Best Herbal Remedies for High Blood Pressure

There are plenty herbal remedies for blood pressure out there. But which one is the best?

There are a few different kinds of herbal remedies for blood pressure. Some consist of a single herb which is known to have blood pressure-lowering effects. However, some of the best herbal remedies for blood pressure use a combination of herbs. This has several advantages. Firstly, you’re getting more blood pressure-lowering herbs for your money. Secondly, these herbs can have synergistic effects on each other, so that they’re more effective taken together than separately – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Here’s a few of the best herbal remedies for blood pressure that we’ve found (in alphabetical order):

 

Herbal remedies for high blood pressure

Alistrol

Alistrol - best herbal remedies for high blood pressureAlistrol is one of the best herbal remedies for blood pressure that we’ve come across. Its four herbal ingredients have been used for centuries for lowering blood pressure, so have a good track record, both scientifically and anecdotally. The formula has been designed so that the herbs work together synergistically for more powerful health benefits.

Alistrol’s effectiveness has been supported by clinical studies and it is licensed by Health Canada (it’s made by CLE Holistic Health in Vancouver). It also comes with a 90-day guarantee so that you can actually try it for a while and get your money back if you find it doesn’t work for you. The company say they have very few requests for refunds and that most of their customers continue to buy from them.

Active ingredients: Holly leaf extract, hawthorn berry extract, Daikon seed extract (Japanese radish), Garlic extract

Click here for more information and/or to buy Alistrol: Alistrol (CLE Holistic Health)

*Alistrol currently have an offer where you can get 3 bottles for the price of 2, 6 for the price of 5, etc. And they’re also offering a free bottle of Vitamin D3 with your first order, along with free shipping when you use the code FREESHIPD3 at the checkout.*

 

Curcumin Extract

Curcumin supplement - best herbal remedies for high blood pressure

Curcumin is a substance present in turmeric and has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Initial research suggests it can also lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. All of these effects can help with lowering blood pressure and curcumin supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure in mice in a lab. However, more research needs to be done to find out if taking curcumin lowers blood pressure in humans directly.

You’d have to eat ridiculous amounts of turmeric to get much curcumin though, so taking a supplement could be helpful. Curcumin is difficult for your body to absorb so taking it with a substance called bioperine (present in black pepper) is best. Quantum Wellness do a good one.

Active ingredients: turmeric extract 

Click here for more information and/or to buy Curcumin: Curcumin Extract (Quantum Wellness)

 

Hawthorn Extract

Hawthorn extractStudies show that hawthorn increases the flow of blood in the heart, strengthens its muscle and nerve signals, improves circulation in general, and lowers blood pressure in turn.

This is partly because hawthorn is rich in antioxidants. These act to relax the blood vessels around the heart and elsewhere in the body, improve blood flow, and protect the heart and blood vessels from damage and fat build-up, keeping them in healthy condition.

Hawthorn has a number of effects that help reduce blood pressure indirectly too. It can help lower levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood. It’s also known for its relaxing or sedative effect, making it helpful for countering stress, anxiety, and general tension.

Nature’s Way do a good quality hawthorn extract supplement.

Active ingredients: standardized Hawthorn extract

Click here for more information and/or to buy hawthorn extract:
Hawthorn Extract (Nature’s Way – Amazon.com)
Hawthorn Extract (Nature’s Way – Amazon.co.uk)

 

Hypercet

Alistrol - best herbal remedies for high blood pressureWe’re including this in our review since Hypercet has been on the market for a while. The website is slightly weird in that the written English is a bit dodgy, though that’s not necessarily a problem in and of itself. Also, although it markets itself as a “natural herbal remedy” it contains minerals and acids rather than herbs, though certainly ones which may be helpful for healthy blood pressure. However, we couldn’t find any evidence of clinical testing of Hypercet, or independent reviews by users, so take it at your own risk.

Active ingredients: calcium, magnesium, citric acid, malic acid, glycine

Click here to buy Hypercet: Hypercet (Hypercetformula.com)

 

Kyolic Garlic Blood Pressure Health (Formula 109)

Garlic extract - herbal remedies for blood pressureThis is basically an extract of organic garlic which has been aged for over a year to make it gentler on your stomach. This also makes it odourless!

Scientific research has established that eating garlic or garlic supplements can have blood pressure-lowering effects. So if you don’t like to eat a lot of garlic, this supplement could be useful for you.

This formula also contains nattokinase – an enzyme from fermented soybeans which initial studies have shown may help lower blood pressure, and suntheanine – an amino acid purported to have relaxing effects.

Kyolic aged garlic extract supplements have been used in some clinical studies and have been shown to lower high blood pressure. On Amazon, users give it four star reviews.

Active ingredients: organic aged garlic, nattokinase, suntheanine (L-theanine)

Click here for more information and/or to buy Kyolic Garlic Blood Pressure Health Formula 2019: Kyolic Garlic Blood Pressure (Amazon.com)

 

Beyond herbal remedies: lower your blood pressure naturally for life

Herbal remedies can undoubtedly be helpful for lowering blood pressure. However, whether you’re taking a herbal remedy or not, there’s plenty more you can do in the course of your daily life. For a start there are plenty of natural foods that are good for your blood pressure. And you don’t need to take supplements to get them – you just need to incorporate them into your meals! There are a lot of drinks that will help too. Most of these are not expensive and are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet which affect your blood pressure. Your fitness and stress levels are the main ones. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broad approach, covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies and techniques.

lower your blood pressure naturallyTo make it simple, we’ve written a guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally –  and keeping it low – through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

The guide is arranged into 9 easy-to-follow steps. These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters. Each chapter takes you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind – and a healthy blood pressure.

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

Best herbal remedies for high blood pressure: some references

Alistrol – https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0083/8349/6289/files/Alistrol_Clinical_Study_single-pg-r042019_1.pdf?6947

Alistrol – https://highbloodpressurebegone.com/alistrol-review/

Curcumin – https://healthfully.com/466491-curcumin-and-high-blood-pressure.html

Curcumin – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4857140/

Hawthorn – https://highbloodpressurebegone.com/hawthorn-for-lowering-blood-pressure/

Kyolic garlic – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561616/

Handgrip Exercises for Lower Blood Pressure

You probably know that regular aerobic/cardio exercise is important for reducing high blood pressure.

Aerobic exercise is activity that gets your heart and lungs working harder, and it can be anything from walking to swimming, to raking up leaves or cleaning the floor.

But did you know you can also lower your blood pressure by just sitting around squeezing something for quarter of an hour a day?

Doing handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure could be the easiest way to lower your blood pressure that’s been discovered….
click here for a Zona Plus discount

Isometric handgrip exercise

Isometric exercise involves using muscular force, but without movement, and some forms of isometric exercise have been found to have surprising benefits for blood pressure.

The main type studied is isometric handgrip exercise which basically involves gripping something with your hand, to contract the muscles in your arm, but without moving your arm itself.

This might not sound like much but it turns out that doing it regularly can lower your blood pressure over time.

This was discovered by accident in the 1970s, by a scientist working with US fighter pilots to help them deal with high G-forces when flying. He developed a device that they could squeeze with their hands, to temporarily raise their blood pressure just enough to stop them blacking out.

It worked, but then they found it had a great side-effect – it had lowered the blood pressure of those pilots who’d had high blood pressure (and who were doing this hand-squeezing exercise regularly).

*a range of devices for doing handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure are outlined below*

 

Benefits of handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure

Many studies have been done since then on the effects of doing isometric handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure, and a report published by the American Heart Association in April 2013 concluded that such handgrip exercises produce “significant reductions” in blood pressure.

