Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally, Part II
Hypertension is a very common condition that often has an insidious onset with very few initial symptoms. Hypertension itself is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Routine physical exams are important to diagnose hypertension as there are several treatment options available including lifestyle modification and medication.
For those who have mild hypertension [140-159/90-99], your doctor may discuss trying some of the following lifestyle modifications:
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Maintaining normal body weight (losing weight if overweight)
- Engaging in moderate physical activity
- Reducing sodium intake
- Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Natural remedies for hypertension:
3. Soy nuts
4. Nigella sativa
6. alpha-linolenic acid (Flaxseed)
Garlic for Hypertension?
A meta-analysis published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, (White et al, 2008) found that supplementing with garlic was more effective than placebo in lowering blood pressure in those with hypertension, but not those with normal blood pressure.
How effective was garlic?
- Garlic reduced blood pressure by 16.3 mm hg systolic and 9.3 mm hg diastolic.
How much garlic did they consume?
In most studies in this review, the participants consumed 600-900 mg of garlic powder per day. The manufacturers / brands included: Kyai / Kyolic.
Nigella Sativa for Hypertension?
The results of a very recent study published in the journal, Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology (Dehkordi et al, 2008), suggest that Nigella sativa (NS) seed extract may be considered as an antihypertensive medical plant. In fact, NS is plant that has been used as a medicinal herb for over 2000 years. It has many putative effects including: hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, and antioxidant properties.
- Intervention: Nigella sativa seed extract
- Dose: 100mg/200mg twice daily (two groups)
Does Nigella Sativa work?
1. Nigella sativa seed extract significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure over 4 and 8 weeks respectively. Lower blood pressure was achieved with the higher dose of 200 mg taken twice daily.
2. Nigella sativa seed extract lowered both total and LDL cholesterol in patients with mild hypertension.
Though the results of this study look promising and were, in fact, statistically significant, the actual amount of blood pressure lowering achieved in this study may not be of great clinical significance. To be certain, at the higher dose of 200 mg of Nigella sativa seed extract (taken over 2 months) only lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 2.1mmHg and 1.9 mmHg respectively. However, since this study suggested that the blood pressure lowering effects of Nigella Sativa seed extract were dose-dependent, it is possible that a higher dose may achieve greater results. Further studies would be required to confirm this. No significant side-effects were reported in the present study.
- Dehkordi FR, Kamkhah AF. Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;22(4):447-52.
- Reinhart KM, Coleman CI, Teevan C, Vachhani P, White CM. Effects of garlic on blood pressure in patients with and without systolic hypertension: a meta-analysis. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2008; 42(12): 1766-1771