Alternative therapies for blood pressure normalization include proper hydration, plant-based diet, moderate exercise, and specific herbs and vitamin supplements.
Whether blood pressure is low, high or normal depends on a number of factors, including the output from the heart, the resistance to blood flow through the blood vessels, and the volume of blood flow throughout the circulatory system.
The most prevalent health concern with blood pressure involves high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Medical doctors often prescribe medications for high blood pressure, most of which tend to have unhealthy side effects. In fact, many people come to the health food store where I work looking for alternatives because they can't stand the side effects.
A number of alternative or natural therapies have been proven to help normalize blood pressure.
However, it is essential that you work with a health care practitioner for monitoring blood pressure if you decide to try alternative therapies.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to lower blood pressure is to drink more water.
According to to Dr. Batmanghelidj in Water for Health, for Healing, for Life, one of the main causes of restricted blood flow is thick blood, a common symptom of chronic dehydration. When blood flow is restricted, it creates more pressure on the heart and arteries.
When the body is fully hydrated, the blood will be about 95 percent water.
For adequate hydration, daily drink ½ oz. of clean water per pound of body weight. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, sodas and other beverages that act as diuretics.
The best diet to normalize blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health is a low-fat, plant-based diet, according to the highly respected nutrition study described in the book The China Study.
Dr. Colin Campbell and colleagues recommend eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, while reducing foods high in saturated fat, especially red meat and dairy products.
If you are not interested in giving up meat and dairy at this time, try adding more vegetables and less starches, and eating a little less meat and dairy.
Colin also suggests significantly lowering salt and sugar intake.
Men and women of all ages who are physically active have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
According to Prescription for Nutritional Healing, light or moderate exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on a regular basis can help to normalize blood pressure.
Take care not to overexert yourself, and consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise routine, especially if you have been inactive.
Herbs that can reduce symptoms of high blood pressure include cayenne (capsicum), fennel, hawthorn berries, parsley and rosemary, according to Prescription for Nutritional Healing.
This reference guide also notes that some herbs, such as licorice and Ma Huang can raise blood pressure and should not be used by people with high blood pressure.
A few of the most effective supplements noted in Prescription for Nutritional Healing for their ability to help lower blood pressure include Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that also helps to manufacture energy from food.
Salmon, tuna, halibut, walnuts and flax seeds are the most effective sources of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t like these foods, you can take omega-3 fish oil supplements.
The amino-acid supplements L-arginine and L-taurine have shown slight effectiveness for normalizing blood pressure.
Stress is one of the most significant contributors to high blood pressure.
Simple relaxation techniques that include controlled or deep breathing and gentle physical activity, such as yoga, tai chi, qigong or walking meditation, are beneficial for relieving stress and helping to normalize blood pressure.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch; 2006
Water for Health, for Healing, for Life; F. Batmanghelidj: 2003
The China Study; T. Colin Campbell; 2006