Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure (HBP) is a pressing medical concern that affects over one billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the condition is responsible for 12.8% of all deaths, claiming 7.5 million lives each year. A long-term disorder that causes blood pressure inside the arteries to be continuously elevated, hypertension forces the heart to work harder to pump blood. This increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as stroke, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and heart failure. This risk can be countered through regular monitoring of blood pressure levels and through the use of High Blood Pressure Remedies To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally. Of course, as per the teachings of Ayurveda and the advice of experts, diet and lifestyle changes should form the basis of any plan to manage or prevent high blood pressure.
Risk Factors & Causes of High Blood Pressure
- Primary causes of hypertension include unhealthy lifestyle and diet choices such as:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High intake of processed foods and junk foods
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive salt consumption
There are also certain medical conditions and disorders that cause elevation of blood pressure, reducing the efficacy of treatment. These include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Thyroid and adrenal disorders
- Sleep apnea
Additionally, risk factors such as age, genetics, race, and family history may contribute to raised blood pressure and the development of hypertension-related health conditions.
Blood Pressure Levels
Normal blood pressure is often defined as 120 over 80 (120/80). The higher figure represents systolic pressure — the pressure in your arteries when your heart muscle contracts. The lower number represents diastolic pressure — the pressure in your arteries between your heartbeats.
- Low Blood Pressure: 90 (or less)/60 (or less)
- Normal Blood Pressure: 90-120/60-80
- Elevated Blood Pressure – Prehypertension: 120-140/80-90
- Stage 1 Hypertension: 140-160/90-100
- Stage 2 Hypertension: 160-180+/100-120+
If your blood pressure is normal, try your best to keep it that way by eating healthy and staying active. As age and heredity factors are uncontrollable, the risk will continue to increase making lifestyle and diet changes, as well as regular health checks all the more important to prevent hypertension or detect it early, while reversible.
High Blood Pressure Remedies
In addition to living an active lifestyle and following a wholesome, nutritious diet, you can also use these Ayurvedic remedies for high blood pressure to lower blood pressure naturally, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
As one of the top adaptogens that Ayurveda has to offer, ashwagandha excels at relaxing your body and helping it manage stress. This healthy medicinal herb is also capable of fighting inflammation, decreasing blood sugar levels, combating the effects of depression and anxiety, and controlling high blood pressure.
Several controlled human studies have highlighted the effectiveness of ashwagandha in decreasing stress, one of the main contributors to high blood pressure. In one 60-day study involving 64 people, an average reduction in symptoms of anxiety and insomnia of 69% was reported in the ashwagandha group, as compared to 11% reduction in the placebo group.
You can consume this herb by adding its root powder to your dishes and beverages. You can also consider taking it in the form of tablets or extract.
2. Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)
Cardamom is a popular folk spice traditionally used throughout India, Bhutan, and Nepal for its aroma and the subtle flavor that it adds to food. Among traditional health practitioners like Ayurvedic physicians, it is also noted for its ability to improve blood circulation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. One of the herb’s most promising features is its exceptional ability to reduce high blood pressure naturally and restore the balance.
According to a study that investigated the effects of cardamom on subjects with stage 1 hypertension, “cardamom effectively reduces blood pressure, enhances fibrinolysis and improves antioxidant status.” This makes it a useful ingredient to add to any diet for high blood pressure.
You can buy the spice as a powder or in its whole form, extract the seeds and grind them into a fine powder, which can then be used to garnish or season various dishes.
3. Garlic (Allium sativum)
Ayurveda has held garlic in high regard because of its ability to help in a variety of health conditions. From supporting healthy digestion to encouraging the elimination of toxins (ama) from your body, garlic has also be used to fight infections and lower the risk of heart disease through its cholesterol-lowering action. Many of these traditional uses of garlic are now supported by physicians and dietitians because of overwhelming scientific evidence.
According to extensive research, garlic possesses the potential for lowering high blood pressure similar to the one that standard medications offer. As one study pointed out, “garlic supplements have shown promise in the treatment of uncontrolled hypertension, lowering blood pressure (BP) by about 10 mmHg systolic and 8 mmHg diastolic, similar to standard BP medication.” This makes garlic one of the most promising high blood pressure remedies that can provide help prevent or treat hypertension and heart disease.
Besides eating raw garlic, you can also include it in dishes when cooking. If you find the strong flavor of raw garlic to be unpalatable, you can also use garlic powder or capsules. Try making a rejuvenating tonic by grinding a few garlic cloves, a bunch of basil leaves, half a cup of wheatgrass, and some water.
4. Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina)
Traditionally, Ayurvedic practitioners used sarpagandha, also known as Indian snakeroot, for various purposes, such as to promote relaxation, treat insomnia, and for relief from digestive problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss. It is often used in poly herbal formulations that are used to treat heart disease associated with hypertension.
Because of its widespread use in Ayurveda, scientists have been studying the herb for potential therapeutic applications. At present, research on its efficacy is limited, but a paper published in the journal Integrative Medicine suggests that the herb is an effective natural treatment for high blood pressure. The author points to a number of studies conducted in the 1950s that identified reserpine, an alkaloid in the herb, as the main source of its blood pressure lowering action. This ingredient was then used in numerous hypertension drugs.
You can use sarpagandha extract in the powder form or capsules. Just make sure to inform your health care provider before you begin supplementation because of the risk of drug interactions.
5. Potassium-Rich Foods
Potassium is an essential mineral that can help lower blood pressure naturally by countering the adverse effects of sodium. Including more potassium-rich foods in your diet will result in natural reduction of blood pressure. Keep in mind that excessive sodium intake is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure. While potassium-rich foods will help mitigate this risk, you should cut back on your intake of salt, processed foods, and other high sodium foods.
Some potassium-rich foods that you might want to consider adding to your diet include avocado, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, white potatoes, watermelon, beets, tomato sauce, and pomegranates.
Foods rich in potassium for hypertension
High blood pressure or hypertension is regarded as a silent disease because of the absence of threatening symptoms until the condition has progressed to a stage where it causes other complications. This makes regular health checks particularly important for an early diagnosis as timely intervention can help prevent or manage the condition. Keep in mind that while most natural remedies are safe, some herbs can interact with other medications, making it important that you always inform your doctor about supplementation that you’re interested in taking. Of course, in addition to using high blood pressure remedies, the best thing you can do would be to make changes to your diet and lifestyle to mitigate the risk of both hypertension and heart disease.
- http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/blood_pressure_prevalence_text/en/Chandrasekhar K., Kapoor J., Anishetty S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine. Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022.
- Verma S.K., Jain V., Katewa S.S. (2009). Blood pressure lowering, fibrinolysis enhancing and antioxidant activities of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum). Indian journal of biochemistry & biophysics. Dec;46(6):503-6.
- Ried, K., & Fakler, P. (2014). Potential of garlic (Allium sativum) in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance. Integrated Blood Pressure Control, 7, 71–82. http://doi.org/10.2147/IBPC.S51434Lobay, D. (2015). Rauwolfia in the Treatment of Hypertension. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 14(3), 40–46.