High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be prevented even without prescription drugs. It is a condition that can be managed with the use of herbs that lower blood pressure. Read on to find out what herbs are beneficial for this purpose.
Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population suffers from high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the most common and the best known of all cardiovascular diseases and affects even children and teenagers. And while these factors necessitate taking prescription drugs, there are non-addicting, safer, and affordable herbs that lower blood pressure as well.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a serious condition which can lead to kidney failure, strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related issues. A reading of 140/90mm Hg or higher is already a cause for alarm. But how does a person’s blood pressure increase to that level?
Blood pressure per se is the action of the blood as it pushes itself against artery walls while coursing throughout the body. Blood fills up the arteries to a specific capacity similar to air filling up a tire or water filling up a hose. An increased pressure against these arterial walls threatens the arterial health and a consistently high level will force the heart to work overtime and beyond its natural capacity. Chronic hypertension injures blood vessels and damages the kidneys, eyes, and brain.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a “silent killer” because it leaves no obvious symptoms even when it has become uncontrolled or severe. Common conditions such as dizziness, headaches, and nosebleeds are also symptoms of other issues such as those involving the eyes, sun strokes or even indigestion. These symptoms often appear only when the blood pressure has risen to dangerously high levels.
The risk for developing hypertension significantly increases as we age and our arterial walls lose elasticity. While there are numerous contributing factors in developing high blood pressure, even doctors have not conclusively identified the exact cause/s for the condition. Some of those factors include but may not be exclusive to:
- Stress: this causes an activation of the body’s sympathetic nervous system which causes the arteries to become rigid and/or constricted.
- Deficiency in potassium, magnesium, and calcium: this condition increases blood pressure through several mechanisms such as sodium retention and system inflammation.
- Excessive consumption of salt: excessive sodium in the body retains water which expands the volume of blood that results in an increase in blood pressure levels.
- Insulin resistance: although often overlooked as a cause, this condition can actually increase blood pressure levels as a result of damage to the kidneys from excessive consumption of salt.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol: drinking more than two alcoholic beverages daily for men under 65 years old and more than one alcohol beverage daily for women who are over 65 is considered excessive.
- Being overweight. According to Dr. Robin Miller, medical director of an integrative medical clinic in Oregon and producer of the award-winning “Is There a Doctor in the House” series, being overweight will make it difficult for blood to push through arteries “thickened” by fat. When this happens, adrenalin increases and so does salt retention.
- Medications: steroids, diet pills, prescription drugs, decongestants, and birth control pills can raise the blood pressure to alarming levels. This is the main reason why more and more people are choosing natural or herbal supplements for high blood pressure over those with chemical formulations.
Preventing and Avoiding High Blood Pressure
Admittedly, pharmaceutical medications can and do lower many cases of high blood pressure but they often have adverse side effects including leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Assuming that you have made necessary changes in your lifestyle and dietary habits, there are many available herbs for lowering blood pressure as a more natural alternative to drugs.
Some of the changes that you can make in your dietary habits and lifestyle include the following:
- Reducing the intake of fatty foods including meats, lard, and hydrogenated oils.
- Drinking more water.
- Reducing the intake of caffeine.
- Drinking de-caffeinated herbal teas.
- Reducing salt in the diet.
- Engaging in regular physical activity, including aerobic exercises to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system.
- Cessation of smoking because it constricts the blood vessels.
- Having less stress in daily life.
- Avoiding processed sugar that can cause diabetes which, in turn, can have complications including cardiovascular-related diseases.
- Cutting back on alcohol consumption since alcohol constricts the blood vessels, too.
Along with taking natural supplements to lower blood pressure, these lifestyle and dietary changes can help you control and manage your hypertension. But not all of these natural supplements are made equal; some of them may actually increase blood pressure. Knowing the right kind of natural supplement to take prevents any accidents from occurring.
What to Look for in Supplements
In order to effectively lower blood pressure supplements should contain high quality ingredients. This also means no additives, preservatives, fillers, artificial coloring or flavoring, and other synthetic substances are contained in the supplement’s formulation. Always read up on information regarding ingredients of certain supplements before you even considering buying one.
If you decide to try natural herbs to lower blood pressure, that may mean taking a supplement or the whole herb. It is best to discuss this first with your doctor. This ensures that the herbs you are planning to take will not counteract any medications you are currently taking and/or don’t have any ingredients or properties which may cause adverse side effect. These natural plants include:
Guilder Rose Bark
Its scientific name, Viburnum opulus, may not be familiar to you but this can relax the entire cardiovascular system which, in turn, can lower blood pressure as well as relieve cases of nervous tension that have been associated with increased blood pressure. The bark of the Guilder Rose has been used effectively in Europe for cases of convulsion and heart palpitations, among other conditions.
