Natural Remedies for High Blood PressureMarch 24, 2009 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Currently blood pressure readings of 120/80 and lower are considered normal. 120-139/80-89 are referred to as “prehypertension” and 140/90 and above is classified as high blood pressure.
The incidence of hypertension is staggeringly high. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 3 adults in the US have high blood pressure. That accounts for over 70 million people. Even more disconcerting is the fact that over half of these hypertensives do not have their blood pressure under control.
In today’s blog I’m going to share some information about two little known natural remedies that may help manage blood pressure that is out of the healthful range. These natural options can be considered in addition to other safe methods to reduce hypertension, such as: losing excess weight, eating a healthful diet rich in magnesium, potassium and low in sodium, staying physically active, properly managing your blood sugar, engaging in stress management, getting adequate sleep, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
Over the past few decades evidence has been piling up about the health benefits of hibiscus extracts and tea. At the top of the list is its effect on lowering blood pressure. A new study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension further strengthens that notion. This particular experiment compared the activity of hibiscus tea and black tea in a group of 60 diabetic patients with hypertension.
The design of the study called for 30 of the participants to drink hibiscus tea twice a day for a one month period. The other 30 volunteers drank black tea in the exact same manner. Blood pressure readings were taken at the beginning of the trial and at days 15 and 30. Here are some of the findings of the study:
- Those drinking the hibiscus tea began the experiment with an average systolic blood pressure of 134.4, the top number in the blood pressure reading. By the end of the study, the hibiscus group saw an average drop of almost 22 points in systolic blood pressure.
- The black tea volunteers had a modest rise in systolic blood pressure, from 118.6 to 127.3.
- The mean pulse pressure also changed for the better in those consuming the hibiscus tea, but not in the black tea users. Pulse pressure refers to the changes in blood pressure that occur when the heart contracts. High pulse pressure is considered a risk factor for heart disease.
This study is supported by other recent findings such as a 2007 study in the journal Planta Medica. In that experiment, a standardized hibiscus extract was compared to a prescription antihypertensive medication. The goal was to determine the relative efficacy of both the natural and prescriptive therapies, and look out for any differences in terms of side effects.
The results of this study were quite favorable with regard to the hibiscus. It significantly lowered blood pressure (from about 146/97 to 130/86) without causing any signs of safety concerns or intolerance among the patients using it. The authors of the study noted that the hibiscus, “exerted important antihypertensive effectiveness with a wide margin of tolerability and safety”.
Go for the Gold!
A few days ago, a presentation about hypertension and kidney disease was given at the American Chemical Society’s 237th National Meeting. A group of Canadian scientists reported that proteins found in yellow garden peas may provide a novel treatment for those suffering from high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The proteins in question are referred to as “pea protein hydrolysates”. When researchers from the University of Manitoba fed these proteins to a group of rats with polycistic kidney disease, they found a 20% drop in blood pressure within the course of an 8-week trial.
In addition to lower blood pressure, the scientists also found that the pea protein allowed for the rats to better eliminate urine – which is a function that is limited in those with kidney disease. Dr. Rotimi Alunko, one of the lead authors of the study, explained the importance of this by stating, “This is significant because a majority of CKD patients actually die from cardiovascular complications that arise from the high blood pressure associated with kidney malfunction”.
Dr. Aluko suggested that this research may lead to the development of a pea extract that could be used in the human population. But it may not be necessary to wait until then. Currently there are yellow pea protein powders available at select health food stores. They’re generally marketed to those who are allergic to other more common forms of protein, such as egg, soy and whey protein (from milk).
For most health concerns, there are a multitude of natural options available. The key is finding the right remedy for your individual circumstance. This often requires some detective work and patience. In hibiscus and pea protein we now have a few more possibilities to call upon if blood pressure gets out of control.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
Tags: Hibiscus, High Blood Pressure, Kidney Health
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Heart Health
March 24th, 2009 at 11:11 pm
Thanks for sharing these studies! My mother has hypertension and has to take medications every day, I will tell her about this. I’m a candidate of hypertension.
March 24th, 2009 at 11:27 pm
You’re very welcome, Kevin.
Remember that prevention is the best “cure”. Take good care of yourself!
March 24th, 2009 at 11:48 pm
I tried taurine and hibiscus, and while they helped, it wasn’t until I added red beet crystals that I got a big drop. Then I was prescribed terazosin to relax my prostate and that lowered my BP even more. Now, if I breath correctly, my BP is just about always in the favorable range…the 1teens/sixtish. I probably don’t need them all, but I continue with the taurine, hibiscus, beet, and terazosin. The drug also helps me sleep well.