In fact, recent reviews of isometric handgrip exercise studies show drops in blood pressure of 10%. It’s not completely clear to medical researchers how handgrip exercises lower blood pressure, but research suggests it works in at least three ways:

  • it balances your autonomic nervous system – which regulates all the things you don’t have to think about, including blood pressure
  • it improves the condition of your blood vessels, repairing any damage
  • it encourages your blood vessels to dilate, allowing freer blood flow

Isometric handgrip exercise affects blood pressure in a different way to aerobic exercise so it’s worth doing, even if you’re getting plenty aerobic exercise. Also, this handgrip exercise on its own has been shown to be effective at lowering blood pressure, so if you’re not able to be more active, it’s a great way to improve your blood pressure.

A big advantage of doing handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure is that it doesn’t take a lot of time. You only need to do it for about 12 minutes a day, several times a week, and you can do it pretty much anywhere – standing up, sitting down, watching TV….so it’s a small commitment for potentially impressive results.

Mind you, the effects take some time to manifest – it may take a month or two. So you need to keep doing it – you’ll continue to feel the benefits as long as you continue to do the exercises.

For more easy exercises to lower blood pressure, click here to get our free report, 3 Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure (without getting out of your chair).

 

How to do handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure

handgrip exercises for lower blood pressureIsometric handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure are pretty straightforward. They basically consist of squeezing or gripping something for 2 minutes at a time, at about a third of your full grip-strength, and doing this several times.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to do hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure

You need something to squeeze though, and there are a range of different devices that you can use for doing handgrip exercises, ranging from the very cheap to the very expensive.

 

Handgrip devices for lowering blood pressure

The Zona Plus

The Zona Plus (formerly called ‘CardioGrip’) is a more sophisticated version of the device originally used with the fighter pilots, and was developed by the same scientific team to focus specifically on lowering blood pressure.

It’s a portable computerised handheld device, with a screen which gives you instructions on how to do the handgrip exercises.

The advantage of the Zona Plus is that it calibrates itself to your grip strength, and then guides you through a series of squeezes, at exactly the right effort-level for you to get the maximum benefits for your blood pressure.

When using the link below to order, a $50 off discount should be automatically inserted reducing the list price from $599 to $549 when checking out.

*If this discounted price fails to show after going to the checkout page, simply type SIMON in the discount code box and click apply.

Zona Plus with $50 off discount link

Note that the Zona Plus comes with a 90 day money-back guarantee – this means that you can try it risk-free. If it doesn’t work for you, you can return it and get your money back.

Or click here for our Zona Plus review.

Other handgrip exercise devices

handgrippersYou can do handgrip exercises using ordinary hand-grip strengtheners. These are usually in the form of spring-loaded handles which you have to squeeze together. You can also use a squeezy de-stress-ball, or any rubber ball really.

Here’s a sample of devices you can buy online which you can use to do IHG exercises.

Reviews of both of these handgrippers say they are quite easy to squeeze – so could be good to start with. Remember, you only need to be gripping something at a third of your full strength so you don’t want a device that’s too difficult for you to squeeze:

ZoN handgrips – about $8 (Amazon.com)

Ultimate Hand Grip Strengthener – £6.99 (Amazon.co.uk)

If you need something stronger, you can always try these… (they come in a range of different strengths):

Captains of Crush handgrippers – $19 – $28 (Amazon.com)

Captains of Crush handgrippers – £29 – £49 (Amazon.co.uk)

Or go for a good old squeeze ball. This one is recommended for IHG exercises by a member of our mailing list!

IronMind EGG squeezeball – $25.95 (Amazon.com)

IronMind EGG squeezeball (green) – £28.99 (Amazon.co.uk)

 

Zona Plus vs. other devices

So: is it necessary – or best – to buy the Zona Plus? Or is it good enough to use something less expensive?

Advantages of the Zona Plus

The effectiveness of using the Zona Plus is well-documented

Many of the clinical studies showing the effectiveness of IHG exercise for lowering blood pressure have used the Zona Plus device. According to the makers of the Zona Plus, since it became commercially available, tens of thousands of people have used it, and 9 out of 10 users have lower blood pressure after 6-8 weeks of using it.

The Zona Plus is approved by the US FDA for improving cardiovascular health, and in the European Union and Canada it’s also officially endorsed as a clinically proven treatment for high blood pressure.

It’s easier to do handgrip exercises accurately using the Zona Plus

When doing handgrip exercises using other devices, it may be quite tricky to accurately gauge whether you’re gripping at 30% of your maximum grip, which is what’s recommended to give you the desired effects.

However, because the Zona Plus calibrates itself to your grip strength each time you use it, it guides you to grip at exactly the right strength to give you exactly the most effective intensity of exercise – enough to trigger the blood-pressure-reducing-effects but not too much strain on your body.

According to the Zona Plus manufacturers, it’s quite a narrow window between what’s not enough and what’s too much, so they say you can’t get the same effects by just squeezing a ball or handgripper….

The level of effort set by the Zona Plus is also designed to minimise the temporary blood pressure spike you get when doing IHG exercise.

Advantages of other devices

The main advantage of using other devices for handgrip exercise is that they cost a lot less. You can get squeezy stress ball or hand-grippers for under $30, or you can even just buy a cheap rubber ball from the Dollar Store or Pound Shop.

Some blood pressure sufferers have reported good results using these cheaper devices, on various internet forums and review websites. And at least one clinical study demonstrated a significant blood pressure-reducing effect using an inexpensive spring-loaded handgrip strengthener.

Whatever you try, remember that it can take up to a couple of months (occasionally longer) to really see the effects, so you have to stick with it and do the exercises regularly for them to work.

 

 

Safety of handgrip exercises

Handgrip exercises are safe to do for pretty much everyone. The main exceptions are if you have problems with your hands, like arthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome, in which case you might find it too difficult to squeeze effectively.

The other exception may be if you have very high blood pressure. This is because handgrip exercise works to reduce your resting blood pressure – i.e., your blood pressure when you’re not exercising. However, you often get a temporary spike in blood pressure whilst doing the exercises. This usually resolves itself within a few minutes, but if your blood pressure is very high, this may be a little risky.

The American Heart Association recommends that “isometric exercise should be avoided among individuals with BP levels >180/110 mm Hg until their hypertension is better controlled.” (Hypertension journal, April 2013) If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of handgrip exercises for yourself, speak to your doctor before starting.

 

Will doing handgrip exercises be enough to lower my blood pressure?

Hand grip exercises don’t seem to work for everyone to lower blood pressure, but research suggests they do work for most. So there’s a good chance that doing handgrip exercises regularly can make a difference to your blood pressure. However, even so, they may or may not lower it enough. Everyone’s different, so give it a try.

However, if you find you need to get your blood pressure down further, don’t worry – there are a lot of other things you can do, such as eating more or less of certain things, being more active, practising relaxation techniques and getting a handle on any stress.

In fact, for lowering blood pressure naturally, it’s generally most effective to take a broad approach, so that everything works together to contribute to getting your body, and your blood pressure, into a healthier balance.

So where do you start? Well, to make it simple, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

As the title suggests, the guide is laid out into nine clear steps. Each step deals with different things you can do to lower your blood pressure:

  • the foods and drinks you need to get more of or avoid
  • how you can be more active in your day to day life without having to get into lycra and go to the gym (unless you want to, of course)
  • how to handle your stress levels and enjoy a more relaxing life

lower your blood pressure naturallyEach step sets out straightforward aims and action plans so that you know what to do and how to do it. And you can take each step at whatever pace suits you – making simple changes to your diet and daily routine as you go.

Perhaps most importantly, the guide shows you how to incorporate these changes into your life simply and easily – and enjoyably!

Lowering your blood pressure naturally doesn’t have to be difficult. And it’s difficult not to enjoy feeling healthier and happier and more relaxed!

Just click on the pic for more information (and you can also get a free sample to check out).

 

How to Do Hand Grip Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

how to do hand grip exercises to lower blood pressureThere are several studies which now show that doing simple hand grip exercises can lower blood pressure. However, doing any old hand gripping exercises won’t necessarily work. You have to do them in a certain way for them to be effective in lower your blood pressure. So the question is how to do hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure?

click here for a Zona Plus discount

Hand grip exercise devices

To do handgrip devices, you’ll need something to grip.

