What is high blood pressure?

Hypertension is a medical term used for what is commonly called high blood pressure. It is dangerous because it makes the heart work really hard and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), besides increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almost half of the American adults are characterized as having high blood pressure. Experts advocate treating the illness with lifestyle changes and medications.

Factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include high stress, unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical exercise, and genetics.

Because it’s largely symptomless, hypertension is known as the “silent killer.” This is why it’s so important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Having high blood pressure increases your risk of several health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, kidney disease.

See: 31 Year Old Gets Relief from Hypertension in Ayurveda

Natural herbs & plants for high blood pressure

Many herbs have been used for their medicinal benefits over thousands of years. About 75% of the world population use herbal medicines, especially in developing nations, for primary health care because of their better acceptability with human body &minimal side effects. In the last three decades, a lot of concerted efforts have been channeled into researching the local plants with hypotensive and antihypertensive therapeutic values. Latest research in US at UC Irvine also suggests there is science that can explain why this may be worth exploring.

If you are thinking of trying herbs for lowering blood pressure, whether it's the entire herb, spice, plant, or a nutritional supplement, speak to your physician first. 


1. Lavender

The gorgeous, perfume-like odor of lavender isn't the only useful component of the plant. Lavender extracts have been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure in rodents. Although not a lot of folks think to use lavender as a culinary herb, you can use the flowers in baked products. The leaves may be utilized in precisely the exact same manner you would use rosemary.


See: Health benefits of Yoga

2. Garlic

This pungent seasoning may do more than simply Flavor your food and mess up your breath. Garlic may be able to reduce your blood pressure by helping to grow a chemical in the body called nitric oxide, which may cause your blood vessels to relax and dilate. It's rich in allicin that’s a potent antioxidant, antibacterial, lowers lipid levels, reduces high blood glucose levels, reduces blood glucose and also helps reduce blood pressure. In a 2008 study published in BMC cardiovascular disorders, it was discovered that garlic is effective in reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension compared to a placebo.

If you want to add more garlic to your diet, select fresh garlic instead of processed garlic seasonings since the fresh produce has improved cardio-protective properties. Fresh dried or raw garlic has more allicin when compared to cooked garlic.You can add fresh garlic into a number of your favorite recipes. If the flavor is simply too powerful for you, roast the garlic. And in the event you simply cannot eat the stuff, try adding a little honey on top or get garlic in supplement form


3. Ginger

Ginger can help control blood pressure. In animal studies it's been proven to enhance blood circulation and relax the muscles surrounding blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Commonly utilized in Asian foods, ginger is a versatile ingredient that is also added to candy or drinks. Chop, mince, or grate fresh ginger to stir-fries, soups, and noodle or vegetable dishes, or add it to tea or desserts for a refreshing flavor.


4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another yummy seasoning that needs little effort to have in your daily diet, and it might bring your blood pressure amounts down. One study done in rodents indicated that cinnamon extract reduced both sudden-onset and prolonged high blood pressure. However, the infusion was given intravenously. It is uncertain if cinnamon consumed orally is also powerful.

Studies have found that consuming cinnamon creates short term, but noteworthy reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and it is highly suggested for diabetics. It's been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries due to its powerful medicinal properties. You can include more cinnamon on your diet by scattering it on your breakfast cereal, oatmeal, and even on your own tea, coffee, or milk drink. At dinner, cinnamon enhances the taste of stir-fries, curries, and stews.


See: Ayurveda for chronic conditions

5. Basil

Delicious herb that goes nicely in an assortment of foods. Additionally, it might help decrease your blood pressure. In rodents, basil extract has been proven to reduce blood pressure, although only temporarily. The compound eugenol, which can be found in basil, may block specific substances that tighten blood vessels. This may result in a drop in blood pressure. More studies are necessary.

Adding fresh basil into your diet is simple and certainly can't hurt. Keep a little pot of the herb on your kitchen backyard and add the new leaves to pastas, soups, salads, and casseroles.


6. Flax seed

Flax seed is full of omega-3 fatty Acids, and has been demonstrated in some studies to lower blood pressure. A recent review suggested taking 30-50 g of ground or whole seeds each day for over 12 weeks to receive the best benefits. Flax seed can protect against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by decreasing serum cholesterol, improving sugar tolerance, and acting as an antioxidant.

You can purchase entire or ground flax seed and add it to your home-cooked meals. The best thing about flax seed is it may be stirred into just about any dish, from soups to smoothies to baked products. Storing flax seed into your freezer can allow it to retain optimum potency.


7. Cardamom

This seasoning that comes from India and is frequently utilized in South Asian cuisine. A little research of 20 people exploring the health effects of cardamom found that participants with high blood pressure saw substantial reductions in their blood pressure readings after taking cardamom powder for 3 months. You can incorporate cardamom seeds or powder in spice rubs, soups and stews, as well as baked goods for a particular flavor and a potential positive health benefit.


8. Celery seeds

Celery has been used as a treatment for hypertension in China, and studies in rodents have demonstrated that it might be effective. You may use the seeds, or you can juice the entire plant. Celery can also be a diuretic, which could help explain its impact on blood pressure. Researchers consider that a wide variety of substances in celery can play a role in reducing blood pressure. 

