Hypertension or high blood pressure in so common that today nearly every family has an adult with the condition. It might be dangerous if left unchecked. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. It makes the heart work harder to pump out the blood against this higher pressure, affecting the arteries (blood vessels) in the long run. Normal blood pressure is a force when a heart pumps blood against the artery walls. In adults, normal blood pressure measurement is 120/80 mmHg. The blood pressure during hypertension is 130/80 mmHg or higher. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk of complications.
Hypertension increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke. Other conditions such as kidney diseases, congestive heart failure and blindness may also occur in case of very high blood pressure for too long.
It is estimated that twenty-nine per cent of adults in the US are affected by hypertension. The occurrence of this condition increases along with age and approximately 63 per cent of people over the 60s are more affected. Hypertension is more common in African Americans. It might start at a younger age and is more severe than in other populations.
About 75-80 per cent of the world population, especially in developing countries, has started using herbal medications to manage hypertension. Herbal medicines have greater acceptability with the human body and have fewer side effects.1
So readers, presented below are a few home remedies for hypertension that you can try for managing hypertension in the comfort of your home, after a quick check with your doctor. Do not try to replace your current medicines with these herbal remedies.
What Causes Hypertension:
The underlying cause of hypertension is unknown in ninety-five per cent of the cases. It might be related to both genetic as well as environmental factors.
The following factors might increase the risk of developing hypertension.
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Salt sensitivity
- Potassium deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Inherited genetic mutations
- Insulin resistance
- Obstructive sleep patterns
- Defective blood vessels
- Eating foods containing high fructose corn syrup.
Symptoms of Hypertension:
One of the significant concerns about hypertension is that you may not even know that you have it. This can be because there is no direct cause identified yet. The following signs and symptoms must be noted in cases of extremely high blood pressure and may be completely missing in people with high blood pressure.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nose bleed
Home Remedies for Hypertension:
Some home remedies for managing hypertension that you can try along with your prescribed medicines are:
1. Lifestyle modification
In hypertension, changing or altering your regular lifestyle can go a really long way in managing the increased blood pressure. Regular exercise might increase heart performance. A proper diet regime containing more fruits and vegetables is a good choice. Avoiding having foods that are high in cholesterol, salts and fats can help maintain your blood pressure within healthier range and reduce the need for medicines.
Celery is a medicinal herb that is used as a food and traditional medicine. Celery contains essential oils and flavonoids. It is rich in potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin K, folate, manganese, etc. Potassium is necessary for the heart and might help manage high blood pressure.4
- Celery may be beneficial as a quick remedy for high blood pressure. If it is used in the form of juice – blend some fresh celery stalks in a juicer and enjoy the fresh drink. You can also mix the juice with some honey and drink it for more flavour.
- It may also help to enjoy a glass of fresh celery juice with vinegar to relieve headache, dizziness and shoulder pain associated with hypertension.
Oatmeal is a rich source of dietary fibre, and one of the many possibly beneficial home remedies to lower blood pressure. A diet containing soluble whole oats might significantly lower hypertension. A scientific study (Keenan et al. 2002) found that adding oats cereal to a patient’s regular hypertension diet substantially reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Whole oats may be an effective dietary therapy in the treatment of hypertension.1
Oatmeal porridge may be one of the beneficial natural remedies for high blood pressure. To make oatmeal porridge, add some hot water and sugar to the oats cereal mixture. You can adjust the porridge consistency as you want by stirring the mixture. Oatmeal porridge is instant food and yet, it is so healthy that it may be used for managing hypertension.
Several health benefits associated with tea might potentially be useful for managing hypertension. Research by Yang et al. 2004 suggests that drinking green tea (unfermented) and oolong tea (partially fermented) might decrease the risk of developing hypertension.
Oolong tea is partially fermented and sits between black and green tea. It is a more caffeinated-type tea.
Drinking green tea may provide instant relief from high bp. To make green tea, add some green tea leaves or a green tea bag in hot water. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, remove the leaves and use the brew to sip on. You can also add honey or some lemon juice to it if you don’t like the taste of green tea. Nothing beats this home remedy if you stay in a cold region.
