High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Most people misunderstand this term a lot. They think hypertension is a disease related to anxiety, nervousness or hyper activeness. But in real sense hypertension has nothing to do with those traits. High blood pressure simply means that the blood pressure in your arteries is high, and your heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood through the blood vessels. This can lead to many other chronic diseases like stroke and sometimes to something even major like heart and kidney disease.
There is no warning sign to high blood pressure. A simple way to ascertain if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure measured. While getting yours measured don’t panic if you have a single high reading, it might not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. But if you have been consistently measured, and the reading is consistently 140 0ver 90, over a number of weeks, then you might be at risk of having HBP. I can’t necessarily tell you the causes of high blood pressure, but genetics definitely play a role, one thing I do know for sure is that some unhealthy lifestyle can greatly influence your chances of getting high blood pressure. Some of which are listed below
• Lack of physical exercise
• Consumption of excessive salt and white sugar
• Consumption of excessive alcohol
• Being overweight
• Low consumption of fruits and vegetable
Even if you keep to all these herbal remedies stated below and still don’t change your unhealthy lifestyle, you wouldn’t be doing yourself much good. As you know, I will always advise against the use of prescribed drugs, due to the burden it adds to the liver. Once you keep to all the rules stated here, you will sure be fine.
Lifestyle changes you must adopt
Lower your sodium intake:
- Sodium just means salt. If you are hypertensive salt is one of your biggest enemies, more especially, processed ones. Try as much as possible to keep the consumption at the nearest minimum. People living with HBP is advised to keep their daily salt intake under 1500 mg per day. Try as much as possible not to sprinkle raw table salt on your food; most people do this, but I strongly advise against that. Another primary source of processed salt you should avoid is processed foods like fries, meat pies, hand burgers, and a whole lot of others. Trust me; these processed foods comes heavily laden with sodium.
- Exercise is one thing you should never avoid if you are living with high blood pressure. It not optional, it’s mandatory. 30-60 minutes of exercise daily is recommended. Even if you can’t do seven straight days a week, try and do 3 – 4 days in a week. If exercise is new to you, you can start with walking or jogging – before moving on to other intense forms of exercise.
- If you are a smoker, it’s time to quit, cold turkey. Smoking can raise your blood pressure by 10+ mmHg for an hour of smoking.
Try the DASH Diet
- The DASH diet was created as an eating style to lower blood pressure, but now also used in weight loss. The DASH diet has been shown to help lower blood pressure in 14 days, even without you lowering your sodium intake. The diet also helps improve response to medication. For more about this diet check out http://dashdiet.org/
- Stress is one of the culprits of High Blood Pressure. You are advised to try as much as possible to abstain from anything that gives you stress.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Garlic for Hypertension
- Garlic is my number one food for lowering blood pressure. Whenever a client complains about high blood pressure, the first thing I recommend is they exercise properly, stay out of sodium and take garlic. Garlic owes this to the presence of an active substance known as garlic allicin. Allicin does this by relaxing your blood vessels while also reducing the pressure and damage affecting your blood. A meta‐analysis published in 2008 concluded that garlic consumption lowers blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive patients. Another way garlic helps prevent high blood pressure is by stimulating hydrogen sulphide and nitric oxide synthase production, which in turns help relax your blood vessels. I also recommend you check out this study on the use of garlic as monotherapy in hypertensive patients. Experts recommend that to harness the powers of garlic; it should not be boiled before consumption. For those living with high blood pressure the best way to take garlic is by taking a clove first thing in the morning. If you can’t stand the smell of raw garlic, I advise you settle for garlic supplements. I strongly recommend the odorless garlic and parsley supplements; you can get it here in Amazon
Oatmeal for Hypertension
- Oatmeal is also one of my most recommended food for high blood pressure. When eaten daily can help cut blood pressure. A particular research published on FoodNavigator.com were 45 volunteers (group A) with high blood pressure were fed a daily dose of 137 grams of oat cereal – which amounts to around 12 grams of total fibre and six grams of soluble fibre. Another group lets say group B with same symptoms were feed with wheat cereals with a total fibre content of about 3 grams and soluble fibre of fewer than 1.1 grams. At the end of the research, 75 percent of patients eating oatmeal every day reduced their blood pressure. The summary of the point I’m trying to make is that adding fibre-rich whole oatmeal in your diet can contribute to reducing the risks of high blood pressure and can also prevent it. My favourite oatmeal is the Bob’s Red Mill Oats Rolled
Celery for Hypertension
- Celery is the second best food to help treat high blood pressure. A particular study to evaluate the antihypertensive effect of celery extract in mild to moderate hypertensive found that celery seed extract improves BP levels in patients who had mild to moderate elevations, the study can be found here. Celery seed extract not only helps reduce blood pressure, but it also helps give relief from arthritis. Celery is said to contain a phytochemical called phthalides which help relax the tissues of the artery walls, so as to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Below is the home remedy for hypertension that calls for celery.
You will need:
• Celery Juice
• Mix your celery juice and honey together. Take a cup of this juice three times daily for at least for a week. Celery can also be used to get the needed relief from a headache and shoulder pain – all you need to do is add vinegar to celery juice to get the needed relief.
Flaxseed for blood pressure
- According to livestrong.com A particular study published in 2013 in “Hypertension” where more than 100 patients diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, a condition associated with high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups; one group were fed with 30 grams of flaxseed every day for six months. While the second group was placed on Placebo. After the end of the study, the group feed with flaxseed had lower blood pressure than those in the placebo group. Also, Flaxseed is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid which can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Try the Spectrum Essential Flaxseed Organic
Basil for Blood Pressure
- A study conducted at Xinjiang Medical University found that basil extract reduced blood pressure. Also another study in the January 2012 issue of “Journal of Natural Remedies” were participants feed with 5 milliliters of the extract twice daily for three months dropped their systolic (top reading) blood pressure an average of 13 points and diastolic (bottom reading) an average of eight points. Basil does this by affecting the levels of endothelins ( a protein which constricts blood vessels) 30 mg/kg is said to be the effective dose to lower BP. To use basil, simply juice it with your masticating juicer to extract the juice. If you don’t have one, crush it to extract the liquid content. If drinking juice is too harsh for you – mix it with water. My favorite brand of packaged basil is the McCormick Basil Leaves, here is a link to Amazon where you can get it
Other herbs to consider are
- Ginger for Blood Pressure: Ginger helps improve blood circulation while also relaxing the muscles surrounding your blood vessels.
- Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate is high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – this makes it very efficient juice in lowering blood pressure.
- Cat’s Claw: Cat’s Claw is widely used in Chinese medicine to treat hypertension – it does this by acting on the calcium channels in your cells
- Olive leaf extract: olive oil extract has been shown in numerous clinical trials to work as effective as the conventional antihypertensive drug Captopril in lowering blood pressure, without side effect. Try this Swanson Super Strength Olive Leaf Extract
- Berberine – Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. It has shown great results in lowering blood pressure, as well as improve blood sugar control and blood lipid levels. Take 500 mg before meals three times daily.
My final input is for you to try as much as possible eat more of potassium rich foods. Potassium rich foods help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. The recommended dose of potassium to consume per day is 4,700 milligrams. Some of the food particularly very rich in potassium are banana, apricots, avocados, Brussels sprouts, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, orange juice, pears, peanuts, prunes, raisins, spinach, tomatoes, winter squash, and plain yogurt. On the last note, make sure you avoid anything canned, be it organic or not; once it’s canned, it contains sodium, which is not advised for a hypertensive person