Pulmonary Hypertension is an abnormal elevation in pulmonary artery pressure. The pulmonary artery sends impure blood from the right heart to the lungs for purification. Pure blood from the lungs is then sent to the left heart through the pulmonary vein. From here, blood reaches all parts of the body.
Pulmonary artery pressure will rise in the following conditions:
- Suppose the blood flowing through the pulmonary artery meets resistance in the lungs due to lung parenchyma diseases like Interstitial lung disease, Sarcoidosis, etc. These diseases destroy the lung parenchyma as well as the blood vessels. So the right heart responds to this resistance by increasing pressure as necessary to preserve the heart’s output.
- Suppose the blood flowing through the pulmonary vein meets resistance at the left heart. This can be due to coronary artery disease, mitral valve disease, and other causes of decreased left heart compliance like age, diabetes, etc.
The most common symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension are dyspnoea (feeling out of breath ) on exertion, chest pain, fatigue, syncope, peripheral edema, etc.
Resistance to the flow can be related to an increase in ill-formed Kapha dosha. As the lungs are Kapha’s seat, it can be stated that Kapha has increased in its seat. It takes longer to cure an increase of a dosha in its seat.
The reason for an increase in Kapha is low Agni (fire) at the level of Rasa dhatu (first tissue). Low agni gives rise to lung diseases, makes the blood heavy, and concentrated, and obstructs circulation. The obstruction caused by ill-formed Kapha gives rise to an increase in Vata—increased Vata results in hypertension.
Low Agni is caused by many factors related to wrong lifestyle and diet, like consuming incompatible foods, excessive sleeping, lack of exercise, etc.
The treatment will aim to increase Agni, thereby removing obstruction and relieving tension.
Herbs having pungent, sour tastes along with hot properties are mainly used. According to Ayurveda, the lungs originate from the mother (matritva bhav). So we cannot use too hot herbs. We sometimes triturate hot herbs with cooling herbs to achieve the desired results.
The herbs used will be Punarnava, Amalaki, Kuth, etc. Right herbs will be chosen according to the disease status and body constitution. The patient will have to avoid curd and vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, etc., among other things. Excessive exertion is also to be avoided as it can aggravate the Vata.
We at HimVeda have successfully treated pulmonary hypertension by addressing the causative problem in the lungs or heart with Ayurvedic medicines prepared in our center, along with diet and lifestyle changes.