High blood pressure, medically referred to as hypertension, is a condition where one’s blood pressure registers a reading of 140/90 mmHg or more. Considering that the range for normal blood pressure is between 90/60 – 120/80 mmHg, it is easy to see why medical attention is much needed for anyone with increased blood pressure readings. This is a serious medical condition, and requires prompt attention if affected patients are to make a recovery. Left untreated, hypertension can easily lead to organ failure, strokes and heart attacks among many other complications. This is why it is important to know what some of the condition’s causes are.
Factors that contribute to the likelihood of hypertension include excessive weight gain leading up to obesity, genetic predisposition, excessive alcohol intake as well as the use of certain medication. Other factors include lack of physical activity/leading a sedentary lifestyle as well as diseases affecting the kidney. While there are natural remedies that are known to help treat high blood pressure, it is extremely important to note that they should not be used as a substitute for prescription medicine. In fact, you are advised to use the natural remedies alongside the prescribed medicine, provided you let your physician know what combination you are using to prevent drug-drug interaction. Below are the top natural remedies recommended for the management of high blood pressure.
1. Ripe Bananas:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Regular intake of ripe bananas.
Ripe bananas are best known for their instant energy, but few people are aware that these delicious fruits can actually be used to treat high blood pressure. Here’s how it works: hypertension is triggered by excessive salt (sodium) intake. The levels of sodium and potassium in the body are regulated in synergy. Since bananas are rich in potassium, they help counter the effects of sodium in the body. Make bananas a regular part of your diet if you need to manage high blood pressure.
- Simply snack on the bananas as often as you can, making sure you lower the amount of dietary sodium while at it.
2. Hydrating Using Coconut Water:
Time Required: Staggered during the day.
What You Need: Coconut water, at least 4 glasses daily.
Staying hydrated is a key element in healthy living. For people with hypertension, this need is even greater. While plain water will work just fine, coconut water is also gaining popularity as a home remedy for the management of high blood pressure, thanks to its constituent elements. Coconut water has a high concentration of Magnesium and potassium.
These combined ingredients work well by fighting off the effects of increased Sodium levels within blood circulation. Since this may take some getting used to, you may want to start off with a glass or two of coconut water and slowly work your way upwards with an increase in the number of glasses. Make sure you spread your water intake throughout the day.
- Spread your coconut water intake throughout the day.
3. Raw Garlic:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 cloves of fresh garlic, pestle and mortar and some lemon juice (optional).
Raw garlic may best be known for its use in the kitchen and perhaps for its pungent smell, but this is perhaps one of the best recommended home remedies for the management of high blood pressure. Different studies have shown that garlic does in fact, have a positive effect on the control of the blood pressure levels while decreasing the accumulation of cholesterol levels in the body. The latter plays a fundamental role in keeping blood pressure low, so it works for your benefit.
Additionally, raw garlic works by producing hydrogen sulfide when crushed. This Hydrogen sulfide stimulates blood flow by enhancing the production of nitric oxide which in turn enhances blood circulation and reduces the pressure on the heart. The lemon juice included is used to rinse your mouth and hands if the smell of garlic puts you off.
- Peel and clean the garlic cloves before transferring them to the mortar.
- Use the pestle to crush the cloves to get a paste like substance. This second step is key because it ensures that Hydrogen sulphide is produced, without which the benefits of garlic would not be experienced.
- Chew on the garlic as gently as you can. It does take some getting used to, but for its benefits, the use of raw garlic is a small price to pay.
- Clean your hands and rinse your mouth using the lemon juice.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily for best results (or work your way to increase the frequency of intake gradually).
4. Fresh Lemons:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Fresh lemons, manual juicer and a glass of warm water.
Lemons belong to the family of citrus fruits, and are best known for their high concentration of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps rid the body of free radicals, thus creating a healthier circulatory system. In addition, the lemons go a long way in maintaining the pliability of the blood vessels. Through this, the blood vessels retain their flexible structure and do not become rigid, a factor which has been pointed out to cause high blood pressure. Aim to take fresh lemon juice regularly, making sure you do not add any salt as is common practice because this tends to counter the advantages of this natural remedy.
- Roll the lemons between the palms of your hands as firmly as you can to stimulate the release of juice from the lemons.
- Wash the lemons and cut in half before juicing manually.
- Add the warm water to the collected juice and stir.
- Do not add any salt or sugar.
- Use this remedy early in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach to get the best results.
