Millions of people across the world suffer from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Recent changes in blood pressure guidelines by ACC and AHA have put almost half of Americans into the category of high blood pressure. Best treatments for treating conditions associated with blood pressure are administration of medicines along with changes in lifestyle.
What is Hypertension or High blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on walls or arteries and vessels in order to pump blood. A harden arteries increases blood pressure.
There are a number of causes that increases blood pressure. Some of them are…
- Lack of physical activities or exercise
Hypertension or high blood pressure does not show any signs; in fact it comes in the focus because of the health conditions caused by high blood pressure. Health diseases associated with high blood pressure are deadly in nature. Some of them are….
- heart attack
- heart failure
- vision loss
- kidney disease
- metabolic syndrome
Lot of studies have been conducted to see the effects of various herbs on managing blood pressure level. In this reading we will discuss those herbs and research studies.
A systematic review and meta analysis determined that Ginger helps in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It works by improving blood circulation and relaxing muscles of blood carrying vessels.
Ginger is most commonly used herb in Asian continent. It can be used in soups, stir-fries, tea and desserts.
A clinical study also confirmed that ginger helped in conditions associated with arthritis.
Hawthorn is used in medicine for various heart and blood vessels related conditions such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), chest pain and congestive heart failure (CHF). It is also used to treat high blood pressure, low blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and high cholesterol.
A research paper reviewed efficacy of Hawthorn in treating cardiovascular disease. Its leaves, berries and flowers are being used for many centuries in many ancient alternative medicines like Chinese medicine and Indian medicine. It is believed that Hawthorn relaxes blood vessels. This effect is produced by a compound found in Hawthorn called proanthocyanidin.
People use hawthorn as powder, pills or in liquid form.
In Chinese medicines celery seeds are being used to treat hypertension. The herb has been found useful, in a research study on rats, in reducing high blood pressure.
Another study compared diuretic effects of Spirnolactone with Celery seeds. The study found that 300 mg/kg administration of celery seeds extract lowered the high blood pressure.
Celery is a popular vegetable. It is widely used to cook savoury foods. Celery seeds are used in variety of dishes.
Basil is a herb widely used in India in variety of dishes. In India it is considered as holly plant because of its multiple healing properties. Basil is found to lower blood pressure. In a clinical study on renovascular hypertension rats, basil lowered the blood pressure. Scientists found a chemical compound called Eugenol which inhibits constriction of blood vessels.
The herb is delicious so that you can add a leaf or two in pastas, salads, soups and casseroles.
Cinnamon is a spice used in Indian cuisine. Keeping its multiple health benefits in mind, India proudly claims this herb as gift to the world. It shows many health benefits. A closed clinical study on rats concluded that extract of Cinnamon, injected in body, helped control long term high blood pressure.
Cinnamon adds great flavor from spicy dishes to your coffee. Add finely grind Cinnamon in coffee and drink regularly. You can also use it in your breakfast, curries and oatmeal.
Cardamom is a famous Indian spice with ancient history of usage in south asian culinary. A study was conducted on 20 adults to inspect its health benefits related to high blood pressure. Each participant was given 1.5gm of powder of cardamom two times a day for twelve weeks. Blood pressure level was found remarkably low in adults with high blood pressure history.
Cardamom can be a great natural remedy to bring back high blood pressure level to normal. Simply add powder or seeds of Cardamom in your lunch or dinner for best effects.
A review study published at Journal Of Nutrition, indicated that eating 35-55gm of flax seeds a day for about 12 or more weeks produces best results. Flax seed is great source of omega-3, which also gives one more reason for it being included in day to day eating. Flax seed has multiple heath benefits, some of them are increases glucose tolerance, lowers serum cholesterol, works as an antioxidant.
There are many flax seeds products available in the market. You can purchase ready to use flaxseeds online and use them directly in your meal.
Like other herbs discussed above Garlic, too has multiple healing properties. Apart from healing properties, garlic makes your food delicious. Garlic is naturally powerful to lower high blood pressure because of the compound it contains called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is an essential molecule produced by body immune system. This molecule is responsible for vasodilatation i.e. widening of blood vessels which results in greater blood flow.
Cloves of garlic produce Allicin, a sulphur compound, when crushed. This compound has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Garlic can easily be used by simply adding couple of crushed cloves while preparing food. For some people garlic tastes too strong. In such case, you can use garlic supplement or use garlic powder.
This flower is popular for its aromatic fragrance and is used to make perfumes. In a research study on rats, Lavender oil extract found to lower the blood pressure and produce bradycardia and antihypertensive and effects by means of a process called acetylcholine.
Because of its sedative effects, research and studies have found oil form of lavender lowers symptoms of depression and anxiety. Clinical studies also suggest taking 3 drops of lavender oil with depression medicine imipramine (Tofranil).
Lavender is least used in food. Best way of administration is use its oil.
Cat’s claw is a herb used in alternative medicines for thousands of years. It has variety therapeutics effects – from anti-hypertension to arthritis pain relief. Cat’s claw contains an alkaloid Rhynchophylline. A clinical consideration available at Jama Internal Medicine, Rhynchophylline found to have prevented thrombosis and aggregation of platelets resulting in reducing risks of heart attack and strokes by lowering blood pressure.