High blood pressure (BP) or hypertension affects millions of Americans and starts as early as their 30’s in some people. Family history is usually a factor but additionally, our lifestyle of less movement and more calories has led to an epidemic of overweight and obese people.
This is directly linked to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is based on how hard the heart has to work to get blood flow through the body and its organs. Think of it as a water pump with a hose that progressively gets smaller.
The pump is ok until the pressure builds up in the narrow part of the hose…then it has to work really hard to push through. The physiological changes that cause hypertension are, obviously, more complicated than this but it is more important for most of us to understand how to monitor it and treat it.
Making Changes to Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you have ever read a medical book about treating hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes etc., they all start with one specific step. Step one is lifestyle changes.
This involves changing eating habits, increasing activity, and doing certain things to be healthier. We know the body is great at healing, but we can’t continually abuse it and hope it will overcome.
For blood pressure concerns that means, less snacking (especially on salty things), more veggies and fruits, lowering the salt in our diet, and drinking water to keep kidneys healthy.
Additionally, exercise plays a key role. Did you know that walking 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night, at a brisk pace, is equivalent to a 30 minute work out?
If you are not an exerciser, start slow. 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes after dinner. Doing this 3-4 times a week can drastically improve your health and blood pressure. These walks need to make you out of breath, so the pace is different for everyone.
Natural Ways to Lower Your BP
Another lifestyle change is to work on stress and sleep. Try deep breathing to relax at your desk at work when you feel stressed, walk the halls or go outside for a couple of minutes to relax. You can also stand and stretch at your desk.
At home you can do meditations for stress relief or yoga before bed to increase good sleep and lower stress.
There are several natural treatments for blood pressure. However, it must be said that these treat borderline blood pressure and early hypertension. If you have tried these for a month or two without relief or you have extremely high blood pressure, these are not for you, and you should see a healthcare provider.
Another caution is that Googling an herb may not tell you everything. Did you know that herbs do different things based on whether the herbalist used the leaf, stem, seed, or root?
One may have poisonous leaves but medicinal roots for example. Always ask a professional before starting anything.
The number one herbal treatment is garlic. It is pretty benign for side effects but may cause a garlic odor to breath or some nausea if taken on an empty stomach.
Coriander is another studied treatment. This is referring to the seeds not the leaves. Its major side effect is lowering blood pressure but should not be taken by pregnant women.
Cilantro leaves are not the same as they have different properties than the seeds. It lowers blood sugar so be cautious if you are on diabetes medications.
Lastly red sage is another remedy that has been studied to lower blood pressure. It also lowers blood sugar so be cautious if you are on diabetes medications or heart medications.
Remember Step One – change your lifestyle for the whole health of your body. If you are unsure if this is right for you or where to start, call Amaze. We have professionals that specialize in this area and are happy to get you on the right track with your health goals!