Used commonly as a flavor-enhancer for stews, soups and casserole dishes, celery seeds are an effective treatment for hypertension in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies have proven that celery seeds may be utilized as a safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure, whereas celery juice has a similar effect on blood pressure levels since it is a natural diuretic.


9. Black cumin seeds

Also called nigella sativa seeds, these are traditionally used as a spice but also revered for their medicinal properties. Studies imply that daily use of black cumin seed extract for two months can have a blood pressure-lowering impact in patients with moderate hypertension (HT). Additionally, it will help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which can be further advantageous for cardiac health. Similar results were observed when 70 healthy volunteers aged 34 to 63 years have been awarded Nigella sativa oil for 2 weeks in a clinical trial.


10. Hawthorn

Hawthorn is a natural remedy for high blood pressure which has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for centuries. In rodents, extracts of hawthorn appear to get a plethora of benefits on cardiovascular health, including helping reduce blood pressure, preventing hardening of the arteries, and lowering cholesterol. You may take hawthorn as a capsule, liquid extract, or tea.

Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids such as quercetin and OPC's (oligomeric procyandins) that boost heart health. These decrease risk of hypertension by decreasing arterial blood pressure, while also boosting blood flow.

A pilot research aimed at exploring the Hypotensive possibility of hawthorn extract discovered that it revealed a promising decrease in the resting diastolic blood pressure at week 10, while it also helped reduce stress.


11. Buchu leaf tea

The bloating associated with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure or menstruation can be relieved by drinking buchu leaf tea. In fact, buchu is an ingredient in both Fluidex and Odrinil, two prescription medicines taken for premenstrual bloating. This medicinal plant eases urinary tract infections when they occur in along with problems of the prostate gland.

Buchu is a South African medicinal plant which has also been clinically proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure. It is a natural diuretic and anti inflammatory agent, which makes it a safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure. Early Dutch settlers used buchu to make a brandy tincture, which is still used today to treat several disorders. You can also find buchu supplements in the form of capsules. 


12. Cat’s Claw

Practice to treat hypertension in addition to neurological health issues. Studies of cat's claw as a treatment for hypertension in rodents indicate that it could be useful in reducing blood pressure by acting on calcium channels on your cells. You may get cat's claw in supplement form from many health food outlets.


See: Auricular Acupuncture for Relief of Hypertension and Insomnia

Science of herbs for lowering high blood pressure

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine studied the use of plants and herbs for their blood pressure lowering properties, and published their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists have now zeroed in on a group of plants which have historically been a remedy for hypertension. The scientists took herbal extracts by a varied assortment of unrelated plants, such as lavender, fennel seed extract, basil, thyme, marjoram, ginger, and chamomile.

Specifically, they discovered that these herbs trigger a specific potassium channel named KCNQ5. This potassium channel and others exist in the vascular smooth muscles -- the muscles that line blood vessels. The activation of KCNQ5 leads to the relaxation of these muscles. The researchers believe that this might help clarify some herbs' antihypertensive properties. The scientists also drilled down to ascertain which plant chemical is responsible for triggering the potassium channel. They isolated a compound called aloperine, which is an alkaloid, and were able to identify that aloperine opens KCNQ5 by binding to the foot of the potassium channel.

See: High blood pressure diet menu

Summary

High blood pressure can cause health damage before you are even aware you have it, so don't neglect routine blood pressure checkups. Sometimes treating this condition involves medication, lifestyle changes, or other natural treatments using age old herbs and spices. New research seems to be agreeing and finding out how some of these plants have helped lower high blood pressure. Discuss any herbs or supplements with your physician before taking them. Furthermore, do not stop taking any prescribed drugs without talking with your health care provider.


See: PERSONALIZED WELLNESS PLAN FOR STROKE AND HYPERTENSION

References

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2. High blood pressure facts. (2016). cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

3. Khalesi S. (2015). Flaxseed consumption may reduce blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. DOI: 10.3945/jn.114.205302

4. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). High blood pressure (hypertension). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580

5. Moghadamm MH. (2013). Antihypertensive effect of celery seed on rat blood pressure in chronic administration. DOI:

10.1089/jmf.2012.2664

6. Understanding blood pressure readings.(2017). heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WPUTOldBgla

7. Verma SK, et al. (2009). Blood pressure lowering, fibrinolysis enhancing and antioxidant activities of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) [Abstract]. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361714

8. Akilen R, et al. (2012). Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis [Abstract]. DOI:

10.1016/j.clnu.2012.04.003

9. Zhao CN. (2017). Fruits for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. DOI: 10.3390/nu9060598

10. Rían W. Manville, Jennifer van der Horst, Kaitlyn E. Redford, Benjamin B. Katz, Thomas A. Jepps, Geoffrey W. Abbott, KCNQ5 activation is a unifying molecular mechanism shared by genetically and culturally diverse botanical hypotensive folk medicines, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Oct 2019, 116 (42) 21236-21245; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1907511116

11. Geoffrey W. Abbott, “Biology of the KCNQ1 Potassium Channel,” New Journal of Science, vol. 2014, Article ID 237431, 26 pages, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/237431.

See: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension.

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