High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health problem that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or above is considered high. Common causes or contributing factors of hypertension are obesity, genetic factors, excessive drinking, high salt intake, lack of aerobic exercise, stress, birth control pills, pain relievers, kidney disease, and adrenal disease.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for high blood pressure.
Lemons help keep blood vessels soft and pliable and by removing any rigidity, high blood pressure will be reduced. In addition, you can help lower your chance of heart failure by consuming lemon juice regularly, due to its vitamin B content.
Simply drink a cup of warm water with the juice from half a lemon added to it each morning on an empty stomach. For best results, do not add salt or sugar.
2. Watermelon Seeds
Watermelon seeds contain a compound called cucurbocitrin, which helps widen the blood capillaries. At the same time, it also helps improve kidney functioning. This in turn reduces blood pressure levels and also helps a lot with arthritis.
Also, a 2010 Florida State pilot study found that watermelon can help lower blood pressure due to its vasodilatory effect.
- Grind equal quantities of dried watermelon seeds and poppy seeds (khus khus). Take one teaspoon of this mixture in the morning on an empty stomach and again in the evening.
- Alternatively, add two teaspoons of gently crushed, dried watermelon seeds to one cup of boiled water. Steep it for about an hour, then strain it. Take four tablespoons of this water at regular intervals throughout the day.
Several studies have demonstrated blood pressure lowering effects of garlic. Both raw and cooked garlic help control high blood pressure and at the same time reduce cholesterol levels. Garlic helps relax blood vessels by stimulating the production of nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide.
- Eat one or two cloves of slightly crushed garlic daily. You can simply crush them with your hands. Crushing garlic cloves creates hydrogen sulfide, a compound that promotes good blood flow, removes gas and reduces the pressure on the heart. If you do not like eating raw garlic or if it causes a burning sensation, then take it along with a cup of milk.
- You can also mix five or six drops of garlic juice in four teaspoons of water and take it twice a day.
Bananas are one fruit that people with high blood pressure can eat regularly to control it. Bananas are a rich source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure levels. At the same time, they are low in sodium and have no cholesterol, both of which also are good for people with this problem.
So, try to eat one or two bananas daily. Along with bananas, you can try dried apricots, raisins, currants, orange juice, spinach, zucchini, baked sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and winter squash.
The high level of the phytochemical 3-N-butylphthalide present in celery greatly helps control high blood pressure. Phthalides help relax the muscles in and around arterial walls, thereby creating more space and allowing the blood to flow in without difficulty.
At the same time, it can help reduce the stress hormones that constrict blood vessels, which contributes to high blood pressure.
Try to eat one stalk of celery along with a glass of water daily. If you prefer, you can munch on celery throughout the day.
6. Coconut Water
People with high blood pressure must keep their bodies well hydrated. It is a good idea to drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Coconut water is particularly beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
A 2005 study published in the West Indian Medical Journal found that coconut water, being rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C can help decrease systolic blood pressure. Along with coconut water, you can also use coconut oil when cooking.
7. Cayenne Pepper
Those suffering from mild hypertension will benefit from eating cayenne pepper. It helps smooth blood flow by preventing platelets from clumping together and accumulating in the blood.
You can add some cayenne pepper to fruit or vegetable salad, or add a pinch to a bowl of soup. Because cayenne pepper is quite spicy, you only need to use a little bit.
8. Onion Juice
Onions have also been found to lower your blood pressure due to the presence of an antioxidant flavonol called quercetin.
- Try to eat one medium-sized, raw onion daily.
- You can also mix one-half teaspoon each of onion juice and honey and take it twice a day for one to two weeks.
Honey can reduce pressure from the heart and it also has a calming effect on blood vessels, hence it can be helpful in reducing high blood pressure.
- Eat two teaspoons of honey on an empty stomach each morning.
- You can also mix one teaspoon each of honey and ginger juice with two teaspoons of cumin seed powder. Eat it twice a day.
- Another effective remedy is to mix basil juice and honey in equal amounts and have it on an empty stomach daily.
10. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are an effective ingredient for lowering high blood pressure due to their high potassium and dietary fiber content.
- Boil one to two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in water for about two minutes, and then strain it.
- Put the seeds in a blender and mix it into a paste.
- Eat this paste twice a day, once in the morning on an empty stomach and once in the evening. Follow this remedy for two to three months to notice a significant improvement in your blood pressure level.
In addition to using these natural remedies as part of treatment for high blood pressure, it is essential to follow your doctor’s medical and dietary advice and go for regular checkups.
Diet for High Blood Pressure
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), endorsed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLB) and American Heart Association (AHA) offers guidelines for the treatment of high blood pressure through your daily diet. The DASH diet is a low sodium, low sugar, high potassium diet that may offer both weight loss solutions and a healthy approach to treating high blood pressure.
- The DASH diet recommends at least 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. You may include vegetable juice and fruit juice as part of your daily servings. Fruits and vegetables are excellent natural sources of essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and a healthy dose of dietary fiber. Additionally, fruits and vegetables provide a significant source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
- The diet also recommends that individuals include at least three whole grain foods per day and limit or avoid foods made from refined flour.
- Replace solid fats such as butter, cream and cheese with low fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Consume more high quality protein foods such as lean meats, poultry and seafood. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids are particularly helpful in lowering high blood pressure.
- Nuts, seeds and legumes provide plant proteins that have heart healthy benefits and increase healthy cholesterol.
- In addition to healthy eating, the DASH diet recommends limiting your alcohol intake and stop smoking.