Extracts of this delicious herb have been show to help lower blood pressure. While adding it fresh to your diet in the form of soups, casseroles, pasta, and salads, basil is also available as an ingredient in some supplements for lowering blood pressure (although there is currently no major supplement that is purely formulated using basil).
The extract of these berries is used in Europe to treat mild to moderate cases of congestive heart failure in which the ability of the heart to pump blood has been significantly reduced. Hawthorn can help this pumping ability to improve since it has vasodilator properties which can help increase the heart’s blood supply. It can also improve circulation because it can decrease resistance in the arteries.
Consuming this aromatic spice has been proven to lower not only high blood pressure but control diabetes as well. Look for cinnamon as an ingredient in a supplement to lower blood pressure if you are unable to find it as a whole product. You can also take cinnamon in its natural form on oatmeal and cereals, with coffee, and in stir fries or stews.
Used in traditional Chinese medicine for two thousand years, ginkgo bilboa is one of the more powerful herbs to lower blood pressure because its extracts have antioxidant properties that help “thin” the blood and prevent disturbance of the heart’s natural rhythm. Additionally, ginkgo bilboa may benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss related to aging.
Identified as a nutrient in 1957 by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, CoQ10 plays an important role not only in cardiovascular health but also in preventing cardiovascular-related diseases like hypertension and congestive heart failure. While its full potential as a clinical nutrient has yet to be explored, it is safe in doses between 10 and 50 milligrams a day.
Although used primarily as a flavoring for soups, salads, casseroles, etc., celery has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lowering blood pressure. Dried or ground celery seeds are used as ingredients in supplements that lower blood pressure or marketed as capsule supplements. Celery seeds are also used to help reduce the levels of blood sugar and blood clotting.
The lipid-lowering, antibacterial, anti-hypertension, and antioxidant properties of a substance known as allicin in garlic make this vegetable an excellent remedy for lowering blood pressure as well as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, and reducing high cholesterol levels. To lower blood pressure herbs like garlic are now available in gel capsule form.
Passion Flower Also Known As Passiflora Incarnata
This is one of the better known herbs that lower blood pressure. According to an issue published in a January 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers found that the passion flower’s content of edulilic acid and the antioxidant called anthocyanin can help reduce the blood’s systolic pressure when the heart contracts.
A member of the beta carotene family, lycopene is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes and other fruits such as pink grapefruit, watermelon, papayam and apricots their deep and rich coloring. It is considered a major carotenoid in North American diets. Lycopene provides around 50% of all carotenoid distribution in the blood.
Although obviously not sourced from plants, fish oils are very useful in thinning blood as well as improving circulation. It has been proven that a diet rich in fish oils can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. Available in soft get capsules, fish oil supplements to lower blood pressure have always been popular with those who already have existing cardiovascular problems.
How to Choose lower blood pressure supplements
To lower blood pressure herbs contained as ingredients in supplements should not be taken for granted. As mentioned, not all these supplements marketed as blood pressuring-lowering products are made equal. Some will dupe you into thinking that the percentages of the herbs in the formulation are sufficient to help lower your blood pressure when they actually do not.
Now that you have an inkling of what herbs lower blood pressure, consider taking a supplement known as High-Rite, a natural product created by Native Remedies for controlling high blood pressure, hypertension, and overall cardiovascular health. It has four of the best ingredients for lowering blood pressure as mentioned earlier:
- Hawthorn: in High-Rite, this dilates the blood vessels by blocking the activity of angiotensin-coverting enzyme or ACE which constricts them and reducing the pressure in arteries that are already constricted chronically. Hawthorn’s antioxidant property in High-Rite protects the arties from plaque build-up which causes atherosclerosis.
- Ginkgo Bilboa: Native Remedies has included this herb to lower blood pressure for its blood vessel-relaxing, circulatory-stimulating, and anti-inflammatory properties. This has been clinically proven to treat irregular heart beats, reduce the risk of blood clotting, help “thin” the blood,” and improve overall circulation in the body.
- Guelder Rose Bark: High-Rite has this highly effective muscle relaxant and tonic for the heart as a major ingredient. The natural chemicals in Guerlder Rose make it effective as hypotensive treatment in decreasing irregular heart beats contributory to the increase of blood pressure levels. Additionally, it is an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and a nervine.
- Passiflora Incarnata: passiflora incarnate a.k.a. passion flower as an ingredient of High-Rite can help relax the blood vessels to reduce the levels of blood pressure. Additionally, passion flower is known as a calmative herb that can help reduce anxiety and stress which directly cause an elevation in levels of blood pressure.
Get Top Grade Formulation
Ensure that you get top grade formulation of herbs for blood pressure by buying the right kind of product. Activive by progressive health can help lower your blood pressure the effective yet safest way because of its correct percentage content of clinically proven powerful and all-natural ingredients. It supports the health of both the circulatory and cardiovascular systems to boot.