Drink This Every Day to Lower Blood Pressure
Millions of Americans have high blood pressure, a condition that increases the risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events.
However, one way to lower blood pressure which doesn’t involve the associated side effects of prescription drugs might be found in drinking hibiscus tea or taking hibiscus extract. In three independent studies, this natural remedy was even shown to be just as effective as certain blood pressure-lowering drugs.
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A double-blind randomized clinical trial published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology involved 78 adults who had been newly diagnosed with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure. Participants were divided into three groups, one given a placebo, another given 150 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of hibiscus extract daily and a third given 10 mg daily of the medication lisinopril. After four weeks of treatment, the results showed the hibiscus extract reduced one of three indicators of high blood pressure as much as lisinopril. The authors thought the blood pressure benefits might be due to the anthocyanin content of hibiscus.
These results only further support a separate study published in the journal Phytomedicine, which compared hibiscus to the medication captopril. In this study, 75 people with high blood pressure were divided into two groups: one drank 16 ounces of hibiscus tea daily and the other took 25 mg of captopril twice daily. After four weeks, 79 percent of those who drank the tea experienced a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of at least 10 points and 84 percent of the captopril group had the same reduction. Once again, the efficacy of hibiscus was comparable to the blood pressure drug.
Even outside of comparisons to common blood pressure medication hibiscus shines as a viable solution for healthier blood pressure readings. In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s annual conference in 2008, it was discovered by scientists that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea per day lowered blood pressure markedly. After six weeks, individuals who started the study with mildly elevated blood pressure had a seven-point drop in their systolic pressure. And those who began the study with the highest systolic pressure of at least 129 mmHg had a 13-point decrease in systolic pressure and a six-point decrease in diastolic pressure.
It’s important to note that if you want to take hibiscus tea for blood pressure, it needs to be part of your daily routine. As with most blood pressure aids, the effects are temporary rather than permanent. An investigation found three days after discontinuing hibiscus tea, blood pressure started to climb again.
If you have high blood pressure or even if you don’t and just want to reap the benefits of this amazing natural remedy, be sure to use pure Hibiscus sabdariffa; this is the same type that was used in the clinical trials. Make sure to also look for an organic tea, this way it will be free of toxins and pollutants. You can even grow your own to keep a steady, natural supply on hand.
This flower not only makes a great tea, it can also be added to soups, syrups, jams and jellies as well! A place like Pinterest provides a great source of inspiration for different recipes for you to try.
3 Other Natural Strategies for Lowering Blood Pressure
Although hibiscus tea only lowers blood pressure for as long as you take it, healthy lifestyle measures can help to permanently reduce blood pressure. Stress management is certainly a factor when it comes to maintaining healthy blood pressure, but exercise, diet and even things like sauna paths can have an impressive impact.
1. Exercise Has Been Known to Aid in Blood Pressure Control
Regular physical activity makes the heart stronger, enabling it to pump blood with less effort. Since the heart doesn’t need to work as hard, the force on arteries decreases and in turn lowers blood pressure. Exercise can decrease systolic blood pressure by 4 to 9 mmHg, which equates to the reduction brought about by some blood pressure medications. This means that for some people with only mildly elevated blood pressure, exercise can eliminate the need for drug treatment. Experts recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity.
After monitoring the men for 22 years, the team found a substantial link between sauna bathing and healthy blood pressure. During the two decades, 16 percent of the men developed high blood pressure, which was denoted as a reading higher than 140/90 mmHg. The men who took two to three sauna baths per week had a 24-percent reduced risk of developing high blood pressure compared to those who took one sauna per week. More impressively, those who took four to seven saunas per week had a 46-percent reduced risk.
2. Eat Blood Pressure Lowering Foods and Food Combinations
Certain foods have been shown to effectively moderate blood pressure levels, such as anthocyanin-rich purple potatoes and black berries and blueberries. Even certain food combinations have demonstrated impressive results. For example, a study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences found the it helpful to mix unsaturated fats with foods high in nitrates and nitrites. Food sources of unsaturated fats are olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish, while sources of nitrates and nitrites include many salad vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery and beetroot. When foods from the two groups are consumed together, they form nitro fatty acids, compounds that react with an enzyme that results in lower blood pressure. In other words, green salads are even healthier if you drizzle olive oil over them or if they include nuts or avocados.
3. Sauna Baths Can Curb High Blood Pressure
A study published in the American Journal of HypertensionIn found that sauna baths impacted blood pressure readings in some unexpected ways. Researchers followed 1,621 men with healthy blood pressure whose age ranged from 42 to 60. They divided the men into three groups based on their sauna bathing frequency: one sauna per week, two to three per week, and four to seven per week.