High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for having a stroke. It requires monitoring and, often, medical treatment. Make sure that you get your blood pressure checked regularly at a pharmacy or by your doctor and seek medical treatment if it consistently measures 140/90 or above.
Many plants contain ingredients that can lower blood pressure effectively, relax the muscles of your blood vessels and have a calming effect on your nervous system. With a little help from nature, it’s easy to bring slightly elevated blood pressure under control or complement conventional medical therapy if your blood pressure is very high.
To help to reduce mild high blood pressure, try the following remedies. Consult your doctor first if you are already taking prescription medication.
• Drink lime flower or nettle tea three times daily.
• Chew a clove of raw garlic every day or add one to salad dressings and other dishes. Raw garlic and onions contain a substance called allicin, which helps to keep blood vessels elastic, lowering blood pressure.
• Enjoy fresh asparagus whenever it is available. This vegetable acts as a natural diuretic and can lower blood pressure by removing excess salt and water from the body.
• Reduce salt consumption as much as possible, as too much salt raises blood pressure. Season food with fresh herbs instead.
• Avoid alcohol, nicotine and coffee—they may increase blood pressure.
• Eat fresh, oily fish such as sardines or salmon once a week. They contain valuable fish oils that may lower blood pressure.
• Use plant oils for cooking and frying.
• Use butter or margarine sparingly, especially if you are predisposed to high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
• Cut out saturated fats, but eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Low Blood Pressure Remedies
Fatigue and exhaustion, feeling faint or even actually fainting, especially just after getting up from a lying or sitting position, are typical symptoms of extremely low blood pressure. Make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor or at a pharmacy.
• Pump up the fluids. Dehydration reduces blood volume, which can lead to low blood pressure.
• Drink black tea; it’s a stimulant. But don’t let it steep for longer than 3-5 minutes.
• Sleep with your upper body slightly elevated to stimulate circulation and make it easier to bounce out of bed in the morning.
• Indulge a sweet tooth with licorice. Eat one small piece a day, no more than 1 tablespoon (15 g). The active ingredient in it, glycyrrhizin, can have undesirable side effects if consumed in large quantities.
• Soak 30 raisins in water overnight. Raisins may help to regulate blood pressure. Eat the raisins in the morning and drink the raisin water.
• Alternate hot and cold water during your morning shower. This practice has long been a tradition in some parts of Europe. It forces blood vessels to contract then expand, and helps blood pressure to return to normal. Begin with warm water. Then after 2 minutes, turn the temperature to cold for 15 seconds. Repeat the procedure three times, always ending with cold water.
- Massage may help those with high blood pressure to cope with stress. Start with a natural-bristle brush on the back of your right foot and brush your right leg up to the buttock using a circular motion, first on the outside, then the inside. Repeat on the left leg.
- Brush your buttocks, upper body and arms, again using a circular motion. Massage your back using the same technique.