People with high blood pressure should consult with a doctor before starting to use other remedies. Most people with readings from 130/85 to 159/99 can safely be treated with alternative medicine.
But, for people whose numbers fall within this range, drugs can achieve a 12-point drop in systolic pressure. Some non-drug therapies work just as well or even better, without the side effects.
Here is a look at one of the best alternative remedies, the world has to offer:
1. Vessel-relaxing herb – 36 people with mild high blood pressure took either 600 mg of magnesium, 500 mg of an extract of hawthorn, a combination of the two or a pill. The biggest decrease in blood pressure showed the hawthorn group.
2. Low-fat diet (hold the salt) – volunteers who followed the Dietary Approach to Control Hypertension diet (DASH – low in saturated fats and cholesterol, rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products) and reduced their salt intake, after only 30 days, the systolic pressure dropped by 11.5 points.
3. Eating garlic – people who eat a lot of meals with garlic, have lower blood pressure.
4. Give needles a try – it is long believed that acupuncture can ease high blood pressure and now scientists from Harvard Medical School are putting this belief to the test.
5. Supplements – a couple of supplements are effective in reducing hypertension such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium. Khosh recommends: 1.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, 1.500 mg of vitamin C, 200-400 international units of vitamin E, 15.000-25.000 units of vitamin A, 50-250 micrograms of selenium.
6. Move along (but not too fast) – physical activity such as walking or jogging can reduce high blood pressure.
7. Soothe your stress (talk about it) – stress reduction techniques (deep breathing, yoga, meditation and progressive relaxation) can lower blood pressure.
8. Consider water fasting – a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, showed that water fasting is effective in lowering blood pressure.