High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic and widespread concern. Stress, the narrowing or arteries, thicker blood, or anything that increases the pressure in your arteries can cause it. So many people suffer from it that sometimes it’s almost considered a natural part of aging. But it’s not. And it can often be prevented.
Yet, many prescribed medications and pharmaceutical solutions like statin drugs are notorious for causing their own sets of problems in both the short run and the long run.
The good news is that there are natural, healthier ways to lower blood pressure, and we’ll discuss some of those methods below. Exercise, diet, essential oils, and breathing can all have profoundly positive impacts on hypertension.
Exercise and Diet Options
A program of regular, moderate exercise is perhaps the fastest and most efficient way to relieve hypertension, with a great number of side benefits. Exercise reduces hypertension because it promotes a healthy heart and circulatory system, as well as enhancing your body’s use of oxygen. The more efficient your circulation, the better your quality of life will be. More importantly, NOT treating high blood pressure leaves you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
One of the simplest – and tastiest – ways to relieve high blood pressure is to change your diet. Why is it the tastiest?
1. You get to consume more total fat --- of the healthy variety. You’ll be swapping red meat intake for delicious alternatives like wild – not farmed – salmon, poached or baked tuna, mackerel or herring at least three times a week (cooked or raw as sushi works great for any of these).*
2. Treat yourself to avocados! They are another great source of healthy fats that lowers LDL cholesterol, aka – “bad” cholesterol, which tends to worsen pressure in your arteries, and raises HDL cholesterol, aka – “good” cholesterol, which tends to help clear your arteries. Eat as much as you like! They’re also packed with vitamins. Here’s an external link with some delicious avocado recipes.
3. Eat more of your favorite fruits – aim for 3 pieces a day. More vegetables and ground seeds and nuts (in moderation) also help get better minerals into your system (besides table salt) like:
4. Beetroot juice was also shown in a recent study to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7 mm Hg and 2 mm Hg, respectively. In the study, 250ml of the juice was consumed daily for 4 weeks. Pomegranate juice has also been shown to lower systolic blood pressure when consumed regularly.
5. Another recent study has shown that replacing other cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil (5 teaspoonfuls per day) reduced systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg, increased good HDL cholesterol, and improved immune function in obese older adults in Boston, MA, USA over a 3-month period.
*Take a high quality multivitamin supplement and a fish oil supplement with high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids called “EPA” and “DHA” (look for at least 250-400mg per serving on the ingredients list on the bottle) to help make up for anything you’re not able to get through your diet.
There are many essential oils that can lower blood pressure, through a variety of applications. A relaxing aromatherapy massage is one of the most effective – and enjoyable – means of lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Other means include using sweet marjoram, lavender, and/or ylang ylang essential oils. You can mix a drop of any of these into a small bit of cream and gently massage it into each wrist, or mix several drops of each in milk and add it to a bath. They help with hypertension and stress as well. Peppermint essential oil can also be applied locally in a cream to reduce blood pressure in local tissues (think: menthol).
Breathing and Stress Management
Finally, simple breathing exercises, such as those used in mindfulness, the 4 7 8 technique for getting to sleep faster, yoga, and other forms of meditation can all help reduce high blood pressure.
Please note that if you are currently on a prescribed blood pressure medication, you should not stop it without consulting your doctor first. If that medication is working well for you, then you don't have a problem. These methods here are all a part of complementary healing, which means they work together and work well with other methods that you may use on your road toward healing. Diet, essential oils, breathing and stress management are particularly good methods for reducing blood pressure in the present moment (when you do them). The more you use them, the more good, healthy moments you create for yourself. As you keep it up, you will find that those good moments outweigh the bad ones, and you will have successfully shifted the balance in favor of healthy blood pressure, instead of against it. This is a natural result of managing stress levels and living this healthier and more attuned lifestyle.
James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing.