Kapha type hypertension originates in the stomach being the main site of Kapha. When Kapha dosha becomes imbal-anced, it will first aggravate in the stomach – the primary seat of Kapha. Kapha’s subdosha Kledaka Kapha produces in the stomach gastric mucosal secretions that are responsible for the digestion of carbohydrates, starch and glucose. The end products of this phase are tryglycerides. When Kledaka Kapha is disturbed or there is an accumulation of Kapha at this site, there is an accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol. This accumulation of Kapha predominant qualities will then move into the circulatory system, causing an increase in the viscosity of plasma tissue. This will result in increased blood pressure on the blood vessels. Kapha high blood pressure is often the re-sult of a sluggish digestion, causing the gastric mucosal secre-tions in the stomach to pile up, and the eventual deposition of fats on the inner walls of the blood vessels. But also a poor kidney function can be at the base of aggravated Kledaka Ka-pha. Normally, excess Kledaka Kapha is excreted via urine and perspiration, that’s why people with reduced perspiration and little urine, easily increase Kapha in the body. Kapha hyperten-sion is often associated with obesity and edema. This imbal-ance is usually long-standing and chronic. The dosha of Kapha can act as a storage site for all the circulatory Ama (toxins) cre-ated in the doshas of Vata and Pitta.
Typical Kapha symptoms of hypertension
- Overweight and obesity.
- Edema and swellings.
- Dull headache.
- The blood pressure remains continually high (no fluctua-tion as in Pitta hypertension.)
- Tiredness or even lethargy.
- High cholesterol.
Ayurvedic treatment of Kapha-hypertension
For Kapha-disorders usually Reduction (Langhana: eliminating) therapies are advised. Practically, this includes also a reducing lifestyle and diet. Reduction methods for Kapha-disorders will be strong, like fasting. But here the rule again applies: reduce first, and tonify afterwards. This means that after reducing pro-cedures, mild tonification is also applied for Kaphas (like mild herbal remedies). Reduction therapies are not only harder than tonification methods, they can also be really difficult, because they include discipline and giving things up (that we may be attached to). It stimulates us to change and give up unhealthy habits, which can be extremely confronting. Kapha-type per-sons, when imbalanced, will accumulate excesses in the form of excess weight, water or mucus. An extensive anti-Kapha treatment will always be twofold: on the one hand accumu-lated toxins (Ama) will have to be removed (reduction), usually by increasing digestive forces. On the other hand, before to start with Purification procedures (removal of excess doshas), it is necessary to calm the doshas (tonification). Treatment of Kapha-hypertension is therefore primarily “reducing”, aiming at eliminating all the underlying causes. The herbs for Vata and Pitta can be used as needed in this case as well, but some pun-gent and astringent herbs are essential to detoxify accumulated Ama, such as:
- Pippali (Piper longum)
- Trikatu: “the three pungents” – a combination of Piper longum (long pepper), Piper nigrum (black pepper), and Zingiber officinalis (ginger).
And besides these, the following Ayurvedic herbs are recommended:
- Arjuna Vishisht*, bark of the Arjuna tree – one of Ayurveda’s most powerful cardiac tonics, helps to promote blood circulation and regulate blood pressure.
- The herbal complex Guggul Ghan*, on the basis of Guggul, which is extracted from the Indian mukul myrrh tree. Guggul helps to lower cholesterol levels and protect against the development of hardening of the arteries. It also helps to regulate metabolism, and can therefore help in weight loss.
- Shilajit; is extracted from the Himalayan Mountains. It normalizes the blood glucose level, contains an abundance of minerals, boosts immunity and increases energy. It helps to control blood pressure and supports kidney function.
Ayurveda also recommends following a Kapha-pacifying diet and lifestyle. Eat more pungent, bitter and astringent foods. Meals should be warm, light and dry, with hot spices, but no salt. Occasional fasting or skipping a meal is good. Cold or ice water must be avoided. Herbal teas are good. Especially dairy products, eggs, butter and fat foods should be avoided. Use more hot spices, such as pepper, ginger, and particularly onions and mustard. Kapha-reducing lifestyle includes strong exercise, brisk walking and traveling. Avoid cold and damp, and sleeping during the day. Again Shirodhara (the “heavenly head massage”; rhythmic pouring of warm oil on the forehead).