Naturopathic High Blood Pressure Remedies
by Evelyn Carlson
High blood pressure, hypertension, is an extremely common ailment, and is often referred to as "the silent killer" because it is usually impossible for a person to sense whether his blood pressure is elevated. This must be determined by a health practitioner, and once diagnosed the condition should be closely monitored. Many pharmaceutical treatment options are available, but some patients prefer to try more natural means of lowering their blood pressures.
Herbs & Foods & Supplements
Garlic has long been touted for its many health benefits, one of these being the lowering of blood pressure. Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked, or it can be obtained in capsule form at any vitamin/supplement counter. Hawthorn, a readily available over-the-counter, also seems to have a positive impact on blood pressure control. Other recommended supplements include: fish oil, folic acid, arjuna and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
It is generally suggested that blood pressure responds well to a healthy diet rich in potassium (bananas, potatoes, greens), calcium (milk, cheese, yogurt), and magnesium (nuts, beans, soy). Sodium, particularly common table salt, should be limited. It is also important to limit or avoid coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco.
Whether mental stress causes elevated blood pressure may be unclear, but it is clear that relaxation techniques can significantly lower blood pressure readings while adding to the body's general sense of well being. Simple relaxation can be achieved by sitting or lying down in a quiet room and breathing in a slow, rhythmic pattern while clearing the mind of negative or bothersome thoughts. Soft background music or sound effects--a waterfall or the rushing tide--can often help one relax. An even deeper level of relaxation can be achieved by meditation or self-hypnosis.
Meditation usually involves concentrating on a single, simple object--either tangibly present or imaged in the mind--and repeating a word or short phrase, a mantra. Many people find meditation difficult at first, but with practice learn to achieve a deep state of relaxation.
Self-hypnosis works on a more cognitive level. Again in a relaxed environment, the person walks himself through a series of predetermined steps (through a maze of doors, down a winding stairway) while mentally telling himself that at each level he will feel calmer and more relaxed. This technique works well for people who are more comfortable thinking about "something" rather than trying to make the mind blank.
Warnings and Precautions
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to heart problems, kidney problems or even stroke. The wisdom and feasibility of treating oneself rather than using pharmaceutical treatments must be assessed by a patient's health provider. For some, especially those who have mild hypertension, herbal, dietary and cognitive self-treatment may provide adequate relief, but people with moderate to severe hypertension need the best, fastest and most powerful treatments possible.