Zona Plus

There’s a device developed specifically for doing hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure called the Zona Plus. It’s an excellent device and makes it easy to do hand grip exercises correctly and effectively.

When using the link below to order, a $50 off discount should be automatically inserted reducing the list price from $599 to $549 when checking out.

*If this discounted price fails to show after going to the checkout page, simply type SIMON in the discount code box and click apply.

Zona Plus with $50 off discount link

Note that the Zona Plus comes with a 90 day money-back guarantee – this means that you can try it risk-free. If it doesn’t work for you, you can return it and get your money back.

You could also use simple handgripper devices. These devices are designed to be used for building hand grip strength. However, you can use them to do blood pressure-lowering hand grip exercises instead. You can even just use a squeezable ball.

It’s debatable how effective it is to use these other devices. So I’ve reviewed and compared these different devices in another post. So click here if you want more information and links to order online: handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure (scroll down a bit to see the device reviews)

So find yourself something to grip and then follow the guidelines below to get started.

How to do hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure

1. Establish the correct grip strength

The main thing to keep in mind when doing hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure is that you don’t need to grip at your full strength. In fact gripping something too tightly for too long is just going to raise your blood pressure more.

So make sure whatever device you’re using isn’t too hard for you to squeeze. You don’t want to be forcing yourself into gripping too tightly. If you’re using handgrippers, then go for low- or moderate-resistance models.

You’re aiming to be gripping your device at about 30% of your full strength.

A good way to gauge this is to grip your device as hard as you can briefly, then try gripping it again at about a third of this intensity. This is the trickiest part of doing hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure. (It’s also the one part where the Zona Plus does have a clear advantage in that it can calibrate itself to your grip and tell you when you’re gripping at 30%).

Check your grip strength each time

You can do this grip check each time you start a set of hand grip exercises. Your grip-strength might vary slightly from day to day, or even through the day, depending on your energy levels or how you’ve been using your hands or various other factors. So establish this 30% grip at the start of each session. Then pay close attention throughout to make sure you’re keeping that level of grip.

If you decide to do the exercises with alternating hands (see below), then you need to gauge the 30% grip strength separately for each hand.

 

2. Follow the recommended schedule of grip and rest periods

Now you can get on with doing the exercises. If you’re using the Zona Plus, then it will guide you through the exercises.

If you’re using another device or object, the American Heart Association recommend following the protocols of the published studies on handgrip exercises for lower blood pressure.

The format used in most handgrip exercise studies is as follows:

  • squeeze/grip your chosen object for 2 minutes at a time, at about a third of your full strength
  • rest for a few minutes (most studies used 1 or 3 minute rest periods)
  • repeat this cycle 3 more times (for a total of 4 cycles)  – this works out to about 15 minutes for one session
  • do a session like this 3 or 4 days a week.

Zona Plus instructions follow the same format (using 1 minute rest periods), however, Zona Plus recommends you do one session at least 5 days a week.

Some research suggests alternating hands for each cycle is best. This is also what the Zona Plus manufacturer recommends. This would mean 2 cycles per hand in total. (In other words, grip for 2 minutes with your right hand, rest, grip for 2 minutes with your left hand, rest, repeat).

Remember to maintain a constant grip strength during the squeezing period. It’s easy to start squeezing harder without realizing or for your grip to soften a bit over time, so try to keep an eye on this.

Build up to it gradually if necessary

At first it can be quite hard to maintain a grip for two minutes even at just a third of your full strength. You can work up to it gradually though. For example, start by gripping for periods of, say, 10 seconds at a time and do a session with these short grip periods. Increase the gripping period each day until you can do it for the full two minutes each time.

 

3. Keep doing them!

You need to do these hand grip exercises regularly to see any blood pressure-lowering effects. Do them at least 3 – 5 times a week.

Even them, it can take a couple of months of regularly doing the hand grip exercises to see a reduction in your blood pressure. And the benefits only continue as long as you are doing the hand grip exercises. So once you’ve started, don’t stop!

 

Are hand grip exercises safe for me to do?

For most people hand grip exercises are perfectly safe. There are a couple of exceptions though.

Firstly, if you have any trouble using your hands then hand grip exercises might be too difficult for you. For example, if you have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome then you might struggle.

Secondly, if your blood pressure is very high then hand grip exercises may not be a good idea. This is because hand grip exercises work to reduce your resting blood pressure – i.e., your blood pressure when you’re not exercising. However, while you are doing hand grip exercises you often get a temporary spike in blood pressure. Once you’re finished the exercises this spike usually disappears within a few minutes. But if your blood pressure is very high this may be a little risky.

The American Heart Association recommends that “isometric exercise should be avoided among individuals with BP levels >180/110 mm Hg until their hypertension is better controlled.” (Hypertension journal, April 2013.) Be sure to speak to your doctor before doing hand grip exercises if you’re not sure if they’re safe for you.

For more easy exercises to lower blood pressure, click here to get our free report, 3 Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure (without having to get out of your chair).

Can hand grip exercises lower my blood pressure enough?

Studies suggest that if you do hand grip exercises accurately, then doing them regularly can make a noticeable difference to your blood pressure. However, they may not lower your blood pressure enough, depending on how your body responds and on how high your blood pressure is in the first place.

Lowering your blood pressure naturally to a significant degree usually depends on taking a broad approach. So, as well as doing hand grip exercises, you can use other methods to reduce your blood pressure. You can adjust some of the things you eat and drink. You can practise techniques to relax more. And you can (literally) take steps to be more active.

You’ll find a thorough overview of all the ways you can lower your blood pressure naturally in our book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

lower your blood pressure naturallySince there are so many things you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally, the problem often is knowing where to start.

To keep it simple, our guide outlines the various options in a straightforward way, and walks you through them in an easy-to-follow step-by-step manner.

Each step deals with different things you can do to lower your blood pressure:

  • the foods and drinks to get more of or avoid
  • how you can be more active in your day to day life
  • how to handle your stress levels and enjoy a more relaxing life

The guide also puts a strong emphasis on how to introduce beneficial changes to your life in a way that works for you. Then you can lower your blood pressure naturally and enjoy the process 🙂

Just click on the pic for more information and a free sample chapter.

 

Post by Alison (Photo credit: bottled_void from flickr.com)

How to do hand grip exercises to lower blood pressure: key references:

Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure – A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association, Hypertension, April 2013

https://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/61/6/1360.long

 

Alistrol coupon code

Complimentary Vitamin D and free shipping with the Alistrol coupon code

alistrol couponIf you have been looking for the Alistrol coupon code you’ve come to the right place.

The Alistrol coupon code is: FREESHIPD3

Use the discount code to get:

  • free shipping (regular shipping cost $16.95)
  • a complimentary free bottle of CLE Vitamin D3 5000 I.U. (valued at $19.95)

Copy or write the coupon code down and then go to cleholistichealth.com to place your order.

You can enter the coupon code in the checkout page after you place an order for Alistrol.

For those searching for Alistrol UK suppliers, they can now order this product direct from the manufacturers in Canada with zero shipping cost. That would make it cheaper than buying Alistrol from Holland and Barrett (even if they did supply it, which they don’t).

Alistrol – an all natural blood pressure supplement

As detailed in our Alistrol review, this natural blood pressure supplement is receiving rave reviews from users. There are no noted Alistrol side effects and user experience reflects the fact that it is very effective in lowering blood pressure with use over time.

The 4 principle ingredients in Alistrol are:L

  • hawthorn,
  • garlic,
  • holly leaf,
  • daikon seed

Combined, these 4 natural ingredients create a powerful heart tonic that reduces blood pressure and strengthens the heart over time. Positive effects have been noticed within 2 weeks of taking Alsitrol tablets daily.

The makers of Alistrol, CLE Holistic Health have developed a reputation of being providers of high quality and effective products. In addition to Alistrol, their range of products include mineral drops (Mother Nature’s Perfect “Multi-Vitamin”), Type 2 diabetes natural supplement, stop depression natural supplement and vitamin D.

