Getting The HIGH Out Of High Blood Pressure Naturally
In our bodies, our blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in vessels called arteries. When we measure the tension our blood exerts on the walls of our arteries, it is called blood pressure. Our blood pressure is highest when the heart beats and is pumping blood (systolic), and lowest when it rests (diastolic).
Written as 120/80 and said 120 over 80, our systolic pressure is the number on top, while our diastolic pressure is the number on the bottom. If our systolic pressure is higher than 140 mmHg, or if our diastolic pressure is greater than 90 mmHg we are identified as having high blood pressure or hypertension.
High blood pressure is a chronic state of elevated blood pressure in the arteries and is often called the "silent killer." Affecting approximately 75 million Americans, nearly 1/3rd of these individuals are not aware of it. People who suffer from high blood pressure do not display symptoms. In fact, if not checked, our blood pressure can be high for years without any adverse effect.
There are two different types of hypertension " essential and secondary. No one knows the exact cause of primary hypertension; however, it tends to respond well to lifestyle changes such as losing weight, dietary changes and stress reduction. On the other hand, secondary hypertension has organic causes. Typically it is secondary to an abnormality of another organ or system in the body, such as kidney disease or pregnancy.
When our blood pressure is high for an extended period of time, our heart is forced to work harder and our arteries take a beating. Our chances of a heart attack, stroke or kidney problems rise greatly. These complications due to chronic hypertension are often referred to as end organ damage because they are a direct result of long term, elevated blood pressure.
Thankfully, there are a number of natural remedies and alternative health methods that can be employed to help reduce high blood pressure.
Recommendations for Reducing High Blood Pressure
- Begin a diet and exercise program. Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. By losing as little as 10 pounds, your blood pressure can be greatly reduced. It has also been shown that even moderate exercise can lower your risk of heart disease even further.
- Find ways to reduce the stress and tension in your life. Learn some relaxation techniques, meditate or do biofeedback.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home daily to keep track of how you are doing.
- Avoid products that contain stimulants such as caffeine, ephedra, kola nut, pseudoephedrine, or tobacco that can elevate blood pressure.
- Eat a diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Reduce or eliminate your intake of trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated oils found in margarine, processed, refined and deep-fried foods.
- Cut down on salt and sodium. It has been shown that salt consumption can elevate blood pressure.
- Garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as it promotes blood circulation.
- Turmeric, an East Indian herb often used for cooking, is known in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to lower cholesterol levels, improve blood flow and strengthen the blood vessel walls.
- Ginkgo Biloba can be used to reduce blood pressure, improve circulation and dilate the blood vessels.
- Hawthorn berry is known for its ability to open the coronary arteries, strengthening the heart muscles and reduce artery hardening.
- Ginger root can be used to improve circulation and relax the muscles surrounding the blood vessels.
- Supplementation with calcium and magnesium has been show to help reduce blood pressure.
- Chamomile, hops and valerian root can be used to help calm the nerves.
- The essential oils found in lavender and lemon balm can be used to relieve tension and lower blood pressure.
Copyright Body, Mind & SoulHealer 2006. All rights reserved. Dr. Rita Louise, PhD is a Naturopathic Physician and it is her unique gift as a medical intuitive that enlivens her work. Author of the books "Avoiding the Cosmic 2x4" and "The Power Within." Visit www.soulhealer.com or call (972) 475-3393 for more information.