Different theories have been proposed to explain hypertension from an Ayurvedic perspective, but there is no consensus amongst the experts. A better understanding of the applied physiology and etio-pathogenesis of hypertension in the light of Ayurvedic principles is being attempted to fill this gap. A detailed review of available Ayurvedic literature was carried out to understand the physiology of blood pressure and etio-pathogenesis of hypertension from the perspective of Ayurveda. Many parallels were drawn from the concepts such as Shad Kriyakala (six stages of Dosha imbalance) and Avarana of Doshas (occlusion in the normal functioning of the Doshas) to the modern pathogenesis of hypertension to gain a deeper understanding of it. Hypertension without specific symptoms in its mild and moderate stages cannot be considered as a disease in Ayurveda. It appears to be an early stage of pathogenesis and a risk factor for development of diseases affecting the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes etc. Improper food habits and modern sedentary lifestyle with or without genetic predisposition provokes and vitiates all the Tridoshas to trigger the pathogenesis of hypertension. It is proposed that hypertension is to be understood as the Prasara-Avastha which means spread of vitiated Doshas from their specific sites, specifically of Vyana Vata, Prana Vata, Sadhaka Pitta and Avalambaka Kapha along with Rakta in their disturbed states. The Avarana (occlusion of normal functioning) of Vata Dosha by Pitta and Kapha can be seen in the Rasa-Rakta Dhathus, which in turn hampers the functioning of the respective Srotas (micro-channels) of circulation.
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