Have you been told your blood pressure is too high? It is really common, and there are many things you can do to help. Read about 10 natural ways to lower your blood pressure.
Are There Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure?
High Blood Pressure is a Prompt to Make Changes
Very often people are not aware they have raised blood pressure until a visit to the GP for another reason or a health check, and they find it is higher than it should be. The good news is that for many people high blood pressure can respond to dietary and lifestyle support measures. Whatever the level.
You may have been told by your GP that you need to lower it over the next few months before drugs are considered. Or it might be that you are on medication to lower it more rapidly. Either way it is worth making changes as the medication is unlikely to be effective in the long run if the root causes and lifestyle aspects are not addressed.
10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure
1. Adapting the Way You Eat to Help Lower Blood Pressure
Most of us know the kind of diet that is generally thought to be healthy. Being given news we have a medical reason to look at how we eat can be a good motivator. We are all different and may need to adapt any regimen to suit us individually. But broadly speaking a more Mediterranean diet can be helpful not just in helping lower your blood pressure, but in being healthier in general.
2. Reducing Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
These used to be occasional treats and are now part of everyday life for many. Reducing or eliminating these can have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and is found in coffee, tea and chocolate. You may not need to totally eliminate all of these. Perhaps just start with reducing how much you have. If you drink a lot of coffee for example, reduce the amount slowly. Your system will be used to a high amount and you need to re-adjust gently. Maybe experiment with decaffeinated ones that you find have a better flavour. You can also mix ground coffees so that they are in a gradually changing ratio where the decaff increases with less caffeinated over time.
Explore herbal and decaffeinated teas. And increase your water intake. If this all sounds like torture just make little changes week on week. Your taste will change and you may find it easier than going cold turkey.
Go for quality, preferably dark chocolate. Some is actually thought to be beneficial, which is good news! Alcohol is best reduced to a minimum, with at least two or three totally clear days a week.
And just a note here that having high blood pressure is another good reason to stop smoking. There is a great deal more support available these days, including hypnotherapy.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar that is organic, raw, and unfiltered with the “Mother”, is one of nature’s great gifts. It seems there is almost nothing it cannot help. Including support for lowering your blood pressure. It can be taken in water as a drink, and used as part of your cooking regimen.
4. Supplements to Help Lower Blood Pressure
There are a number of supplements for high blood pressure that could be beneficial. It can be best to tailor them to your specific requirements. And, as with herbs, it is also important to check with a health professional if you are taking any pharmaceutical medications or have any medical factors that need to be taken into account.
5. Herbs as Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Herbs have long tradition of being used to help in supporting lowering blood pressure.
Crataegus oxyacantha (Hawthorn) has been used for centuries to help lower blood pressure and support cardio-vascular health. If you are taking any prescribed medication, especially for your blood pressure, do check with your GP first.
Avena Sativa (Common Oat) is another very useful herb with many benefits for our health. We know that oats are good to include in the diet to support cardio-vascular health. As a herb we will often use to soothe and nourish the adrenals and nervous system. This can be helpful where there is a significant stress element to high blood pressure.
6. Increase Your Activity Levels
Many people find it hard to find the time to exercise in our increasingly hectic lives. For some the gym is a great way to let off steam. For others it feels like torture! Explore your options. Badminton or walking with a local group. Zumba, ballroom dancing, yoga or boxercise – the more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to keep going.
If you can, build in more exercise into your everyday activities. Use the stairs, park further from work or get off the bus a few stops earlier. It may be that you have not been very active for a while. In which case, build up gently and if you have any specific health issues or concerns, check with your GP first.
We benefit from being active on all levels – physically and mentally. Be creative about how to be more active. Set yourself the challenge and have fun finding ways to achieve it.
7. Manage Stress to Manage Your Blood Pressure
Major stress does not have a good effect on our health in general. If you have excessive stress at home or work, it will not help you in lowering your blood pressure. Sometimes life seems to go through difficult phases – family crisis or illness, work deadlines, etc. But unless we find ways of managing ourselves it can affect our health in the longer run.
Following the steps in this post may help. The healthier you are the better. You may also benefit from thinking around what you would like to be different. What might help you experience less stress or manage it differently? You may find my Life Coaching Check List – Parts 1 & 2 to be of help in thinking through things.
8. Breathe to Feel Better!
How we breathe is important for our health. Rapid and shallow breathing, hyperventilating, is more likely if we are stressed and anxious. Paying attention to your breathing, and opening your posture to create the space for your breath can both be helpful.
A great stress-buster is a technique called Box Breathing. It is really simple and you can use it on an everyday basis if you feel stressed or anxious. It allows you to slow down and stops thoughts racing. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated and that should have a good effect on your blood pressure.
9. Increase Relaxation – Get Your System Off Red Alert!
Now I am not suggesting you become a couch potato, but being able to relax is an important part of lowering your blood pressure. Your body’s stress response means that everyday physiological responses and maintenance are put on hold whilst your system is immersed in its fight, freeze or flight reaction.
Allowing your system to come off red alert, relax and get on with keeping you well and in balance is of great value. Maybe finding time to enjoy things you really love doing. Learning meditation or self-hypnosis, both of which can be of huge help.
10. Homeopathic Constitutional Support
As a homeopath I often see people who have high blood pressure. Many do not wish to take drugs for the rest of their lives if they can do something that makes a more positive difference. If it their blood pressure is only slightly raised, the GP may given them a few months to see what can achieved with natural ways to lower blood pressure before drugs are considered. Some are on medication and want to make sure they still address the health issues properly so that they are healthier in the longer run. Either way, it is important to explore the points listed above as these can make a real difference.
We will use their constitutional homeopathic remedy to support them. This will take into account their overall health profile and medical history as well as their cardio-vascular health. The case taking process means that we will also consider which herbs, supplements, dietary and lifestyle measures may be of help when aiming to lower their high blood pressure. So overall it becomes an individually tailored and holistic action plan.
It is also important to remember that if you are doing all the right things and your blood pressure, or any other health issue is not responding, do see your GP. They can check to see if there may be another factor involved, such as a thyroid imbalance.
High blood pressure is a message that we need to be paying more attention to our health and how we live. Listened to, it can be the prompt that helps us to make changes to be healthier and happier in the years ahead.
I hope you have found this post about natural ways to lower your blood pressure to be of interest. If you would like to book an initial free 15 minute phone or mini-consultation to see if my approach might suit you, please do contact me. I see patients in clinic at Lewes and Barns Green in Sussex, and also via Skype.