Controlling high blood pressure is an important cornerstone of good health. When natural approaches can accomplish this goal there is less of a likelihood of drug-induced side effects such as dizziness or sexual dysfunction.
Q. You recently answered a question from a person with high blood pressure and cholesterol who wanted to know about natural management. I’m in that boat as well.
With my family history, I’ll probably be on meds someday, but I’d like to delay that as long as possible. My doctor has recommended daily exercise, 3 grams of fish oil, red yeast rice and a magnesium supplement for high cholesterol. I also watch my intake of sugar and alcohol.
For high blood pressure I watch my salt intake (no processed foods) and drink water laced with lemon as a constant mild diuretic. I’ve lowered my cholesterol from 275 to 206 and dropped my blood pressure from borderline high to normal with this approach.
A. Everything your doctor has suggested makes sense to us.
Exercise is a powerful tool in losing weight and controlling blood pressure. Fish oil and red yeast rice are proven approaches for cholesterol control.
The lemon-laced water is a new idea for us, but it seems like a safe option. If your blood pressure is controlled you must be doing something right. We discovered that an ingredient in citrus fruit like lemons called auraptene can indeed lower blood pressure in rodents bred to have hypertension (Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, Feb. 2015).
Drinking water with lemon or lime in it is one of the simple approaches that John La Puma, MD, ChefMD, has recommended to aid with weight loss. You can listen to our most recent interview with him and possibly get more good ideas.
Controlling Blood Pressure Naturally:
Many health professionals deal with hypertension by prescribing medications. That is understandable since medical school frequently focuses on drugs. But there are a surprising number of natural approaches that might work as well.
Blueberries: A study from Florida State University reported that blueberry powder reduced blood pressure by 5 to 6 percent. That is about as good as some medications.
Beet Juice: Beetroot has also been shown in scientific studies to lower blood pressure. This is accomplished by raising levels of nitrite in the bloodstream and increasing nitric oxide in the body. This can make blood vessels more flexible. One study demonstrated a reduction of 11 points in systolic blood pressure and 9 points in diastolic blood pressure. There are few drugs that can do that well.
To learn more about other natural approaches to controlling blood pressure, you may wish to check out our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. We would also welcome reader stories about other ways to control hypertension.
Revised, April 28, 2016