March 25th, 2009 at 12:08 am
Good day, Iggy.
I think beetroot juice is another good option for naturally lowering BP.
The full text of a recent beetroot/BP study is now available online at:
Breathing exercises are an even better alternative since they help us to simply breathe more efficiently – like we should be doing anyway.
Taurine appears to have other benefits beyond it’s antihypertensive properties. I believe Bill Sardi recommends it for raising HDL cholesterol.
April 12th, 2010 at 5:28 am
I adore the important info you offer in your post. I will bookmark your blog and have my son check up here often. I am rather sure they will study a huge of new stuff here than anybody else!
April 12th, 2010 at 11:56 am
Thank you, Sandy. 🙂
February 16th, 2011 at 6:30 am
In Egypt, where hibiscus tea has been consumed since the time of the Pharaohs, it is pretty much taken as fact that it reduces blood pressure. It’s the first thing people say when they find out I have high blood pressure.
You can find hibiscus tea everywhere here. My grandparents always have some iced hibiscus in the fridge — it really quenches the thirst during the hot summers.
June 29th, 2013 at 9:47 am
I have CKD and high blood pressure. I’d like to try the yellow pea protein, but there is no doctor near here who would recommend anything but prescription medicine. I’m wondering if it would be safe or wise to try it along with my bp medicine without a doctor’s oversight.
June 29th, 2013 at 10:57 am
Unfortunately, I can’t say with any certainty. Your doctors might be more willing to incorporate natural remedies with more scientific validation to support their use specifically for CKD. One possibility is fish oil:
August 28th, 2015 at 9:50 pm
Niger J Clin Pract. 2015 Nov-Dec;18(6):762-70.
Effect of Hibiscus sabdariffaon blood pressure and electrolyte profile of mild to moderate hypertensive Nigerians: A comparative study with hydrochlorothiazide.
BACKGROUND: Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) is widely consumed in Nigeria as a refreshing beverage and also as an antihypertensive agent. Since three decades ago when its antihypertensive activities were reported in several animal experiments, its consumption has greatly increased.
AIM: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of HS consumption on blood pressure (BP) and electrolytes of mild to moderate hypertensive Nigerians and compare it with that of hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), a diuretic widely used asfirst-line antihypertensive drug.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Eighty newly diagnosed, but untreated mild to moderate hypertensive subjects attending Medical Out-Patients clinic of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, were recruited for the study. They were randomly divided into three groups: A, B and C. Those in Groups A were given placebo; those in Group B took HCTZ while those in Group C were given HS. Treatment lasted for 4 weeks. BP, serum, and urine electrolytes were measured at baseline, weekly during treatment and 1 week after withdrawal of treatment.
RESULTS: At the end of treatment, both HCTZ and HS significantly (P < 0.001) reduced systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure and serum Na+ compared to placebo. When compared to each other, HCTZ significantly (P < 0.001) reduced serum Na+ and Cl- compared to HS and significantly (P < 0.001) increased K+ and Cl- output in urine. After withdrawal of treatment, the fall in BP and serum Na+ in HS group were significant compared to HCTZ where they returned to baseline values. No side effect was reported during the study. CONCLUSION: HS was a more effective antihypertensive agent than HCTZ in mild to moderate hypertensive Nigerians and did not cause electrolyte imbalance. HS showed longer duration of action compared to HCTZ and reduction in serum Na+ may be another antihypertensive mechanism of action of HS. Be well! JP
June 14th, 2016 at 6:53 pm
J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2015 Dec 22.
Cultural Dance Program Improves Hypertension Management for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: a Pilot Randomized Trial.
OBJECTIVE: Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) bear an unequal burden of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Hula, the traditional dance of Hawaii, has shown to be a culturally meaningful form of moderate-vigorous physical activity for NHPI. A pilot study was done in Honolulu, Hawaii, to test a 12-week hula-based intervention, coupled with self-care education, on blood pressure management in NHPI with hypertension in 2013.
METHOD: NHPI with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140 mmHg were randomized to the intervention (n = 27) or a wait-list control (n = 28). Blood pressure, physical functioning, and eight aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQL) were assessed.
RESULTS: The intervention resulted in a reduction in SBP compared to control (-18.3 vs. -7.6 mmHg, respectively, p ≤ 0.05) from baseline to 3-month post-intervention. Improvements in HRQL measures of bodily pain and social functioning were significantly associated with SBP improvements in both groups.
CONCLUSION: Using hula as the physical activity component of a hypertension intervention can serve as a culturally congruent strategy to blood pressure management in NHPI with hypertension.