A very common diagnosis received at your Doctors visit is ‘Elevated’ or High Blood Pressure (HBP), but what causes it and how can we reverse it without using pharmaceutical drugs with all their nasty side effects?
There are lots of natural and safe alternatives to blood pressure medications that should be considered, including simple foods, natural herbs, and stress management methods.
Before we get into the treatment ideas, let’s delve into understanding blood pressure a little better.
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What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. “Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways. It is far more common than you might think, with about 1 in 3 adults in the United States and New Zealand having HBP. The condition itself usually has no signs or symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. During this time, though, HBP can damage your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body. Knowing your blood pressure numbers is important because it can guide you towards making the right adjustments if needed.
Understanding My Blood Pressure Numbers
Blood pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic pressures. “Systolic” refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. “Diastolic” refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. You will most often see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 The table below shows normal blood pressure numbers for adults. It also shows which numbers put you at greater risk for health problems. Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg) include Pre-Hypertension, Stage 1, and Stage 2. At the Pre-hypertension or even at Stage 1, you could potentially avoid taking prescription medications by following this program. If you’re already taking medications, then you may need to be tested after following this program, and your medications may potentially be reduced.
The standard approach by allopathic doctors is to prescribe medications of three major categories:
- Blood thinners so help blood flow easier;
- Diuretics to eliminate excess fluids; and
- Beta-blockers or Vasodilators to relax and reduce heart and arterial muscle tension.
- Sometimes – Antidepressants to reduce stress may be prescribed.
These are valid approaches, but there are natural alternatives to these standard drug approaches which should be tried first. The real solution lies in finding the underlying cause of your high blood pressure. We will discuss these causes and some natural solutions below.
What causes high blood pressure?
Blood behaves much like any other liquid. It is largely water and contains blood cells designed to carry oxygen around the body. When your body needs more oxygen, like when you exercise, your blood has to be pumped harder and faster, so it’s normal for your blood pressure to rise when you exercise. It should return to normal pressure within a couple of minutes, once you return to rest. When you’re constantly under pressure at work, or worrying a lot you can end up in a state of anxiety and stress. Most of us naturally assume that stress can cause high blood pressure, and overall, there is growing empirical support for the hypothesis that exposure to chronic psychosocial stress contributes to the development of hypertension. Managing stress could therefore be part of an HBP prevention strategy. More about this later.
Heart Muscle spasm
A coronary artery spasm or ‘heart attack’ is a temporary, sudden narrowing of one of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart). The spasm slows or stops blood flow through the artery and starves a part of the heart of oxygen-rich blood. The spasm can slow or stop blood flow through the artery. The main symptom experienced is chest pain. The spasm often occurs in coronary arteries that have NOT become hardened due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). However, it also can occur in arteries with plaque buildup. This points to the possibility that a simple spasm, similar to a muscle cramp is occurring. (2) If you are under stress, worry a lot, get cramps in your legs, muscle ticks or twitches, or suffer tightness in the chest then you’re probably experiencing hypertension due to tight epithelial muscle within your cardiovascular system. You probably also need magnesium. One of the best things you can do to get magnesium is to take Epsom salt baths regularly. This can relax the muscles throughout the entire body reducing pressure on your blood vessels and heart. Also, be aware that overdosing on calcium supplements can cause this type of muscle tightness and cramping. This simple Epsom salt treatment can change your life and reduce stress and tension significantly. An Epsom salt bath can contain 2-3 cups of Epsom salt (magnesium chloride) and you can soak for 20 minutes 3 x weekly for best results.
Restricted Cardiovascular Flow
The blood vessels, veins, and arteries through which the blood flows act just like water pipes. The bigger pipes are close to the heart and the smallest is the furthest from the heart in the tissues and organs where the oxygen is used. If the pipes become clogged then the pressure will go up. Drugs are sometimes given to thin the blood artificially, but we really don’t want to be taking these. The most dangerous blood thinner is called Warfarin which was traditionally used as a rat poison because it causes severe internal bleeding. Another thing that can restrict blood flow is the viscosity (thickness) of the blood. Sugar consumption, especially fructose increases blood viscosity (3) making it harder for the heart to pump blood thus increasing blood pressure. Fructose is a common sugar added to many processed foods. One study found that Capsaicin from Chili peppers was able to clean up this thickened blood after eating too much sugar (4), so a good chili meal can help keep the blood thin. See more about Chili soon.
Studies suggest that kidney function has a strong influence on blood pressure (5), and diuretics (kidney stimulants) are often prescribed by doctors in an attempt to lower blood pressure. This class of clinical medicines is used to lower blood pressure work by increasing the excretion of urine from the body as well as the amount of sodium in the urine. An acidic body will hold onto water in an attempt to neutralize metabolic acid build-up in the tissues. If you suffer from arthritis, muscle and back pain, kidney stones, or gout then you probably have an acidic body and should consider an alkaline diet. We will talk more about diet soon.
