Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the measurement of the force against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Conventionally blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) as systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is considered high if it is over 140 most of the time, where as diastolic pressure is considered high if it is over 90 most of the time. Prevalence of hypertension increases with age.1
Primary (essential) hypertension is the term applied to most of the cases in which no cause is identified. It is often the result of complex interaction between multiple genetic and environmental factors.2 Secondary hypertension, which affects approximately 5% people, has identifiable specific causes, such as alcohol abuse, cocaine use, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, coarctation of the aorta, diabetes, certain autoimmune disorders (like periarteritis nodosa), certain endocrine disorders (like adrenal tumours, hyperthyroidism and cushing syndrome), renal artery stenosis and some drugs like appetite suppressants, birth control pills, corticosteroids, migraine medications, etc.3,4
Initially high blood pressure is asymptomatic for many years.1,2 However, sometimes symptoms like confusion, ear noise or buzzing, fatigue, non specific headache, irregular heartbeat, nosebleed and vision changes are felt. Untreated hypertension may end up with blood vessel damage (arteriosclerosis), brain damage, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, heart attack, hypertensive heart disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, vision loss, etc.3 Lifestyle changes may help to control blood pressure. Avoiding smoking and alcohol, eating more fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, keeping blood sugar under control (if diabetic) and maintaining ideal weight are useful.
Rauvolfia serpentina is one of the most often used homoeopathic drugs for hypertension. It belongs to the family Apocynaceae and is found in sub-Himalayan ranges and Western Ghats of India.5 It is officially covered by both Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia.6,7 The root contains a great number of alkaloids of which Reserpine is the most well known. Its hypotensive and neuro-depressive activities are established.8 A homoeopathic tincture is made from its root. Literatures indicate that this remedy is useful to manage high blood pressure. It also alleviates its associated symptoms such as irregular beats, increased emotional excitability, irritative condition of central nervous system, mild depression, irritability and restlessness. Reports suggest it is highly useful in cases of hypertension without marked atheromatous changes in the vessels.8,9,10,11,12
Indications: High blood pressure and associated symptoms like irregular beats, increased emotional excitability, irritability and restlessness.
Dosage: Unless otherwise prescribed, 2 tablets 2-3 times a day. Reduce the dose as symptoms improve. If complaints are not relieved, consult a specialist.
Side effects: No side effects of Schwabe’s Rauvolfia serpentina1x are known.
Contraindications and interactions: No contra-indications and interactions with other drugs for the use of Schwabe’s Rauvolfia serpentina1x are known.
Presentation: Bottle of 20gm.
High Blood Pressure, Health Topics, MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/highbloodpressure.html. Accessed on 8th December 2010.
Christopher Haslett, Edwin R. Chilvers, John A.A. Hunter, Nicholas A. Boon, Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine, Eighteenth Edition, Harcourt Publishers Limited, Robert Stevenson House, 1-3 Baxter’s Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH1 3AF, UK.
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T. P. Chatterjee, Encyclopedia Homeopathica 2.5.
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