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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension

High blood pressure often has no symptoms or warning signs. If it stays elevated above 120/80 mmHg over time and is uncontrolled, it can lead to heart and kidney disease. High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than normal putting both the heart and arteries at greater risk of damage. High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, damage to the eyes, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis and many other medical problems.

Left untreated high blood pressure can cause the heart to become abnormally large and less efficient (ventricular hypertrophy) causing heart failure and increased risk of heart attack.

Although high blood pressure can cause headaches, dizziness and problems with vision, the majority of people suffer no symptoms at all.

As a result many people with hypertension remain undiagnosed because they have no symptoms to motivate them to see a doctor or get their blood pressure checked.

If high blood pressure isn't treated and is combined with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, the risk of heart attack is several times higher.

It is worth purchasing a blood pressure testing machine for those at risk of developing high blood pressure.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension

 

High blood pressure in the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is a chronic and life-changing disease that can lead to right heart failure if left untreated. Patients experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness and fatigue and the severity of symptoms usually correlates with the progression of the disease.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a progressive disorder characterised by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. Hypertension occurs when most of the very small arteries throughout the lungs narrow in diameter, which increases the resistance to blood flow through the lungs. To overcome the increased resistance, pressure increases in the pulmonary artery and in the heart chamber that pumps blood into the pulmonary artery (the right ventricle).

Asthma and breathlessness can be signs of pulmonary arterial hypertension. See the Asthma page for natural remedies and advice.

 

Causes of high blood pressure

  • Kidney abnormality

  • Tumour of the adrenal gland

  • Congenital defect of the aorta

  • People from African-Caribbean and South Asian communities are at greater risk of high blood pressure

  • .
  • Can be an inherited condition.

  • High blood pressure can affect older people who have led an unhealthy lifestyle.

  • Too much alcohol can raise the blood pressure significantly.

  • Being overweight, obese and under active can raise blood pressure.

  • Not eating enough fruit and vegetables can raise the blood pressure.

 

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The following herbs may increase blood pressure

Dramatically reducing salt intake can help to lower blood pressure. Never consume salted nuts or crisps and avoid anchovies and any processed foods which have salt as an ingredient including bread and cheese. If salt is required only ever use unrefined sea salt sparingly. Most foods consumed naturally contain sodium so extra is unnecessary and potentially very harmful to those suffering from high blood pressure.

 

NOTE: Some prescribed blood pressure medications can cause Parkinsonism which mimics the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. If these symptoms should manifest themselves the doctor will need to review and change the prescription.

 

Nutrients necessary to correct blood pressure

 

When magnesium is present in water, life and health are enhanced. One of the main benefits of drinking plenty of magnesium-rich water is to prevent heart disease and stroke. Full hydration is essential to help prevent clogging of arteries in the heart and brain and full hydration with water and magnesium is crucial for treating high blood pressure without using diuretics or other pharmaceutical medications. Bottled mineral water is usually far higher in magnesium than tap water. The recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are 350 mg per day for adult man 300 mg for women and 450 mg during pregnancy and lactation.

 

Highest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 781 mg

  • Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg

  • Raw cocoa 499 mg

  • Flaxseeds 392 mg

  • Brazil nuts 376 mg

  • Sesame seeds 353 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 346 mg

  • Wheat germ 313 mg

  • Black strap molasses 242 mg

  • Spirulina 189 mg

  • Kale 88 mg

  • Globe artichoke 60 mg

  • Okra 57 mg

  • Rocket 47 mg

  • Plantain 37 mg

  • Butternut squash 34 mg

  • Potatoes with skin 30 mg

  • Passion fruit 29 mg

  • Savoy cabbage 28 mg

  • Peas 24 mg

  • Raspberries 22 mg

  • Guava 22 mg

  • Blackberries 20 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 17 mg

Potassium, as well as calcium, play an important role in regulating high blood pressure.  Try baking, roasting or steaming when cooking vegetables. Avoid boiling as potassium leaches out into the water during cooking. Potassium requirements have not been established but an intake of 800 mg to 1300 mg. per day is estimated as approximately the minimum need. As for calcium, an average adult needs at least 600 mg of calcium daily.

Highest sources of potassium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Dried basil, chervil, coriander, dill, parsley 4240 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 3427 mg

  • Raw cocoa 2509 mg

  • Whey powder 2289 mg

  • Paprika and chilli powder 2280 mg

  • Yeast extract 2100 mg

  • Rice bran 1485 mg

  • Black strap molasses 1464 mg

  • Dried soya beans 1364 mg

  • Spirulina 1363 mg

  • Pistachio nuts 1007 mg

  • Squash and pumpkin seeds 919 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 850 mg

  • Almonds 705 mg

  • Dates 696 mg

  • Whelks 694 mg

  • Dried figs 680 mg

  • Clams 628 mg

  • Watermelon seeds 648 mg

  • Chestnuts 592 mg

  • Cashews (unsalted) 565 mg

  • Walnuts 441mg

  • Brussel sprouts (juiced raw) 389 mg

  • Coconut water 250 mg

  • Orange juice 200 mg

Highest sources of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Dried herbs such as basil, dill, marjoram and thyme 2113 mg (rosemary is also equally in calcium but should be avoided when high blood pressure is present.

