High blood pressure is often referred to as the “Silent Killer”, because it virtually has no symptoms but is one of the greatest risk factors for stroke, heart attack and death. About one in three American adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)6,8, high blood pressure is “the second greatest public health threat” in the United States.
Just What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the result of the heart muscle contracting, which produces the force needed to move blood through the arteries. 11 Blood pressure is usually diagnosed based on consecutive elevated readings. Readings are given in fraction of systolic blood pressure over a diastolic blood pressure. The systolic pressure indicates the blood pressure when the heart contracts. Diastolic pressure is the pressure put on the heart/arteries between heartbeats.10 Normal blood pressure is considered to 120/80 mmHg or lower, while high blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg.
Once high blood pressure has been diagnosed, the medical field is quick to jump on anti-hypertensive medication to help lower blood pressure. Often, one or more medications are recommended to lower blood pressure readings. Is medication truly needed to regulate blood pressure levels? No! Studies show most of the time the side effects are worse over time with medication. Sherry Rogers, MD described what happens when a patient is prescribed diuretics as a way to lower blood pressure: 9
“Diuretics (medication that reduces water and salt), thus lowering the total volume of blood flowing through the vessels, which lowers the pressure, the same way turning down your spigot reduce the pressure in a garden hose. Unfortunately, diuretics may also create imbalances such as depletion of potassium. For some patients an improper diagnosis of potassium deficiency is often the underlying cause of high blood pressure. Taking a medication that silently lowers potassium even further leads to higher blood pressure and guarantees the need for even stronger medications in a few years.”
Blood pressure medications have other side effects that contribute to kidney and liver disease and even diabetes and heart arrhythmias. Are there ways to help lower blood pressure naturally and avoid anti-hypertensive medications? Yes!
Listed below are natural ways to help keep or lower blood pressure:
- The use of a homeopathic supplement called Formula 303. It consists of Valerian Root, Passiflora and magnesium. 5 It is suggested that if you are experiencing high blood pressure to take at least 2 tablets every hour until the blood pressure returns to normal.
- Drink at least 2 glasses of coconut water daily. Coconut water is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. A study was conducted by the West Indian Medical Journal that showed that coconut water caused a 71% decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 29% decrease of diastolic blood pressure. 1
- Supplementing with Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10. Ubiquinol is one of the most critical components of cellular respiration and production of ATP.
- Supplement with Magnesium. Magnesium is an electrolyte that is used to reduce muscle cramps, nervousness, restlessness and insomnia. Magnesium is essential for muscle function. It is responsible for moving calcium and potassium into the muscles, where it is then used to control and contract the muscle fibers including the heart muscles. 5
- Be more physically active- Cardiovascular activity for at least 30-45 minutes a day is recommended. Exercise to help reduce high blood pressure does not necessarily need to be strenuous. If you are overweight or unfit, a simple walk around the neighborhood or up/down stairs is a good place to start. 4
- Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed. Excessive amounts of alcohol can have a negative effect on your heart, liver and pancreas.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Tobacco products cause damage to the heart and arteries and can elevate heart rate.
- Reduce daily stress and stressors. Yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and deep breathing exercises have been linked to reducing stress and anxiety levels.
- Nutritional Blood Testing can be used to see if there are any underlying causes of high blood pressure. Laboratory testing can show if there are any signs of anemia, infection, inflammation, or heavy metal toxicity, can all lead to high blood pressure.
- Alleyne, T., S. Roache, C. Thomas, and A. Shirley. “Coconut Water Significantly Reduces Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressures in Hypertensive Subjects.” Coconut Water Significantly Reduces Systolic and Diastolic Blood. West Indian Medical Journal, 1 Jan. 2005. Web. 24 May 2016.
- Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001;161:2677-2681, Left Ventricular Changes in Isolated Office Hypertension, Grandi, Anna M. M.D. et al, (Accessed 05/24/2016)
- “Blood Pressure (High).” Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.
- Dobberstein, Linda, DC. “Blood Pressure Meds and Natural Alternatives.” Wellness Resources. N.p., 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 24 May 2016.
- “Formula 303 All Natural Ingredients.” FORMULA 303. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.
- Hellmich, Nanci. “Millions Don’t Have Their Blood Pressure under Control.” USATODAY.COM. USA Today, 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 May 2016.
- “High Blood Pressure Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 May 2016.
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, (JNC 7 Express), December 2003, (Accessed 9/1/08)
- “Press Release.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 24 May 2016.
- The High Blood Pressure Hoax by Sherry A. Rogers, MD; Sand Key Company Inc., 2005.
- “Tight Blood Pressure Control and Cardiovascular Outcomes Among Hypertensive Patients With Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease.” JAMA Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.
- “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. American Heart Association, 4 Aug. 2014. Web. 24 May 2016.