Reduce blood pressure naturally

High blood pressure has many different causes, and finding the root of the problem is the key to creating a natural treatment plan.

High blood pressure has many different causes, and finding the root of the problem is the key to creating a natural treatment plan.

by Dr. Tricia Pingel — 

More than 74 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. And as any person who is diagnosed with high blood pressure can tell you — it is frightening.

Once diagnosed, many patients are placed on medications, such as diuretics. These medications deplete the body of potassium and magnesium, resulting in such ailments as muscle cramps, fatigue and weakness. People looking for a more natural approach often seek the advice of a naturopath after they have been prescribed blood pressure medication.

A blood work assessment often reveals levels approaching hypertension. High blood pressure has many different causes, and finding the root of the problem is the key to creating a natural treatment plan. One cause may be a high level of homocysteine, an amino acid that causes plaque buildup in the arteries and affects blood pressure.

A reduction in the homocysteine level can be achieved by administering injections of vitamins B6, B12 and folate. Regular injections of folate can often drop blood pressure by 10 to 20 points in as little as six weeks. These vitamins may also be ingested orally, but this method takes longer to show results than the injections.

High cholesterol may be an underlying factor as well. People with high cholesterol also have high plaque development, which affects blood pressure. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an organic compound commonly used to lower cholesterol.

As stated previously, magnesium and potassium deficiencies are common in patients on diuretics. Low potassium also depletes magnesium levels, which is one of the top deficiencies in the U.S. Thus, taking magnesium supplements or eating foods high in both potassium and magnesium can help to lower blood pressure.

Foods to treat high blood pressure 

Foods that are high in vitamins B6 and B12, folate, magnesium and potassium include the following:

Vitamins B6 and B12 — Found in dairy, beef, chicken, eggs and pork. Vegetarians are at a higher risk for deficiency in these vitamins, so they may want to take supplements.

Folate — Found in spinach, asparagus, lentils and collard greens.

Magnesium — Found in nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts, halibut, soybeans, spinach and oatmeal.

Potassium — Found in bananas, apricots, beans, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, peas, dates and figs.

The Paleo–Mediterranean diet helps hypertension and lowers blood pressure. It is composed of nuts, colorful vegetables and fruits, all of which are full of nutrients, such as vitamins B6, B12, folate and magnesium. It also consists of a combination of whole grains, seeds, legumes, seafood and good fats like olive oil. These healthy foods consumed in small portions help to maintain a healthy heart and body.

Herbs to treat high blood pressure 

Hawthorne berry — This herb works as a vasodilator. It dilates the arteries and allows for increased oxygen and blood flow, which is beneficial to the cardiac system as a whole and is found in most herbal formulations.

Garlic — Garlic lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It can be consumed raw or in supplements.

For patients suffering from high blood pressure, there may be a number of causes. Finding the root cause is crucial to finding the right treatment plan. It is always important to seek health care advice before taking any herbal remedies.

 

Dr. Tricia Pingel is a naturopathic medical doctor in Scottsdale, Ariz. She treats a variety of conditions, including menopausal symptoms and hormone replacement, infertility, cardiac, thyroid disorders, anxiety/depression and gastrointestinal concerns. www.drpingel.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 3, June/July 2013.

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