All supplements are made from natural sources free of pesticides, GMO, and vegan friendly.

Their leading product remains Alistrol natural blood pressure supplements. First manufactured and distributed over 8 years ago, Alistrol enjoys a growing reputation in quality and effectiveness.

Using the Alistrol coupon code noted above, people from all over the world can now access Alistrol at no extra shipping cost.

 

 

Can Sunlight Cure High Blood Pressure?

can sunlight reduce blood pressure?

Sun image from zmescience.com

The short answer is: on its own, no, sunlight cannot cure high blood pressure.

But sunlight can reduce blood pressure because sunshine provides us with vitamin D which helps restore our body’s natural balance. And this includes regulating blood pressure.

If you live up north like me (Wales), it’s the sunlight a few hours either side of noon that you need because that’s when the UVB rays necessary for vitamin D synthesis are best received.

Sunlight also stimulates our skin to produce nitric oxide, which relaxes our blood vessels – so sunshine lowers blood pressure this way too.

So when the sun shines around midday – get out there and expose yourself. It’s good for you!

 

Sunshine and human health

Each day, Apollo’s fiery chariot makes its way across the sky, bringing life-giving light to the planet. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, Apollo was the god of medicine and healing as well as of sun and light—but Apollo could bring sickness as well as cure. Today’s scientists have come to a similarly dichotomous recognition that exposure to the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in sunlight has both beneficial and deleterious effects on human health.

 

M. Nathaniel Mead, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008

Humans have probably always worshipped the sun. Long before we got obsessed by the perfect sun tan, humans revered solar gods and goddesses. In Japan the Emperor is still said to be descended from the sun. Our solar focus didn’t wane when we developed science either. In the last century, doctors often sent patients to sanatoriums in warm countries for fresh air and sunshine to cure TB, rheumatic disorders and all kinds of other things.

Obviously, more recently, there’s been concern about the fact that getting too much sun can lead to skin cancer. While this is definitely something to be careful of, by avoiding the sun too much, we’re actually more likely to get other kinds of cancers. This is because if we don’t get enough sun, we’re probably not making enough vitamin D. Studies now show that vitamin D inhibits the growth of abnormal cells. As such, it helps protect us from cancers (such as breast, prostate and colon cancer).

So now, things have come full circle. With our indoor lifestyles and diligent use of sunscreen, we might be making ourselves ill by not getting enough good old sunshine onto our skin.

 

How can sunlight reduce high blood pressure?

Basically, sunshine can reduce high blood pressure because sunshine increases your vitamin D levels and Vitamin D helps reduce blood pressure.

How sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D in your skin

Sunlight is made up of a whole spectrum of different wavelengths of radiation. One particular kind – UVB radiation – triggers a reaction in your skin which uses the energy of sunlight to create vitamin D. Basically, you’re photosynthesising like a plant, although with different chemical processes.

How vitamin D helps reduce blood pressure

Researchers reckon there are a number of ways in which vitamin D helps reduce blood pressure, and have a protective effect on the heart.

Firstly, vitamin D helps lower blood pressure through its effects on the renin-angiotensin system. These are hormones which regulate fluid levels and blood pressure CHECK. INot having enough vitamin D usually results in this system being overactive, putting you more at risk of high blood pressure as well as heart attack and stroke.

Secondly, vitamin D has been found to relax the muscle cells found in the walls of our blood vessels.

Thirdly, your body needs sufficient vitamin D to absorb calcium effectively. As well as being important for healthy bones, calcium interacts with magnesium to lower blood pressure.

Read our article here for more details on Vitamin D and blood pressure

Another way in which sunlight lowers blood pressure

Another kind of radiation present in sunlight – UVA radiation – can also reduce blood pressure. Recent studies show that UVA rays stimulate nitric oxide to be released. Nitric oxide is known to dilate the blood vessels and thus lower blood pressure.

In one study, diastolic blood pressure dropped by 5 mmHg upon UVA exposure, and stayed that low for half an hour afterwards.

 

Evidence for sunlight reducing high blood pressure

It might seem quite hard to believe that something as simple as sunshine can lower blood pressure. However, the evidence is piling up.

For example, researchers at a university in Berlin used special sunbeds to measure the effects of UV radiation on vitamin D levels and blood pressure. People with high blood pressure used the sunbeds for a short period every day for three months. Half the participants used a sunbed which bathed them in full-spectrum UV radiation, similar to summer sunlight. The other half used a sunbed which emitted UVA-only radiation, which is similar to winter sunlight. After three months, the group who’d had the full-spectrum UV light had (on average) an 180% increase in their vitamin D levels and a 6 mm Hg decrease in their blood pressure (systolic and diastolic). The other group, who got UVA only didn’t show any difference in their vitamin D levels or blood pressure.

NOTE: This does not mean that using sunbeds will increase your vitamin D levels! This is because most sunbeds mostly emit UVA radiation, rather than UVB (which is what you need to make vitamin D).

In general, the importance of natural sunlight for our health is gradually being recognised worldwide. The US National Institute of Health (NIH), for example, now recommends getting some exposure to the sun in order to increase vitamin D levels.

 

How to safely get enough sunshine to reduce high blood pressure?

But isn’t it unsafe to get too much sun? Certainly, that’s the message we’ve been getting from health authorities for years now. Sunshine can cause skin cancer at worst, sunburn at best, right? Well, while it’s undoubtedly true that too much sunshine on your skin can have all kinds of damaging effects on your body, it has a lot of benefits too. Some of these benefits are crucial to our health and well-being. For example, sunlight in the eyes and on the skin is essential for maintaining our circadian rhythms effectively.

Sunlight – through vitamin D production – has myriad other positive effects, including supporting the immune system, ensuring healthy bone development, as well as protecting you against high blood pressure and heart disease, some cancers, multiple sclerosis, TB and potentially quite a few other diseases as well.

Oh, and exposure to sunlight (through your skin and through your eyes) can stimulate the production of neurochemicals like serotonin and endorphins, both of which tend to make you feel good. Sunshine makes you happy!

 

A good amount of sunshine

The key to not experiencing the adverse effects of sunshine is to make sure you’re not getting too much.

But how much is too much? It’s a bit tricky because different health authorities and scientists give different recommendations. What’s a safe solar threshold can also be different for each person. And of course, where you are in the world and how strong the sunshine is will make a big difference: at any time of day, you’re less likely to get sunburnt in Scotland than in Senegal (although you can still get sunburnt in Scotland!).

How much vitamin D you can make is also affected by these factors. The paler your skin (not just the skin colour you’re born with but how tanned you are) the more vitamin D you make from the same amount of sunshine.

For most white people, a half-hour in the summer sun in a bathing suit can initiate the release of 50,000 IU (1.25 mg) vitamin D into the circulation within 24 hours of exposure; this same amount of exposure yields 20,000–30,000 IU in tanned individuals and 8,000–10,000 IU in dark-skinned people.

 

M. Nathaniel Mead, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008

One thing to note is that repeated brief periods of exposure are not only safer but also more efficient at producing vitamin D. And since some sunlight can get through sunscreens, Dermatology professor Barbara A. Gilchrest of Boston University School of Medicine recommends going out in the sun with sunscreen and also taking vitamin D supplements.

A good guideline is to get enough sun to start to give you a very light tan, but without any skin reddening. This is roughly about a quarter of the time it would take for you to start to get sunburned. For many people, this could just be about quarter of an hour in the sun, with as little clothing as possible!

 

The right type of sunshine

In terms of producing vitamin D, it’s crucial that you’re getting the right kind of sunlight. As mentioned above, UVB radiation is what you need to produce vitamin D. But UVB isn’t always present in the sunlight that’s reaching you. UVB can be easily blocked by clouds, fog, smog, and by the ozone layer if the radiation is coming in at a bit of an angle.

