating features
High blood pressure along with anxiety and restlessness
Glonoinum is a well-indicated medicine for high blood pressure accompanied by headache which is throbbing and bursting type. Strong palpitations, difficulty in breathing and heat on the face are felt. The person senses pressure in the heart as if heart is contracted. The pain in the heart may radiate to other body parts. Exertion leads to rush of blood to the heart.
Key indicating features
High blood pressure with a throbbing headache
3. Crataegus Oxyacantha
Popularly known as heart tonic, it is a natural medicine sourced from the plant ‘hawthorn berries’. The foremost action of this medicine is to dissolve the calcareous deposits in the arteries, which helps to lower blood pressure. The main symptom that guides its use is difficulty in breathing from the least exertion. Some other symptoms indicative of this medicine include pain in the heart, pressure on the chest, and anxiety-accelerated pulse which is irregular.
Key indicating features
Indicated to dissolve calcareous deposits in arteries to bring blood pressure down
4. Nux Vomica
Nux Vomica is a medicine suitable for HBP, especially in young people who adopt sedentary (sitting for long time periods consistently with little or no physical activity) and modern lifestyle habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, etc. These factors predispose a person to high blood pressure.
Key indicating features
High blood pressure in young people who lead sedentary life and have habit of alcohol or smoking
5. Kali Phos
Kali Phos is a leading homeopathic medicine to manage stress and several stress-related complaints, including high blood pressure. It is recommended for a person who constantly remains under constant stress and worry. The patient may face symptoms including palpitations from slight motion, shortness of breath, irregular pulse, along with both mental and physical fatigue.
Key indicating feature
To manage high blood pressure linked with stress and worries
6. Natrum Mur
Natrum Mur is one of the most prescribed remedies for cases of high blood pressure in those with salt tooth (cravingy for salty foods). Though there is a restriction for excess salt intake for persons suffering from HBP, it is seen that there is an unusual craving for salty things like pickles, papads etc. Due to this, there may be swelling of feet in the morning. Natrum Mur may be given in cases where there is an unusual fatigue especially in the morning. A person may feel tight around the chest and bears intense palpitations on the slightest exertion. Natrum Mur may also relieve headache caused due to high blood pressure.
Key indicating features
High blood pressure linked with excess intake of highly salty things
How to use these medicines?
The homeopathic medicine to manage high blood pressure needs to be recommended after detailed case history of the patient. The potency and repetition of medicine also varies from case to case based on different factors like age, duration and severity of complaint, and prominent symptoms. Hypertension can further lead to several serious complications, so it is advised to always consult a doctor for case evaluation and prescription of any kind. The same rule must be followed to take any homeopathic medicines. Always seek advice from a homeopathic expert before taking any homeopathic medicine.
What Are The Causes Of High BP?
High blood pressure may or may not have a cause.
1. High blood pressure that arises without any reason is called primary/essential hypertension. Primary hypertension usually develops gradually over a period of time.
2. When there is an underlying cause of high blood pressure, it is referred to as secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension can be a result of problems in kidneys and thyroid; tumors in the adrenal glands and congenital defects in the blood vessels. Secondary hypertension tends to appear suddenly.
What Are The Symptoms?
High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause any symptoms and is often detected during routine medical check-ups. High blood pressure is called ‘silent killer’ because it leads to a significant amount of damage to blood vessels and heart, without any apparent symptoms.
However certain symptoms that appear as a result of high blood pressure include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nose bleedings, or blood spots in eyes. However, these symptoms are not specific to high blood pressure and may appear as a result of other health conditions also.
Risk factors for High Blood Pressure
The factors that put a person at risk of high blood pressure include a family history, increasing age, being overweight, excessive alcohol intake, tobacco use, stress, too much salt (sodium) intake, diabetes mellitus, sedentary lifestyle, and certain medications (cause drug-induced hypertension) that include certain anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, cold remedies, birth control pills, etc.
Homeopathic management of High Blood Pressure
The homeopathic system carries a good scope in managing high blood pressure. Homeopathic remedies for high blood pressure work to naturally moderate the body’s functioning. Homeopathic medicines work particularly well for those who have recently been diagnosed with hypertension and have not yet become dependent on any other medication for HBP. People with chronic high blood pressure and those who are using allopathic medicines for a long time can also use homeopathic medicines. Initially, it is advisable to continue allopathic medication along with homeopathic medicines, and slowly shift into homeopathy for holistic treatment. For best results, proper lifestyle measures should be adopted along with homeopathic treatment for high blood pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can stress lead to high blood pressure?
