Blood pressure described the amount of pressure that the blood puts on the artery walls with each heartbeat. Healthy blood pressure is typically 120/80mmhg. However, when there is a long term change in blood pressure, it can indicate a serious underlying problem in one’s health. Most commonly, patients present with high blood pressure, however, low blood pressure is also a problem that can sometimes be serious. Hypotension is a condition characterized by chronic low blood pressure that is measured at 90/60mmhg or lower. Generally, low blood pressure is considered to be desirable as long as it lingers close to 120/80mmhg.
What causes low blood pressure?
– Severe blood loss
– Damage to the heart valves
– Anaphylactic shock
– Parkinson’s disease
– Old age
– Medications such as Beta-blockers, Diuretics, etc
– Vitamin B12 deficiency
Keep in mind that fluctuations in blood pressure is a common occurrence in everyone. It only becomes classified as “hypotension” when it is a long-term condition. There also different types of hypotension such as orthostatic hypotension (a drop in bp that occurs when standing), postprandial hypotension (a drop in bp after eating a meal), etc. Each of these has specific management protocols and remedies.
Symptoms of Low blood pressure
– Blurred vision
– Difficulty concentrating
Due to reduced blood flow to the brain, people with hypotension can experience a loss of consciousness (fainting) if their blood pressure gets severely low.
Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
Rosemary is a powerful medicinal herb that is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and is a potent cognitive stimulant. It is well-known for its memory-boosting and hair growth-promoting properties, not to forget its deliciously culinary uses. In terms of circulatory health, Rosemary has proven to be a strong anti-hypotensive agent (1). Simply inhaling Rosemary essential oil is able to raise blood pressure considerably. You may also add rosemary to your food to experience its benefits.
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an Ayurvedic herb known for its immune-boosting, metabolism regulating, and anti-bacterial properties. The interesting thing about Tulsi is that it has the ability to regulate multiple aspects of metabolic health including blood sugar, high blood pressure, and low blood pressure. It also helps with improving the way the body adapts to stress – therefore, it is often classified as an Adaptogen. In clinical research, Tulsi was able to improve blood pressure levels in hypotensive women (2). Tulsi can be used as a tea or as a supplement. The fresh leaves can also be eaten.
Caffeine is the world’s favorite stimulant. It is classified as a central nervous system stimulant and is known for improving alertness and helping people wake up and start their days with more energy. In pharmacology, Caffeine is actually considered to be a psychoactive drug. In clinical research, caffeine has proven to improve power output, anaerobic running capacity, and postprandial hypotension. Post-prandial hypotension a sudden decrease in blood pressure that occurs after eating a meal. It can cause people to feel dizzy and lightheaded as well as sometimes causing the person to fall. Consuming a caffeinated beverage after a meal can prevent postprandial hypotension (3). Of course, it is not a good long-term habit to consume a caffeine-rich beverage after food, but it can work as a temporary solution. It is best to manage the condition from its root cause.
1. If low blood pressure is caused by anemia, then you need to correct that condition in order to get a long-term solution. Anemia can be caused by various things such as a B12 deficiency, Iron deficiency, blood loss via accidents, injuries, or even excessive menstrual bleeding, etc. It is also important to note that B12 deficiencies are associated with orthostatic hypotension. Speak to an Ayurvedic doctor about naturally addressing these issues.
2. If low blood pressure is caused by severe dehydration, getting more fluids and electrolytes can help improve this condition. The cause of dehydration must also be addressed.
While diet is the foundation of health, the specific diet that a person with hypotension has to follow depends on the cause of their condition. If the person is severely dehydrated, they need more fluids and electrolytes. If the person is anemic, they may need more vitamin B12, Iron, and Folate (depending on the type of anemia) – these can be found in red meat, eggs, chlorella, spirulina, nutritional yeast, and organ meats such as liver.
It is best to avoid fortified foods such as cereals due to the use of synthetic nutrients and the presence of anti-nutrients such a phytic acid.
Foods that a rich in salt such as smoked fish and canned soups can temporarily raise blood pressure although this is not a good long term solution. It is better to add a bit more salt (preferably pink salt or rock salt) to your regular meals but make sure to monitor your blood pressure levels.
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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