By Cathy Wong, ND – Reviewed by a board-certified physician.
According to the American Heart Association, almost one in 3 adults in the United States has hypertension, likewise called hypertension. Although research on the use of alternative medicine for high blood pressure is fairly minimal, there’s some proof that it may be of some advantage.
High Blood Pressure
It’s essential to keep in mind that supplements and other kinds of natural medicine should not be used as an alternative for basic care treating hypertension.
Unrestrained hypertension may harm organs in the body and increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and vision loss.
Here are some natural remedies typically used to help treat high blood pressure.
According to a number of human research studies, garlic might decrease blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure. Generally the decrease is small, at less than 10 percent.
The active constituents in garlic are thought to be the sulfur-containing compounds consisting of allicin, which may act upon the body’s nitric oxide system to relax the arteries and lower systolic blood pressure. Studies on using garlic in people with hypertension have used 600-2400mg of garlic powder or aged garlic extract in single or divided doses, considered approximately 12 weeks.
Garlic isn’t really safe for use with many common medications and conditions, so it’s important to talk with your doctor prior to using it.
Fish Oil/ Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are discovered in fish and some plant foods. The available research in people suggests that they might help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. The omega-3 fat DHA may have greater benefits than EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Research studies have typically found that the decrease in blood pressure has been small– in order to achieve medically appropriate impacts, greater dosages of omega-3 fatty acids may be needed, which can also cause an increased risk of bleeding in vulnerable individuals.
This consists of those with bleeding conditions or taking medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or ginkgo. Further research is required. Studies have typically used 2-4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for up to one year.
Hibiscus tea (from the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa) has actually been associated with decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Two studies comparing hibiscus extract to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (captopril or lisinopril) likewise revealed decreases for hibiscus tea groups, however the impacts were generally less than those of the ACE-inhibitor groups. Added high-quality studies are needed to validate these findings. Care is encouraged when taking hibiscus, as side effects consisting of diuresis may occur.
The manganese, iron and copper content may go beyond advised limitations at high intakes.
Chocolate/ Cocoa Extract
Several research studies in humans have discovered that eating dark chocolate or chocolate or cocoa products enriched with flavanols may somewhat lower blood pressure in people with hypertension or pre-hypertensive individuals. More research is required since not all human research studies have discovered a result.
Chocolate might impact the nitric oxide system resulting in vasodilation and lower blood pressure. It likewise might hinder the angiotensin-converting enzyme. One thing to remember is that chocolate also includes caffeine and sugar, to name a few ingredients. Large amounts of caffeine (higher than 400mg day) can increase blood pressure and the sugar content might affect blood sugar level levels.
The results are blended on whether the mineral magnesium might help lower blood pressure, with a number of studies suggesting a small however substantial in a decrease in blood pressure.
Magnesium might be of particular benefit to individuals with high blood pressure who are deficient in magnesium and intravenous magnesium sulfate is commonly administered for preeclampsia and eclampsia in pregnancy. Additional research is needed.
Found naturally in fish, eggs, strengthened milk and cod liver oil and produced naturally during exposure to the sun, low levels of vitamin D may have a role in developing high blood pressure. Research studies keep in mind that blood pressure is frequently elevated when there is decreased exposure to sunlight/vitamin D.
Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee refers to raw coffee beans (from the Coffea fruits) that have not been roasted. Some studies have found that chlorogenic acid, a part in green coffee extract, might decrease blood pressure. Chlorogenic acid is likewise present in roasted coffee, however roasted coffee intake has actually been discovered to increase blood pressure in some research studies.
Some researchers suggest that the different impacts of roasted and green coffee on blood pressure may be because of a substance called hydroxyhydroquinone, which is formed during the roasting process and may block the advantageous impacts of chlorogenic acid on blood pressure. Ferulic acid, a metabolite of 5-caffeoylquinic acid, may likewise be responsible for the hypotensive effects of green coffee extract.
Additional research is required particularly with regard to the side effects and drug interactions– for example, one research study discovered that high doses of chlorogenic acid (2g everyday) raised plasma homocysteine levels (a cardiovascular risk element) whereas a lower dosage did not. Green coffee extract is also said to promote weight loss, which might help some people with hypertension.
Diet and Weight Loss
Being obese puts increased pressure on artery walls. If obese, a weight loss diet to bring body weight into a healthy range might help to reduce blood pressure. In addition to a diet that highlights whole, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein, juicing veggies might help to increase one’s consumption of vegetables.
Veggie juice, especially from green leafy veggies, can increase folic acid, a B vitamin that may help to lower high blood pressure in some people, possibly by lowering elevated homocysteine levels. Dark leafy greens are likewise high in potassium.
Tea/ Reduced Caffeine Intake
Caffeine consumption can lead to a temporary but marked increase in blood pressure. It does this to a greater degree in people with hypertension compared with those with regular blood pressure. An alternative to higher-caffeine beverages is green tea, as green tea catechins have been found in some studies to reduce blood pressure.
Minimized Sodium Intake
Too much salt might result in fluid retention which can raise blood pressure, especially in people who are sensitive to salt. It is estimated that 60 percent of individuals with important hypertension may decrease their blood pressure to some degree by minimizing their salt intake.
Low potassium can raise salt in cells since salt and potassium balance each other.
Physical inactivity may raise the risk of high blood pressure by 30 percent. Routine workout can lower blood pressure and enhance heart health. A minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic workout per day is normally suggested.
Foods thought to have medicinal properties that may help high blood pressure include water chestnut, turnip, honey, Chinese celery, hawthorn berries, and mung beans.
Disclaimer: The information included on this site is planned for instructional purposes only and is not an alternative to suggestions, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician.
It is not suggested to cover all possible preventative measures, drug interactions, scenarios or unfavorable impacts. You must look for timely treatment for any health problems and consult your doctor prior to using natural medicine or making a change to your regimen