Incorporate natural methods to prevent hypertension – Herbal Physician advises

To prevent and control the increasing rate of hypertension, which has become a modern-day non-communicable epidemic, the public has been advised to incorporate natural methods into their daily lives.

Dr. Michael Tetteh, the Head of the Herbal Unit at the Tema General Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that about 1.28 billion adults aged 30 and above have hypertension, out of which more than two-thirds are from low- and middle-income countries, which are mostly in Africa.

Dr Tetteh, who is also a herbal physician, said there had been a strong leap in the number of people with hypertension and its resultant deaths in the past 10 years, a situation he described as worrying.

He noted that to prevent and control the numbers, it was very important that people regularly check their blood pressure readings and their lifestyle.

He said more than two-thirds of hypertensive people were not aware of their status, as the disease, which is described as ‘the silent killer’, did not show any signs or symptoms until at an advanced stage, therefore the need for regular blood pressure checks.

Touching on natural ways to prevent the disease, he said getting enough exercise was non-negotiable, indicating that the WHO recommends that people exercise at least two-and-a-half hours a week, which could be translated into 30 minutes each for five days.

Dr Tetteh bemoaned that the majority of people do not have time to exercise, and their lifestyles have become sedentary; therefore, there is a need for them to be intentional about engaging in any form of exercise, be it jogging, walking, cycling, or aerobics, among others.

He encouraged that even though issues such as work, marriage, society, and economics could lead to stress, people must learn to manage their stress as it is one of the causes of hypertension, stating that “know your stress triggers and manage them.” 

He also called for DASH dieting (dieting approaches to stop hypertension) by reducing the intake of salt (sodium) as it increases the blood volume, thereby increasing the blood pressure within the blood vessels.

The herbal physician further urged the public to rather increase their intake of potassium and magnesium-rich foods such as legumes, avocado, and spinach, among others, which enhance the control and prevention of hypertension as they contain anti-hypertensive properties.

Touching on other lifestyle issues, he said saturated fat intake should be low as they clog the blood vessels and increase the blood pressure within the blood vessels, adding that polyunsaturated fats found in salmon, mackerels, avocado, unsalted tuna, and turkey meat should be consumed as they help put hypertension under control.

Dr. Tetteh again encouraged an increase in the intake of fibre contained in wheat, oats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts to help prevent and manage the disease.

He further said incorporating the intake of some natural spices that contain anti-hypertensive properties was also an advantage to control hypertension, adding that some are prekese (tetraptera), sobolo (hibiscus carpels), lemongrass, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, green tea, and camomile tea, among others.


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