Yes, stressful situations can make blood pressure shoot up temporarily due to the release of stress hormones. However, the link between long-term high blood pressure because of chronic stress is poorly understood and is being researched.
What is the relationship between high blood pressure and stroke?
Stroke refers to a condition with reduced blood flow to the brain resulting in cell death. High blood pressure tends to damage the arteries, making them prone to rupture or clogging. Any damage can lead to a stroke which can be of two types –
1. ischemic stroke arising due to clogging of arteries in the brain
2. hemorrhagic stroke due to rupture of arteries in the brain.
What is the link between high blood pressure and heart attack?
Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. If the coronary arteries become narrow due to cholesterol deposits, the blood has to flow through arteries with greater pressure because of the resistance offered by cholesterol deposits. When the coronary arteries get obstructed to the extent where they can no longer supply blood to heart muscles, it can lead to a heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction).
What are systolic and diastolic readings of blood pressure?
Systolic readings refer to the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscles contract. Diastolic reading corresponds to the phase when the heart relaxes/rest in between the beats.
Among the systolic and diastolic blood pressure reading, which is more important?
Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are important. But the significance of systolic/upper reading in blood pressure is greater after the age of 60 years since it can help identify the risk for a stroke or heart attack. In younger people, the diastolic reading carries more significance than the systolic reading.
My upper reading of blood pressure is high, and the lower reading is normal; should I be concerned?
An increase of only the upper reading of blood pressure is known as isolated systolic hypertension. The major reason behind it is the stiffening of the aorta. Other underlying conditions that are linked with it include an overactive thyroid and diabetes. It is more common as a person gets older (especially over 60 years of age), but it may also appear at a younger age. Few serious problems that are linked with a long-term isolated systolic hypertension include heart disease, heart attack, chronic kidney problems and stroke. So, you should take medicines and follow dietary instructions to manage them and lower the risk of complications.
I have a high diastolic reading of BP while the systolic is normal, should I be worried?
High diastolic reading in the absence of any risk factors like diabetes, smoking, obesity, kidney problems, etc. is usually not serious. So, monitoring the BP, dietary changes (low sodium diet, fat) and lifestyle changes like regular exercise are needed to manage it. Management is necessary because elevated diastolic puts a person at risk of high systolic with advancing age. If the risk factors are present, then medicine is additionally needed and should be started as recommended by a cardiologist.
Which tests are recommended in case of high blood pressure?
The initial investigations recommended in cases of high blood pressure include lipid profile, sodium, potassium levels, and ECG. In some instances, an echocardiogram is suggested to rule out heart disease.
Is high blood pressure a serious condition?
High blood pressure that is not managed correctly carries the risk of turning into serious conditions like stroke, heart attack, heart failure, retinopathy (damage to retina of eye) and kidney problems.
Will quitting smoking help me manage my high blood pressure?
Yes, if you stop smoking, it will help in managing high blood pressure. Smoking causes hardening of the walls of the arteries and narrows the lumen of the artery that leads to high blood pressure. If you give up smoking, it can help reduce these changes in the arteries and thus brings the blood pressure down.
Does homeopathy help in immediately lowering down very high blood pressure?
Homeopathy works well to manage high blood pressure in the long run. However, it has a very minimal role in bringing an immediate reduction in blood pressure. In such cases, conventional emergency treatment is recommended.
I have been taking allopathic medicine for high blood pressure for the last ten years. Can I transit to homeopathic medication and stop taking allopathic medicine?
It is not advisable to quit allopathic medicine all of sudden when you start taking homeopathic medicines for blood pressure. This is because the body gets dependent on allopathic medicines to function correctly. If you start taking homeopathic medicine for high blood pressure, initially you will have to continue taking the allopathic medicines alongside. Once the homeopathic medicines start working, then one can gradually shift to homeopathy by reducing the dose of allopathic medications.
Lifestyle changes to manage high blood pressure?
Certain lifestyle changes can help manage high blood pressure effectively. These include:
1. Cut down your sodium and fat intake
2. Eat fruits and vegetables
3. Do regular exercise and reduce excess body weight in case of overweight people
4. Apart from these, one must quit smoking and limit alcohol intake to prevent long-term complications of high blood pressure.