So, the higher the latitude you live at, the more acute the angle at which the sun is reaching you. This means less UVB is present in it. The best time to be getting maximum UVB radiation, therefore, is when the sun is highest in the sky at noon. By which I mean, actual astronomical noon. In other words, about 1 pm in summertime if you’re in a country that puts the clocks forward an hour in the spring.

UVB is also partly blocked by glass so it’s not enough to sit by a window. You need to actually get outside.

 

What if you can’t get enough sunlight to reduce high blood pressure?

vitamin D for healthy blood pressureIf you live at higher latitudes, as in most of northern Europe, the northern US and Canada, then it’s unlikely you’re ever getting enough sunshine to make a healthy amount of vitamin D. Especially in the winter.

You’re also not likely to be getting enough vitamin D through your food and drink (unless, like Arctic peoples, you eat a lot of seals).

Vitamin D supplements

So the chances are, you need to take vitamin D supplements, at least in the winter and possibly all year. In Scotland, health authorities now recommend everyone take vitamin D supplements all year.

As to how much you should take, there’s more information on vitamin D levels and supplementation in our other article here: Vitamin D and high blood pressure

You can buy a good quality vitamin D3 supplement online here: Vitamin D3 (CLE Holistic Health)

SPECIAL OFFER: CLE Holistic Health are currently running an offer where you get a free bottle of their Vitamin D3 when you buy their blood pressure-lowering supplement, Alistrol. Alistrol has a good track record and is a completely natural supplement.

Click here for more information and/or to buy Alistrol: order Alistrol (CLE Holistic Health)

And use this code when you go to the checkout to get your free vitamin D3 and free shipping worldwide: FREESHIPD3

You can also eat more food which contain vitamin D, such as eggs and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and kippers. (Personally, I wouldn’t eat too much farmed fish like salmon. Such fish are not only soaked in antibiotics and pesticides but have awful lives crammed into pens while being munched by sea lice.)

 

In conclusion…

The full solar spectrum is essential to optimal health and well-being. Humans are physiologically adapted to produce vitamin D in response to sun exposure, specifically UVB radiation; other regions of the spectrum seem to confer benefit as well. Though some vitamin D comes from our diet (and more recently from supplements), we should not ignore the natural capacity that we possess to produce our own.

 

 

We are of the opinion that moderate sun exposure (less than the time required to burn) to the arms, shoulders, trunk, and legs should be sought rather than avoided. Once that limited time has been achieved, we agree that covering the skin or seeking shade may be appropriate. The benefits of such exposure go beyond production of vitamin D and include other physiological responses to sunlight, still inadequately explored, including release of nitric oxide, production of beta-endorphin, and regulation of circadian rhythms—all important components of lifelong health and well-being.

 

Baggerly et al, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2015

Sun is life. Enjoy it while it’s out.
And while it’s not, take vitamin D supplements!

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally for Life

Getting enough sunlight and vitamin D is one step towards managing high blood pressure. However there’s a lot more you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally.

For a start, there’s a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

lower your blood pressure naturallyOf course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach.

This might sound daunting, especially if you’re just starting out on this route to better blood pressure. However, most of these changes can be incorporated quite easily into your everyday life.

To make it simple, we’ve put together a complete guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

The guide is laid out in 9 straightforward steps. Just follow the advice for each step. You can take it a week at a time or a month at a time, whatever suits you. Then you can enjoy knowing that you’re now on your way to lower blood pressure and better health in general.

Not only is the guide easy to follow but it’s also enjoyable to follow, with lots of tasty food and drink suggestions and useful tips on lifestyle changes. Little things that, when combined, can make a big difference.

Lowering your blood pressure naturally doesn’t have to be an endurance test 😉

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

 

Can sunlight reduce blood pressure? Some references

Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health (Environmental Health Perspectives) *recommended read! Covers the whole debate (historically and now) about the role of sunlight in human health, including information about sunshine and hypertension.

The Truth about Vitamin D (Web MD)

Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health (Journal of the American College of Nutrition)

All Scots Advised to Take Vitamin D (BBC News)

Vitamin D and blood pressure (this website)

Sunshine could benefit human health (Edinburgh University news)

 

Breatheasy Slow Breathing For Lower Blood Pressure

How slow breathing helps to lower blood pressure – and how you can take advantage of it

NOTE: For information on Breatheasy slow breathing and other slow breathing programs available online, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.

breatheasy slow breathing for lower blood pressure

Photo by Tara R on Flickr.com

For aeons, yogis and alternative health practitioners have claimed that learning to control your breathing can have powerful effects on your health and well-being. For a while now, scientists have been researching the effects of controlled breathing on health. And their studies are finding that it can indeed have profound health benefits.

There are different kinds of controlled breathing that you can do. Some involve focusing specifically on breathing with your diaphragm rather than with your upper chest. Others focus on breathing as deeply as possible. And there are myriad specific kinds of yogic breathing techniques and chi kung exercises. You can read more about different breathing techniques in this excellent overview article: Breathing Techniques – A Guide to the Science and Methods (Groomandstyle.com)

However, here, we are looking specifically at slow breathing. With slow breathing, you don’t worry about exactly how you’re breathing, you simply focus on breathing more slowly.

Does slow breathing really lower your blood pressure?

Yes. In fact, slow breathing is actually the quickest way to lower blood pressure without medication.

The American Heart Association did a review of studies of slow breathing and blood pressure in 2013. In it, they noted that breathing slowly for just a few minutes can reduce blood pressure by several points, even more than just sitting quietly and resting.

The studies showed that to get the most benefit from slow breathing, you need to to do it for at least fifteen minutes. This gives your body time to really respond to the slow breathing. You also need to do it regularly.

 

Immediate and long-term benefits of slow breathing for lower blood pressure

So far, there have been no studies looking at the long-term effects of regular slow breathing sessions. However, the early evidence suggests that regular long-term practice of slow breathing can reduce your blood pressure consistently. In other words, the effects will accumulate, rather than wearing off after each session.)

Whatever the long-term effects, there are immediate benefits to getting into a regular habit of doing a period of slow breathing most days. This is because the more you practice slow breathing, the more easily and readily you’ll be able to do it. So when you find yourself in a stressful situation, and you feel your stress levels rise, you can just slow down your breathing immediately. Breathing more slowly will not only keep a lid on your stress levels, and help you keep a clear head, it will also counteract the spike in blood pressure which stress tends to trigger.

Basically, being adept at slow breathing will benefit your blood pressure. Slow breathing will also benefit many other aspects of your health! (Read more here: Health benefits of slow breathing.)

 

How to do slow breathing effectively

Slow breathing is obviously really simple. You just breathe… more… slowly. However, as you might have found if you’ve ever tried to meditate, sometimes the simplest things are the trickiest. And it can actually be surprisingly hard to sustain your concentration to keep your breathing slow and regular.

So what can you do? Well, many of the medical studies done have had participants use a device called “Resperate“. This is a little electronic device which monitors your breathing via a strap you put around your chest, and which plays you musical tones to tell you when to breathe in and out.  Reports so far suggest that it’s easy to use and very helpful, however the downside is that it costs about $300 (about £235 or €280)!

Don’t worry though. There are much cheaper ways to do guided slow breathing! The most popular way is to use guided slow breathing audio tracks. These play you prompts that you can breathe along in time with. So they are an easy and simple way to keep your breathing at a slower-than-usual regular pace. Read on…

 

Slow breathing programs for lower blood pressure

One of the first guided slow breathing programs on the market was Breatheasy slow breathing program, created by David O’Hara.

Breatheasy – Slow Breathing Program

Breatheasy slow breathing exercises by David O’Hara are a set of slow breathing audio tracks which you can breathe along to. I’ve used it myself and found it very effective (click here for my Breatheasy user review).

In the words of the man himself,

A quality slow breathing exercise audio program captures the power of slow breathing in a simple and easy to use audio program available. The difference is music, real music, not computer generated jingles. That makes a slow breathing exercise audio program more effective because slow breathing requires relaxation to be effective. In fact, the more relaxed you are, the greater the benefits.

