a glass of tonic water with a slice of lemon

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.

Lemon Water

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.

BlueberriesA 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

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  1. Maxine

    I have recently been placed on bp meds. Can I continue my routine of lemon water first thing in the morning?

  2. Maxine

    I want to know if it is ok to continue my lemon water routine if I am taking hbp meds which I have recently been placed on.

  3. Heman

    My blood pressure is always around 140/110. The doctor prescribed two medications to be taken daily but even after that by bp rarely drops. I have been fumbling for natural remedies and recently I have been drinking ACV mixed with honey which seem to help a little bit. Together with that sometimes I drink some lemon water. I hope this is help me in the due course.

  4. Confidence
    Abuja- Nigeria

    I have just started drinking water with lemon and lime. My Blood pressure is fluctuating between 141/90 mmhg .

    • s. s

      Fresh garlic is great for lowering high blood pressure naturally. I make four cloves of fresh garlic water. Also, eat two bananas daily because the potassium may lower high blood pressure. Most importantly lower your salt intake.

  5. Robert
    North Carolina

    I accidently made this same discovery myself in the past. My pressure was 200/100 and I monitored it twice daily. I was coincidentally using one medium size lime squeezed fresh daily.
    Over time I discovered that my pressure kept dropping. And I found that I could throttle it with the amount of lime juice. Subsequent to my discovery, I searched the internet and found that this information is available in Ayurveda. Too bad our medical professionals don’t know this.

  6. shirley

    I drink lemon juice in water all day, but it was prescribed by my urologist to prevent kidney stones–which I have had in the past.

  7. Larry M
    Raleigh, NC

    The original questioner wrote “My doctor has recommended daily exercise, 3 grams of fish oil, red yeast rice and a magnesium supplement for high cholesterol. ”

    And Joe Graedon responded “Everything your doctor has suggested makes sense to us.

    “…Fish oil and red yeast rice are proven approaches for cholesterol control.”

    Since red yeast rice is nothing more than natural Lovastatin, it surprises me that Joe would mention this without reservation. “Natural” does not guarantee “safe” or “healthy.”

  8. JMC

    interesting! can anyone recommend a blueberry or beet based supplement?

  9. David

    Drinking lemon or lime water on a daily basis will create acidic conditions in your mouth. It will be important to brush your teeth more often than normal when using this remedy, especially if you keep a glass or bottle of it at hand for sipping throughout the day. Consult your dentist before starting this regimen. He or she may give you a special toothpaste to prevent the loss of enamel on your teeth.

    • Carla
      New York

      Please do NOT brush your teeth after eating or drinking very acidic things. The acids will soften your enamel, so brushing right after will just rub the enamel away. Instead, rinse with plain water or water with a little baking soda well mixed in after. Then spit out. There’s a toothpaste out there now, I believe by Colgate, that has ACP in it to help recalcify your teeth; or you can use MI Paste, ReminPro or Prevident – all by prescription from your dentist. BTW, I am a dentist. Free advice.

  10. Jackie

    I would like to know more on beet juice for blood pressure, how often and how much to take

  11. Torrence
    Boardman, Ohio

    I shoot for my BP to be at least 140/90. From this site I found out that these are not dangerous numbers. My naturals include 1000mg fish oil – 300mg Omega 3 and a teaspoon of flax seed crushed every day on my breakfast food.

    My BP has been in the 130’s over 80’s, and my doctor has no problem with that. It even was, once, 132/80. Also for the guys with prostate problems, of which I am one, I take the flaxseed for it AND pumpkin seeds. The bathroom is not a problem anymore. Nor the night trips. The naturals are GREAT with NO side-effects.

  12. Aya

    There is no quick fix if you have hbp. Exercise every day; cut out salt; watch the sodium content in foods; eat healthy meals (change your diet); do yoga; breathe deeply. Drink some beet juice every day. Magnesium helps; hibiscus tea. High blood pressure calls for a permanent lifestyle change.

  13. Janet

    I have had acid reflux , indigestion pains and burning and although medication works as soon as you come off it the problems are back for 1 month I have had half a lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water first thing in the morning and lo and behold my symptoms have all but gone . Wonderful!

  14. laura

    any answer to the question re: using lemon juice in lieu of fresh lemons? thank you

  15. Margaret

    The label says may cause adverse side effects, other than the runs, what side effects are there?

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