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10 natural ways to help lower blood pressure

Thursday, 2 March 2017  |  Admin

What Is High Blood Pressure or Hypertension?
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and can, over time, cause damage to artery walls by stretching them beyond their natural limits. Blood pressure is typically recorded as the ratio of two numbers. The first number (systolic) measures the pressure in the arteries when the ventricles (lower chambers of heart) contract. The second number (diastolic) measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats, when the ventricles relax. High blood pressure or hypertension is when blood pressure is higher than the universally accepted level of 140 over 90 mmHg.

A number of factors can contribute to elevated blood pressure, including genetics, stress, diet, smoking, and lack of exercise. Lifestyle choices such as moderate exercise and eating a diet with more fruits and vegetables and less meats and dairy products can go a long way toward reducing high blood pressure. Because there are often few, if any, obvious symptoms, if you think you are at risk, it is important to have your blood pressure professionally checked regularly.

Can Herbs & Plant Extracts Help?
There are many ways to alleviate high blood pressure, including lifestyle changes and/or medications and you may be considering some natural ways of helping the process by incorporating some of these herbs and plant extracts into your daily diet. Before you consider any regular meaningful use of them you should consult your doctor. Some herbs, especially in large quantities, may produce undesirable interactions with some important medications and should never ever be used as any kind of substitute for prescribed medication.

Whilst the herbs and plant extracts listed here may assist in lowering blood pressure, you should always consult your doctor if you have any related health concerns as they may be symptomatic of possibly underlying medical issues that will require your doctors intervention.

Image of Basil from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

1. Basil
This popular herb has numerous culinary uses and the addition of fresh basil to your diet is therefore relatively easy. Research suggests that whilst its ability to help lower blood pressure can be transient, including it regularly in your diet can only be good for you. It is easy to grow and will thrive in a small pot in a kitchen garden ready to be added to pastas, soups, casseroles and salads.

An average portion of five leaves contains no calories and no fats.

Image of Cinnamon from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

2. Cinnamon
This distinctive and tasty seasoning has been shown to help lower blood pressure, especially in diabetics. It also contains high levels of antioxidants that can help protect the body from harmful free radicals. Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may also help fight various kinds of infection. Cinnamon can be used to sprinkle on breakfast cereals and added to stir fries, curries, stews and many sweet dishes for an extra flavour zing.

An average portion of one teaspoonful of powder contains six calories and no fats.

Image of Cardamom from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

3. Cardamom
This is a popular South Asian seasoning originating in India where it extensively used in numerous local dishes. It is either used as whole pods which are removed after cooking or as a powder which has an even wider array of culinary uses. A study indicated that long term use of the powder form offered many participants a significant lowering of blood pressure.

An average portion of one teaspoonful of powder contains six calories and no fats.

Image of Flaxseed from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

4. Flaxseed
This tiny seed, which has been used for centuries, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are known to help lower blood pressure. They are also known for their antioxidant properties which can improve overall health by helping the body to rid itself of unwanted toxins. They have a minimal taste and can therefore be incorporated in savoury and sweet dishes without significantly affecting the primary flavours.

An average portion of one teaspoonful contains 13 calories and 1.1gm of fats.

Image of Garlic from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

5. Garlic
This very pungent seasoning evokes mixed emotions and should always be used with caution! Its ability to help lower blood pressure by relaxing and dilating blood vessels has been well known for decades and for many these benefits can outweigh its odour and taste. It can be added to many dishes and its pungency can be reduced by roasting it. Alternatively, if consuming it in these forms is just not for you, there are dietary supplements that overcome this issue whilst still offering the positive benefits.

An average portion of one teaspoonful contains four calories and no fats.

Image of Ginger from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

6. Ginger
This is another fairly pungent seasoning that has numerous culinary uses. It is most commonly used in Asian cuisine where it can be chopped, minced or grated into stir fries, soups and noodle dishes. It can also be added to desserts and drinks to add a refreshing additional flavour. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its positive effects.

An average portion of one teaspoonful contains two calories and no fats.

Image of Hawthorn from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

7. Hawthorn
This plant has been used for centuries as a Chinese traditional remedy, where a decoction is used for helping to lower blood pressure whilst helping to increase blood circulation. Recent research also seems to support its ability to help lower cholesterol levels. The "haws" or fruits are edible and are sometimes used to make a jelly or homemade wine. Hawthorn can also be obtained as a dietary supplement.

Calories and fat content are not known for this plant.

Image of Celery Seeds from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

8. Celery Seeds
These seeds are often used to add a distinctive flavour and aroma to soups, stews, casseroles and many other savoury dishes. Celery has a long traditional use in China for treating hypertension and In recent studies, celery demonstrated both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The whole plant can be juiced and acts as an effective diuretic, which may explain its ability to help lower blood pressure.

An average portion of one teaspoonful contains three calories and no fats.

Image of French Lavender from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

9. French Lavender
This beautifully scented plant may not seem like an obvious choice for helping to lower blood pressure but lavender oil induces relaxation which in turn can assist with lowering blood pressure. Although not widely used in the kitchen, the leaves can be used in cooking the same way as rosemary. The flowers are often incorporated into household items such as pillows that can aid relaxation and help alleviate insomnia.

Calories and fat content are not known for this plant.

Image of Cats Claw from a list of 10 herbs and plants to help lower blood pressure

10. Cats Claw
This plant is widely used as a traditional Chinese remedy for hypertension. The mechanism of action revealed by recent studies appears to show an interaction with calcium channels in cells that leads to widening of blood vessels and to a subsequent lowering of blood pressure. It also appears to act as a diuretic which may further improve blood pressure. This plant is widely available as a dietary supplement extract.

Calories and fat content are not known for this plant.

About The Author

David Watkins is a long-serving senior member of the management of Tonvara Natural Supplements, a family owned company based in the heart of the Sussex countryside in the UK.