Pitta Hypertension

It is often believed that hypertension is a typical Pitta-condition, because of Pitta’s fiery nature – however, all three doshas are involved in hypertension. It occurs mainly in persons with a Pitta-type constitution; they can be subject to temper tantrums, impatience, mood swings and anger, and are competitive and often even aggressive (which continuously drives them). A Vata type hypertension can become a Pitta type, as the body tries to shunt the nervous system stress or pressure to the circulatory system. The small intestine is Pitta’s main location. If Pitta accumulates here it is absorbed into the circulatory system increasing the viscous, fatty oily qualities. Due to the increased viscosity, the blood exerts pressure on the blood vessels resulting in increased blood pressure. Pitta can also increase due to psychological stress related to anger, hate, envy and jealousy, which is also associated with Pitta hypertension.

What are typical Pitta hypertension signs?

  • Red face and red (blood shot) eyes.
  • Violent headaches (usually late in the day after stress or overheating).
  • Sensitivity to light.− Nose bleeds,
  • Anger, irritability.
  • Burning sensations (especially eyes and skin).
  •  Often Pitta hypertension is associated with liver disorders and the accumulation of internal heat.

Ayurvedic treatment of Pitta hypertension

As we have described in the previous section, there are basically two treatment policies – Brimhana (nourishing, tonifying) and Langhana (reducing). Pitta persons generally fall inbetween, and usually moderate methods are therapies are applied. In general, Pitta conditions require methods that reduce Pitta’s heat and inflammation (Langhana – reduction), but subsequently the affected tissues need to be rebuilt and nourished again (Brimhana – tonification). Therefore, both types of therapies are used in the treatment of Pitta high blood pressure. The aforementioned Vata treatments will work as well for Pitta-type hypertension (see above). Some cooling, bitter herbs must be added to cleanse the blood and vessels, as well as cool the circulatory system.

The following herbs are extremely effective in lowering blood pressure:

  • Arjuna Vishisht*: Arjuna is an Indian tree bark that contains lots of anti-oxidants and minerals. It promotes effective cardiac performance by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and it reduces the effects of stress and nervousness on the heart.
  • Guduchi Ghan*: Guduchi helps to maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels, balances the metabolism and immune system, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Guduchi also helps to purify the blood and expel the toxins which are circulating in it.
  • Manjistha: is widely known for its blood purifying properties.
  • Ashwagandha and Brahmi (see under Vata hypertension).

Other recommended herbs include:

  • Aloe gel;
  • Rhubarb (root);
  • Senna;
  • The Ayurvedic herbs Katuka and Shatavari.

Besides these, the herbal preparations with Brahma Rasayana, Gotu Kola and Saraswat powder are effective. Persons with Pitta body-types are also recommended to follow a Pitta-pacifying diet. Especially alcohol, spicy foods, coffee, red meat and (too much) salt should be avoided, as well as (excessive) sunbathing and too much exercise (overheating!). Also fatty foods (fried and fast food) have to be eliminated from the diet. Calm and Coolness are keys to balance Pitta. Onions, garlic, too spicy, sharp and salty foods will aggravate Pitta hypertension. The Ayurvedic therapy Shirodhara (hot oil pouring on the forehead) is warmly recommended in case of Pitta hypertension too.

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