Like temperature, hydration, and blood sugar, the body naturally maintains a homeostasis, or natural balance, in your blood pressure. Blood pressure imbalances can cause weakness, dizziness, cognitive issues, or an increased risk of stroke or heart disease. For people with high or low blood pressure, natural herbal solutions for blood pressure support can help, when combined with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against your arterial walls as the pumping of your heart distributes it throughout your body. Expressed as systolic (maximum) over diastolic (minimum) pressure, the resting blood pressure for a normal, healthy adult is usually about 120/80mm Hg. Blood pressure varies naturally based on different activities and situations. Heart rates and blood pressure rise during aerobic activity, while declining during rest and sleep.
Abnormalities in blood pressure can arise from a variety of different causes, from medical illnesses to lifestyle factors that can be approached with natural solutions for blood pressure support. Diet, exercise, obesity, drug use, medications, and other factors can cause your blood pressure to deviate from its normal level. This leads to other health complications.
To manage your blood pressure, you can try vitamins and natural herbal supplements for blood pressure support. These can provide vitamins and minerals known to aid your body’s natural blood pressure regulation, along with natural herbs and spices with stabilizing effects.
Blood Pressure Dysregulation & Its Causes
The most common disorders of blood pressure are high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and blood pressure that fluctuates excessively. These problems, often addressed with lifestyle changes, medication, and natural remedies for blood pressure support, lead to serious complications over long periods of time. This makes blood pressure dysregulation a medically significant problem.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure, better known as “arterial hypertension,” is a chronic condition in which your blood pressure is always elevated. Hypertension is generally defined as blood pressure above 160/100 Hg.
According to statistics from the year 2000, around 26% of the global population suffers from hypertension, including around 24% of the United States population (43 million Americans). This makes hypertension one of the most prevalent and common health problems in the world, especially in developed countries.
Hypertension can be either primary (essential hypertension) or secondary. Essential hypertension is chronic, whereas secondary hypertension results from a clearly identifiable cause like kidney problems, endocrine disorders, tumors, or medication side effects.
Essential hypertension usually arises due to genetic and environmental factors. However, while genetic factors can make an individual much more likely to develop high blood pressure, risk generally rises due to environmental and health factors. Some of the things most likely to raise an individual’s risk of developing hypertension include:
- Aging. As people age, they’re more likely to need treatments for blood pressure support, even if their blood pressure was previously healthy. This may result from stiffening of the arteries, decreased sodium excretion, and other consequences of age.
- Obesity. Compared to an individual at a healthy weight, an obese person is five times more likely to develop hypertension. In fact, over 60% of essential hypertension cases are associated with obesity. This may result from the effects of obesity and adipose tissue on the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine system.
- High salt intake. Many people with hypertension end up being very sensitive to sodium intake. When there’s too much sodium for your body to efficiently excrete through the kidneys, cardiac output increases, and blood pressure rises. Reducing sodium intake can help provide natural blood pressure support.
- Vitamin D deficiency. Studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency is associated with cardiac health risks, including high blood pressure. Vitamin D helps inhibit the body’s secretion of renin, a kidney enzyme, which helps shut off a negative feedback loop that can raise you blood pressure. This means that vitamin D supplementation is a helpful natural solution for blood pressure support.
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is defined as a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 Hg. While some people, especially very fit people, may have a relatively low resting heart rate, hypotension is diagnosed when it presents with identifiable symptoms.
The symptoms of low blood pressure generally include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Stiffness and muscle pain
Hypotension is usually acute, but studies have shown that in some chronic cases, meditation and yoga can be effective natural remedies for blood sugar support in hypotensive patients.
Fluctuating Blood Pressure
Abnormally pronounced fluctuations in blood pressure are generally associated with reduced localized cerebral blood flow, along with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. Fluctuating blood pressure is often found in older people with blood pressure issues, as well as people on certain blood pressure medications.
Regulating Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Many blood pressure problems, especially essential hypertension, can be managed with lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and other approaches to natural blood pressure support. Healthy diets low in sodium, moderate exercise, moderation in alcohol consumption, and managing psychological stress, can all help stabilize and balance your blood pressure.
Healthy Eating and Reduced Sodium Intake
Obesity is a leading cause of hypertension, and even being moderately overweight can raise your chances of developing blood pressure problems. Many Americans are used to a rich diet high in salt, simple carbs, and satuated fats– along with large portion sizes. This leads to weight gain and other health issues contributing to hypertension.
At the Mayo Clinic, a leading nonprofit medical practice in Minnesota, physicians often recommend the “DASH diet,” which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” This dietary approach to natural blood pressure support involves watching your sodium intake levels, usually consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (compared to a more average intake of 3,500 mg).
Some recommendations of the DASH diet include:
- 6-8 Servings of Grains. Whole grains, which have more fiber and complex carbohydrates, are recommended over white bread, white flour pasta, and other simple carbs.
- 4-5 Servings of Vegetables. A serving of vegetables is usually anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup.
- 4-5 Servings of Fruits. Natural fruit is a good source of vitamins and healthy sugars.
- 2-3 Servings of Dairy. Physicians recommend low-fat dairy products, rather than products based on whole milk. Cream and butter should be used in moderation.
