Though the world of medicine has several high blood pressure medications, natural herbs, such as basil, parsley, Chinese cat’s claw, celery seeds, garlic, thyme, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom can do the trick.
High blood pressure is a unique problem that affects many people worldwide, leading to all sorts of coronary diseases, such as heart attack, cardiac arrest, and even stroke. Many people consider changing diet and incorporating regular exercise to improve their heart health and keep hypertension at bay. A change of diet can also help lower high blood pressure through healthy eating, adequate intake of fluids, and reduced stress. In addition to these means, you can also add herbs to your diet to help keep your blood pressure under check.
Managing High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be diastolic, the bottom number, often 80 mm Hg, systolic, the top number, often 130 mm Hg, or both. Physicians recommend high blood pressure medications, such as calcium channel blockers, to help balance it. There is also the recommendation of lifestyle and dietary change to lower the risk of j=heart disease. Some herbs have also proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure and can be considered excellent adds to a diet.
Rich in powerful compounds, this flavorful herb has been used in alternative medicine. Basil has eugenol antioxidant known to boast several health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure. It is believed that eugenol lowers blood pressure because it acts natural calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium movement to the arterial cells and the heart. With this antioxidant, blood vessels relax, and blood pressure is maintained.
Parsley is popular with the Mediterranean and has been used in many lands with an impressive nutritional profile. It is rich in vitamin C and carotenoids that help in reducing blood pressure. Some studies suggest that carotenoids can reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol, a major contributor to heart problems. Parsley has also been found to minimize diastolic and systolic blood pressure in animals and, as such, may help in relaxing blood vessels.
These seeds act as spices and are loaded with nutrients, including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. One study on rats looked into celery seed extract and blood pressure and found that celery seed reduced blood pressure in rats with a history of high blood pressure. Some scientists suggest that the celery compound acts as a natural calcium blocker, thus keeping the blood vessel relaxed and hollow for blood’s free flow.
Chinese Cat’s Claw
Chinese cat’s claw has been used as a traditional medicine for treating various medical issues, including high blood pressure. This herb possesses many compounds, including rhynchophylline and hirsutine, which studies suggest also act as a natural calcium blocker. Some researches also indicate that these compounds can stimulate nitric oxide production, a chemical known to promote relaxation and dilation of blood vessels.
Bacopa Monnieri is popular in South Asia and is used as Ayurvedic medicine by many practitioners to treat memory issues, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Some animal studies have found that Bacopa Monnieri can lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure as its compound stimulates blood vessel and help in the release of nitric oxide. These animal studies give a good indication of human success, though no trial is done yet.
Garlic is a famous spice that is commonly found in our kitchen and boasts numerous health benefits. Garlic is endowed with sulfur compounds, including allicin, to enhance blood flow and contribute to relaxed blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. One review study found that individuals with high blood pressure taking garlic experienced a reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure similar to those taking blood pressure meds. Another study also suggested that taking between 600 to 1500 mg of this herb’s extract had a similar result at lowering blood pressure as the Atenolol drug.
Thyme contains rosmarinic acid linked to numerous health benefits, such as low blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, and increased blood flow. These benefits suggest that thyme can help control blood pressure. One animal study demonstrated that rosmarinic acid significantly lowered systolic blood pressure by limiting the production of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Most blood pressure is caused by the narrowing of blood vessels caused by ACE molecules. By rosmarinic acid inhibiting ACE, it helps lower blood pressure.
Additionally, some animal studies have linked reduced total cholesterol levels, triglycerides, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and blood pressure with taking thyme extract. There are on going researches on this herb to determine its full relationship with blood pressure.
Cinnamon is a popular herb used in making cinnamon tea and as a traditional medicine for heart conditions, such as high blood pressure. Studies done on animals show that cinnamon extract relaxes and dilate blood vessels to help lower blood pressure. One review study that examined nine studies found that taking cinnamon help reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure by 3.9 mmHg and 6.2 mmHg, respectively. This result was obtained after 12 weeks, with participants daily taking cinnamon. It is also easy to include in meals, and one can also supplement.
Ginger is a powerful alternative medicine that has been greatly explored for its undeniable health benefits. For centuries, ginger has been used to improve several aspects of heart health, such as lower cholesterol levels, improve circulation, and reduce blood pressure. Human and animal studies have highlighted the medicinal value of ginger in reducing blood pressure. Researchers believe that it helps prevent calcium deposits into the blood vessels and acts as a natural ACE inhibitor. Another study that examined 4,000 people daily taking 2-4 grams of ginger found out that these groups had a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure.
Cardamom, often used in baking, is an intensely flavored spice packed with many antioxidants that could lower blood pressure. One study examining cardamom’s effects on blood pressure on 20 adults recently diagnosed with the condition established that after daily taking three grams of cardamom for 12 weeks, the subjects’ blood pressure had reduced to normal ranges.
Several test-tube studies suggest that this herb may act as a diuretic and calcium channel blocker. A diuretic is often used to remove body water buildup by facilitating urination.
The Bottom Line
Though high blood is preventable, it is the most likely culprit in many prevalent heart-related diseases. Keeping blood pressure at minimum balance levels requires many strategies, including regular exercise, the right medication, a healthy diet, and healthy lifestyle behaviors. There are also some promising spices and herbs that a person can include in their diet to lower blood pressure and result in several health benefits. However, you should remember that some of these herbs we have discussed may react with some blood thinner medications; therefore, you should consult with your physician before using these herbs if you are using blood thinners.