Poor Digestion & Weight gain
The results of one study showed that the impact of overweight and obesity on hypertension had increased significantly from 1980 to 2010 (1) Hypertension is also increasingly common in overweight and obese children, (6) which indicates a clear connection. It makes perfect sense when you consider the commonly accepted laws of liquid pressures. For example “The pressure a liquid exerts against the sides and bottom of a container depends on the density and the depth of the liquid.” The bigger your body is the more pressure there must be on the entire closed-loop system. i.e. The more volume, mass, and weight of the body the more overall pressure there must be within. Therefore, losing weight will almost always result in a lowering of blood pressure. The average weight loss with this program is between 5 and 10kg.
Diet for Hypertension
Some foods have been known to help with the various aspects of physiology that contribute to high blood pressure. I will mention some of these key foods below. For example, the DASH diet effectively reduces blood pressure. In observational studies, the association between diets consistent with DASH and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke has also been examined with varying results. (13) To see our recommended list of foods and recipes click here and select ‘Blood Pressure’ from the ‘Special Diet’ selector. You will see a list of recipes high in the recommended ingredients. The main thing to remember is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less meat and dairy products. Let’s explore a few of these foods.
Watermelon red-fleshed watermelon varieties are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that may protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Watermelon consumption has been linked to lower blood pressure in humans and improved blood lipid profile in animals and humans. One study showed that reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure can be achieved through daily consumption of watermelon. This further supports the idea that weight loss directly reduces blood pressure. (14) Try this melon salad recipe or just eat more watermelon in place of other snacks.
Mixed Berries Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry) are great dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). BAC (phenolic compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids-flavonols, anthocyanins, tannins, and ascorbic acid) are contained in berries in great amounts, and may act as strong antioxidants and, thus, could help in the prevention of inflammation disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants in these berries also help to lessen the risk of cardiovascular incidents by inhibiting LDL cholesterol, and/or improved vascular endothelial function and elasticity. Berries could also be used for decreasing blood pressure, decreasing blood cholesterol, and therefore, lowering cardiovascular risk and atherosclerosis prevention. (15) These berries include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries, but grapes can be included in this category also. Try this Berry Smoothie Recipe
Garlic Garlic has become one of the most popular complementary therapies for blood pressure control used by hypertensive patients. Garlic thins the blood improving blood viscosity. A total of seven randomized, placebo-controlled trials were identified. Compared with the placebo, this meta-analysis revealed a significant lowering effect of garlic on both systolic BP -6.71 mmHg; and diastolic BP -4.79 mmHg. (16) Garlic is often taken in supplement form, but even when consumed regularly in the long-term diet garlic will contribute significantly to blood pressure control. Read more about Garlic Here
Chili Pepper According to the law of signatures in herbal medicine, the Chili identifies itself with the blood vessels as it looks much like a blood vessel with the little blood cells within. Cayenne improves the circulation of blood. In one study 13,670 adults were followed for a median of 9.0 years. After adjusting for age, gender, energy intake, sodium and fat intake, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity, those with increased average chili intake were less likely to develop hypertension. (17)
Ginger Ginger has a long history in herbal medicine as a remedy for circulation, but recent studies have found a clear mechanistic basis for the use of ginger in hypertension. It has been found that aqueous ginger extract (tea) lowers BP through a dual inhibitory effect mediated via stimulation of muscarinic receptors and blockade of Ca++ channels. (18) Other herbs which should be included in a blood pressure-lowering diet include cinnamon, saffron, and turmeric.
Herbal Circulatory Stimulants
We have already talked about some of these herbs as part of the Blood pressure diet, but it’s worth mentioning them again here. Ginger has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of hypertension. (7) It has an effect similar to aspirin and studies show Ginger has promise in the reduction of platelet aggregation (8) which means it reduces blood coagulation, reducing the viscosity of the blood. Ginger and Cayenne can be used in place of blood thinners, and are both found in the Ultimate Herbal DETOX
Herbal Muscle Relaxants
Peppermint leaves are employed for internal oral use to relax muscles, especially intestinal spasms, but generally speaking, peppermint taken internally is very calming and relaxing, so may have merit in situations of tension and stress. Lavender is well known to relax the muscles throughout the body. Rub the oil into tight aching muscles or add a few drops of lavender oil into your bath.