Garlic might be considered one of the best home remedies for hypertension given how widely it is available in nearly every household in abundance! Studies have reported that it may have hypotensive action (blood pressure-lowering effect). Garlic is thought to increase nitric oxide production, which might result in smooth muscle relaxation and dilation of vessels. The active compound that gives garlic its unique odour and healing benefits is known as allicin.1
- Garlic pearl preparations may be beneficial for hypertension .
- Other garlic supplements (Kyolic-aged garlic extract) may also be helpful.
- It may have prebiotic properties which increase gut microbial richness and diversity.
- Kyolic garlic extract has shown promising results by reducing elevated cholesterol levels, arterial stiffness and blood ‘stickiness’.5
One study (Mojiminiyi et al. 2007) reported the calyx of hibiscus has a blood pressure-lowering effect. An animal study (Adegunloye et al. 1996) also suggested that an intravenous administration of the water extract of dry hibiscus calyx produced a drop in the blood pressure in animal studies. A human clinical trial of the plant extract has shown similar evidence.1
- Hibiscus tea might just be beneficial for hypertension. Hibiscus makes for a herbal tea that is non-caffeinated and made from Hibiscus sabdaraffa. The tea is a lovely red coloured one and tastes like berries.6
- Hibiscus tea is made from the dried fruit (calyx) of hibiscus. Wash, air dry some calyces and crush them into a fine powder. Add the crushed calyces to a tea bag and let it steep for a few minutes in boiling water; add sugar or lemon juice to this hibiscus brew if required. The tea is now ready to be served hot or cold.
Hawthorn or hawberry has been used in China for thousands of years. It maybe used as a decoction for managing hypertension. Various studies, including clinical trials and pharmacological studies, have shown that it has the ability to lower blood pressure. Hawthorn contains two main substances – procyanidins and flavonoids that might contribute to its beneficial effects on the heart. These essential components have potent antioxidant activity.1
- Hawthorn tea is made using red berries.
- Get the berries and place them in a pot of boiling water with some tea of your choice. Let the berries steep for some time, strain the brew and drink sweetened with some sugar, jaggery or add a teaspoon of honey if you require it.
Ginger roots are commonly used in Asian cooking. They might help to enhance blood circulation and relaxe the muscles surrounding blood vessels. There are various formulations used in animal studies, such as ginger rhizome and Korean ginseng extract. A report by (Nicoll et al. 2009) suggested that the human trials for the hypotensive (low blood pressure) effect of ginger have been few and generally resulted in inconclusive results.1
- Lemon ginger tea may be a beneficial home remedy for hypertension. It is easy to brew some by boiling lemon and ginger together in the water. You can also add honey if you like it a bit sweet.
- Alternatively, it may also benefit if added to your regular black tea. Just grate a few slices of ginger while making the tea. It gives your tea a great aroma and makes it taste amazing too!
Though there are studies that show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies in the condition, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken with caution and never as a substitute for medical treatment.
When to Seek Medical Help:
Hypertension is often asymptomatic. However, you must take immediate medical attention if you see the following danger signs-
- Blood pressure greater than 140/ 100 mmHg
- Abnormal heard sound/beats
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Retinal haemorrhages (bleeding in the eyes)
- Focal neurologic deficits (loss of speech, vision, etc.).
You must not rely on home remedies alone for the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. You should consult a qualified doctor for any advice for hypertension. Hypertension is a severe health condition and needs diagnosis and treatment appropriately.
Over the past 50 years, the definition of hypertension has continuously evolved. Hypertension or high blood pressure likely develops with advancing age. It is a complex disease and is influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors. 3
Though there are no symptoms of hypertension and some people don’t even know that they have it, a regular checkup and doctor’s consultation will help you establish it and treat it in time.
A lifestyle and dietary changes along with proper medications might help you lower the risk of associated health complications.1 You can follow simple home remedies that may be helpful in managing hypertension. But ultimately, the doctor’s advice is essential.