Natural Remedies For High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be reduced not only with medication. General measures such as regular exercise, the right diet and the reduction of overweight can also reduce high blood pressure. Read here all the important answers to the question “What to do against high blood pressure – apart from drug treatment?
What to do if you have high blood pressure? Natural Remedies For High Blood Pressure
If you want to reduce high blood pressure, a change in lifestyle is essential: this includes a balanced diet with little salt and alcohol, regular exercise, the reduction of overweight and the avoidance of nicotine. In addition, many patients are interested in alternative cures and home remedies that can help them lower high blood pressure naturally. All of this can work so well that the patient does not need any antihypertensive drugs or can reduce their dose. But be careful: The medication dose should only be changed by the doctor, never on your own!
Lowering blood pressure: the right diet
Most people in the industrialized countries eat too fatty, too salty and unbalanced diets. The results of these dietary errors include obesity, elevated blood lipid levels and high blood pressure. This combination of three can have serious consequences for the heart and blood vessels, such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes mellitus. The good news, however, is that those who change their diet and other habits when suffering from high blood pressure can have a positive influence on the course of the disease and prevent possible secondary diseases.
High blood pressure: Mediterranean-style nutrition
There are a number of basic tips on how to control high blood pressure with a healthy diet. Many of these include the so-called DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This form of nutrition, which was compiled by US researchers, is based primarily on a Mediterranean lifestyle with lots of fruit, vegetables and healthy fats.
- If possible, eat fruit or vegetables with every meal, preferably fresh and natural. Freshly squeezed juices, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables can also be a useful addition to the menu.
- Fibre is important for the whole organism: wholemeal bread, cereal flakes and natural rice keep the blood sugar level constant and provide many valuable nutrients.
- Eat less animal fats and saturated fatty acids. These are found in sausages, butter and margarine, for example. Use vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil or olive oil more often.
- Switch from high-fat cheese and other dairy products to low-fat alternatives such as cottage cheese, low-fat curd or low-fat yoghurt.
High blood pressure & salt
Salt consumption plays an important role in the development of high blood pressure: common salt (sodium chloride) binds water in the body and provides more fluid in the cardiovascular system – thus increasing the pressure in the blood vessels.
High blood pressure patients should therefore consume a maximum of five to six grams of table salt per day. This corresponds to a daily amount of 2 to 2.4 grams of sodium. This salt reduction is achieved by avoiding very salty products, fast food and finished products (pizza, chips, crisps, crackers, etc.). Many types of sausage and cheese, smoked and pickled foods (especially canned fish) and ready-made sauces also contain plenty of salt. Therefore only eat small amounts of it!
Also try to cook as much as possible yourself. When seasoning, it is better to use fresh herbs and spices than table salt. Attention: Stock cubes and powder also consist mainly of salt!
High blood pressure & alcohol
A healthy diet for high blood pressure not only includes the right food; the choice of drinks is also important. Alcohol plays a decisive, albeit ambivalent, role in cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It has been found that an occasional glass of wine can have a protective effect on the heart. But this is only true for small amounts of alcohol.
That is why it is recommended: Healthy men should drink less than 20 to 30 grams of alcohol per day. This corresponds to about half a litre of beer or a quarter of a litre of wine with an average alcohol content. Healthy women should consume less than 10 to 20 grams of alcohol per day.
There are also studies which show that these quantities are already too high, in this case coming from the European Union. According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA) in Germany, 24 grams of alcohol per day are considered harmless for healthy men. In healthy women, this limit is about 12 grams of alcohol per day.
Anything beyond this is harmful to the organism in the long run. This is especially true for people who already suffer from high blood pressure and other pre-existing conditions. After all, alcohol is anything but a blood pressure reducer: anyone who regularly consumes more than 30 grams of alcohol doubles their risk of developing hypertension. If hypertension exists, health is additionally burdened by increased alcohol consumption. For people with severe hypertension, it may make sense to avoid alcohol altogether.
