- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
What is Hypertension?
High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force exerted by your blood against the blood vessel walls is too strong, forcing your heart to work harder and vessel walls to harden.
75% of the population over 60 have hypertension and conventional physicians don’t always know the actual cause so treat the symptoms while the cause continues to exist. If not treated physical damage to the heart, arteries, brain and kidneys can occur, the consequences are arteriosclerosis, angina, heart attack, dementia and stroke.
Hypertension can be the result of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Deep fried, fatty and oily food, alcohol, smoking and too much salt contribute to high blood pressure. The risk factors of stress, negative emotions and heredity increase the likelihood of the condition.
Symptoms of Hypertension
- Vision changes
- Noise or buzzing sound in the ears
- Redness or flushing on the face
- Hot palms and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Anxiety attacks
- Chest pain
Treating Hypertension Naturally
If you would prefer to follow the more natural path for controlling hypertension, please discuss your ideas with your Doctor so that the best plan of action may be worked out. Remember, not taking steps to bring down your blood pressure will affect your longevity.
A healthy and balanced diet of whole fruits and vegetables, lean meat with a limited amount of red meat, and fish, including fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Salt intake must be limited to 1 teaspoon in total per day.
Ayurvedic Dietary Suggestions:
- Avoid meat, eggs and salt.
- Reduce the intake of proteins
- Reduce coffee-consumption as the caffeine increases the body’s adrenaline production, which is responsible for high blood pressure.
- Reduce the use of sodium, salt, in your diet.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop hypertension. Should you need to lose weight the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is excellent.
Exercise moderately and practise relaxation techniques like yoga or mindfulness meditation.
Acupuncture, autogenic training and biofeedback are effective treatment methods.
5 Major Effects of Blood Pressure
Natural Alternatives to Beta Blockers
Beta blockers are generally prescribed for heart related ailments and high blood pressure. Although the side effects are rare, natural beta blockers are available.
Please ensure you speak to your medical professional before taking the following or mixing them with other beta blockers.
Here are some of them:
Passion Flower: A naturally grown medicinal herb which acts as a tranquilizer for the patients suffering from insomnia, anxiety and restlessness. It is readily available, non-addictive and is an effective relaxer, pain reliever and muscle relaxant.
Hawthorn: Widely used in Europe to treat cardiovascular problems as it widens the blood vessels.
Chamomile Tea: This tea is a natural beta blocker, rich in antioxidants which neutralizes free radicals.
L-arginine: Is an amino acid and plays an important role in the functioning of the human body. It is a building block of proteins and arginine is one of the many amino acids. Normally sesame seeds, chocolate and grains are sources of arginine.
Pomegranate Juice: Is rich in antioxidants and has more than green tea and red wine. Pomegranate juice is becoming a popular beta blocker.
Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant that may help hypertension and arthritis when taken over months. It also helps to relieve some of the aches and pains experienced when taking heart ailment, diabetes and cancer medication. Food sources are:
Breathing exercises: These are best done when sitting in an upright position. Exhale with the tongue touching the upper front teeth until your lungs are empty. Inhale while counting to five, hold your breath for five counts and then exhale. Repeat this cycle ten times. This exercise can be done anywhere and is an easy way to decrease anxiety and blood pressure.
Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium
This trio work together in the body to aid normal nerve and muscle function, steady the heart beat and give us strong bones and promote a healthy immune system.
Too much salt in the body can keep potassium and magnesium from working as it should, while diuretics often prescribed for high blood pressure, can flush potassium and magnesium as well as sodium from the body.
As a guide we need about 4,700mg potassium per day so as a guide a banana contains about 400 mg and three apricots would be about 314.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dairy Products (Low-fat)
Most nuts, Almonds & Cashews
Snap green beans
Black eyed peas
Lifestyle Changes to help Hypertension and DASH diet.
Water is the best natural diuretic. If the water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the oedema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out.
If we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body which, as we know, contributes to hypertension.
Vitamins: Many vitamins have been shown to have an effect on blood pressure, particularly vitamins C, E, B5 and Folic Acid.
Lecithin helps the body to eliminate fat and can improve liver function. A good source is egg yolk.
Fish Oil : The omega 3 fatty acid is good for the heart and lowering blood pressure. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily lowers blood pressure, so that could be an alternative to the fish oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Is great from many things from lowering cholesterol to helping with arthritis. It reputedly also helps to lower blood pressure.
Cayenne Pepper: This herb is thought to benefit the heart by improving circulation and keeps the arteries from hardening. A teaspoon of cayenne stirred into a glass of water and drink twice daily.
Green Tea: Drinking as little as half a cup per day for a year could cut the risk of hypertension by up to 50%. Polyphenols in green tea are thought to be the reason for the health benefits associated with green tea.
Get Enough Sleep.
If you aren’t getting enough good sleep it can affect your blood pressure as you’ll be stressed more easily. The right kind of sleep can really improve the quality of your life and give you more energy.
About half of all sleep apnoea patients are thought to have high blood pressure – so learn about this and if it is your problem get yourself treated.
Chocolate – I like this! Drinking cocoa lowers blood pressure and reduced the risk of death in older men. Flavan-3-ols found in dark chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
Do you have hypertension?
As you can see there are many things you can take to help control your blood pressure. Again, ensure you follow your doctor's instructions as not taking control will affect your health and therefore your longevity.
Ensure you understand what is being prescribed for you and the side effects. Look for good quality natural supplements to add to your diet and exercise.
Most importantly, talk to your Doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.