What are some Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure depends on the amount of resistance which the blood encounters in the arteries, which lead from the heart to the extremities the return from the extremities back to the heart is through the veins, where the pressure is less critical. The most accurate way to know the arterial pressure at any given moment is to measure it with a blood pressure meter, or sphygmomanometer. This medical instrument shows the total pressure of the arteries and the heart contraction combined, which is the higher of the two values or systole, and the pressure in the arteries themselves, the lower value of the reading or diastole. A normal measurement is 120 over 80, often abbreviated as 12/8. When the pressure exceeds 140 over 90, it is considered to indicate hypertension.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to high blood pressure. Most are related to lifestyle, but some are simply due to aging or hereditary characteristics. Among the causes related to lifestyle, most seem to be due to unhealthy dietary habits excess consumption of salt, fats, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, among others. People who are overweight have a higher tendency to suffer from hypertension. Other influences include a lack of exercise, and to some degree, excessive stress from the living or work environment.
To reduce the risk of high blood pressure, the first measure is to reduce these known variables that may be contributing to the condition. Changing the diet to include less salty foods, and less fats that can build up to block the arteries, are especially effective. This can mean avoiding fried foods in general, especially junk foods (often fried in fats and then salted before being packaged for consumption). Adding salads to your meals, and other forms of raw fruits and vegetables such as juices, also helps. Cut down on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, strong tea and coffee. A sedentary lifestyle will need to be exchanged for more exercise and bodily activity. And stressful situations in life should be avoided or resolved, to lower the adrenaline level.
There are also many natural substances that help avoid or diminish the risks of hypertension. Number one among these is water. It's amazing that such a common substance, which has so many benefits for human health, receives so little publicity. While salt causes water to leave the cells and enter the blood vessels, increasing the total arterial pressure, water has the opposite effect, causing the liquid level in the arteries to decrease and thus lowering the pressure. Water also works wonders for keeping the kidneys functioning correctly. Most people should drink at least 2 liters of water a day. More water causes more urination, which is healthy, but may bother some people at first, so prepare your agenda for a few more minutes in the bathroom each day.
Another highly recommended natural remedy for high blood pressure is garlic. It is a vasodilator, relaxing the arteries and providing more room for the blood to flow, and also lowers the cholesterol level in the blood, which can be an indirect but relevant benefit for blood pressure as well. While many cultures use sufficient garlic in food to help control arterial pressure, in the west this is not often the case. Raw garlic can be eaten whole (a technique only for the brave), or diced fine and included in food. The oil extracted from garlic is also sold in capsules, and can be taken before going to bed (it will also help you sleep). While the effects of garlic on the breath are notorious, the reduction of the blood pressure is worth the trouble. As with all natural remedies, use the garlic continuously to get the best results once is not enough.
Among herbal teas, nettle, yarrow, hawthorn and lime blossom help control hypertension. Coconut water is also recommended, as its high potassium and magnesium levels are very therapeutic for regulating blood pressure. Cucumbers and tomatoes, sliced or juiced, contain these same beneficial elements. Watermelon, grapes (including the seeds, which contain an oil that is also medicinal), and chayote (a Mexican vegetable, now common in many other areas) all have properties that lower the blood pressure. So instead of buying chemical products from the pharmacy, with the cost and side effects they often entail, it pays to remember these and other natural ways to control high blood pressure.
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Written by: David Michael (Teres'polis, Brazil)
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )