Natural Ways to Treat High Blood Pressure

Natural ways to treat your high blood pressure are safer and less expensive than prescription drugs. What ways are best?

High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because there are so few symptoms. Once discovered, high blood pressure is usually treated with a prescription drug. Most people who take drugs for it progress to taking at least two types, each with their own side effects which may or may not include liver damage, kidney stress and congestive heart failure.

It doesn't take much thought to realize that natural, safer methods are much preferred. High blood pressure doesn't go away on its own, although there are certain situations where it's naturally higher than others. When you have an infectious disease or have been ill for awhile, your blood pressure is probably higher than normal and it seems to be natural for blood pressure to rise somewhat as we age.

So what are these natural ways to treat chronic high blood pressure?

Weight loss is probably the most critical. It's easier said than done, but losing just ten pounds can drop your systolic reading up to 10 points. Granted, if you're fighting blood pressure readings over 150, 10 points doesn't seem like much, but a combinaion of the following things will lower it much more.

Regular exercise will condition your blood vessels, making them more elastic, which translates into lower blood pressure.

Celery has been shown to drop blood pressure for up to four hours after it's eaten. Four to six stalks will do it.

Concord grape juice will do the same. Only concord grapes have proven to have this ability. If you can get organic grape juice, so much the better, because there will be no toxins to stress your body.

Hibiscus tea seems to drop blood pressure when used regularly. Two to three cups per day was the dose used.

For some, cutting back on salt will lower your blood pressure. It's thought that the sodium itself is not the problem as much as an imbalance of sodium and potassium that causes blood vessel contraction and fluid retention.

Melons, including watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are good sources of potassium, which dilates blood vessels and helps eliminate fluid.

Grapefruit will thin your blood, making it easier for your heart to pump.

Omega 3 fatty acids will thin your blood, too. Wild caught salmon is the best source of this, but don't ignore mackeral, sardines and herrings. Plant sources include flax seed, which should be ground in your blender or food processor and purslane, a sometime gourmet vegetable that grows wild almost everywhere.

Besides food, weight loss and exercise, relaxation and breath control can impact high blood pressure for the better. Everything from self hypnosis, meditation, warm baths and breathing exercises has been used to successfully lower blood pressure.

When muscles are tense, blood vessels are constricted so anything that helps you deeply relax will lower your blood pressure. A quick way to begin to relax is to control your breathing. Conscious, slow, steady breathing has been shown to relax both muscles and blood vessels.

Each one of these remedies may not lower your blood pressure by very much (5 to 10 points in most cases), but taken together and worked into your daily routine, they will make a big difference.

Caution: If your blood pressure is dangerously high (over 150 systolic), you may not want to try natural remedies first. There are drugs that lower your blood pressure quickly to prevent damage to the heart while natural remedies take a little more time. In that case, you can do both. Take a prescription drug and go to work on these more natural ways of controlling it and you may very well be able to quit taking the prescription within a short period of time.

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Posted on May 23, 2010