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High blood pressure, medically referred to as hypertension, can be both a symptom and a condition. The systolic pressure (top number) is considered high when it measures above 140 in most cases. The diastolic pressure (bottom number) is considered high when it measures above 90 in most cases. It is estimated that almost one in three adults in America is affected by high blood pressure. There are several different prescription medications available to treat high blood pressure, but some patients are seeking a more natural means through using natural blood pressure reducers. Anyone wishing to use a natural remedy should always consult their physician first to ensure safety.
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What a person eats directly impacts their overall health. For example, consuming too much sodium may cause high blood pressure. Decreasing salt intake will often result in a lowering of high blood pressure. Getting adequate potassium is also important. Potassium is a mineral that may help alleviate how salt effects high blood pressure. Other beneficial supplements include calcium, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and flaxseed meal.
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Everyone knows that aerobic exercise is an important element of overall health, but most do not think about how crucial it is to a healthy blood pressure level. Aerobic exercise burns calories and increases heart rate. It can help in strengthening the heart, and it can help in weight loss, if the patient is in need of losing weight. The stronger the heart is, the less effort is uses when pumping blood, thus resulting in lowered blood pressure.
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Alcohol, smoking and caffeine can all raise blood pressure. As natural blood pressure reducers, it is recommended that all patients limit their caffeine and alcohol intake, and quit smoking. Cigarettes and caffeine can both temporarily raise blood pressure. Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day, has been shown to raise a woman's blood pressure, while drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day has been shown to raise a man's blood pressure. This includes red wine. Red wine does have health benefits, but more than a glass a day can be counterproductive.
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Certain herbs have been thought to be potentially beneficial in lowering blood pressure. However, herbs may also cause side effects, be contraindicated and interact with medications. All patients wanting to use an herbal remedy for their blood pressure should always consult their doctor first. The following herbs may be beneficial:
- Coleus forskohlii: This herb is said to improve heart function and lower blood pressure
- Mistletoe: This herb is said to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure
- Hawthorne: This herb is said to help lower blood pressure by dilating the coronary blood vessels
- Rauwolfia: This herb is said to be the most potent blood pressure-lowering herb. It is only used in very small doses. Patients may experience nasal congestion when taking this herb
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MedlinePlus. (2010). Hypertension. Retrieved on September 15, 2010 from MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000468.htm
Cardiology Channel. (2000). Naturopathic Treatment for High Blood Pressure. Retrieved on September 15, 2010 from Cardiology Channel: http://www.cardiologychannel.com/hypertension/treatment_naturopathic.shtml