Can Garlic Control High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Most diseases and illnesses occur because man has gone against mother natures laws of life - be it stress, smoking, alcohol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle etc. However despite this one can still take recourse to natural wonders or miracle herbs and spices for the cure of illnesses. Generally these herbs and spices cause lesser side effects and even perhaps increases your longevity. Garlic is one such miracle herb that has been held in high esteem for over 6000 years.
Garlic has been extensively used in the past, not only in China and Egypt, but also in Germany and in countries all over the world.
Khnoom Khoufouf, the builder of the ancient pyramids in 4500 B.C said -“It is ordered that all my workers take garlic everyday to maintain their health and strength”
Garlic (allium sativum) has originated from Asia and belongs to the family of liliaceae or the lily family. It is a perennial bulb made up of 7-35 divided cloves or bulblets that are covered in papery, transparently white glistening skin. The medicinal part of the plant is the bulb. The peculiar strong scent of garlic is due to its sulfur containing compound or volatile oil known as Allicin.
Garlic is considered for a multitude of disorders and illnesses besides hypertension because of its properties. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal in nature. It is used in the treatment of allergies or hay fever, herpes, sunburns, heart ailments like arteriosclerosis and cholesterol problems. Garlic is also an anticarcinogenic food and useful in typhoid, sinusitis, laryngitis and pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory illnesses. It is antispasmodic in nature as it eases the spasms of small arteries, and prevents the development of blood clots. Garlic is also used to treat rheumatism and is antiparasitic in nature. It is a known insecticide, protects against disease and increases strength and productivity.
High Blood Pressure - The pressure or tension exerted by the blood on the arteries and the venous blood vessels is called blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg, where 120 is the systolic blood pressure (SBP) and 80 is the diastolic blood pressure (DBP).
High blood pressure occurs when the blood is pumped by the heart through the system that is abnormally fast and powerful. This sustained greater than normal force and pressure can cause damage to the arteries.
Prehypertension or Borderline Hypertension is when the systolic pressure is between 120 to 139 and/or the diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89.
Stage 1 hypertension is when the systolic pressure is between 140 to 159 and/or the diastolic pressure is between 90 and 99.
Stage 2 hypertension is when the systolic blood pressure is around 160 to 179 and the diastolic blood pressure is from100 till about 120.
Stage 3 Hypertension is increased blood pressure when the systolic blood pressure is more than 180 and the diastolic blood pressure is more than 120.
High blood pressure is of two types:
Essential Hypertension or Primary Hypertension - When increase in the blood pressure or hypertension is not due to any underlying disease process.
Secondary hypertension - When hypertension is because of some other disease or illness, such as an underlying kidney disease or a heart block it is known as secondary hypertension.
Factors that can contribute to Primary or Essential Hypertension - Most of the associated causes are because of lifestyle problems, such as:
1. Stress and Tension: In the fast paced environment that we live in, stress and its associated problems are a common cause to increase blood pressure. This is more in “type A personalities” or in people who are high achievers.
2. Smoking: Nicotine in cigarettes and tobacco increase BP (blood pressure).
3. Obesity: Obesity has the maximum contribution in increasing BP. This is because the heart has to work more to keep up with the increased body mass, which requires more blood for the supply of essential oxygen and nutrients to tissues in your body.
4. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle tends to increase the heart rate and makes your heart work more!
5. Saturated fatty acids in the diet can also result in an elevated level of blood pressure.
6. Alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake increases the risks of hypertension.
7. Elderly: The elderly are more at risk for hypertension because of reduced complaibility and flexibility of blood vessels.
8. Excessive Salt intake: Excessive normal salt or sodium in the diet can result in fluid retention and high blood pressure.
9. Potassium intake: Low potassium diet increases the sodium in the cells due to the sodium potassium pump.
10. Hereditary: High blood pressure is often familial in nature and runs in families.
Causes of Secondary Hypertension High blood pressure secondary to an underlying condition or disorder such as hormonal disorders, thyroid disease, kidney disease, adrenal gland disease, and the use of drugs such as oral contraceptives. This type of high blood pressure is called secondary hypertension.