High blood pressure is an epidemic that is currently sweeping across America.
The fast lifestyle of fast food, soda and stress is starting to catch up on the
average American, so much so that an estimated one in every three Americans has
high blood pressure. This puts them at risk of heart disease, stroke and even
kidney disease. Moreover, this condition is costing the country 93.5 billion
dollars in health care services.
Putting too much faith in the medical
establishment to find a cure for your high blood pressure may no longer be
advisable in the least. The number of prescription drugs on the market and the
cascade of variations suggest that a cure for blood pressure is not in the
offing anytime soon.
Despite all the consequences associated with high
blood pressure, it is still a condition that is preventable and easily managed.
Observing a healthy balanced diet and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle can
help avoid the risk of high blood pressure as well as reduce one that is already
High blood pressure - A package of woe
There is no one identifiable
cause for high blood pressure. A combination of factors like stress, alcohol,
smoking, weight and lack of physical activity seem to have to come together to
produce this problem, which is further compounded by family history and
Although it is a condition that if left unattended could gravitate
to something worse, high blood pressure is not a disease. Taking proactive
measures in preventing heart diseases, stroke and even kidney disease by
managing your blood pressure may be the best decision you can make
While the idea of drug-free high blood pressure management through
the use of herbs and spices has slowly been gaining ground, it is still treated
with skepticism by the medical establishment. The reliance on prescription
drugs, however, has not in any way shown that high blood pressure could be cured
through this manner. There are still reports by patients who are currently using
drugs to manage their high blood pressure that their condition has not shown any
improvement, nor their quality of life. Instead, they have to deal with side
effects and drugs that are expensive to maintain.
Spice up your life
In a published study featured in the Journal of
Medicine, it was revealed that common spices can protect from heart disease
and the deterioration brought about by aging. In the said study, researchers
discovered a connection between the phenol content of certain herbs and spices
and their capacity to prevent glycation and formation of AGE compounds that are
responsible for premature aging and heart disease.
As a way to manage
your blood pressure, herbs and spices are a fantastic way to increase the
medicinal value of your food. Below are some herbs and spices you may have been
enjoying with no idea as to their value:
1. Garlic - Garlic
contains allicin, a substance which has antibacterial, antioxidant, lipid
lowering and anti-hypertension properties. In a pilot study made at Clinical
Research Center of New Orleans on whether garlic could lower blood pressure,
nine patients with severe hypertension were given a garlic preparation
containing 1.3 % allicin. Sitting blood pressure fell with a significant
decrease in diastolic blood pressure only five to 14 hours after the dose.
Moreover, it was proven in a 2009 study that fresh garlic has more potent
cardio-protective properties than processed garlic.
2. Cinnamon -
Cinnamon not only prevents heart disease, it can also prevent diabetes. The
Center for Applied Health Sciences in Ohio conducted a study of 22 subjects,
half of which were given a 250mg of water soluble cinnamon daily while the other
half were given placebo. It was discovered that those who drank cinnamon had a
13 to 23 percent increase in antioxidants connected with lowering blood sugar
3. Onions - Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant
flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke. In a research study
published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects with hypertension
experienced a decrease in their blood pressure by 7mmHg systolic and 5 mmHg
diastolic as opposed to those who were taking placebo.
4. Olives -
This herb is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, recognized to be one
of the healthiest in the world. Oil made from olives has been found to reduce
blood pressure. In a study conducted on the importance of olive oil, Dr. L. Aldo
Ferrara, Associate Professor at the Frederico II University of Naples in
Italy discovered that the daily use of 40 grams of olive oil reduced the dosage
of blood pressure medication in hypertensive patients by about 50 percent.
Polyphenols in extra-virgin olive oil was credited for the significant reduction
of blood pressure.
5. Oregano - This herb contains the compound
carvacrol which has been proven to be effective against blood pressure. In a
study conducted on animal subjects, by researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi
University in Turkey, carvacrol was found to reduce heart rate, mean
arterial pressure as well as the systolic and diastolic blood
6. Hawthorn - This herb has been traditionally used to
treat high blood pressure. In one study conducted in Reading, UK, 79 type-2
diabetic patients were randomized to receive 1200 mg of hawthorn extract while
another group received medication for high blood pressure. Results revealed that
patients taking hawthorn by the end of the 16th week showed a reduction in their
mean diastolic pressure.
7. Cardamom- In one study published in
the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 20 subjects newly
diagnosed with primary hypertension were administered 3 g of cardamom powder.
After the end of the 3 months, all the subjects experienced feelings of
well-being without any side effects. Moreover, the study was able to demonstrate
that blood pressure was effectively reduced. It also improved antioxidant status
while breaking down blood clots without significantly altering blood lipids and
Taking advantage of the antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory effects of spices and herbs is an excellent way to boost your
body's health. Herbs have low calorie content, increase the medicinal value of
your food and allow you to use natural forms of lowering blood pressure. Mix
them up with your soups, salads, fish and meat and vegetable dishes. It's a
healthier and cheaper alternative to keeping bottles of prescription drugs and