Low blood pressure or hypotension refers to the fall in blood pressure below normal. It is a condition in which the action of the heart, in forcing the blood through the arteries, is weak. This is a direct outcome of a weakened and devitalised system.
Causes and Symptoms of low blood pressure
The patient with chronic low blood pressure may complain of lethargy, weakness, fatigue, and dizziness. The patient may faint, especially if arterial pressure is lowered further when he assumes an erect position. These symptoms are presumably due to a decrease in perfusion of blood to the brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and other organs.
The most important cause of low blood pressure is faulty nutrition. It makes the tissues forming the walls of the blood vessels over-relaxed, and flabby or stretched. This results in less supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Malnutrition can result from a diet deficient in calories, proteins, vitamin C, or almost any one of the B vitamins.
Sometimes the blood pressure falls rapidly because of loss of blood. Low blood pressure may also develop gradually because of slow bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or bladder. Emotional problems are a far more frequent cause of low blood pressure. To a lesser degree, prolonged disappointment and frustration may result in a subnormal blood pressure.
Natural remedies of low blood pressure
Beetroot: The juice of raw beetroot is one of- the most effective home remedies for low blood pressure. The patient should drink a cup of this juice twice daily for treating this condition. Considerable improvement will be noticeable within a week.
Indian Spikenard: The herb Indian spikenard is another effective home remedy for low blood pressure. It should be taken in doses of thirty to forty grains with a pinch of a little camphor and cinnamon (dalchini). An infusion can also be prepared by steeping 15 to 20 gm of the herb in 250 ml of boiling water, and taking it thrice a day.
Nutrients: Protein, vitamin C, and all vitamins of the B group have been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of low blood pressure. Of these, pantothenic acid is of particular importance. Liberal use of this vitamin alone often helps in raising the blood pressure. A diet which contains adequate quantities of complete proteins, B vitamins and, particularly, the nutrients that stimulate adrenal production, quickly normalizes low blood pressure.
Salt: The use of salt is valuable in low blood pressure. Until the blood pressure reaches normal levels through proper dietary and other remedies, it is essential that the patient should take salty foods and half a teaspoon of salt in water daily.
Epsom Salts Bath: Hot Epsom salts baths are one of the simplest remedies for low blood pressure. An Epsom salts bath is prepared by dissolving one to one and a half kg of commercial Epsom salts in an ordinary bath of hot water. The patient should remain immersed in the bath for ten to twenty minutes. This bath should be taken just before retiring to bed, and care should be exercised not to catch a chill afterwards.
Dietary Considerations for low blood pressure
The treatment for low blood pressure should aim at rejuvenation of the whole system. To begin with, the patient should adopt an exclusive fresh fruit diet for about five days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits at five-hourly intervals. Thereafter, he may adopt a fruit and milk diet for two or three weeks. After the fruit and milk diet, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, and grains, with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Further periods of an all-fruit diet followed by a milk and fruit diet may be necessary every two or three months in some cases, depending on the progress being made.
A warm-water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the first few days of the treatment, and afterwards, if necessary. Those who are habitually constipated should take all possible steps for its eradication.
Daily dry friction and sponging should be undertaken by those suffering from low blood pressure. They should also undertake breathing and other light exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling. The patient should take sun and air baths and spend as much time as possible in the fresh air.
All living habits which tend to enervate the system, such as overwork, excesses of all kinds, needless worry, and negative thinking must be eliminated as far as possible.