High blood pressure is a threatening epidemic that is fast engulfing the world. Lack of exercise, obesity, stress and many other factors contribute to the occurrence of this lifestyle disease. High blood pressure can adversely affect the entire body of a person by making him or her susceptible to heart diseases, kidney failure, stroke etc. Discussed below are a few herbal remedies that can make a world of difference in your condition and ensure a disease free life.
Herbs for Blood Pressure
Cinnamon to Spice up Your Life
Cinnamon is a spice that is known to have several medicinal benefits, the most important being its heart protective and anti diabetic properties. Several studies involving cinnamon has led to the conclusion that intake of the spice every day, at least 250 mg in its water soluble form, leads to 13- 23 percent increase in antioxidant levels in the body, thereby reducing blood sugar levels drastically.
Known as Origanum vulgare and belonging to the mint family, oregano is a perennial herb that contains a compound known as carvacrol. Carvacrol contains certain properties that help in reducing blood pressure in the human body. Extensive studies on animals have led to the discovery that carvacrol in oregano helps in reducing the heart rate, mean arterial pressure and also influence the systolic as well as diastolic pressure, thereby leading to a healthy blood pressure.
Hawthorn is a traditional herb that has been in use for generations for the treatment of high blood pressure and disorders of the heart and circulatory system. The strong bioflavonoids in hawthorn help in reducing blood pressure and in protecting the heart. Extracts have to be taken thrice a day and for at least a few months for the results to surface. Capsules, tincture and berries are widely used for treatment and it takes at least 2-3 weeks for the results to surface.
This pleasant and aromatic herbal spice is known for its potency in reducing blood pressure and primary hypertension without causing any side effects to the subject. 3 grams of cardamom powder taken every day for three months will yield results in the form of reduced blood pressure, increased well being and general health. This is due to the significant increase in antioxidant levels in the body that helps in naturally breaking down blood clots. Cardamom also keeps the blood lipid and fibrinogen levels stable and hence a very good natural remedy for high blood pressure and related disorders.
Known widely as the ‘elixir of life’, the benefits of drinking green tea far outweighs its disadvantages. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties along with cholesterol reducing and cardiovascular benefits are great for all round health. Green tea is known to reduce total cholesterol levels in the body and helps in increasing the beneficial HDL as well.
Taking up to three cups a day is recommended for reducing stress, removing toxins from the blood and also in reducing blood pressure. EGCG is the active ingredient in green tea that helps in the reduction of blood pressure. EGCG helps in reducing blood clots and works in almost the same lines as aspirin, which is a common blood thinning medication. Two to three cups a day helps in providing adequate polyphenols necessary for reduction of blood pressure in the body.
Among all the herbs, garlic is probably the only one which is attributed with several medicinal and strong immune boosting properties. Garlic is also known to have tumour destructive capabilities along with its power in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and in treating several common disorders of the body. Allicin, the active compound in garlic is known to possess antibacterial, antioxidant, blood pressure and lipid lowering properties when taken regularly.
A dose of fresh garlic (2-3 cloves) with allicin equal to 1.3 % when taken daily is known to reduce blood pressure, with a dramatic decrease in diastolic blood pressure as well. This significant decrease was noted within fourteen hours of intake of garlic. Fresh and raw garlic cloves are known to be much more potent than cooked and processed formulations like capsules or extracts.
A much preferred diuretic and treatment for enlarged prostate in men, stinging nettle is also an effective blood pressure reducing herb. Its diuretic property helps in reducing the systolic blood pressure in the body. Root, tincture or the dried leaves can be used for treatment of blood pressure. Though side effects are rare, it is not recommended for pregnant women and those on blood thinning medication, unless you are using it under the guidance of a registered herbal practitioner.
Widely popular in Ayurveda, this thick and red hued bark is used extensively for treating cardiac related problems. The herb has now come into focus and has attained widespread acclaim in modern medicine as well for its cholesterol and blood pressure reducing properties and for treating heart failure and coronary artery diseases.
Arjuna bark is also known to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol while it reduces the bad cholesterol and this helps in reducing blood pressure, as many instances of blood pressure are related to clogging of arteries as a result of cholesterol deposits. Apart from that, Arjuna bark is also rich in antioxidants, which add to its healing benefits. Up to 3 grams of the dried bark can be taken per day for relief and protection.
Flavonoids are powerful compounds that can help in strengthening the immune system and also in reducing blood pressure. Quercetin is a flavonoid found in onions that help in reducing instances of stroke and heart attack. Intake of onions or quercetin extracts by people with hypertension has led to a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 7mmHg and 5mmHg respectively as compared to those who were administered placebos for the same.
Mediterranean diet, which is praised as one of the healthiest in the world is replete with olives and there lies the secret of good health, longer lives, and stronger cardiovascular systems of Mediterranean people.
Olive oil is known to be heart healthy and contains abundant polyphenols that help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure too.
Daily usage of olives or olive oil helps in reducing hypertension and also protects the heart from premature damage. Patients who were on blood pressure medications were able to reduce the dosage by about half with the addition of 40 grams of olive oil in their diet, along with diet control.