Is your blood pressure continuously staying above 140/90 mmHg? Are you suffering from any of the symptoms of high blood pressure such as headaches, dizziness etc.?
What is high blood pressure and what are the dangers of having it?
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension medically, is characterized by a blood pressure reading 140/90 mmHg or high. A blood pressure reading between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg is considered to be pre-hypertension, a condition that increases your chances of developing high blood pressure later in life. Having high blood pressure is dangerous as it may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also increases the risk of other diseases such as kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and diabetes and vision loss.
Herbal remedies of high blood pressure
High blood pressure can be treated in a variety of ways including medicines and lifestyle modifications. There are many herbal treatments available to treat high blood pressure. However, before trying any type of herbal medicines, do consult your physician as some of the herbs may produce undesirable side effects. Let us discuss some of the herbal remedies to treat high blood pressure.
- Basil: A delicious and flavorful herb, basil is very often used in a variety of cuisines. It is also known to have medicinal properties. It may also help lowering your blood pressure numbers. It has been demonstrated that extract of herb reduces blood pressure, though for a small time. However, using fresh basil in your everyday food is quite easy and will not cause any harm. You can easily grow basil in a small pot in your kitchen garden and enjoy the fresh flavor by adding it in your pastas, soups, stews, salads and other dishes.
- Cinnamon: It has been demonstrated that consuming cinnamon regularly (daily) may reduce blood pressure readings in individuals suffering from diabetes. Cinnamon is also a tasty and flavorful herb that is frequently used in many cuisines. You can easily add it your daily diet. You can sprinkle some on your regular dishes such as breakfast cereal, oatmeal etc. You can also add it to your favorite cup of coffee. Enhance the flavor of your stews, soups, curries and stir fries by garnishing them with cinnamon and reap its benefits.
- Cardamom: Cardamom is used as a seasoning that has its origin in India and is often used in South Asian cuisine. A study was done to investigate the health effects of cardamom, which demonstrated that subjects who were given cardamom powder every day for several months had significant decrease in their blood pressure numbers. To get the benefits of cardamom, include its seeds or powder in soups, stews, spices or baked goods. It not only provides health benefits but also imparts a special flavor to your food.
- Garlic: Garlic relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, thereby, lowering the blood pressure. Due to dilatation and relaxation of your blood vessels, blood flows freely in them, reducing the blood pressure readings. Fresh garlic can be added into a number of recipes. You can roast the garlic before adding into recipes, if you don't like the pungent smell and taste of garlic. Garlic is also available in supplement form if you can't eat it at all.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times as a remedy to lower blood pressure. Decoctions made from this herb is useful in promoting heart health by reducing blood pressure, preventing the formation of blood clot, thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack and increasing the circulation of blood in the blood vessels. Hawthorn can be taken in the form of tea, or pill or you can take the liquid extract of Hawthorn.
- Celery seed: Celery seed is a type of herb that is used as a flavoring agent in soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. It has been used since ancient times in China as an agent to reduce high blood pressure. However, its effectiveness in treating blood pressure has been demonstrated in various studies too. Both the seeds and the juice of whole plant can be used as a remedy to reduce blood pressure. Celery has diuretic properties, explaining its effects on lowering blood pressure.
- French Lavender: Lavender oil has been used since ancient times as an ingredient in perfumes and to promote relaxation of senses. One of the benefits of this herb is that it may be used to reduce blood pressure. You can use the leaves of lavender in a similar manner as you use rosemary and the flowers of lavender can be used in baked goods.
- Cat's Claw: Cat's Claw has been used since ancient times in the traditional Chinese medicine to cure hypertension and also some neurological problems. Various studies has been done to prove the benefits of Cat's Claw as a blood pressure reducing herb, which have demonstrated that acts on the calcium channels of your cells and reduce blood pressure. Cat's Claw is available in supplement form at many health food stores.
Apart from the herbal remedies mentioned above, you can lower your blood pressure by following the below mentioned tips:
- If you are obese, losing some weight may help in reducing your blood pressure.
- Get regular exercise to reduce weight, improve BMI, and reduce blood pressure. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), walking regularly can also help in lowering your numbers. It is recommended to get involved in moderate physical activity at least for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
- According to the Mayo Clinic a DASH diet is recommended in lowering blood pressure. It is also known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. It involves eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eat more of fruits and veggies, low fat dairy and whole grains and reduce your portion size.
- Restrict your salt and sodium intake.
- Lower your stress by indulging in activities such as meditation and deep breathing.