High blood pressure & coffee
After a large cup of coffee or a caffeinated energy drink, blood pressure rises measurably for a short time. This is especially true if you normally do not or only rarely consume caffeine. For people who drink coffee regularly, the short-term rise in blood pressure is less pronounced or even stops altogether. To be on the safe side, experts recommend avoiding caffeine (also in the form of black tea) shortly before a blood pressure measurement.
As far as the long-term effect of caffeine is concerned, various studies have come to very different conclusions. Some even attest that regular coffee consumption has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, while others have found little effect on blood pressure. Therefore, there is no general ban on coffee for people with high blood pressure. However, experts recommend that patients consume in moderation, i.e. no more than about two to three cups a day.
In individual cases, the doctor may also make a different recommendation. For example, if hypertension patients also have gastritis or cardiac arrhythmia, it may be sensible to do without caffeine altogether. Therefore, ask your doctor which caffeine consumption he considers advisable in your case.
Lower blood pressure: reduce overweight
Overweight and high blood pressure are closely related. In order to assess whether your body weight is in the green zone, a glance at the scale alone is not necessarily meaningful. Experts usually use the so-called Body Mass Index (BMI) for weight assessment. This can be easily calculated using the following formula:
BMI = body weight (kg)/body height (m)2
A value of more than 25 kg/m2 indicates overweight. Values above 30 even indicate obesity (adiposity).
If you are overweight or even obese and want to lower your high blood pressure, you should definitely try to lose a few kilos. Discuss with your doctor how you can best reduce your weight and still eat a healthy diet. The above mentioned nutrition tips are a good guide! In addition, regular exercise helps to lower your high blood pressure and promote your health.
Lose kilos and reduce abdominal girth
The decisive factor in weight loss is not only that you weigh less kilos, but also that your abdominal girth is reduced. A large abdominal girth indicates a lot of abdominal fat – i.e. fat deposits around the internal organs. These are even more dangerous than fat pads on hips and thighs: abdominal fat produces signalling substances that can ultimately increase the risk of various diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Therefore, the abdominal girth should be less than 102 centimetres for men and less than 88 centimetres for women.
Lowering blood pressure: exercise and sport
Regular exercise and sports have been shown to lower high blood pressure. For example, moderate endurance training five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes at a time can reduce resting blood pressure by up to 10 mmHg. This effect already occurs after a few weeks of training.
Which sport is most suitable for you depends, among other things, on your age, your state of health and the severity of your high blood pressure. It is also important that you enjoy the chosen sport. Only then are you likely to remain motivated in the longer term. Generally recommended are light endurance sports such as Nordic walking, jogging, cycling or swimming. Less suitable, on the other hand, are sports with rapidly changing pulse rates such as tennis. Also refrain from strength sports that involve pressure breathing and blood pressure peaks (such as lifting weights).
A doctor or sports therapist can advise you on the design of your sports programme. He may also suggest a suitable training intensity. The training should challenge you, but not overstrain you – this is very important!
Some people have difficulty motivating themselves to exercise and sports on their own. If this also applies to you, you should join a sports group or sports club or arrange a regular training session with a friend.
Make sure you also get more exercise in everyday life. For example, use the stairs instead of the elevator and take the bicycle more often instead of the car or bus. Such small movement units are effective if they last at least ten minutes.
Lower blood pressure: stop smoking
Smoking has many harmful effects on health. Among other things, it constricts the blood vessels and increases blood pressure. It also promotes arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and the associated secondary diseases such as stroke and heart attack.
The renunciation of cigarettes & Co. is therefore beneficial for everyone. However, a stop smoking is particularly advisable for hypertension sufferers: if you stop smoking, you can lower your high blood pressure. This also reduces the cardiovascular risk enormously! Patients can get help from their doctor to stop smoking.
Those who cannot completely do without nicotine should at least smoke less. This may not have the desired blood pressure-lowering effect. But heart, lungs, vessels & Co. are still grateful for every “not smoked” cigarette!
