Natural Blood Pressure Remedies
Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
Natural blood pressure remedies including herbs and foods that lower blood pressure are safe and effective treatment for hypertension.
Blood pressure is the force of circulating blood pressing against the arteries. When the pressure is too high, we have a condition called high blood pressure, or
hypertension. Temporary high blood pressure can be caused by exercise, stress, and emotional changes. For healthy people, the blood pressure will return to
normal when the stimulus has subsided.
However, blood pressure that is always high can be a serious condition. High blood pressure can put extra burden on the heart and is one of the major risk factors for
heart attacks among older people. Besides heart attacks, hypertension can also lead to strokes, kidney problems, eye damage, and diabetes.
High blood pressure can be primary or secondary. Primary (or essential) hypertension means that there is no underlying disease and the exact cause is unknown. Secondary
hypertension is as a result of another disease, such as thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disorders, or kidney disease, etc.
Over 50 million people in America suffer from high blood pressure. The condition is most common among older people, and African Americans. The good news is, about 70
percent of these people have only mild hypertension, that is, diastolic pressure that falls somewhere between 90 and 105 mm Hg. For these patients, the emphasis of
treatment is now being placed on non-drug therapy - using natural blood pressure remedies such as herbs, vitamins and minerals, and diets.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
In many cases, people who have high blood pressure do not show any symptoms. Sometimes, some people may show one or more of the following signs:
Since not everyone shows the above symptoms, the only way to keep track of blood pressure is to have it checked regularly.
- Recurring headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Ringing in the ears
Natural Blood Pressure Remedies - Diet
One common cause of hypertension is improper diet - foods that are high in fat, sugar, and/or salt are particularly problematic.
If you have high blood pressure, cut down on the intake of the following:
So what are some foods that lower blood pressure?
Foods high in dietary fiber can control or lower blood pressure. In fact, studies have shown that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than the general population
(10 to 15 mm Hg. lower for both systolic and diastolic pressures). Therefore, it is advisable to base your meals around plenty of fresh, raw vegetables and fruits, whole
grains (such as oats, nuts, seeds, and beans), and soy products (such as tofu, soy milk, soy beans).
Among vegetables and fruits, it has been found (in animal studies) that celery can lower blood pressure. Onions, garlic, and parsley have also been found to be effective.
Apples are good as well since they contain pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber. In addition, apples are rich in potassium - increased levels of this mineral can be
valuable in helping control high blood pressure.
- Salt: Avoid foods that have high salt content, such as processed foods, smoked meats and cheeses. The sodium in salt can cause water
retention and can increase the pressure inside the arteries.
- Sugar: Sugar has also been found to contribute to high blood pressure. Avoid processed foods, and sugary baked goods.
- Saturated Fat: Saturated fat puts extra burden on your arteries and heart. Avoid animal products, butter, margarine, shortening, and refined
- Alcohol: There is well-documented evidence that links alcohol consumption to high blood pressure. If you have hypertension, therefore, you
should limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one alcoholic drink a day.
Natural Blood Pressure Remedies - Herbs
There are a few herbs that make excellent natural blood pressure remedies treating mild to moderate hypertension.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn is good for the heart, dilates artery walls, and decreases blood pressure.
- Garlic: Garlic has also been found to lower blood pressure.
- Dandelion: Dandelion is a mild diuretic which is effective in lowering blood pressure.
- Reishi: Studies have found that reishi also has a blood pressure lowering effect.
- Evening Primrose: Evening primrose oil is rich in
gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. GLAs are effective in lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure.
Natural Blood Pressure Remedies - Natural Supplements
Natural supplements are also essential in controlling blood pressure. In particular, the following supplements are beneficial and should be included in
your list of dietary supplements to control high blood pressure:
Consult your doctor regarding use of these supplements and proper dosages.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant - it helps the body to get rid of toxic metals (e.g. lead) which contribute to high blood pressure.
- Fish oil: Long term use of fish oil has been found to lower blood pressure.
- Coenzyme Q10: Another supplement that has been found to reduce blood pressure.
- Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, and potassium have blood pressure lowering effects.
Natural Blood Pressure Remedies - Aromatherapy
Quite a few essential oils have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system. If you suffer from high blood pressure, use one or more of the following oils in your
bath or in a massage oil. When massaging, always remember to move in the direction of the heart, e.g. from foot to thigh.
Here is a recipe for a massage oil that is good for high blood pressure. You need:
Add these oils to 2 tablespoons of vegetable carrier oil such as evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc. Massage once a day.
- 5 drops of Lavender
- 10 drops of Marjoram
- 12 drops of Geranium
Other Natural Blood Pressure Remedies
Improving our lifestyle can help prevent and control high blood pressure. In particular, you may want to consider the following lifestyle changes.
- Weight Control: Obese people tend to have three times as much hypertension as people of normal weight. If you have high blood pressure and
are overweight, it's time to lose weight! According to a study, stout people with high blood pressure can achieve normal pressures by losing only half of their excess
weight. It means that even with relatively minor amounts of weight loss, you can see a measurable fall in blood pressure.
- Exercise: Proper exercise can regulate blood pressure. When we exercise, the blood vessels are forced to open up (vasodilate), and that makes
the blood pressure come down. Swimming, walking, and bike riding are all good exercises for hypertension. However, isometric exercises such as weight lifting must be
avoided because such exercises may cause blood pressure to temporarily skyrocket.
- Stress Management: We all know that stress and anxiety can make our blood pressure go up, so try to relax and manage your stress and anxiety.
Don't sweat the small stuff!
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
The Doctors Book of Home Remedies, (Rodale, 2002).
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991).
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