What’s more, music has its own therapeutic powers. Researchers have recently demonstrated how listening to music can lower our blood pressure.

Even more remarkable is the findings that the benefits of music increase when combined with slow breathing. That’s exactly what a quality slow breathing exercise audio program is – a unique, powerful and effective combination of slow breathing with real music in a simple and use-friendly format.

100% safe and natural.

Using a slow breathing exercise audio program is simple. Just relax to the music, breathe along with the unique guided breathing track, and enjoy. Master the method and use slow breathing with your own music in a countless number of situations.

There is no easier way to acquire a method with a lifetime pay-off.

The problem is that the Breatheasy slow breathing program is no longer available. What now? Well, instead I’ve created my own set of slow breathing audio tracks which you can use for easy slow breathing:  Breathe-Slow audio tracks

There are different tracks for different slow breathing rates (from 10 breaths a minute down to 6 breaths a minute). For each breathing rate, you get four tracks. Three of these tracks have  different relaxing background music. This is because studies have found that listening to music can lower blood pressure.

However, some studies also found that it needs to be music that you personally find relaxing or joyful. For this reason, you also get a fourth track (for eacah breathing rate) which has only the breathing prompts. This enables you to play your own music along with the breathing prompts. Or of course you can just listen to the breathing prompts on their own.
 slow breathing for lower blood pressure

You can listen to a sample of the slow breathing tracks here:

Breathe-Slow audio samples

At the moment, I’m doing a launch special where you can buy all 20 Breathe-Slow audio tracks with my guideLower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – included as a free bonus.

Click here for more details on the guide: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide  Or just click on the picture above to listen to the guided slow breathing samples and/or to buy them.

 

How does Breatheasy slow breathing (or any slow breathing exercise) lower blood pressure?

There are various ways in which slow breathing lowers blood pressure. And there may be others, since scientists don’t fully understand all the effects of slow breathing.

You can read more here: How does slow breathing lower blood pressure?

To give a brief summary, slow breathing relaxes our blood vessels and slows our heart rate. Both of these result in immediate decreases in blood pressure. Slow breathing can balance the autonomic nervous system, which controls various unconscious processes in our bodies. Slow breathing also reduces stress, which has knock-on effects for blood pressure, since stress is often linked to high blood pressure.

These are just a few of the ways in which slow breathing lowers blood pressure. However, the main point to take from this post is that slow breathing is one of the simplest and most powerful ways you can lower your blood pressure.

So whether you use guided slow breathing recordings, or the Resperate device, or just sit quietly, relax, and focus on slowing your breathing down, the main thing is to keep doing it. You really can just breathe your way to lower blood pressure. And there’s nothing more natural than that 🙂

 

Breatheasy slow breathing for lower blood pressure – References and more information

Brooks et al (2013). “Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association”. Hypertension

University Health News – Breathing Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

Harvard Heart Health Blog – Take a Deep Breath

Groomandstyle.com – Breathing Techniques Guide

 

Lower blood pressure with garlic, fish oil, and CoQ10

lower blood pressure with garlic

Image by Francis Storr (flickr.com)

Yes, garlic can help to lower blood pressure. Which is a good thing because I love garlic and use it all the time in salad dressings and pasta sauces.

(More on how to lower blood pressure with garlic below.)

If garlic really isn’t your ‘cup of tea’ it’s available in a convenient supplement form. You can get garlic capsules that come with the benefits of natural garlic but without the delicious taste and aroma that some don’t care for.

Coenzyme Q10 – a useful supplement

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a supplement that is getting popular lately as a supplement that can help reduce blood pressure levels.  It’s a powerful antioxidant and can help with migraine headaches too. Sometimes it is combined with hawthorn to increase its effectiveness.

I take hawthorn tincture every morning but haven’t tried CoQ10 yet. If anyone has noticed good results from Coenzyme please leave a comment.

Fish oils for lower blood pressure

Then there’s fish oil which is good for reversing high cholesterol or lowering blood pressure.  Fish oil helps to lower levels of the ‘bad’ kind of cholesterol (high density lipoprotein), which is good. Fish oil also contains DHA which helps the brain function properly, as well as lowering blood pressure. I take two capsules of cod liver oil (1100 mg in total) every morning.

Key vitamins and minerals for lower blood pressure

Calcium, magnesium, and potassium also help lower high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels.  Calcium also strengthens bones and teeth, while magnesium (they say) helps maintain your sense of calm and well-being.  Keeping adequate potassium levels in your blood is essential to balance the salt levels and keep your blood pressure down.

Folic acid (a B vitamin) is also important to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and good cholesterol levels.  As well as helping to lower blood pressure, folic acid reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also promote better memory function. I can remember all this because I usually take a folic acid supplement at least one a week.

And of course – exercise…

On top of this healthy lifestyle of good food and supplements be sure to get some exercise. Go for a walk, stretch those muscles, smell the roses, say hi to your neighbors.

Here’s a little secret: Often I feel lazy. I don’t feel like exercising. But I force myself to get out there for a walk anyway. And you know what? Once I’m out there I really enjoy it and am glad I’m out.

Don’t let the thought of exercise put you off. Do it anyway and you’ll be happy you did. You feel better, more relaxed, and your blood pressure will only come down because of it.

Take care all,
Simon

Lowering your blood pressure with garlic – and many other easy home remedies

Update 2016: I’ve now produced a book, with my partner Alison, to guide you through the process of lowering your blood pressure naturally. We decided to create this book in order to make lowering your blood pressure simple – no more trawling the internet for bits and pieces of information – now everything you need to know is laid out for you in one place.

lower your blood pressure naturally with diet, exercise and relaxation - and garlic

Click on this pic for more information and/or to order

The book is in the format of nine steps, each of which is laid out in a straightforward easy-to-follow manner. You can take each step at your own pace – one a week, one a month – and improve your health to lower your blood pressure gradually and effectively.

There are so many things you can do to help lower your blood pressure without medications. As well as garlic, there are numerous other natural foods and drinks which affect blood pressure, and these are discussed in the guide.

The guide also covers the many different kinds of activities you can do which are also very effective for healthy blood pressure. These don’t involve being a yoga freak or gym warrior. In fact, one kind of exercise can even be done from the comfort of your couch!

And last, but certainly not least, the guide looks at the range of practices and techniques you can start to keep your stress levels down and relax more deeply – and lower your blood pressure this way too 🙂

Here’s a short excerpt from the guide on how to lower your blood pressure with garlic:

As well as warding off vampires, garlic can also protect you from high blood pressure. A substance called ‘allicin’ has taken much of the credit for this, but the sulphuric compounds which give garlic its distinctive smell, are now thought to contribute to its beneficial effects.

These benefits include protecting the lining of the arteries, relaxing blood vessels, and thinning the blood (so it can flow more easily, with less risk of clotting). Garlic may also help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.

Studies show eating garlic or garlic supplements can lower blood pressure by 7-8%. Garlic has been used in various medicine systems through the ages. It’s antiseptic and strengthens the immune system and has found to be helpful in preventing and recovering from colds, and protecting against some cancers.

Aim to use at least a couple of cloves a day – more if you can.

Garlic works well with onions, as well as on its own and can also be used in a huge variety of dishes. Eating garlic raw is even better for you and you can use it in salads, salsas, salad dressings, dips, or even pickle it!

Garlic has to be chopped or crushed to activate many of its beneficial compounds, but these degrade quite quickly, especially with heat, so wait till the last minute before chopping/mincing the garlic.

There are also some delicious garlic-based recipes – but you’ll have to buy the book to read these!

Click here for more information (you can also download a sample chapter): Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

High blood pressure treatments – read this first

Matching high blood pressure treatments with causes

The biggest problem with high blood pressure treatments is determining the cause and appropriate approach.

According to the medical establishment the cause of over 90% of high blood pressure causes is unknown. What that means in reality is that for the vast majority of high blood pressure cases a single identifiable cause can not be determined.

