The use of herbs to lower high blood pressure has been in practice for thousands of years, due to the diverse range of effects that herbal remedies can have. High blood pressure is of two types – primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. There is no clear cause for primary hypertension, although it tends to occur more often as we age, and can be exacerbated by certain factors, such as a poor diet, smoking or a sedentary lifestyle. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, can result in a more rapid and intense elevation of your blood pressure, but this has been linked to certain drugs and medical conditions, including kidney and thyroid issues, drug and alcohol abuse, birth control pills, obstructive sleep apnea, certain decongestants and pain relievers, among others.
High blood pressure is a serious health concern that should be mitigated or addressed in the right way. That extra tension or stress on your arteries and blood vessels can cause breakdown in these tissues, raising your risk of cardiovascular diseases and other complications. While lifestyle and dietary changes are highly recommended, there are also a number of herbal remedies that can reduce high blood pressure, thanks to their anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, sedative and antioxidant properties.
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Herbs for High Blood Pressure & How to Use Them
As an ancient Chinese remedy, hawthorn has been known as an anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective herb for generations. It is able to improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, and lower your risk of blood clots, all of which can increase energy levels and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
How to Use – Hawthorn is most popularly used in a tea form, although there are tablets and capsules available that can be purchased from herbalists and health food stores.
Packed with antioxidants like epigallocatechins and phenolic compounds, green tea is an excellent anti-inflammatory substance and can help heal any damage that hypertension causes. Research shows that regular green tea consumption can lower your risk of hypertension by nearly 50%.
How to Use – Green tea is most commonly consumed as a tea, as the name implies, but green tea extract has also become quite popular in recent years. For effective reults, drink just 2-3 cups of green tea per day.
This popular Asian spice has been studied extensively in relation to hypertension and it has been found that regular use of cardamom can lower base blood pressure levels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications. The spice is also linked to lower levels of stress and depression, which can also be a factor behind hypertension.
With significant levels of ursolic acid and eugenol, basil is able to reduce symptoms of hypertension and promote calmness through the body and mind, making it one of the best herbs for high blood pressure.
How to Use – Fresh basil is very popular although the extract can also be used for a more concentrated dose of herbal benefits. Simply add the fresh basil leaves to soups, stews and pastas, as the flavor is exceptional.
As one of the most antioxidant-rich herbs you can add to your diet, the active ingredients in garlic can remove plaque from your artery walls, lower blood pressure levels, reduce overall cholesterol and generally strengthen your entire cardiovascular system.
How to Use – This potent herb can be added to soups, stews, pastas, stir fries, pressed to form garlic juice, or even eaten raw, as some people prefer. Garlic extract is also available in most health food stores.
Famed in Indian cuisine and widely used in curries around the world, turmeric has an active ingredient – curcumin, which has countless effects on the body. This includes inhibiting angiotensin receptors in the vascular system, preventing blood vessels and arteries from tightening up, thus relieving strain on the heart.
This slightly unusual herb has been in use for thousands of years and is directly linked to lowering blood pressure, as it can affect the calcium channels in the body, which regulate water balance and help minimize symptoms of hypertension.
How to Use – Root and bark extracts of cat’s claw are usually available in capsule or tablet form from herbalists and health food stores.
As a known vasodilator and stimulant substance, ginkgo biloba will not only lower the strain on your blood vessels and arteries but also improve circulation, largely thanks to the dense antioxidant content in this ancient herb.
How to Use – Most people use ginkgo biloba in extract form, so you can purchase tablets or capsules at the majority of health food stores, or anywhere that herbal supplements are sold.
The most important components of celery seed are phthalides, anti-inflammatory compounds that can help lower blood pressure significantly; some of these compounds are actually unique to celery seed, and it is considered as one of the best herbs for high blood pressure.
How to Use – You can add celery seed to a variety of foods and dishes, including as a sandwich topping, in salads and soups, as a topping for vegetable and savory dishes, and it can even be brewed into a tea.
Cinnamon is not only delicious, but also a potent antioxidant that can reduce hypertension and cholesterol levels, thanks to the presence of cinnamaldehyde and other water-soluble organic compounds in this popular spice.
How to Use – Add cinnamon to savory or sweet recipes, brew a tea, or use it as a topping for beverages.