Lowering blood pressure with medicinal plants
There are various home remedies for high blood pressure that can be used to supplement conventional medical treatment. For example, many plants are said to have an antihypertensive or dehydrating effect – partly proven, partly without clear proof of effect. These include medicinal herbs and some foods and spices. For example, the following are considered useful aids for blood pressure monitoring:
- Wild garlic
- Green tea
- Arnica flowers
- Olive leaves
- Hibiscus flowers
- Melissa leaves
- Lavender Flowers
You can buy these plants partly dried, as pressed juice or as essential oil. Many of them are suitable for preparation as tea, but also as bath additive (do not bathe too warm!). A pharmacist or experienced therapist can advise you on the selection and use of suitable medicinal plants against high blood pressure.
Here is an example of a tea blend with which one can naturally lower high blood pressure: Mix together 25 grams of each of the following medicinal plants (from the pharmacy): Mistletoe, hawthorn leaves and flowers, birch leaves and lemon balm leaves. Drink one cup of it in the morning and one cup in the evening.
Caution: Rauwolfia root (Indian snake root) with the main active ingredient Reserpin was for a long time an important remedy against high blood pressure. However, the medicinal plant can have considerable side effects, such as a slowing of the heartbeat, gastro-intestinal disturbances and depressive moods with a risk of suicide. The Rauwolfia root, its extracts and reserpine are therefore no longer used today as a single preparation (monotherapy) for high blood pressure. Only low-dose reserpine is used and in combination with other blood pressure-lowering agents. All preparations and alkaloids from the medicinal plant are available only on prescription. This also applies to certain homeopathic preparations (see below).
Lowering blood pressure: homeopathy
Some people use homeopathy for high blood pressure. Various means are used here, for example:
- Aconitum D6:for sudden rise in blood pressure, palpitations and anxiety
- Arnica D6: for tinnitus, dizziness, irregular and rather weak pulse, palpitations after every effort and frequent nosebleeds
- Aurum D6: for red face, restlessness, melancholy and heavy heartbeat
- Crataegus D6: in elderly people with dizziness, heart restlessness and possibly chest tightness (angina pectoris)
- Rauwolfia D6: in case of high blood pressure with sensation of heat
In addition, the homeopathic drugs nux vomica, phosphorus and lachesis are used for constitutional treatment of hypertension patients. The aim is not to treat the current symptoms and diseases (such as high blood pressure), but to positively influence the so-called constitution type of a person. The type picture of the three homeopathics mentioned is said to fit well to hypertensive patients.
When selecting and dosing homeopathic remedies for high blood pressure, it is recommended to consult an experienced homeopath. This is especially true for the use of Rauwolfia: all homeopathic preparations up to and including potency D3 are available only on prescription. Lower potencies are available without prescription, but should only be used on the advice of an experienced therapist!
The concept of homeopathy and its specific effectiveness is controversial in science and has not been clearly proven by studies.
More tips and home remedies for high blood pressure
Stress causes blood pressure levels to skyrocket. This is particularly unfavorable in cases of pre-existing high blood pressure. But it is not always possible to avoid stressful situations. Therefore, strategies should be learned to better cope with stress. For example, try to take stressful situations that you cannot change as they are. Take your time to consider possible solution strategies instead of stubbornly opposing them or getting senselessly upset about them.
Some people are also helped by special relaxation techniques such as yoga, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobsen or Qi Gong. They calm the sympathetic nervous system, which causes the vessels to dilate. This can lower high blood pressure when used regularly.
Alternating heat applications have a positive influence on the circulation of hypertension patients (and other people). For example, try alternating foot baths, knee and thigh casts or arm casts. They stimulate the circulation and can contribute to blood pressure regulation in the long term. A visit to the sauna and massages are also recommended.
Conclusion: Lower blood pressure without medication
Whether sports training, diets, saunas, medicinal plants, homeopathy or other alternative healing methods: Discuss all measures and applications first with your treating physician. He can give you valuable tips or maybe even warn you about some things. For example, taking a sauna and cold casts may not be advisable in cases of very severe or poorly adjustable high blood pressure.
All of the above mentioned measures can – if used correctly – lower high blood pressure. In this way, they support any necessary treatment with antihypertensive drugs.