The fact is that there any many causes of high blood pressure including:

hawthorn for heart health

Hawthorn – good for lowering blood pressure and heart health (photo by Paul Horner)

  • genetics
  • age
  • poor diet
  • lack of exercise
  • stress

Most people suffer from high blood pressure from a variety of causes. If your blood pressure is moderately high you might want to try different approaches to see what works best.

 

Alternative high blood pressure cures can be divided up to three main categories:

  • changes to your daily diet
  • daily physical exercise
  • daily mental relaxation practice

Changing your diet mainly helps reduce high blood pressure caused by poor diet (which includes the vast majority of Western world cuisine). Mind you, improving your diet can also help reduce high blood pressure caused by age and genetics.

Physical exercise is most beneficial in reducing high blood pressure cause by an otherwise inactive lifestyle. It also good for lowering high blood pressure caused from genetics and aging. Some people clam that it can help reduce your stress levels as well.

By mental exercises I mean any exercise that have the purpose of affecting your nervous system. These exercises have the most benefit for people suffering from high stress levels and associated high blood pressure.

The High Blood Pressure Shotgun Treatment

If you have very high blood pressure (like I did) you might want to take the ‘shotgun’ approach and improve your diet as well as practice mental and physical exercises.

The shotgun method almost guarantees that your blood pressure will come down. On top of that, you’ll feel healthier and happier than you have for years.

If you’re ready to shotgun your blood pressure back down to healthy levels I’d recommend the David O’Hara’s Breatheasy program.

The audio slow breathing program really works. If you take your blood pressure before and after a 15 breathing exercise you’ll notice the difference – a  5 to 10 point drop. Not bad for a quarter of an hour of your time. The effect is cumulative so you blood pressure will slowly get back to lower level over time provided your can spare those 15 minutes each day.

Breatheasy also comes with Kevin Riley’s guide Get Natural! which is a great source of information on diet.

All you’ll need then is a pair of trainers (or ‘sneakers’ in N America) to kickstart your exercises.

Take care one and all,

Simon

Update 2016: new slow breathing program and blood pressure guide now available!

high blood pressure treatments - slow breathingDavid O’Hara’s Breatheasy program and Kevin Riley’s Get Natural! book are no longer available. So I’ve put together my own slow breathing audio program and, with my partner, a guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally.

You can check out the slow breathing tracks here: Breathe-Slow.com

— By the way, I’m currently giving away the slow breathing audio program for free when you buy the guide book (and vice versa), so you can benefit from both right away —

The book – Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – is an up-to-date and comprehensive guide to lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

Since there are many factors which affect your blood pressure, the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broad approach, and the guide covers all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

These include the large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure, many of which are available in local stores, as well as tips for being more active in your everyday life, and good ideas for relaxation and stress reduction.

To keep it simple, the guide is arranged in a series of 9 easy-to-follow steps.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThese progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the picture for more information!

And don’t forget, you’ll get a full set of guided slow breathing tracks as a free bonus too!

Seriously, it’s never been easier to lower your blood pressure naturally 🙂

 

Does Smoking Cause High Blood Pressure?

Does smoking cause high blood pressure?I don’t think anyone would deny that habitually smoking tobacco helps to raise your blood pressure. There have been many studies done that show how nicotine and other chemicals can cause arteries to constrict. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that constricted arteries means it’s harder for the blood to get through. The heart has to work harder and the blood pressure increases.

Yet how many of us may know people in their seventies and eighties still puffing away as they have for decades. Smoking clearly isn’t an inescapable early death sentence.

But statistically you are far more likely to have chronic high blood pressure and die prematurely of heart disease, or stroke, or cancer, or any number of fatal ailments if you are a smoker than a nonsmoker.

There’s no escaping that fact.

 

Does smoking cause high blood pressure?

But smoking isn’t the main cause of high blood pressure in the modern world. Stress is. Stress from debts, work, family, relationships … stress from living!

And there are a few things more stressful than being a smoker in the twenty first century! Smokers have become the modern social outcasts – the new lepers. That’s stressful.

Now the sensible advice from the non-smoker is simple “just quit”. But what if you love smoking. What if you need that smoke to relax and de-stress? To a person who as never smoked that probably sounds silly. But I think most smokers can relate.

I know because I smoked for more years than I care to count. And I still struggle with it at times. You never know when a cigarette is going to ambush you when your guard is down and demand to be smoked!

Hence I have put together a little book on smoking –

The Preach-Free Guide to Smoking and Quitting

The book serves two purposes:The Preach-Free Guide to Smoking and Quitting

  1. It takes a fun look at the smoking habit and explores the psychology of a smoker  (the first version of this book was writes by a former smoker). And it does it with humor, empathy and cartoons. The book will also help you understand why you smoke. Since smoking is often used as a stress buster, it should help reduce those feelings of shame and guilt we feel for smoking. And it will help reduce your stress related high blood pressure – whether you quit or not.
  2. If you are minded to butt out the cigarettes for the last time, this book will significantly up put the odds in your favor for success. It’s all a psychological battle really, as you’ll discover. You’ll learn how and why quitting smoking is no more difficult than jumping over a big puddle. It’s really that easy when you know how.

If you don’t smoke but know someone who does, it could be one of the best nag-free quit smoking help you could offer.

 

UPDATE: The Preach-Free Guide to Smoking and Quitting is now available as a free bonus when you buy my book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

lower your blood pressure naturallyAs the name suggests, the guide contains everything you need to know about how to lower your blood pressure and keep it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

To make this simple and straightforward, the guide is laid out in nine easy-to-follow steps. These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information (you can also download a free sample to check it out):

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide
(with free Preach-Free Guide to Smoking and Quitting)

All the best,

Simon

 

Supplements That Help Reduce Blood Pressure

Having – or getting – healthy blood pressure is all about making sure your body has what it needs to keep itself in balance. It’s a bit like conducting an orchestra – many elements are needed!

Making sure you’re getting the large-scale nutrients like fibre, protein and fat is one thing, but it’s quite difficult to discern whether you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. Although you need much smaller amounts of these, they are no less important – and for healthy blood pressure they are vital.

supplements that help reduce blood pressure - nor not?Potassium, calcium and magnesium are the minerals best known for helping to reduce or prevent high blood pressure, interacting to keep your blood vessels relaxed and dilated.

Of the vitamins, the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E are known to protect the lining of your arteries, while the B vitamins and vitamin D work with other substances in the body to regulate blood pressure.

 

To supplement or not to supplement?

There’s two approaches to supplementing. One is to take supplements to ensure you’re getting enough of the essential elements, and the other is to take supplements of ‘extra’ nutrients that are good for you which you wouldn’t normally get in your daily diet.

Making sure to get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals

Is it necessary to take supplements though, or can we get enough of the essential elements we need to stay healthy from what we eat and drink?

That is the big health question. The debate has been going on for a while and shows no sign of stopping.

Supplements are necessary to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients…

Some argue that it’s impossible to get enough of the important vitamins and minerals from food, and that it’s necessary to supplement this by taking vitamin and mineral pills.

One of the reasons you may not be getting enough essential nutrients needed is that you’re not eating a varied and balanced enough diet – not eating many vegetables, for example. However, even if you are eating very well, the effects of decades of large-scale intensive farming is that in many places soils are depleted of nutrients (and that’s not counting the negative effects of pesticides and herbicides). Which means the foods grown in such soils are less nutritious than in previous years. (Depending on your age, you might have noticed that many fruits and vegetables have less flavour than they used to. Certainly, my mum says she remembers when carrots and peas and grapes had more intense flavours than they do today.) In this case, supplements may be useful to supply the missing nutrients. (Of course, eating organic food, if you can get it and if you can afford it, will also help.)

Or supplements aren’t effective and are a waste of money… ?

Others argue that the body can’t extract the right substances in the right form from supplements as well as it can from natural food, and so taking supplements is ineffective, and a waste of money.