5. Red Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: Depends on the meal to be prepared before the addition
What You Need: Cayenne pepper powder and your choice food or soup. Hot water (optional)
Cayenne pepper is not only a perfect condiment in the kitchen, it also makes for an excellent natural remedy for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is extremely beneficial for those suffering from mild hypertension. Other benefits of using cayenne pepper include the enhancement of smooth circulation of blood and prevention of clumping blood cells. Since cayenne pepper has a naturally fiery hot taste, it helps to take it alongside food, soup or in plain water.
- Simply add cayenne pepper powder to your preferred dish or soup.
- Alternatively, if you prefer to use water, simply boil the water, add the cayenne pepper and allow to steep for a few minutes.
- You may choose to sieve this mixture or sip it just as it is depending on your personal preferences.
- Sip on this mixture as often as you would like as you work to reducing the elevated blood pressure.
6. Fenugreek Seeds:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of Fenugreek seeds, a cup of water, a strainer and blender.
Fenugreek seeds are loved for their great nutritional value, and have since found great use in the field of natural home remedies. The seeds have been shown to be an effective option in the management of high blood pressure because, just like bananas, they help lower the effect of sodium by increasing the amount of potassium in the body. The seeds are also a great source of dietary fiber, which is a plus because they help prevent excessive weight gain.
- Place the Fenugreek seeds in a pan and add the water.
- Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to boil for about 3 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through the strainer and retain the boiled seeds.
- Transfer the boiled seeds to a blender to get a paste with the desired consistency.
- Eat this paste at least thrice daily, preferably on an empty stomach.
- Use the remedy for about 12 weeks and take note of any improvements.
7. Seeds of the Watermelon Fruit:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup dried watermelon seeds, 1/4 cup poppy seeds and grinder.
Are you one of those people who discard watermelon seeds for whatever reason? Perhaps it is time you put these seeds to good use. The seeds of the watermelon fruit contain an active compound known as cucurbocitrin which assists with the dilation of blood vessels. This, in turn, allows for the proper flow of blood, thus reducing the elevated levels of blood pressure. Poppy seeds are added to compliment the function of the watermelon seeds.
- Place the watermelon and poppy seeds in the grinder and crush to get a coarse mixture (grind some more if you desire a fine mixture).
- Take 1 teaspoon of the mixture early morning, preferably on an empty stomach for the best results.
- Make this a regular part of your mornings and observe any changes in the levels of your blood pressure.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Stalk of celery + a glass of water.
Celery has long been used for the treatment of hypertension in China, and for good reason. Celery has a high concentration of a group of compounds known as phthalides. Phthalides allow for muscle relaxation which is particularly important in allowing the uninhibited flow of blood. The result is a reduction on blood pressure. Celery also has the advantage of providing the body with dietary fiber.
- Munch on the celery stalk alongside a glass of water at any given sitting.
- Alternatively, munch on the celery during the day.
Time Required: Varies depending on your choice exercise routine.
What You Need: Correct gear and/or equipment and willpower.
Exercise, alongside diet, is one of the most important home remedies that you can use to lower high blood pressure. In a world where more people are leading a sedentary lifestyle, it requires you to make a conscious decision to exercise , particularly if you have hypertension. The reason why this works is that the heart, like any organ, consists of muscles which become strengthened with more exercise/physical activity. Strong cardiac muscles make it easy for the heart to pump blood, thus reducing the amount of force that is expended on the arteries. the result is lower blood pressure. Over a considerable period of time, exercise is considered a vital way to lower blood pressure.
Another benefit of taking on regular exercise is that it goes a long way in steering weight loss. These dual benefits may be all the reason you need to get active and manage weight loss with relative ease. If you have not previously led an active lifestyle, you can start of with a few minutes of physical activity daily and build on this to a minimum of half an hour daily. At the onset, do not take on strenuous activities; sometimes even intense house chores such as general cleaning are great options provided they get your heart rate up.
- Schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday and make this a habit.
In addition to the aforementioned remedies, other measures that you could put in place include avoiding processed and refined foods, getting rid of the habit that is adding salt at the table as well as healthy snacking. Other habits worth picking up include limiting alcohol intake, dropping cigarette smoking as well as mindfulness to keep stress at bay. Lastly, try and monitor your blood pressure at home using any of the home blood pressure monitoring kits available in chemists and online stores. Note that this is not a substitute for hospital appointments, and is only used to supplement your personal efforts.