High blood pressure not only contributes to heart attacks and strokes, but it can also damage veins and arteries, cause aneurysms and produce excessive stress on the body in general. While medications do work well for keeping blood pressure under control, they come with a lot of unwanted side-effects. There are a lot of herbal alternatives that are known to help reduce blood pressure, particularly when combined with diet and exercise. Best of all, they lack the side-effects that are found in some medications. Let’s look at a few options that have helped some people to manage their blood pressure naturally.
Valerian root is known to be a fantastic nerve and general relaxant that is an excellent option for many. It helps to improve respiratory function, allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen. It also slows pulse rate, probably because the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump oxygen through the body. It is also a digestive aid, which can also help to lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of exertion on the heart after eating. However, Valerian is not for everyone, particularly those who have a high adrenaline level.
Yarrow is one of the most medicinal plants out there, and it works to lower blood pressure directly and indirectly. Yarrow helps to remove excess sodium from the body, which can help to reduce water retention and stress on the circulatory system. It also dilates the blood vessels and helps to improve blood flow. It also helps to expand the lungs so they take in more oxygen which reduces stress on the heart. Finally, yarrow root is a great liver-cleanser which can remove toxins that have accumulated over time. Good liver and kidney function help to make the blood cleaner, and this also helps to lower blood pressure.
Basil is known to lower both systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure. Basil extract is a potent way to lower blood pressure, but its effects are brief, and you need a lot of it. On the other hand, eating it fresh with meals, or on its own can produce longer lasting benefits as it is absorbed in the digestive system and distributed throughout the bloodstream.
While not necessarily an herb, garlic deserves to be mentioned due to the powerful benefits it provides the circulatory system. Garlic dilates and strengthens blood vessels and arteries, helps to keep cholesterol in check and helps the heart to beat more efficiently. Garlic is so potent that recent studies have shown that it can also help to reduce erectile dysfunction if it is caused due to circulatory problems. The trick with garlic is that you need to smash open the cloves and let them air out for about 10 minutes before eating them in order to get the benefits. It also takes time, anywhere from 4-6 weeks before people generally notice systemic improvements. However, the benefits of garlic make it definitely worth the wait.
There are also dozens of plants, vegetables, teas and fruits that can also help to lower blood pressure. The common denominator in all of them, as well as the herbs listed here, is that they are most-effective as part of a regular diet that is consumed over the course of time. It’s also important to remember that some forms of high blood pressure need to be treated with medication, and if you or someone you know has chronic hypertension, sound medical advice should be sought before trying any natural remedies.