How To Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Medication

Do you suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension)? If so, you’re part of a large group. About 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension, and a further 45 million have pre-hypertension (indicating high risk for full hypertension). The condition might be common, but it is serious. Potential consequences include heart attack, stroke and cognitive impairment.

You may be able to lower your blood pressure naturally without medication by using the simple, natural remedies described below.



What Is Hypertension?

As your blood circulates around the body, it exerts pressure on the arteries and veins carrying it. This force is what doctors are referring to when they speak about blood pressure. If the blood pressure measure is higher than it should be it is referred to as high blood pressure, or hypertension.

You may be aware that there are 2 measures when speaking of blood pressure. It is always x / y eg. 120 / 80. The first number is the pressure exerted in the vessels when the ventricles of the heart contract and push blood out into the circulation (systolic pressure). The second number is the pressure in the vessels when the heart relaxes between beats, allowing blood to enter in preparation for the next beat (diastolic pressure).

Maintaining the correct blood pressure within the body is critical and complex. Blood pressure is controlled by a variety of organs and body systems. The heart itself, together with the blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands and the brain all have a part to play in maintaining blood pressure.

Symptoms of Hypertension

There are often no symptoms of hypertension until a serious incident, such as a heart attack or stroke, occurs. Some people may experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or ringing in the ears. Less specific symptoms include blood shot eyes and elevated heart rate, but these can be caused by many other conditions as well.

Because hypertension is essentially a silent condition, it is wise to have it checked periodically. Once detected, there are a number of treatments that can be used to reduce the risk of hypertension-related illnesses.

Whether or not you are experiencing high blood pressure symptoms, it would be wise to visit your health care professional and have your blood pressure checked.



Natural Treatments for Hypertension

There are many well known, natural remedies for high blood pressure. It is potentially one of the easiest medical conditions to control without drugs.

Conventional medicines, although effective, don’t usually solve the problem of hypertension as they do little to address the underlying cause of the condition. These drugs are also associated with a myriad of side effects, and can be expensive.

A condition such as high blood pressure, with it’s multi-factorial control systems, ideally needs a holistic approach, utilizing a combination of lifestyle factors and natural remedies to address the cause of the problem. This approach can be just as effective as conventional medical treatment.

Hawthorn for the Hearthawthorn for high blood pressure

Hawthorne (Crataegus oxyacantha) is commonly used in natural high blood pressure treatments and has a well deserved reputation for its marked protective effect on the cardiovascular system.

Hawthorn enhances the body’s ability to dilate the blood vessels. Wider vessels means the blood flows more freely, and results in lower blood pressure. Hawthorn works similarly to garlic by interrupting the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, the hormone that causes the blood vessels to constrict.

There have been numerous studies which have confirmed the benefits of Hawthorn on the cardiovascular system. In particular, this herbs ability to assist in regulating blood pressure has been clearly identified.

Dose: 1000 – 1500 mg of hawthorn (approximately 1 teaspoonful) per day, split into two doses.

Garlic for Lower Blood Pressure

Garlic is a most heart-friendly herb. There is a lot of scientific evidence showigarlic treatment for high blood pressureng that garlic has the ability to lower both systolic and diastolic pressures, without the side effects of hypertensive drugs.

In one study of 200 middle aged men, 100 were given a garlic supplement daily (300mg of garlic extract – approximately 1 – 2 cloves of fresh garlic) whilst the remaining 100 men were not. At the end of the study, the arteries of those taking the garlic supplement were significantly more flexible (ie. less “hardened”) when compared to those who did not take the supplement.

The active compound in garlic is believed to be allicin. Allicin is formed when the meat of the clove is cut and ,being an unstable compound, doesn’t last for very long. For this reason it is best to use fresh or lightly cooked, chopped garlic.

Do your heart a favor and include garlic in your diet regularly.

Read more about garlic.

Passion Flower to Reduce Stress

Also known as Passion Flower, the active ingredients in this herb include flavonoids (compounds with diverse beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects), glycosides, alkaloids and saparin.

Passiflora has stood up well in clinical studies on animals that support its traditional usage to assist in cardiac health.

Dose: The usual dosage is 4 – 8g daily or as an infusion of 2g in 150 ml of water, 3 – 4 times daily.

Potatoes and Bananas to Boost Potassium

Potatoes and bananas are both very rich in potassium. Studies have confirmed that including potassium rich foods in your diet can bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure. An analysis across 5 countries into the causative factors for hypertension found that up to 17% of cases could be linked to potassium deficiency.

Potassium works by counteracting sodium. Sodium can cause fluid retention, causing high blood volume and consequently high blood pressure. Potassium reduces the risk of this occurring. Potassium also causes the arteries to relax, which allows the blood to circulate at a reduced pressure.

Other potassium rich foods include avocado, spinach and figs.

