Alternative treatments for high blood pressure
The ideal blood pressure for good health is at or below 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition wherein the systolic pressure (numerator) is higher than 160 and the diastolic pressure (denominator) is 100 or above. Rise is blood pressure may be due to hereditary or acquired from several reasons like stress, addiction to alcohol, obesity and unhealthy eating habits. Medication helps to normalize blood pressure, nevertheless there are various alternative treatments to check further rise.
Lowing High BP through Supplements
Supplements for hypertension are available in the form of capsules and pills and you can have them as recommended by your physician. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) occurs in soybean, flaxseeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids supplements (EPA-eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA- docohexaenoic acid) can moderately reduce blood pressure and it is derived mostly from sardines, cod liver oil salmon, tofu, and walnut. Another excellent supplement for antihypertensive drug is Co-enzyme Q10, found in whole grains, fish, organ meats viz. liver, kidney and heart. High blood pressure can also be controlled by taking amino acid supplements, like L-arginine and L-taurine. However, their efficiency is still a question and studies show that they can control only for a very short duration.
Several herbal supplements are also available for controlling high blood pressure. In Indian Ayurveda, high blood pressure is attributed to a person’s “dosha” or body type while traditional Chinese medicines consider problems in “circulation of vital energy” of the body for rise in blood pressure. However, both these traditional treatments make use of herbs to heal the body. Rauwolfia serpentine (snakeroot) and Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) are sometimes used as alternatives to medicines. While hawthorn is effective in controlling anxiety, Rauwolfia contains alkaloids that bring about a positive impact on nerve impulses and blood flow. Nevertheless, there are several restrictions on using these drugs, so once again we suggest taking doctor’s advice before initiating anything.
Garlic supplements must be consumed only after consulting with a doctor, despite having wonderful anti-cholesterol properties. This is because garlic interacts with many prescription drugs and leads to blood thinning. Cocoa is a natural source of polyphenols that exhibit anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory property. The phenols have positive impact on heart health and therefore doctors say that certain amount of cocoa supplement is definitely beneficial for the body.
Modulation in Diet to Control Rise in BP
The highly popular DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is quite successful in checking rise in blood pressure beyond normal. It lists down low-fat dairy foods, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and other healthy foods capable of improving hearth health and lowering blood pressure. It restricts intake of saturated fats, cholesterol rich foods (red meat and sweets) and simple carbohydrates. An important aspect of this diet is limiting sodium to 2400 mg per day.
The need to supplement minerals in daily diet must also be taken into consideration. Doctors recommend inclusion of foods rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium in order to maintain the ratio of systolic and diastolic pressure. Apart from these, one should also stop drinking alcohol, which dramatically spikes up blood pressure.
Physical Activities to Maintain Blood Pressure
This is one of the best alternatives for medicines. People who constantly have problems with ups and downs in blood pressure must be physically active. This implies a complete improvement of health and mind through exercise and meditation. Therapeutic yoga dealing with various postures and breathing techniques bring about a holistic improvement in the body while mild aerobic exercises like light jogging and walking are absolutely effective in bringing down high blood pressure.
Since the most notorious causes behind rise in blood pressure are stress and tension, one should join stress management and meditation classes to heal the body. This way people learn how to control emotions and stabilize the mind. Worth to note, acupuncture also works wonders on enhancing heart health. All these non-pharmacological methods are excellent techniques to control hypertension and high blood pressure.
All in all, these alternative treatments considerable help in fighting high blood pressure and different types of health complications associated with it. Check with your doctor if you can safely consume them and then strive towards to gift yourself a healthy life.
Written by: saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 01, 2014