School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC
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An herb that lowers blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Imagine a balloon in the shape of the circulatory system. This visualization will help you understand the main mechanisms of action that directly lower blood pressure. There are 3 ways to relieve pressure in the 'balloon':
  • A) Let air out of the balloon
    • A = ACE Inhibitor = Diuretic
    • ACE inhibitors work via a diuretic action. ACE stands for angiotension converting enzyme, part of the Renin-Aldosterone-Angiotensin System (RAAS). ACE Inhibitors are ideal for Kapha as Kapha is most likely to have water retention.
  • B) Reduce air pressure at the pump
    • B = Beta Blocker = Heart Relaxant
    • Beta Blockers prevent adrenal hormones from stimulating the heart. The heart has adrenal hormone receptors. These receptors stimulate the heart to pump harder when stress hormones are released, such as when running from a tiger. Even normal levels of these stress hormones increase blood pressure. Blood pressure lowers when beta-blockers block these receptors. The word "beta blocker" is short for Beta-adrenergic blocker. Pitta is most likely to have a bounding pulse and heart, and may be an ideal candidate for Beta-Blockers. However, Vata is most likely to overreact to stress hormones.
  • C) Relax the skin of the balloon
    • C = Calcium channel blocker = Vasodilator
    • Calcium is normally founding in the fluids surrounding the muscle cell. When the muscle is stimulated, calcium channels open up to let the calcium in, which causes the muscle to contract. If you block the calcium channel, the calcium won't enter the muscle cell, and the muscle won't contract. The walls of your blood vessels are lined with smooth muscle tissue that puts tension on the blood in the vessel. Calcium channel blockers relaxes these smooth muscles on the vessel wall, causing vasodilation. Vata individuals may be ideal candidates for Calcium Channel Blockers, becuase they are most likely to have tense blood vessels, and a wiry pulse.
  • T = Blood Thinners
    • Blood pressure decreases when you reduce the viscosity of the blood.
There are many indirect methods used to lower blood pressure as well.

Herb Drug Interaction Risk

Herbs that lower blood pressure can magnify the effect of blood pressure reducing pharmaceuticals.


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About John Joseph Immel

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.

John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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