High blood pressure is a condition that affects millions of people in the world. Thirty percent of Americans, including adults, teenagers and some children are afflicted with the disease. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and one of the major risk factors for a heart attack.
Conventional treatments for high blood pressure include weight reduction through diet and exercise, a low salt diet and various anti-hypertensive medications. Since high blood pressure is a chronic condition, many people also turn to complementary and alternative medicine or natural remedies to reduce their symptoms and lower their risk for complications. Here are some of the best ways to remedy high blood pressure.
Oftentimes merely doing some lifestyle changes helps reduce blood pressure and avoids the need for medications. These can also help reduce weight and body fat, thus preventing chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Lifestyle modifications that can remedy high blood pressure include:
Diet modifications. Adapting some changes in the diet such as reducing the amount of salt, fat, sugar, and calories in the daily diet can bring about improvements in blood pressure within a few weeks. Losing just 10 pounds can significantly bring changes to blood pressure.
Increasing physical activity. Doing moderate intensity exercise 30-60 minutes on most days of the week help lower high blood pressure within a few weeks.
Limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Controlling alcohol intake to two or less drinks for men and one or less for women per day helps reduce high blood pressure. Although the role of caffeine in raising ones blood pressure is controversial, some people may want to control their habit of taking too much caffeinated products because they can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure readings.
Stress reduction. Practicing some stress management techniques like yoga or other forms of meditation and deep breathing techniques help improve mood and prevent increases in blood pressure.
Herbal Remedies for High Blood Pressure
The use of herbal remedies for high blood pressure has not been studied extensively, but some believe that these may be effective:
Rauwolfia serpentina (snakeroot)
Panax notoginseng (ginseng)
Crataegus species (hawthorn)
Stephania tetrandra (tetrandrine)
Consultation with a doctor is recommended regarding the use of these herbal supplements, as they may interact with ones medications or cause some side effects.
Some studies suggest that dietary supplements may help remedy high blood pressure. These include:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Amino acids like L-taurine and L-arginine
Aside improvements in blood pressure, these supplements are also known to bring about other health benefits such as lowering high cholesterol and reducing ones risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Another natural alternative treatment for hypertension is acupuncture, an ancient form of treatment for many acute and chronic diseases. Many studies have compared the effects of acupuncture with sham treatment or medications for high blood pressure, but so far, findings have been inconclusive and inconsistent.