Of these, the most promising, at the present time, is the species Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel). (9) One study showed Fennel seed increased water, sodium, and potassium excretion indicating hypotensive activity (10)
Herbs that help reduce weight include: – Craving controllers, Slippery Elm bark, Psyllium Husk, Kidney Bean – Blood sugar regulators, Caralluma root, Gymnema herb – Liver Health Support; Wormwood bark, Turkish rhubarb root, Dandelion root, Milk thistle seed, Goldenseal Root – Digestive aids such as Pineapple extract (Bromelain), Papaya (Papain), Kiwifruit, Cascara bark – Metabolic boosters and fat burners; Guarana Seed, Bitter orange, Green Tea, Garcinia herb All of these herbs and more can be found in the ultimate herbal metabolic regulator ‘BodiTune’ which is a vegan protein drink with 40 herbal ingredients. It’s ideal when used in combination with the herbal Detox or BodiClenz program, which completely cleanses the digestive system and liver. This program is ideally used over one month in combination with the foods and herbs mentioned above.
The power your mind can have over your body is well documented and the effects of energy healing are also well recognized. Applying the power of healing energy and your mind should never be underestimated when it comes to healing any health condition. (12)
Meditation for Blood Pressure
A recent meta-analysis of various stress reduction interventions including biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, stress management training, and meditation, found that only meditation was associated with significant BP reductions. See my Recommended meditation method here. Learn Energy Healing for Yourself Here
Ultimate Herbal HeartClenz Program Contents
The Ultimate Herbal HeartClenz program includes almost all of the dietary changes and herbs mentioned in this article and has been shown to successfully help lower blood pressure. You simply consume a mega-dose of the colon, liver, and kidney cleansing herbs in capsules (or in drink form) along with the HeartClenz liquid medicine, and a cardio-health diet, rich in all the heart-healthy foods. After the 30-day program, you should be able to get your blood pressure tested again and see the results of your efforts. This will inspire you to make a few simple long-term dietary adjustments, and possibly repeat the program once a year.
Part 1. The Ultimate Herbal Detox and BodiClenz
It is the combination of these herbs along with the specific foods mentioned which give you an excellent cardiovascular cleansing program.
You should use these programs over 30-days following the Gentle Cleanse Program. Read more about the Gentle Cleanse program here
Part 2. The HeartClenz 500ml Liquid Formulation
Because your heart and circulation are central to controlling blood pressure a cardio-tonic blend is essential.
HeartClenz liquid formulation contains a blend of the following herbal extracts in a base of pure New Zealand bush honey.
Click the names to read more about each ingredient.
Take 15ml Daily
Part 3. KidneyClenz Tea – 100g
A blend of diuretic herbs to support kidney health and improve urination, reducing fluid retention. This can help lower blood pressure.
Contains Equal parts of the following herbs:
- Nettle leaf – known to prevent and dissolve kidney stones.
- Yarrow flowers– a traditional herb for congestion of the cardiovascular system
- Fennel seed– a known diuretic that helps to increase the healthy flow of urine
Take 3 cups daily
The amazing effect of Lavender greatly relaxes the muscles around the eyes and head in general. Simply lie down and place the Lavender pillow over your eyes, and you will drift away into a state of deep relaxation. Great for getting off to sleep at night. Great for stress reduction during the day, which is another major contributing factor to high blood pressure.
These pillows are filled with whole grain wheat, soaked in lavender essential oil. They are handcrafted and the fabric colours vary.
Ultimate Herbal HeartClenz Program Complete
Get all four products in one easy-to-follow program and save 25%. Click here to buy and SAVE $97.00
(1) Secular trends of the impact of overweight and obesity on hypertension in Japan, 1980-2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26178153
(2) Coronary artery spasm http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000159.htm
(3) Effect of a high-fructose diet on glucose tolerance, plasma lipid and hemorheological parameters during oral contraceptive administration in female rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22679744
(4) [Effects of capsaicin on oxidative modification of blood plasma proteins and arterial blood pressure in fructose-fed rats]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22679744
(5) Device-based approaches for renal nerve ablation for hypertension and beyond. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26217232
(6) Pathophysiology of hypertension in obese children: a systematic review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26098701
(7) The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22593941
(8) The influence of herbal medicine on platelet function and coagulation: a narrative review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25839871
(9) Herbal medicines as diuretics: a review of the scientific evidence. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17804183
(10) Pharmacological evidence of hypotensive activity of Marrubium vulgare and Foeniculum vulgare in a spontaneously hypertensive rat. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11349824
(11) Chronic Psychosocial Stress and Hypertension. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3694268/
(12) A Consideration of the Perspectives of Healing Practitioners on Research Into Energy Healing. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654782/
(13) Consistency with the DASH diet and incidence of heart failure. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2682222/
(14) Effects of Fresh Watermelon Consumption on the Acute Satiety Response and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470521/
(15) Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632771/
(16) Garlic for hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials PUBMED https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25837272/
(17) Chilli intake is inversely associated with hypertension among adults. PUBMED https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29460816/
(18) Cardiovascular effects of ginger aqueous extract and its phenolic constituents are mediated through multiple pathways. PUBMED https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16157513/