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Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure

 

Lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help to control high blood pressure, but it is important to consult a qualified medical doctor. Untreated high blood pressure may damage organs in the body and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, brain hemorrhage, and kidney disease. That may sound scary, but understanding how your lifestyle and nutrition affect blood pressure can help you take control of your health decisions.

Who’s at Risk for high blood pressure?

While the exact cause of hypertension is unique to each individual, there are specific factors that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

These include:

Age. The older you are, the greater the likelihood of developing hypertension.
Weight. The heavier you are, the greater your risk of hypertension.
Heredity. If high blood pressure runs in your family, you have an increased chance of developing it.
Cigarette smoking. Smoking causes hypertension as well as heart disease and cancer.
Alcohol use. Heavy drinking increases blood pressure.
Sodium consumption. Eating lots of high sodium foods increases your risk of hypertension.
A sedentary lifestyle. Couch potatoes are at an increased risk for hypertension.
Oral contraceptives. Some women who take birth control pills develop hypertension, especially if other risk factors are also present.

Natural Options for Lowering Blood Pressure

Mind-Body Interventions

Mind-body interventions, particularly autogenic training, biofeedback, and yoga, have been found to modestly reduce high blood pressure compared with placebo.
naturally lower high blood pressure yoga

Autogenic Training

Autogenic training is a technique used for stress reduction and relaxation. It involves a series of sessions in which people learn how to control breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature.

People learn six exercises that each involve a certain posture (e.g reclining in a chair), concentration without a goal, imagination, and verbal cues. Each exercise is learned by watching a teacher demonstrate it or by reading a description. It requires regular practice.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a technique in which people learn how to gain control over internal body processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature.

Garlic

There is some evidence that garlic supplements can lower blood cholesterol levels with a slight lessening of blood pressure. However, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, after a funded study of the effectiveness of garlic tablets, found no effect.

Hawthorn

The herb hawthorn is often used by traditional herbal practitioners for high blood pressure.

In a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers in Reading, UK, 79 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive either 1200 mg of hawthorn extract a day or placebo for 16 weeks. Medication for high blood pressure was used by 71 percent of the patients.

At the end of the 16 weeks, patients taking the hawthorn supplement had a significant reduction in mean diastolic blood pressure (2.6 mm Hg). No herb-drug interactions were reported.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish oils are known to reduce cholesterol levels, but they also may also help to reduce high blood pressure. Multiple studies do report small reductions in blood pressure, according to MayoClinic.com, but the doses are always extremely high. It is not known if lower doses also reduce blood pressure. Since high doses of omega-3s increase your risk of bleeding, consult your doctor before taking these supplements.
naturally lower high blood pressure fish oil

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

There is some evidence that the supplement CoQ10 may help to reduce high blood pressure. A 12 week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 83 people with systolic hypertension examined the effect of CoQ10 supplements (60 mg twice daily). After the 12 weeks, there was a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 17.8 mm Hg in the Coq10-treated group.

CoQ10 significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure(mean reduction 6.1 mm Hg and 2.9 mm Hg respectively). There was also a reduction in HbA1C, a marker for long-term glycemic control.

Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium

Calcium. Calcium supplementation appears to have a modest but statistically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (mean difference of 2.5 mm Hg), however better quality studies are needed.

Potassium. A meta-analysis of five trials indicated that potassium supplementation compared to a control resulted in a large but statistically non-significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (mean difference 11.2 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (5.0 mm hg).

Magnesium. In 12 randomized controlled trials, participants receiving magnesium supplements did not have a significantly reduction in systolic blood pressure, but they did have a statistically significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure (mean difference 2.2 mm Hg).

Aerobic Exercise

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and central to the natural approach to lowering high blood pressure. A meta-analysis of 105 trials involving a total of 6805 participants found that aerobic exercise was associated with a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 4.6 mm Hg, with corresponding reductions in diastolic blood pressure.

Patients with high blood pressure should always speak to a doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Exercise for High Blood Pressure

Traditional Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, high blood pressure is often attributed to a problem with the circulation of vital energy (qi) in the body. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that depression, anger, obesity, and high intake of fatty foods are some of the causative factors.

Herbal remedies and high blood pressure

Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help reduce stress on the body and provide various benefits. Some herbal remedies, like many mentioned above, have borne out to be effective by modern medicine. It’s important to work with your physician to find the best balance of diet, lifestyle and supplements to help lower your blood pressure.

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