Natural Treatments for Lowering Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is extremely dangerous. It can cause a stroke as well as heart and kidney disease. Unfortunately high blood pressure is common, with an estimated one in four Americans suffering from this condition. Anyone of any age or gender can develop high blood pressure, so it is important to take actions to prevent this occurring. A healthy diet low in salt and sodium along with a regular exercise routine is the most important step to take in preventing and treating high blood pressure.

High blood pressure creates an immense amount of pressure on the body. It can cause a weakened blood vessel to break and cause a bleed in the brain, leading to a stroke. It can cause the vessels in the eyes to become damaged and cause blurred vision or even blindness. It causes the arteries in the body to become harder which creates strain on the heart and kidneys. When the kidney is strained it creates waste build up in the body and the pressure on the heart can lead to heart attack and heart disease.


There are a variety of suggested treatments for high blood pressure. The first step is evaluating your lifestyle habits. A healthy diet and regular exercise plays an essential role in both treating and preventing high blood pressure. Medications are also available, but these can have serious side effects and they should only be used once all other measures have been taken.

High blood pressure can be lowered by making changes in your diet. Lowering sodium and salt intake is essential. Alcohol and coffee can increase blood pressure and should be limited. Smoking is very dangerous for a person with high blood pressure and quitting is recommended. Blood pressure increases with weight gain therefore a healthy diet, designed to maintain regular weight, is very important. A diet low in fat and high in fresh fruit and vegetables is one way to maintain healthy weight. Exercise is probably the most important step in treating and controlling blood pressure. Even a 30 minute walk once a day will make a drastic improvement on your blood pressure levels.


There are a variety of medications available for treating high blood pressure and often more than one is taken. Your doctor will be able to help you find the right ones for you. Many of these work to slow the heart beat, relieving the pressure on the heart and lowering the high blood pressure. These medications include alpha-beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, which open and relax the blood vessel walls, angiotensin antagonists and ACE inhibitors, which also relax the blood vessel walls allowing the blood pressure to go down.


A healthy diet is essential in treating high blood pressure. Recommendations for a healthy diet include a breakfast high in fiber and low in sugar. Many cereals will provide this. Add almonds, crushed flaxseed and sunflower seeds to get a high intake of omega 3 fatty acids which is highly beneficial to maintaining a healthy heart and they are also high in protein. For lunch have a healthy salad with some protein. Chicken, turkey, fish or tuna are high in protein and low in fat. You can have the salad and protein in a whole wheat or whole grain sandwich or on it's own. For dinner have protein and vegetables. You can include brown rice or whole wheat pasta in the meal. Have snacks in between meals. These can be fruits, vegetables or yogurt snacks.

Natural Supplements for Lowering Blood Pressure

Often doctors advise patients to make dietary adjustments and exercise more to lower high blood pressure before prescribing medications. However, sometimes just diet and exercise aren't enough. While many high blood pressure patients take prescription medications, numerous others have found natural blood pressure supplements effective in decreasing blood pressure. A natural supplement is either a dietary or nutritional drug alternative that provides nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty and amino acids.

Fish Oils

Fish oils are high in Omega 3 acids and are important fats which enable the heart to stay healthy, as well as help reduce blood pressure. They're believed to decrease platelet aggregation and restrain smooth-muscle cells from growing in the walls of the arteries. For example, fish oils with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid have proven effective in lowering not only blood pressure, but triglyceride levels as well.

Coenzyme Q10

An oil-soluble substance known as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is produced by the human body and is essential for basic cell functioning. However, the process of aging, as well as some prescription drugs can result in a reduction of CoQ10 levels. Clinical trials, including one published in the 2001 edition of the Southern Medical Journal have found CoQ10 supplements to be effective in treating patients who have a certain form of high blood pressure.

Garlic Supplements

Taking garlic supplements is an excellent way to lower blood pressure and defend your body from developing cardiovascular disease. According to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study, garlic is tied to the amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that's made from garlic compounds that react with red blood cells. The study showed garlic consumption activated red blood cells to discharge H2S, leading to blood vessels relaxing. Participants in the study ate an equivalent of two cloves of fresh garlic.


Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana) comes from a South American shrub native to Paraguay. Widely used as a calorie-free sweetener, stevia is also effective for lowering blood pressure in that it reduces calcium buildup on the walls of blood vessels. In addition to lowering calcium buildup, stevia helps keep the blood vessel walls flexible.

Herbal Supplements

The extract of the dandelion leaf's potent blend of vitamins has a diuretic effect which removes salt and liquid through urination, causing blood vessels to relax. The antioxidant, olive leaf extract, also has some of the same properties as it helps remove plaque buildup, leading to reduced blood pressure. Hawthorn extract is another herb that's been used to support a healthy heart by improving the flexibility of blood vessels and improving heart arteries. Grapeseed extract, an antioxidant rich in polyphenols, is another herbal supplement that's used for lowering blood pressure.


Often herbal supplements are thought to be safe in that they are natural, but this isn't necessarily true. Before taking any herbal supplements, first consult your doctor to make sure you don't take any supplements that could increase or interfere with blood pressure.


Using herbal supplements may increase the need to urinate because of their diuretic effects. Also, be careful not to take too much stevia as this can remove too much calcium, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure.

What Mineral Lowers Blood Pressure?

Experts all agree that a diet rich in minerals--potassium, calcium and magnesium--can go a long way in not only lowering high blood pressure but also in lowering the risks of the disease. But not all minerals are equal in terms of their effectiveness. Studies have shown that each of these minerals has a high- to low-impact on high blood pressure.

Expert Insight

Scientists are certain that a daily intake of potassium can have a dramatic effect in lowering high blood pressure. But not much is known what effect calcium and magnesium have on high blood pressure. Still it's important to understand what impact each of these minerals has on high blood pressure and other aspects of physical health.


Potassium is generally considered the most effective of all minerals. Studies have shown that a low balance of potassium is correlated to high blood pressure. They have also shown that a high intake of potassium is related to lowered blood pressure. Potassium generally helps to create a healthy balance of sodium in the blood cells. The recommended intake of potassium includes 3,500 milligrams a day. There are plenty of foods that are rich in potassium. These include: apricots, avocado, potato (baked with skin), pinto beans, yogurt, orange juice, cantaloupe, banana and winter squash. Potassium supplements are also effective in lowering blood pressure, but should only be taken to alleviate the bad effects of a sodium-imbalance. Doctors generally recommend taking potassium if they also prescribe diuretics, medication that flushes extra salt and water from the system.


Unlike potassium, very little is known about the effects of calcium on those who suffer from high blood pressure. What is known is that the lack of minerals in the body can increase the risk for blood pressure (women who took 800 milligrams of calcium a day saw a 23 percent decreased risk for high blood pressure, according to a Nurses' Health Study). Studies have also shown that calcium doesn't necessarily have as much impact on lowering high blood pressure as potassium. Still, a diet rich in calcium is important, particularly regarding bone density for women. The recommended dosage of calcium is 1,000 milligrams a day for women under 50, and 1,200 milligrams (men) or 1,500 (women) for those over 50. While calcium supplements are effective, the best way to ingest calcium is through foods rich in this mineral. Foods rich in calcium include: yogurt (plain, fat-free), collard greens, ricotta cheese (part skim), fat-free or low-fat milk, orange juice, tofu, broccoli and dry roasted almonds.


Another mineral that is important to have in the system is magnesium. But, unfortunately, there is no link as to whether magnesium can lower high blood pressure. Some studies have shown that there is a slight decrease in high blood pressure rates among those who do ingest magnesium, but not enough to make a remarkable difference. Magnesium, though, does increase the width of blood vessels, which can be helpful in keeping down blood pressure rates. Still, the conclusions in many studies have been inconsistent and experts aren't convinced that magnesium should be prescribed as a treatment for high blood pressure. Experts do recommend a 400-milligrams daily intake of magnesium for other health reasons, such as functions of the heart. Foods naturally rich in magnesium include: almonds or hazelnuts, cooked spinach, cooked swiss chard, dried sunflower seeds, halibut or mackerel, tofu, brown rice and avocado.


One thing to always take into consideration when treating any illness is to consult a physician. Determine whether you have a mineral-deficiency, and then with your physician or dietician create a dietary plan that will be rich in the minerals needed to stay well-balanced and healthy. Also determine what diet or supplements will work best with any hypertension medications.

