GARLIC FOR BLOOD PRESSURE
Use garlic to lower your burden of Blood pressure, is the usual tag seen alongside most managines for promoting health. How can we justify this Ayurvedically?
Garlic has been described across various newspapers, magazines and other social media claiming to have mystical effects on the health of the cardiovascular system and help in 0reducing blood pressure. Hypertension or raised blood pressure is now identified as having a blood pressure greater than 90mmhg (systolic pressure) and above 140mmhg (diastolic pressure) according to modern cardio specialists. Surge in blood pressure can be ingenious due to hereditary, increased blood volume or viscosity and lowered power of pumping of heart. Another common lifestyle related cause comprehended is atherosclerosis, the deposition of bad cholesterol on the lumen of blood vessels thus creating a greater need for stronger pumping of the heart thereby increasing the end result. While ayurveda on the other hand mentions a few other circumstances.
The use of Garlic for blood pressure management is quite a broad topic to address in terms of ayurveda alone. For our understanding we can compare the present modern correlation of Garlic’s potential to lower blood pressure to the classics and researchers done in the field of Ayurveda both for and against this topic. Before we understand the depths of the magic of this herb let us see some specialities if the same.
Story of origin of Lasuna
Ayurveda mentions two stories regarding the mythological origin of this herb. Both the stories have a common line that it was poured from heaven to the earth in different circumstances to provide rejuvenating (Rasayana) and aphrodisiac (Vajikarana) action for the people of the earth. While it was poured from heaven the spot on which the nectar fell was apparently unholy and so it obtained a bad smell and was named Lasuna, literally meaning pungent smell.
It is not practically possible to even comprehend this story, but for mythological and ethical reasons we can just presume its existence as mentioned in Kasyapa Samhita Lasuna Kalpa Adyaya.
The properties of this nectorus herb
In the same chapter in Kashyapa samhita and other classical texts of ayurveda, the medical and simultaneous weird actions of the herb has been explained. Its seed is pungent, stem salty and bitter, its leaf is astringent, having a sweet metabolic end effect. Here sweet, bitter and pungent flavours of each category are successively predominant. Having a sweet metabolic effect, the Lasuna is Guru (heavy), Bhramana (nourishing) due to association of unctuousness.
Due to its combined heavy and pungent qualities it cures most common diseases, induces longevity, is a wonderful carmelative and appetizer and fights for Ojas the quantum of immunity to reach a diseasefree stage. It also clarifies memory, intellect and promotes strength, complexion, and good vision.
Modern view on Garlic
The exact mechanism of action of garlic bulb against the rising cardiovascular activities have not been discussed in modern terms, yet it is an accepted truth that it helps to lower the blood pressure for both systolic and diastolic pressure by 11.2mmhg. Research done in this field has shown considerable reduction in blood pressure for people consuming daily doses of garlic and garlic induced medications. Kyolic garlic has shown promise in improving cardiovascular health by lowering arterial stiffness also alleviating the cholesterol levels in the heart and reducing the sticky nature of blood. The reduction from blood pressure also reduces the risk of 16 – 40% of cardiovascular disease and associated central nervous complications.
Kyolic garlic was found to lower not only systolic and diastolic malfunctions, but also optimize the pulse pressure, pulse wave velocity and arterial stiffness. Thus kyolic aged garlic extract is considered highly tolerable with a highly improved safety profile either as a stand alone or an adjuvant for antihypertensive therapy with multiple benefits for cardiovascular health.
The Acharya’s say
It’s really a wonder that our great ayurvedic sages and philosophers who wrote these epics had already mentioned the effects and side effects of everything under the sun, and we were just too late to find them out and even late to accept their importance. One such is the effectiveness of Garlic in lowering blood pressure. Acharyas have not mentioned blood pressure as it is in their works, but by reading between lines we can surely comprehend it.
Acharya Kasyapa is one among the many sages who has explained the special effect of Lasuna for many mechanisms which may be rightfully correlated with the lowering mechanism of increased blood pressure. The explanations offered in ayurvedic class might sound a little absurd, it will truly fall rewarding if we focus on the minutest details in ayurvedic principles.
Garlic bulb mentioned above has a sweet metabolic end effect and helps to clarify the rakta Dhatu. Despite Lasuna being pungent in taste with strong peeling properties it also has rejuvenating abilities. On freading them together, the piercing sharp effect of the snake helps to remove the cholesterol adhesions on the walls of arteries or rather atherosclerosis thus reducing the excessive need for pumping action of the heart.
Further sweet metabolic taste clarifies Rakta Dhatu or blood tissue element as blood gets vitiated when Pitta entity’s quality is compromised. This change in the innate property of Pitta is maintained with properties of garlic thereby indirectly influencing the quality of rakta dhatu or eliminating its impending viscosity thus reducing the blood pressure to ideal range.
Another magical effect shown by garlic is its Bhramana nature or nutritive ability. Rasavahasrotus is believed to be activated in the heart and derangements in it deploy the nutritional status of the entire body, but nutritive ability of Lasuna counteracts this phenomenon and provides the needed nourishment to the body.
Ayurveda keenly explains the concept of overuse. Any miraculous herb if overused will act as poison, likewise it is for garlic as well. It is important to maintain the right levels of garlic conducive to each individual for its excess can lead you on to burning sensations, episodes of fainting and other Pitta malfunctions. So play wisely!
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