Alternative Medicine for High Blood Pressure: The Hype and the Truth
Published By V Kumar on 2012-01-07 180 Views
It can probably be debated as to whether High Blood Pressure a disease or just a consequence of modern lifestyle. May be it is both, and that is why in addition to medicines, the physician will also focus on your lifestyle. Number of options in alternative medicine, if properly used, can facilitate a sustained long term control of this problem.
High Blood Pressure is treated as much by modifications in life style as it is treated by medications. Many of these modifications constitute what is often termed as alternative medicine.
Life Style Modifications & Alternative Medicine: Role in Treating High Blood Pressure
In fact, the borderline cases of high blood pressure or hypertension are first subjected to life style modifications. In many ways these modifications are not very different from the methods offered in alternative medicine.
These modifications include:
(i) NO ADDED SALT : Salt should be restricted to whatever is included in cooked staple food. -Fast foods like chips, wafers and biscuits should be strictly avoided, as should any addition salt on any food on the dining table.
(ii) EXERCISE : Aerobic or isotonic exercises like fast pace walking, jogging, or working on the treadmill helps in reducing high blood pressure in multiple ways. It reduces weight, improves heart-lung system and also relaxes the body - all of which contribute to improvement in blood pressure.
(iii) NATURAL DIURETICS : There are a number of food articles with diuretic properties. To some extent they can be helpful in controlling blood pressure.
GREEN TEA - It is a diuretic food that used for centuries in China.
CRANBERRY JUICE - Cranberry juice stimulates removal of excess fluid.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR - It is used as salad and has natural diuretic properties and also maintains the potassium levels.
DANDELION - often used as a natural diuretic. Dandelion tea leaf can also be used.
NETTLE - It has natural diuretic properties.
FENNEL - It has carminative and diuretic properties.
(iv) MEDITATION : Various forms of meditation can help in relaxing the body and mind and help in controlling blood pressure, along with other measures.
(v) YOGA : Yoga exercises are said to have the benefits of both exercise and meditation, and thereby can be a useful asset for controlling blood pressure in a natural manner.
(vi) HERBS : A large number of herbs are claimed to be useful in treating blood pressure. One must use discretion in using and trying such herbs and be sure about the authencity of the knowledge and skills of the person advising their use.
Limits of Alternative Medicine In Controlling High Blood Pressure
Adding certain food to your diet, or avoiding other food, controlling salt, methods for relaxation of mind and regular exercises are all advised in various forms of alternative medicine too, and a lot of the positive impact of alternative medicines is because of these only.
To this limited extent, alternative medicine is effective. However, many a times it is projected as if alternative medicine is a substitute for modern medical treatment. That may not be fully correct, and such perceptions can become dangerous also if because of them, a patient with severe high blood pressure delays medical advice or treatment.
Precautions that can Help
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that requires urgent attention of a medical expert. A person with high blood pressure should avoid self treatment. In mild borderline cases, one can go for alternative medicines like homeopathy or herbal remedies, but even in such cases, one should continue with regular check-ups by a physician.
Some of the remedies in alternative medicine like meditation, diet control, salt restriction and certain herbs with diuretic properties are universally accepted as useful, and so can be tried much more confidently. However, many other herbs should be taken with care. Some of these have steroidal component which can have some adverse impacts too.
Lastly, one should always remember that medical science is a highly specialized science, and so the source of information and its credibility is very important. Different propagators of various other alternative systems of medicine claim beneficial effects of their remedies, but all such claims need to be examined, evaluated and only then accepted. Thus, hype about a certain form of treatment should be taken with a bit of precaution.
The Alternative Remedies: How Beneficial?
In summary, high blood pressure is a serious condition, which deserves attention and care of a medical specialist. Many remedies advocated in different alternative medicines can have a beneficial effect, but that is not enough to substitute them for your physician. It is better to try them in consultation with him, and without discontinuing the regular monitoring. Sometimes, there could be a lot of hype about certain alternate remedy, but even in the face of all the hype in the world, they should be attempted with sufficient precaution.