High blood pressure or hypertension, as it is commonly known is regarded as a silent killer. It is a disease of the modern age. The fast pace of life, mental and physical pressure, environmental pollution all these have a role to play in the rise in your blood pressure.
According to the Joint National Committee 7(JNC7), normal blood pressure is a systolic BP < 120 mm Hg and diastolic BP < 80 mm Hg. But if you have a systolic BP level of ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP level ≥ 90 mmHg, then you are a patient of high blood pressure or hypertension.
The grey area falling between 120–139 mmHg systolic BP and 80–89 mmHg diastolic BP is defined as “prehypertension”. Prehypertension is not considered as a medical condition in itself. However, if you are prehypertensive, then you are at risk of developing hypertension.
High blood pressure can cause chronic heart disease, stroke, and coronary heart disease. It is also the leading factor for chronic kidney disease, as well as dementia. Therefore It is very important to keep your BP level under control.
Even so, you can reduce or manage your high BP by adopting some simple changes in diet, lifestyle, and taking some home remedies regularly.
In this article, we explain some of the home remedies available in and around your kitchen to control high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
In most cases, an actual cause of high BP is unknown. The known factors that can affect your BP include:
- Stress and faulty lifestyle
- Smoking and excessive intake of alcohol
- Advancing age
- Family history of hypertension
- Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries).
- Excessive intake of common table salt
- Consumption of high fat and low fiber diet
- Lack of physical activity
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Some general symptoms of hypertension include:
- Pain at the back and neck when walking
- Pain in the heart region
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty in breathing
Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure
Here are 17 simple natural home remedies to control hypertension: (1)
Garlic has been used as a spice, food, and medicine since ancient times. It is one of the earliest documented herbs utilized for the maintenance of health and treatment of disease. In ancient Greece, garlic was used as a diuretic, as reported by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.
Garlic is an effective home remedy for lowering your BP. It reduces the contractions in your small arteries, slows down the pulse rate as well as improves your heartbeat. Besides, it also reduces dizziness, shortness of breath, and formation of gas in your stomach due to high BP. (2)
Studies revealed that deficiency of Sulphur may cause high blood pressure. Garlic is a rich source of sulphur and thus helps lower your BP.
Moreover, while garlic supplementation significantly reduce your high BP, it doesn’t affect people with normal blood pressure.
Several forms of garlic are available, including raw and freshly cooked garlic, garlic powder, garlic oil, and garlic extract. You can take two to three cloves of raw garlic daily to reduce your BP.
Indian gooseberry or Amla is another effective remedy for blood pressure. In Ayurveda, Amla is used in the treatment of respiratory, heart diseases, and rheumatic diseases as well as in diabetes.
It is a rich source of vitamin C in the natural form as well as pectin, and tannins. It is extremely powerful in lowering your BP as well as the development and progression of hypertension. (3)
Mixing a tablespoon each of fresh amla juice and honey can help you control your BP. Honey is rich in vitamin B2 and vitaminB1 that helps you in blood circulation.
You can also eat 1-2 raw amla or fresh amla juice daily. Regular intake of amla not only controls blood pressure but also helps glow your skin and improve eyesight.
Watermelon is a great home remedy for hypertension. If you consume fresh watermelon daily, it can significantly reduce your body weight and BP.
Watermelon is loaded with fiber and micro-nutrient which help reduce your appetite and thus assist with weight management. This in turn reduces the risk of hypertension. The fruit also acts as a mild diuretic that helps to control your BP level. (4)
Cucumbers is one of the best remedies that can lower your BP with no side effect. It contains several important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Potassium increases the discharge of sodium, while magnesium helps to prevent your blood vessels from constricting, which can increase blood pressure. (5)
Besides, cucumber is also a diuretic as it contains a lot of water which helps lower your BP.
Linseed or Flaxseed
It is one of the best home remedy to lower your BP. Linseed or flaxseed and its oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Several studies recommend that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids significantly can lower your blood pressure level. (6)
Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for you to prevent heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other health problems. Linseed may protect you against heart disease through several mechanisms. It reduces your serum cholesterol, platelet aggregation, and improves glucose tolerance. It also act as an antioxidant that neutralizes the toxic free radicals produced inside your body.
Consumption of 15 to 50 g ground linseed per day can reasonably reduce your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein concentrations.
There are a variety of potential health benefits from drinking tea. Drinking tea has become a hot topic for molecular nutrition and food research in recent times. Tea can be classified into three major types: unfermented green tea, fermented black tea, and semi-fermented Oolong tea.
