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Last updated: Feb 8th, 2012

Lower Blood Pressure Naturally:

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a serious and chronic medical condition. Hypertension puts a person at risk for potentially life-threatening problems, including stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, and kidney failure.

In order to discover, understand, and carry out natural treatments for high blood pressure, it is first important to understand the root causes of hypertension.

Causes of Hypertension:

There are many causes of hypertension, but some are more widespread than others, and some are more illuminating in terms of pointing towards common-sense ways of treating the condition. These are a few of the major causes of high blood pressure:

Identifying the underlying causes of hypertension is critically important. Underlying medical conditions are complex and beyond the scope of this page; consult a doctor or medical professional if you are concerned about one or more of these issues.

Prescription Medications and Herbal Medicines Causing Hypertension:

If you are taking any prescription medication and suffering from high blood pressure, check your medicines one-by-one. Search online in addition to reading the drug's label, to be safe. If high blood pressure or hypertension is listed as one of the side effects, talk to your doctor about your concern. Avoid taking any additional medicines to correct the side effect, except in the rarest cases where it is medically necessary: taking a medication to treat the side effect of another medication is a common form of overmedication which can lead to a dangerous downward spiral of side effects, poisoning your body and destroying your health. Instead it is best to reduce your total number of medications and treat side effects by natural, holistic approaches when possible.

People often think of herbal medicines as safe, and in many cases, herbal medicines can be significantly safer than newer synthetic pharmaceuticals. However, many herbs have potent medicinal effects, and can have serious side effects as well. This is also true of herbal teas. In terms of blood pressure, one major culprit is licorice. People often think of licorice as harmless, because it is widely used as an ingredient in herbal teas, and as a flavoring, even in candy, but it can raise blood pressure in potentially dangerous ways. [Source - PDF]

Nutrition and Diet:

The basic guidelines for lowering blood sugar are very similar to general dietary guidelines that lead to overall good health. In terms of hypertension specifically, the most important things are to reduce salt and sugar intake. This is most easily achieved by eliminating or reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet, as processed foods tend to be high in both salt and sugar.

For more information, Colorado State University Extension has an excellent page about diet and hypertension. WebMD also has some guidelines on Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (the "DASH" diet). The Mayo Clinic also recommends this diet on their page on lifestyle and home remedies for hypertension.

Movement and Exercise:

Physical activity, especially, aerobic exercise, is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic has a great page titled Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure, which goes into this issue in more detail. Any activity that raises your heart rate can help; household chores or other physical labor, climbing stairs, or brisk walking or biking to get to places in your daily life are all just as effective. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily, but remarks that this activity does not need to come all at once. Walking to and from work and other locations in your daily life can be more than enough to ensure you get this level of activity or more.


Chronic stress is one of the major causes of hypertension. In addition, stress causes a wide variety of ailments of the mind and body. Virtually all medical conditions are exacerbated by stress, and virtually all aspects of human health are negatively impacted by stress. Stress is thus one of the most logical and effective causes to target in the treatment of hypertension. Not only will reducing stress lower your blood pressure, but it will result in benefits for your overall health and well-being.

A number of useful stress-reducing techniques can be found on Cazort.net's page on natural remedies and treatments for anxiety. Although anxiety isn't exactly the same thing as stress, the two are closely related, and all of the techniques described on that page, such as meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises, and certain kinds of physical touch, can be used to reduce everyday stress.

You will find that the dietary recommendations for treating anxiety are very similar to those recommended for treating hypertension, as the two conditions often go hand-in-hand and have many common causes. And by all means, if you have problems with anxiety, do something about that as well, as anxiety can cause chronic stress which can in turn cause hypertension and a whole series of other problems.

Herbal Remedies for Hypertension:

Hibiscus tea has been shown to lower blood pressure as effectively as some prescription medications, and has none of the strong side effects associated with these medications. Hibiscus tea is consumed as a beverage in many cultures, and has been consumed safely for hundreds of years. It also has the added benefit that it is inexpensive. The main downside is that it has a very sour flavor, although many people actually like it as a beverage for this reason.

Sources & Further Reading:

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