For example, one Harvard nutrition scientist once famously said that vitamin supplements are “expensive urine” (Victor Herbert, quoted in Time magazine). Indeed, even those in favour of taking supplements admit this may be true in many cases. This is because poorly made supplements contain isolated nutrients in synthetic forms which the body doesn’t recognise as food and can’t absorb. The chemicals are then passed out in your urine.

Obviously, how well you can actually absorb and benefit from a supplement depends to a large extent on the quality of the supplement. As supplements become more popular, there seems to be an increase both in mass suppliers knocking out cheap synthetic supplements and companies carefully creating supplements from high quality botanical ingredients. (The ‘bioavailability’ of the ingredients of the supplement can also be affected by what you take it with – more on this below.)

As for the general question of supplementing or not, it doesn’t seem to be unequivocally answered by research yet. There’s some evidence for both points of view.

 

Taking ‘super’ supplements

Curcumin supplement - for healthy blood pressure

Curcumin (found in turmeric) is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Even if you’re confident you’re getting everything you need from either your diet alone, or your diet plus basic supplements, you might want to take additional supplements too. These would be of substances which have additional health benefits but which you’re almost certainly not getting in what you regularly eat and drink.

For example, turmeric has had a lot of press in recent years because the exceptional properties of a substance it contains called curcumin. (You can read more about this in our article here: Turmeric for lower blood pressure). Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and, as such, is helpful in treating multiple health conditions, including high blood pressure.

You can also get supplements that are designed to treat a particular health condition by combining several ingredients. For example, Alistrol is a supplement containing four ingredients known to help alleviate high blood pressure.

One thing’s for sure: you need to eat well

What is agreed, however, is that there is NO substitute for a healthy well-rounded diet, with a healthy adequately active lifestyle. With your health and food, everything is connected. Vitamins and minerals and other food substances interact with each other, and this affects how well they are absorbed and stored by the body, and how they work once in the body. So even taking one super-supplement in isolation won’t help much if you’re not getting enough of other substances that it works in concert with.

So the best approach is to build yourself a balanced varied diet – of real food, organic if you can. If you put some effort and attention into eating enough healthy foods each day, there should be no problem with getting the nutrients and elements you need – in most cases. We know the body can effectively absorb nutrients from food – or relatively unprocessed foods anyway – and you’ll also save money on supplements.

(For more information on healthy diets as they pertain to healthy blood pressure, you can browse the many articles on this website, or start with our overview here: High blood pressure diets)

Having said that, there are some things that it may be difficult to get enough of, or are just so important that you don’t want to take any chances – so for those, it’s beneficial to take supplements.

Also, if you’re travelling, or in some other situation where it might be difficult for you to maintain your ideal food schedule, then supplements can be a good temporary back-up.

 

Supplements that help reduce blood pressure

How much of each vitamin/mineral?

National health authorities usually give RDAs – recommended daily allowances – for each vitamin and mineral. So you want to at least be getting that much. These are based on just keeping most people in basic health though, i.e., preventing deficiencies, and don’t take account of specific health conditions, like high blood pressure. For optimal health – and to improve your blood pressure levels – you’re often best to take more than the RDA.

For example, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) outlined by US health authorities, recommends that you get 500mg of magnesium daily (100mg more than the RDA), and of 1250mg a day of calcium (250mg more than the RDA).

Balancing supplements and diet

vitamin D3 by CLE Holistic Health

* Special offer on vitamin D3 – 3 bottles for the price of 2 *

So consider the amount of something that you want to take. Some things are difficult to get enough of just from natural sources – vitamin D, for example – so it’s advisable to take a regular supplement that gives you at least your full RDA.

NOTE: Vitamin D is now known to be very important for healthy blood pressure. You can read more about vitamin D and how to get enough of it in our article here: Vitamin D and high blood pressure

Some things you may just want to take a supplement as an extra – to supplement what you’re already getting from your diet. In that case, allow for that when figuring out how strong a supplement you want to take. If you’re eating a citrus fruit every day for example, you can take less vitamin C as a supplement.

Diet is also important as it affects how well a certain supplement can be absorbed and used by your body. Some vitamins and minerals need other substances present for them to be effectively absorbed. For example, taking an iron supplement with food or drink containing vitamin C will help it to be absorbed and used. And fat-soluble vitamins need some fat present in order to be absorbed – more below.

Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins

You also have to take account of what kind of vitamin it is. Vitamin C and the B vitamins (including folic acid) are water-soluble, so can’t be stored by your body. This means you have to get these every day. They are also more easily flushed out from food, depending on how they’re stored and cooked (more below), so you do need to take more care to get enough of these vitamins.

However, if you’re taking supplements of vitamin C or B vitamins, there’s less risk of overdosing on them, because whatever the body doesn’t absorb it just passes out in your urine.

Other vitamins  – A, D, E, K – are fat-soluble so can be stored in your body’s fatty tissues and liver. This means they can build up in your body over time, and aren’t as easily lost from food, so it’s generally easier to get enough of these vitamins from your food. There’s also more danger of building up toxic levels of them if you take supplements in doses that are too high. In general, you don’t need supplements of these vitamins – except for vitamin D, which we almost always need more of!

If you are taking a fat-soluble vitamin supplement, make sure to take it with some food which contains fat – some fat needs to be present in order for the body to be able to absorb it. Certainly, don’t take it on an empty stomach as then you will just be making “expensive urine”.

Everything in moderation…

Vitamins and minerals interact with each other in various ways. Some affect how well others can be used and absorbed by the body and/or how well they work in the body. Some work interdependently. The levels of some affect the levels of others.

Overall, your health depends on vitamins and minerals working in balance with each other. So be careful of suddenly taking very high doses of one thing as it can upset that balance, and can cause you to be depleted of other vitamins and minerals, or reduce their efficacy.

As with many foods and drinks, moderation is key….

PLEASE NOTE: Many of these vitamins and minerals can also interact with other medications. In general, if you are getting them from your diet, there are unlikely to be problems. However, if you’re on any medication or have specific health conditions, best to talk to your doctor/a healthcare professional before starting supplements, to make sure there won’t be any unwanted interactions or effects.

 

Which are the best supplements to buy?

Not all supplements were created equal so it’s important to buy a high quality supplement. If you’re going to spend the money to get a supplement, then don’t waste it on a poor quality one that won’t actually help you.

This is a bit easier said than done sometimes though! Even supplements of the same basic ingredient come in different forms. The supplements can contain different amounts of the main ingredient, contain the main ingredient in different chemical forms, and also have different other ingredients. All of these affect how well the ingredient can be absorbed and used by your body.

Which form is best is specific to each kind of supplement, and often there is some disagreement over this. The best thing is to decide which supplements you want to take – narrow it down to the most important – and then do a bit of research: sometimes the staff of the health food or supplement store are a good source of knowledge, or ask a health professional – your doctor, or a nutritionist or suchlike.

Aim to find which are the best brands – those which are known for making good quality supplements. Price isn’t always an accurate guideline, but the super-cheap supplements may not be as effective. If you’re going to take it, make it count.

NOTE: The supplements we’ve linked to on this page are good quality products made by companies which get good reviews and have good reputations. We do receive a commission if you buy these products (by clicking on the images/links we provide), so we made sure to find good quality products to show you.

 

Everything you need to know about the supplements which reduce blood pressure

To be sure you’re taking the best supplements for your needs, why not consult our new book:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

As well as guidance on the key supplements to take for lower blood pressure, there is a detailed list of all the main supplements that help reduce blood pressure, with information on why they help lower blood pressure, how much to take, and the best form to take them in, and more. Everything you need to know!
lower your bp naturally
Lowering your blood pressure naturally is not just about taking supplements though, of course.

What you eat and drink, how fit and active you are, and how stressed you are all crucially affect your blood pressure.

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally looks at all these factors and shows you how to make easy, effective and enjoyable changes in your lifestyle which will lower your blood pressure – and keep it low.

These changes are laid out in nine easy-to-follow steps. These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

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