High blood pressure (BP), or arterial hypertension, is a BP persistently over 140/90 mmHg; it's also a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack and heart failure, aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease and chronic kidney disease.
But many sensible lifestyle changes can bring it back to normal. These can be undertaken one by one, or several methods can be used at the same time.
- Organic apple cider or wine vinegar (1 tbsp or 15 mL in half a glass of water daily) inhibits the renin-angiotensin system that, if too active, leads to high BP (Biol Pharm Bull, 2005; 28: 1208-10).
- Collagen peptides from sea bream fish scales act like an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor to curb high BP (Process Biochem, 2004; 39: 1195-1200). In my own experience, bonito fish peptides (available online) are effective in patients needing conventional ACE inhibitors.
- Watermelon (Cucurbita citrullus) seed extract (11/2 tbsp or 22.5 mL daily) quickly dilates the capillaries, leading to an average reduction in systolic BP of 9 mmHg (Am J Med Sci, 1929; 178: 470-89).
- Homeopathic Cytisus laburnum 6DH twice a day works for many people. Prepared from the poisonous flowers and young leaves of wild laburnum, this remedy was first proved in a pathogen-etic trial more than a century ago and re-proved more recently (Allgem Hom"oopath Zeit, 1901; 5: 143-54; Mezger J. Gesichtete Hom"oopathische Arzneimittellehre, 4th edn. Heidelberg: Karl F, Haug Verlag, 1977).
- Blood Pressure Support, a complex Tibetan medicine including white sandal-wood (Santalum album), costus (Saussu-rea lappa), bamboo (Bambusa textilis), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), Picrorhiza grass (P. kurroa), chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), greater cardamom (Amo-mum subulatum), saxifrage (Saxifraga), safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), smaller cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Malabar nut tree (Adhatoda vasica) and mineral pitch or exudate, often works. But don't take it if you're allergic to any of its spices.
Take two tablets each morning: chew the tablets before swallowing with water. This usually begins to work within three days and the benefits increase with each day of use. It typically takes two months to correct chronic high BP. Once you're 'balanced', you can stop. It has no known interactions with other medications, but it is still advisable to take this remedy two hours away from any other medication.
- Regular exercise has beneficial effects on the cells that line the blood vessels, such as the release of more chemical 'relaxers' while inhibiting the pro-duction of 'tighteners', leading to healthy vessels. Two 15-minute walks every day should lead to a fall in BP (J Am Coll Cardiol, 1999; 33: 1379-85).
- Stop hyperventilation, as it's known to increase BP (J Neurosurg, 2002; 97: 1045-53), while its opposite is known to decrease it, so get an assessment of your breathing pattern if this is your problem. Often, a significant and permanent reduction in BP (even in those taking orthodox drugs) is seen when correct nasal and diaphrag-matic breathing is established with a respiration rate of 8-10 breaths/minute. This can be achieved via Buteyko breath-ing exercises (see www.normalbreathing. com) or with regular meditation.
- A low glycaemic index (GI) diet can significantly and beneficially affect your metabolism and translate into a normal BP (Nutr J, 2009; 8: 5).
- Aged garlic extract lowers BP in patients with uncontrolled hypertension despite treatment, according to numer-ous trials (Maturitas, 2010; 67: 144-50).
- Magnesium supplementation, if it's deemed appropriate following hair mineral analysis, can also substantially help to reduce BP (J Clin Epidemiol, 1995; 48: 927-40).
- Biofeedback. If you want to learn how to control your BP yourself by unwinding more, a portable biofeedback device called the StressEraser can help (available online, it costs lb145, or $179 plus shipping in the US).
WDDTY Vol.23 no.6