- 6 Servings of Lean Meat, Fish, or Poultry. Red meats, even leaner cuts, can have a high cholesterol content, so experts recommend moderation. Fish and poultry are preferable to beef and lamb.
- 4-5 Servings of Nuts, Beans, & Legumes. These foods are a good natural source of plant-based protein and unsaturated fats. This food group includes tree nuts, peanuts, lentils, chickpeas, and various types of beans.
- 2-3 Servings of Fats and Oils. This includes things like olive oil, salad dressing, or mayonnaise. It’s best to opt for healthier unsaturated fats, and plant-based oils tend to be healthier than animal fats like butter and lard.
Limited aerobic exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk, can make a big difference in your overall health. Studies have found that moderate exercise can help offer natural blood pressure support.
Reduced Caffeine Intake
The role of caffeine in blood pressure regulation is still not fully understood. If you have no tolerance for caffeine and all, the 80 mg in a typical cup can raise your blood pressure by up to 10 mm/Hg. However, the majority of people have a tolerance from drinking coffee or caffeinated soft drinks on a regular basis.
If you have benign essential hypertension, you may be sensitive to caffeine. Coffee has a high concentration of caffeine, and you’ll find even more caffeine in energy drinks. For many people, green or black tea can provide a smaller dose of caffeine, allowing you to reduce your intake and still enjoy its benefits.
Chronic stress is a contributing factor in hypertension. In many cases, chronic stress could be a sign of an anxiety disorder, but it also results from long-term adverse life circumstances. Psychological stress can also contribute to maladaptive behaviors, like overeating or alcohol abuse, that can contribute to the development of hypertension.
Knowing your stress triggers, making time to relax, or seeking talk therapy, can help you reduce stress in your life, helping provide natural blood pressure support.
Blood Pressure Support from Vitamins & Supplements
You can find natural solutions for blood pressure support by making sure your diet contains certain vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, all of which play a role in the underlying physiological processes contributing to high blood pressure.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like tuna and salmon, fish oil, sardines, chia seeds, walnuts, and other healthy, natural foods. Studies have indicated that 3-4 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids, which may include fish oil supplement capsules, may help produce a modest decrease in blood pressure.
A few preliminary studies have also suggested that magnesium, a mineral that the body needs in trace amounts, may produce a small but significant reduction in blood pressure for people with hypertension.
Vitamin D’s effects at a molecular level may help reduce high blood pressure. You probably don’t need extra vitamin D, but it’s important to get enough of it in your everyday diet. Low levels of vitamin D, which is a risk especially in older people, has been linked to a higher chance of high blood pressure. You can find vitamin D in foods like dairy products, fish, fortified whole grains, and eggs.
6 Natural Herbs for Blood Pressure Support
To help stabilize blood pressure and reduce hypertension, many people use natural herbal remedies for blood pressure support. These effects are generally due to natural chemical compounds produced by the plants. Here are eight good herbal remedies for blood pressure support, which can be incorporated into herbal teas and other preparations.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a commonly used culinary spice, present in many cuisines from around the world. It’s especially popular in Italian cooking, and it’s one of the key ingredients in pesto. It’s also easy to grow, making it popular in herb gardens.
Basil extracts may help with natural blood pressure support, temporarily lowering your blood pressure. In one 2011 study, researchers found that at a dose of about 30 mg/kg, basil extract caused a drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) has been found to potentially lower blood pressure in people with diabetes, a condition that’s often comorbid with hypertension.
Cardamom (genus Elatteria or Amonum) is a group of plants used in Indian spices for its bitter but pleasant taste and aroma. A recent 2009 study indicated that cardamom may actually help lower blood pressure. In a group of patients with blood pressure ranging from 140/90 Hg to 159/99 HG, two daily doses of 1.5 grams of cardamom produced significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the most common culinary herbs in America. It has a surprisingly long history of use, in both traditional and modern medicine, for cardiovascular problems. Garlic appears to increase nitric oxide production in the body, relaxing smooth muscles and increasing vasodilation.
In patients with increased systolic (but not only diastolic) blood pressure, garlic has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
Hawthorn (genus Crataegus) has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Chinese herbology. Hawthorn may hold potential for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension. It’s also been found to help increase exercise tolerance in people with health problems.
Celery seed, a common culinary seasoning, has been used traditionally in Chinese medicine as a natural remedy for blood pressure support. Recent medical studies have lent credence to this claim.
French lavender (Lavendula stoechas) is a species of lavender that grows naturally in Mediterranean countries, including southern France and Spain. It’s most commonly used as an ornamental plant, but in one 2000 study, it was found to reduce heart rate and blood pressure in rodents.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is known for its beautiful flowers, often made into herbal teas. It’s been extensively studied for its antihypertensive effects, and is one of the most promising natural herbal teas for blood pressure support. In humans, a standard dose of 9.6 mg per day was found to be as effective as some medications.
Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) contains flavonoids that may help guard against cardiovascular disease. 46-105 grams of dark chocolate a day can lower systolic blood pressure by up 5 mm/Hg, and lower diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm/Hg.
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