 Dandelion and Fennel – Diuretics Which Preserve Potassiumdandelion for high blood pressure

Natural diuretics such as Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) and Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel) are excellent alternatives to prescription diuretics as they can be just as effective without causing potassium loss – a side effect of prescription diuretics.

Make a dandelion tea with 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of boiling water; take 3 to 6 times daily. Or drink half a teaspoon of ground fennel seeds with a glass of water; 3 times daily.

Hibiscus Tea – Fast and Effectivehibiscus for high blood pressure

Not so well known as a blood pressure remedy is hibiscus tea. A study on hypertensive patients showed that regular consumption reduced both systolic and diastolic pressures by between 10 and 11 percent. The surprising thing was that this reduction happened within 12 days of starting to drink the tea!

Hibiscus tea is made from the flowers and fruit of the hibiscus plant. Add 1 teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and sweeten to taste.

 Heart-Friendly Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Why not combine several of the heart healthy herbs and vegetables into a delicious chicken soup? Researchers have found that the collagen in chicken soup acts similarly to garlic in blocking the production of angiotensis II. This causes the blood vessels to relax, allowing the blood to flow more freely and reducing the effort requried by the heart.

Add any of the following: Celery, Garlic, Hawthorn, Kudzu, Onion, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Purslane (any anything else that contains magnesium), Saffron, Valerian, Fennel, Oregano, Black Pepper, Basil and Tarragon. Consume on a regular basis.


 LifeStyle Factors

Obesity is a big risk factor for hypertension. If you are overweight, losing even a samll amount of weight could make a significant difference to your blood pressure readings.

Smoking is another big no-no when it comes to high blood pressure. Smoking has multiple negative effects throughout the body, including hypertension and damage to the blood vessels. Nictoine constricts the blood vessels leading to hypetension. It also raises the “bad” cholesterol fractions in the blood, a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke also reduces th4e ability of the blood to carry oxygen around the bdoy. This means your heart has to work even harder to deliver enough blood to provide sufficient oxygen to the tissues and organs.

Dietary factors are also important. However, the main thing to bear in mind is to eat a varied diet of unprocessed foods, and to follow the old adage of “everything in moderation”. Eat sugar if you need to – but just  a little. Include fat in your diet – but eat natural fat, not processed trans fats.

Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. In one study involving 1,739 participants, researchers discovered that those with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular problem such as heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Spend some time in the sun to boost your natural vitamin D levels and / or take supplements if necessary.



I hope the above had provided you with some useful information on how to reduce blood pressure naturally. Any questions or comments? Leave me a note below and I’ll get back to you 🙂


4 Comments:

  1. Hi Carol, enjoyed reading your article, found it very interesting and actually surprised how many of the foods you mentioned were already favourites of mine which is pretty cool. I can see from your about page how much you care and believe in herbal remedies and it’s a subject I’ve recently become involved with myself whilst looking at Aromatherapy, it’s pretty awesome stuff, well I think so anyway :). Thanks for your advice and I shall definitely be checking in with you again. Maybe you have a remedy for my migraines? I’ve been told Fever-few is the plant I should be looking at but what should I do with it?
    many thanks trayce 🙂

    • Hi Trayce. Yes, I am passionate about the subject, and the more I learn the more I am amazed by the simple elegance and power of natural remedies. And yes, it’s nice to realise that things don’t have to taste awful to be good for you 🙂 As regards your migraine headaches, feverfew is definitely one to try. It is a well known remedy for fever (hence the name) and headaches, and one of the few herbs with some clinical evidence to support its effectiveness. It’s better in terms of migraine prevention, rather than treatment for an existing migraine. Be aware that it should not be taken if you are pregnant or taking blood thinning medication. I’m planning a headache post soon so stay tuned!

  2. I found this page very interesting and had content in it that I can apply to mine and my fiancé’s lives as well. We both have high blood pressure. He’s on three different medications right now just to keep his levels close to minimal range. He’s still high. I’m wondering if it would be safe to incorporate any of these especially since he also has kidney disease and heart disease. What do you think?

    • Hi Rae Anne. Thanks for the feedback 🙂 As regards your fiance’s hypertension I would advise caution. Herbal remedies are by and large safe and without side effects, but that is not to say they are powerless. Given that your fiance has kidney disease (possibly contributing to he high blood pressure), the last thing you want is to take something that either increases the load on the kidneys or interacts with his existing medication. However, having said that, I would certainly look at introducing some alternative treatments, but start very slow and do your homework first. Three different medications is massive, and if he can cut down on any of these it could only be beneficial for the rest of his body! Maybe try including garlic – build up to 3 large cloves a day. Then add a very low dose of hawthorn. and see how it goes. If no adverse effects, then increase the dose gradually. Probably a good idea to stay away from the diuretic herbs initially (one or more of his current medications may already be diuretics). And adding a banana daily for the potassium boost should be safe and may be helpful. Good luck 🙂
      Carol.

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