I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Is there a natural remedy for controlling blood pressure? Please advise.

Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood our heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries.

The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower; 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure; 120 to 139/80 to 89 is pre-hypertension. In 90 per cent of high blood pressure cases in adults, there’s no identifiable cause. With ageing, we face a natural increase in Vata (one of the life forces) that results in higher BP, which modern medicine terms primary hypertension. About 10 per cent of high blood pressure cases are related to underlying conditions like kidney and thyroid diseases, hyper cholesterol, sleep apnea, certain congenital heart defects, certain medications such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants and some prescription drugs.

The treatment goal for most adults is to get and maintain blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. You should follow a healthy eating plan (eat whole, fresh, unrefined, and unprocessed foods. Include fruits, vegetables, garlic, onion, whole grains, soy, beans, seeds, nuts). Activities such as walking, swimming, cycling and low-impact aerobics should be the core of your exercise program. Maintain a healthy weight; quit smoking; manage stress; yoga and/or pranayama are healthy lifestyle modifications that can help you control high BP.

You may consume milk boiled with 5-10 grams of garlic as a home remedy.

There are several herbs that can help hypertension. Certain ayurvedic preparations too are very helpful in treating hypertension as are some therapies. Meet an Ayurvedic doctor in person for a detailed consultation.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner