High blood pressure, also known as silent killer is a very dangerous disease that can lead to dramatic complications if left untreated.
If you have high blood pressure and you do not take actions to bring your blood pressure to the normal level, you may experience stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidneys failure and many other complications.
It is urgent that you take some steps to control your blood pressure. Below are natural remedies that will help you in the process.
1. Cut the Salt
Salt is not the problem when it comes to high blood pressure, per say, but rather its chemical component sodium. A little bit is fine, but too much sodium disrupts the balance of fluid in the body. To “flush” the excess salt from your system, water is drawn from surrounding tissues. The higher volume of liquid results in the heart working harder to pump the blood-hence, high blood pressure. Sure we use a lot of table salt on our foods, but still, that amount isn’t enough to account for the rise in blood pressure. Actually, only 6% of our salt consumption comes from the table shaker. The vast amounts of salt we consume daily (on average 1-2 generous teaspoons) couldn’t possibly be caused by the salt we sprinkle on our food alone. No you have to dig a little bit more to get to the source-processed foods. Such an extraordinary quantity of excess salt is added into processed foods it’s easy to stray over the healthy limit of sodium intake. A specific example-a single microwave “roast turkey” meal can have salt in the meat, the flavoring, the gravy, the stuffing, and the potatoes, to equal a whopping 5,400 milligrams of sodium. The utmost maximum daily limited is listed at 2,300 milligrams-even less for African Americans, men, and anyone over the age of 51. If you fall into one of those categories, you should only consume less than ½ teaspoon a day. Even foods that are labeled low-fat or low in sugar can still contain a boatload of sodium. Food companies do this to, logically, increase the value of their products. We get hooked on the flavor. Of all the flavors (sweet, sour, etc.,) it is the hardest to live without. How do you fight it to lower your blood pressure?
You will need…
-the power of will
In short, slowly add less and less to your cooking. And of course, read the labels on the food you buy carefully. Remember the number 2,300 for daily intake of sodium-any higher than that, and it’s a no-go. You’ll find yourself turning to home cooked meals, where you can control the amount of salt added, instead of processed foods. Stick with it, and you will find if you go back to an excess amount of salt after adjusting your taste buds to less, you will be close to repulsed at the flavor.
Intensive research has shown that the more salt you eat, the more you need. If you eat less salt, you only need to add less to your food or have less in your food, to be satisfied with a smaller amount. We are not born liking salt. A baby will get joy from a droplet of sugar water, but there is no taste, no craving, for salt until 6 months of age. When studied children were fed salty foods, versus children who ate more fruits and vegetables, a craving was created in the former group where none existed before. These cravings can shape you’re eating habits for years. Soups, chips, crackers, pizza, sauces, fries, etc. etc., it’s easy for even the young generations to get hooked on salt at an early age. Keep your wits about you!
2. Sip Some Hibiscus
Cultures across the world have used hibiscus to naturally manage blood pressure, but it wasn’t until the past decade that studies were actually conducted that showed there was more to the remedy than just folklore. First, hibiscus acts as a diuretic, which draws sodium from the bloodstream, thus decreasing the pressure on the arterial walls. Even more interesting is how it can mimic angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are a common group of pharmaceutical drugs used to treat high blood pressure. They work by hampering the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which plays a crucial role in the renin-angiotensin system- a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance. As a result of this inhibition, blood vessels relax and blood volume is lowered, decreasing blood pressure. While certainly not as potent as those ACE drugs prescribed, it can still be surprisingly effective.
You will need…
-1-2 teaspoon of dried hibiscus
-1 cup of fresh, piping hot water
-Honey, lemon, or 1-2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
Bring water to a boil and add the hibiscus and cinnamon sticks (if using them) and allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Add honey or lemon to taste, and drink 2-3 times daily. This also makes a lovely iced tea for those sticky hot summer days.
3. Drink Coconut Water
Coconut water is found inside the shell of green, unripe coconuts that retains its natural benefits in organic and raw form. It contains potassium and magnesium, both of which relate to regular muscle function, and of course, the heart is a big giant muscle. While there have been some limited studies on the effect of coconut water on hypertension, many people report anecdotally that it has helped lower blood pressure. In studies, it seemed to particularly affect systolic blood pressure, or the force that takes place when the heart pumps blood away from it. If you don’t have a problem with coconut water, it may prove to be a solid remedy for you.
You will need…
-8 ounces of fresh, organic coconut water
Drink 8 ounces 1-2 times daily. Morning is ideal if you drink it once a day, while morning and night works well if you opt to drink it twice a day.
……10. Cat’s Claw Decoction
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody climbing vine found in South and Central America, with its most notable use being in the Amazon rainforest. It is named after the thorns on the plant which are hooked, much like cats claws. It has been used as a traditional remedy in its native habitat for a long time, but test tube studies finally revealed evidence for promising benefits, one amongst them being lowering blood pressure. It does so by dilating the blood vessels (known as vasodilation) and therefore lowering the pressure by allowing blood to flow through more readily. It can also act as a mild diuretic, getting rid of unneeded salt and water in the body, which can again reduce hypertension. The tannins and flavonoid are most likely the main constituents that account for the herbs healing actions.
Here it is made into a flavorful decoction that will give you all of its benefits. A decoction is essentially a tea, but is simmered for much longer as it is made from the woody, tough, fibrous parts of the plant such as roots or (in this case) bark. There are two things to keep in mind when searching for your herb-first, make sure its scientific name matches the one above (there are several other plants known as cats claw) and secondly, make sure it is from an ecologically sustainable Cats Claw should be avoided by women who are pregnant.
You will need…
-1-2 tablespoons of dried herb
-1 ½-2 cups of cold water
-Honey or lemon to taste
Place the herb and water in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a slow simmer. Cover, and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add more water (or less) depending on how concentrated you want the tea to be. Strain, add honey or lemon if desired, and drink once daily.
11. Beautiful Blueberry Syrup
Syrups are, hands down, one of my most favorite ways of incorporating the benefits of herbs and spices into daily life. While the word “syrup” may make you think of something sickly sweet and heavy-the opposite of what you want for heart health-that isn’t the case here. The “syrup” that you see on grocery store shelves may not be the best, but made at home it is a wonderful (delicious) way to give yourself a natural boost. And if we’re honest with ourselves, sometimes choking down bitter tea makes it hard to stay on track with a remedy. Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid quercetin, the benefits of which are explained in remedy number 5, as it is also found in hawthorn. You can mix in elderberries for an extra heart healthy kick as well-surprise, surprise they’re good for more than just warding off the cold and flu!
You will need…
-8 tablespoons of dried blueberries OR 4 tablespoons each of dried blueberries and elderberries.
-4 cups of water
-1 cup of honey
-A pot, strainer, and glass jar with an airtight lid
Add the dried berries to the water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the solids out, pressing on them to extract any extra juices, and pour the liquid back into the pot. Stir in the honey, warming the mixture just to ensure the two blend together thoroughly. Here there are two different paths you can take. For thicker syrup, heat the honey and berry juice over medium-high heat for 20 minutes. If you’d rather not cook the syrup, and are ok with one that is slightly thinner, skip this step. Once mixed, bottle and label and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks. Take 1 tablespoon twice daily.