What Fruits are Good for High Blood Pressure?

The National Institute for Health recommends daily exercise and a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, and particularly those foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium to lower your risk of high blood pressure. So, what fruits in particular provide the highest levels of these three factors?


The National Institute of Health recommends the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan as a key strategy for reducing high blood pressure. This diet calls for a reduction in salt or sodium as an essential first step, followed by lowering fat and sugar intake and increasing fiber through whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The slogan "five a day" was once thought sufficient to cover the recommended intake of fruits and veggies for all people, but as a result of the NIH's DASH study, scientists now know that five may not be the right number for every person. The right amount will depend on the age, physical activity level and sex of the individual.

Fruits With Potassium

Research has shown that potassium may not only help prevent high blood pressure, but may, in fact, contribute to lowering blood pressure. Bananas, apricots, prunes, dates, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries and tomatoes are rich in potassium. If you get three servings of these per day you are probably getting enough potassium. Be careful not to supplement your diet with potassium, as too much dietary potassium can have deleterious effects, particularly on those who are elderly or have kidney disorders.

Fruits With Calcium

One fruit stands out as a good source of calcium. The venerable orange provides a good calcium charge served whole or in juice.

Fruits With Magnesium

Magnesium is harder to come by in fruit, but two stand out as good sources. Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium as are avocados. Avocados are, like tomatoes, a crossover fruit/veggie that serves admirably no matter what you call it.


Research has shown that potassium may actually help lower blood pressure, but potassium should be considered as only part of your total dietary pattern. In fact, the dietary pattern may be more important than the individual elements of the diet. Factors such as salt intake, amount and type of dietary fat, cholesterol, protein and fiber, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium appear to work together to affect blood pressure. Researchers attribute changes in blood pressure to certain patterns of food consumption rather than to individual foods.

Alternatives to Lowering High Blood Pressure

Stress, diet and lack of physical activity all play a role in high blood pressure. Many people turn to the assistance of medications to help alleviate the condition. The problem is that medicine does little to address the lifestyle factors contributing to elevated blood pressure in the first place. By seeking alternatives such as making healthy lifestyle changes, you may find you have the ability to reduce your blood pressure to the normal level of less than 120/80 mm Hg.


High blood pressure puts people at risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure and even blindness. Therefore, many people use medication as a way to treat this dangerous condition. Although drugs help control the problem, many come with undesirable side effects. Lifestyle changes can help you lower your blood pressure and may even eliminate the need for medications.

Healthy Habits

To lower your blood pressure, develop healthy habits:

Eat more fruits, vegetables and fresh food and less processed food. This can help reduce your intake of sodium, which elevates blood pressure in some people. One reason this happens is because sodium causes the body to retain fluid. This fluid leads to an increased blood volume and the heart has to work harder to pump the blood through the body.

Incorporate exercise into your day, whether it is a walk, jog or simply being active in a garden or around the house, and maintain a healthy weight.

Avoid unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and raises heart rate which can raise blood pressure. Those who consume excess alcohol have higher blood pressure than those with low-to-moderate intake levels. Limiting your intake could drop your blood pressure by two to four points.


Research shows that simply reducing sodium intake can drop blood pressure by two to eight points. Following a heart healthy diet such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can drop blood pressure by as much as 8 to 14 points. Choosing alternatives, such as a healthy diet, positively influences the cause of high blood pressure so that it can be lowered long term and not just until your next pill. In addition, lifestyle changes not only improve health but can be financially positive by reducing out of pocket costs for medication.


Elevated blood pressure can also be caused by excess stress. A demanding job, raising a family or a personal crisis can all cause stress and eventually lead to the condition. In addition to taking the alternative steps already mentioned, it is important to learn how to handle stress. Transcendental meditation has been found to be the one of the most effective methods for lowering blood pressure. The technique involves sitting quietly for 20 minutes twice a day with your eyes closed and clearing your mind. This lowers your heart rate and relieves stress, which has a positive influence on your blood pressure.


It is important to consult a medical professional regarding high blood pressure. Dangerously high blood pressure needs to be treated immediately. It may be necessary to take medication while you are making lifestyle changes and then reduce or eliminate the drug after the condition is under control.

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