It is estimated that approximately a third of the adult population has high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, brain hemorrhage, vision loss and kidney problems.
Studies have shown that certain herbs could normalize the blood pressure level by treating the underlying factors that elevate the blood pressure level. You can take these herbs along with your regular hypertension medications.
Studies have shown that garlic could keep the blood pressure under control. In a small clinical trial, researchers found that people with systolic blood pressure level above 140mm Hg experienced 10.2mm Hg drop in the blood pressure level after taking aged garlic extract for twelve weeks. According to health experts, a 5mm Hg fall in the blood pressure level might lead to eight to twenty percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Allicin, a compound present in garlic, brings down the blood pressure level by triggering synthesis of nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide, compounds that help to relax the blood vessels. Researchers have observed that garlic preparation containing 1.3 per cent allicin could reduce the diastolic blood pressure in people with severe hypertension within five hours.
Hawthorn is used in folk medicine for treating high blood pressure. In a study, researchers found that diabetics who took 1200mg of hawthorn extract for 16 weeks had lower blood pressure level than diabetics on placebo pills.
Researchers believe that bioflavonoids present in the flower and leaf of hawthorn could bring down the abnormal blood pressure level by improving the elasticity and flexibility of the blood vessels. The compounds in hawthorn might reduce the blood pressure level by inhibiting activities of enzymes that stimulate sodium and water retention in the body.
3. Olive leaf
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used olive leaf for treating a variety of ailments. Modern day studies have unraveled the blood pressure lowering property of olive leaf. In a study, researchers evaluated the affect of olive leaf on the blood pressure levels of identical twins diagnosed with borderline hypertension.
The findings showed that in participants who took 1000mg of olive lead extract daily at breakfast, the blood pressure level dropped by 11 points. Besides bringing down the blood pressure level, olive leaf extract could also reduce the blood cholesterol levels.
4. Dandelion leaf
The natural diuretic property of dandelion leaf might reduce the blood pressure level by eliminating the excess water and sodium from the body.
Stevia, a member of the sunflower family, is widely known as a natural sweetener or as a sugar substitute. This herb could also bring down the blood pressure level. Studies have shown that stevioside, a compound present in stevia, could reduce the diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels.
Daily intake of high doses of stevia, containing 750 to 1500mg of stevioside, could cause significant reduction in the blood pressure level. Hypertension patients might experience up to 14mm Hg drop in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure level.
Gingko biloba functions as a natural vasodilator. Vasodilators encourage smooth blood flow throughout the body by dilating the blood vessels. Herbalists believe that this property of ginkgo biloba might reduce the blood pressure level naturally.
Red reishi mushroom is used in Chinese medicine for treating hypertension. Scientists believe that chemicals known as ganoderic acids, present in reishi, might lower the blood pressure level naturally. It might even reduce the bad cholesterol level in the blood. Although the efficacy of the herb in lowering the blood pressure level in humans have not been tested through clinical trails, an animal based study revealed that reishi could reduce the blood pressure level in rats suffering from hypertension. Reishi mushroom is used as a food in Asian cuisines.
Hence, it could be safely included in the diet. However, the blood thinning property of the mushroom might increase the risk of bleeding in people on anticoagulant medications. Some health experts suggest that 150mg to 300mg of reishi mushroom could be taken daily to bring down the blood pressure level.
Mistletoe is often used as a remedy for hypertension. Laboratory studies have shown that the herb could reduce the elevated blood pressure level in hypertensive rats. However, health experts believe that mistletoe might have only a mild affect on the blood pressure level.
In a study, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that mistletoe could act as a blood thinner. This property of the herb might cure high blood pressure by improving blood flow through the blood vessels.
Linden, also known as lime flower, is used in folk medicine for treating several illnesses. Bioflavonoids present in linden blossom relax the arteries and reduce the blood pressure level. This herb could be beneficial for people suffering from mild to moderate hypertension.
In folk medicine, linden flowers are primarily prescribed for treating high blood pressure developing from stress or emotional factors. This herbal medication is usually taken in the form of tea.
Valerian, a common sedative herb, could also bring down your blood pressure level naturally. Laboratory studies have shown that valerian could bring down the blood pressure level in the lab animals.
Valerenic acid, a compound present in valerian, obstructs an enzyme that breaks down gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA is a substance that can bring down the blood pressure level. Hence, valerian intake could elevate the GABA level in your body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, celery is recommended for treating high blood pressure. Studies have shown that compounds known as phthalides present in celery could bring down the blood pressure level by relaxing the muscles of the arteries. As a result, the arteries dilate and the elevated blood pressure level falls.
Animal studies have shown that celery could cause twelve to fourteen per cent reduction in the blood pressure level. Studies have also shown that phthalides in celery could reduce stress. Elevated stress pushes up the blood pressure level by constricting the blood vessels. In addition, celery is a good source of potassium, magnesium and calcium, minerals that help to reduce the blood pressure level.