Complementary and alternative medicines mostly natural remedies, are used in more than 80% of the world’s population and are becoming an increasing component of the US health care system, with more than 70% of the population using natural remedies at least once.
Research evidence suggests that non-drug treatment options used alone or complementary to the standard medical treatment for high blood pressure can be a very effective therapeutic approach for any stage of high blood pressure.
Natural Remedies Used in the Treatment of High Blood Pressure
Garlic is widely used as a blood pressure lowering herb and there is certain research evidence which suggests that it deserves its reputation. Its active ingredient is allicin. One fresh clove of garlic contains from 5mg to 9mg of allicin.
Adding fresh garlic is an affordable and possibly more effective way of getting the effects of allicin than paying for garlic supplements.You can use fresh garlic as a flavoring for meals like pasta sauces and meat, for example. Dried garlic contiment can help you to reduce salt intake because it can be used instead of salt to boost food’s flavor. If you opt for garlic supplements, enteric coated garlic products are a better option. Avoid odorless preparations, because, in order for the garlic odor to disappear, a high temperature is applied which in turn destroys the enzyme that turns allicin into its active form. Aged garlic extract and garlic oil do not contain allicin.
2. Mistletoe (Viscum Album)
Mistletoe is a parasitic vine that survives by stealing nutrients from the tree that serves as a shelter to grow. For this reason, the concentration of its active ingredients varies depending on what tree has grown on. Some experiments have shown that mistletoe vines that are grown on Willow species are considered more effective for the blood pressure lowering. Preparation: Add 1 tablespoon of mistletoe leaves in 1 teacup (6 oz.) of boiled water. Steep for 10-20 minutes. Filter out mistletoe leaves and drink once daily. It could be combined with hawthorn or linden.
3. Saffron (Crocus Sativus)
Saffron comes from Crocus Sativus flowers, which was first cultivated and harvested in the Mediterranean, in the Island of Crete. It is widely used in Greek food recipes and it’s considered one of the world’s most expensive spices because it’s hard to harvest. Of note that due to a high price of crocus-derived saffron, a lot of saffron-like products derived from plants other than the crocus flower, could be falsely designated as saffron. A paler red species of Indian Safflower is one of those. Saffron could lower blood pressure by promoting diuresis, reducing blood viscosity and improving lipid metabolism. Preparation: 3-4 saffron threads in 1 teacup (6oz.) of boiled water. Steep for 6-8 minutes, filter out threads and drink the infusion.
4. Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves which have a mild lemon aroma are used for the preparation of tea alone or in combination with other herbs like valerian and chamomile.It was used even before the Middle Ages to treat insomnia, anxiety and symptoms of indigestion and intestinal colics. Because of its relaxing properties it could help in blood pressure control. Preparation: Add 1-2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm (or 4 lemon balm leaves) in 1 cup boiled water and allow steeping for 10-15 minutes. Filter out and drink 1-2 times per day or every 2 days. Combine with linden for better results.
5. Linden (Tilia Europaea)
Linden species have been historically used in European folk medicine for centuries to treat a variety of health problems in particular those associated with anxiety. It appears to have antispasmodic (reducing muscle contractions), diuretic, and sedative properties. It could prevent blood pressure spikes because it acts as a natural vasodilator and increases diuresis.
6. Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna)
Hawthorn seeds are used to treat high blood pressure with atherosclerosis. It decreases blood pressure gradually. It is used as drinking infusion 1-2 times daily in the morning and afternoon, between meals. Preparation: Add 2 teaspoons of hawthorn seeds in 1 teacup (6oz.) of boiled water. Allow infusion steeping for 20 minutes and then remove the seeds.
7. Olive leaves tea
Add 20gr dried olive leafs to 300ml water. Boil for 15 minutes. Steep for 20 minutes. Let it longer if you want a stronger taste, which is recommended for medicinal purposes. Remove the leaves and drink half of this preparation in the morning and half in the evening after meals. To mask the bitter taste, olive leaf extract can be made into an iced tea with lemon and/or soda water. Note that active ingredients of this preparation, although well absorbed, their concentrations are low, so the results take a few weeks to show.
8. Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca)
Motherwort belongs to the mint family. It was used in ancient Greece for the treatment of anxiety and delayed menstruation, while in the Middle Ages for insomnia, epilepsy and high blood pressure. According to WebMD, motherwort might slow down the heart and thin the blood, facilitating blood flow and thus lowering blood pressure. Overconsumption must be avoided in case of uterine bleeding.
Preparation: Add 1-2 teaspoons of fried motherwort in 1 tea cup (6oz) of boiled water. Steep for 15 minutes, filter out motherwort and drink 1-3 times per day.
Read more: DASH Diet to Control High Blood Pressure