It contains characteristic polyphenolic compounds known as catechins and flavonoids that play an important role in the treatment and control of high blood pressure. (7)
Further, consumption of both green and black teas is found to reduce the risk of heart diseases and some forms of cancers. It can also help you to improve oral health, control obesity, increase bone density, and cognition in the elderly. So sip a cup of tea regularly.
Ayurveda has considered holy basil as a ‘mother medicine of nature’ that provides a vast array of health benefits. In India, basil is considered as a sacred plant and often used in spiritual rituals.
Holy Basil is one of the best home remedies for hypertension. It can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The antihypertensive effect is attributed to eugenol, which exerts its effect by blocking the substances that tighten your blood vessels. (8)
Basil is also beneficial to improve your lipid profiles, prevent weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. It protects your organs and blood vessels from atherosclerosis.
Among the herbs, Rauwolfia is considered to be the most powerful remedy for high blood pressure. Reserpine, the purified alkaloid of rauwolfia, is the first effective drug widely used in the long-term treatment of hypertension. However, nasal congestion is the most common side effect of using rauwolfia. So take only a smaller dose to avoid side effects. (9)
The formulation combining Reserpine, Dihydroergocristine, and a diuretic is still available in the market. In Ayurveda, it is also used for snakebite, insomnia, insanity, and many other health problems.
Dark chocolate can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Flavanols, contained in chocolate, plays the role of lowering hypertension. However, you should take in a smaller portion as it is loaded with calories. If eaten excess, the beneficial effects will be outweighed by the risk of weight gain, increasing the chances of hypertension and heart disease. (10)
Dark chocolates are also beneficial for preventing cardiovascular disease. Clinical research also shows that consumption of dark or milk chocolate 46 to 105 g daily, can lower your systolic BP by about 5 mmHg and diastolic by about 3 mmHg. (11)
Ginger root may help control your BP level. It helps improve blood circulation and relaxes muscles surrounding your blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Ginger may help you to relieve dizziness and headache associated with hypertension. (12)
It is a widely used home remedy for several common diseases in Asia. Gingerols, shogaol, and paradols, are the main bioactive compounds present in ginger that have many medicinal properties.
Consumption of ginger may prevent you from heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and bacterial infections.
Yogurt is a wonderful remedy to control or lower your BP level. Only two servings per week of yogurt in your diet can lower the risk of hypertension and heart disease. It is a rich source of casein and whey proteins, as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All these minerals have blood-pressure-lowering effects. (13)
Yogurt is also loaded with both calcium and vitamin D, which work together to regulate BP. Moreover, Yogurt is a strong probiotic and helps maintain your weight during the middle-adult years. This indirectly benefitting you from hypertension related to weight gain. (14)
Rice has low fat, low cholesterol, and no salt content making it a perfect diet if you are suffering from hypertension.
Calcium in brown rice in particular soothes and relaxes your nervous system and helps relieve the symptoms of hypertension. Brown rice is also a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B-complex, and fiber which are useful to control high BP. (15)
Potato, especially in boiled form is beneficial for controlling your BP. Potatoes are loaded with potassium and magnesium. One medium-sized potato with skin can provide you 515 mg of potassium and 85 mg of magnesium.
Both these minerals help lowering your BP level. The best thing about the potato is that it does not contain sodium salts. So you can take it without any hesitation. (16)
Celery is one of the best home remedies to control your blood pressure. It can reduce both systolic and diastolic BP. Fresh celery juice mixed with vinegar may help you to relieve dizziness, headache, and shoulder pain associated with hypertension. You can also consume the juice mixing with an equal amount of honey to it. Seeds of celery too can be used as a safe and effective treatment of hypertension. (17)
Tomato contains carotenoids, such as lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin E. Lycopene present in tomato can significantly reduce your systolic blood pressure level. (18)
These bioactive compounds are effective antioxidants that neutralize free radicals produced by your body. This, in turn, prevents atherosclerosis, one of the major cause of hypertension.
It has been used in traditional medicine to treat high BP. Carrot contains bioactive phytonutrients Coumarin which can significantly lower your BP.
The fresh juice of the carrot is more beneficial than cooked one in controlling hypertension. Take one glass (approx 500 ml) of fresh carrot juice daily in the morning and evening. (19) Either you can take it as salad with cucumber and tomato.
Drumstick is an excellent home remedy to control your BP level. It can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Bioactive fractions thiocarbamate and isothiocyanate are responsible for antihypertensive activity.
You should always follow a well-balanced routine when suffering from high blood pressure. Diet is of primary importance. Take a natural diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables rather than a traditional diet. Avoid salt; in any case, it should not exceed more than 3 gm/day or about half a teaspoon per day. Most important of all, you must avoid overstrain, worries, anger, and tension.