If you’ve recently found yourself Googling ‘herbs for hypertension,’ you’re not alone. High blood pressure a.k.a the ‘silent killer’ is making its presence felt in more ways than one. Did you know that around 1.13 billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension or elevated blood pressure? In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it is one of the primary reasons for premature death. The scary numbers don’t stop there.
Around 7 out of 10 people experiencing their first heart attack have high blood pressure? Simply put, having a high BP puts you 3X at risk of suffering a stroke, a heart attack, or even kidney failure! Typically, blood pressure levels that consistently stays above 140mmHg and/or 90mmHg is considered to be high. Needless to say, if you’re someone who experiences high BP, it’s time you took your health in your hands. Understandably, not everyone wishes to go the more aggressive allopathic route and that’s why here we’re listing the Top 6 herbs for high blood pressure:
Whether you call it Rauwolfia Serpentina (Botanical name) or Indian Snake Root (English), the Ayurvedic churna (powder) helps to treat hypertension and related mental disorders such as insomnia, convulsions, aggressive behaviour, etc. Plus, it is also used to treat snake bites, rheumatism, fever, epilepsy, constipation, liver problems, etc. In fact, Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR director-general claims that Mahatma Gandhi took garlic and Sarpagandha to tackle the ill-effects of high blood pressure!
This herb is native to India, Burma, Pakistan, and China. One of the reasons what makes Sarpagandha so effective is that it contains over 50-plus alkaloids that help to reduce heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Basically, it offers anti-anxiety, anti-hypertensive, and relaxing health benefits when consumed in the correct dosage.
How to consume it?
You can chew its roots or consume it in the powder form. The recommended dosage for this herb is as follows:
- Stage 1 hypertension: 200-400 mg root powder
- Stage 2 hypertension: 400-600 mg root powder
Important: Suitable adjuvants for this Ayurvedic herb include Gulab Arq (Rose Distillate), water, or cow’s milk. This medicine can be taken 1-2 times daily. However, please consult your doctor to understand the right dosage and frequency for you.
Sarpagandha’s Side Effects
In the standard doses, it is safe to consume. That said, please seek expert help to understand the recommended dosage based on your body type, previous health history, etc. Self-prescribing this herb and consuming it in excess amounts can have the following side-effects:
- Nasal congestion
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Parkinson’s-like symptoms
Some precautionary measures to keep in mind:
- It can slow down reaction times and hence, should not be consumed before driving or operating heavy machinery.
- Children along with pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid consuming it.
- People undergoing shock therapy treatment or facing gall bladder issues should not consume it.
- If you have stomach ulcer/intestinal ulcer/ulcerative colitis, avoid consuming it.
- If you’re experiencing depression-like symptoms, avoid consuming it.
- Don’t consume this herb at least two weeks prior to surgery.
- Avoid consuming alcohol when you’re on this Ayurvedic herb.