  • Spirulina 1362 mg

  • Sesame seeds 975 mg

  • Tinned fish with bones such as sardines, mackerel and pilchards 383 mg

  • Tofu 372 mg

  • Almonds 264 mg

  • Flaxseeds 255 mg

  • Chlorella 221mg

  • Mussels 180 mg

  • Oysters 170 mg

  • Brazil nuts 160 mg

  • Prawns 150 mg

  • Tripe 150 mg

  • Scallops, spirulina and watercress 120 mg

  • Whole milk and whole yoghurt 113 mg

  • Chinese cabbage 105 mg

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as dandelion greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens  99 mg

  • Okra 77 mg

  • Soya beans 75 mg

  • Boneless fish such as bass, herring, pike, perch, pollock and rainbow trout 74 mg

  • Kidney beans 70 mg

  • Eggs 60 mg

  • Broccoli 47 mg

Balanced levels of the following nutrients are vital for correct functioning of the heart and circulatory system as they all interact with each other.

 

cobalt, nickel, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and vitamin B15

 

Together with vitamin B12, cobalt can help in the production of DNA, choline and red blood cells, promote a healthy nervous system, lower the blood pressure and can hold the myelin on level, the greasy cover that protects the nerves. Cobalt specifically affects the right coronary artery, resulting in vasodilatation with low levels and vasoconstriction with high levels, while nickel exerts the same vasodilatation / vasoconstriction effect on the left coronary artery.

Natural sources of cobalt in alphabetical order

Natural sources of nickel in alphabetical order

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice 80 μg

  • Nori seaweed 63.6 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba (dried powder) 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg

  • Lobster 4 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

  • Anchovies 0.9 μg

  • Ashitaba leaves 0.4 μg

NOTE: One μg is one microgram.

 

Vitamin B15 has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, improve circulation and general oxygenation of cells and tissues, and is helpful for arteriosclerosis and hypertension.

Natural sources of vitamin B15 in alphabetical order

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  1. Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  2. Camu camu berries 532 mg

  3. Rosehips 426 mg

  4. Green chillies 242.5 mg

  5. Guavas 228.3 mg

  6. Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  7. Black currants 181 mg

  8. Thyme 160.01 mg

  9. Red chillies 143.7 mg

  10. Drumstick pods 141 mg

  11. Kale 120 mg

  12. Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  13. Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  14. Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  15. Broccoli 89 mg

  16. Brussel sprouts 85 mg

  17. Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  18. Chilli pepper 76 mg

  19. Mustard greens 70 mg

  20. Cress 69 mg

  1. Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  2. Swede 62 mg

  3. Basil 61 mg

  4. Papaya 60 mg

  5. Rosemary 61 mg

  6. Pomelo fruit 61 mg

  7. Strawberries 58 mg

  8. Chives 58 mg

  9. Oranges 53.2 mg

  10. Lemons 53 mg

  11. Pineapple 48 mg

  12. Cauliflower 48 mg

  13. Kumquats 43.9 mg

  14. Watercress 43 mg

  15. Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  16. Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  17. Melon 36.7 mg

  18. Elderberries 36 mg

  19. Breadfruit 29 mg

  20. Coriander 27 mg

 

Vitamin D is vital for calcium to be utilised and is often deficient in people of the northern hemisphere due to weak sunshine between April and October and also because many cover up, work inside or use sunscreens which all prevents the body from manufacturing vitamin D from the sun's rays on the skin. The body only stores enough vitamin D for up to 60 days and, therefore extra must be consumed from the diet.

Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed

  • Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU

  • Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU

  • Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU

  • Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU

  • Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU

  • Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU

  • Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU

  • Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU

  • Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU

  • Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU

  • Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU

  • Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU

  • Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU

  • Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU

NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant capable of effectively helping to prevent many conditions and diseases including arthritis, cancer, dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes . It also assists in fighting heart disease and is essential for red blood cells, helps with cellular respiration and protects the body from pollution, especially the lungs. Vitamin E is also useful in preventing blood clots from forming

Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg

 

Natural remedies for high blood pressure

 

Reducing salt intake lowers the blood pressure. Use spices or seaweed for taste instead which will add more very healthy nutrients to the diet.

 

A diet that emphasises fruits, vegetables and whole grains appears effective in shaving points off a blood pressure reading.

 

Apple cider vinegar: take one tablespoon per day.

 

Beetroot has powerful blood pressure lowering abilities.

 

Flax seeds: are rich in vitamin E and other nuttients that can lower blood pressure.

 

Garlic: consume four cloves per day. Always leave to stand for ten minutes after chopping or crushing before cooking or consuming to allow the allicin to be produced.

 

Grape seed extract has been proven to lower blood pressure.

Bergamot, marjoram, oregano, pepperwort and thyme contain carvacrol which is very effective in lowering blood pressure. It reduces the heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and both the diastolic and systolic blood pressures as well. Oregano is also a viable alternative to salt in meals, as the sodium in salt is a leading cause of high blood pressure. A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure as each teaspoon of salt has more than 2,300 mg of sodium. Oregano is a sodium-free food, so it does not contribute to a higher blood pressure. A low-sodium diet for individuals with high blood pressure has a limit of 1,500 mg per day.

Daikon is a type of radish known to lower blood pressure.

Figs are rich in potassium and fibre which helps to stabilise the blood pressure. Another remedy is to place 3 fig leaves in half a litre of bottled mineral water. Boil for 15 minutes and drink daily.

Hemp seeds are easily digested and very rich in healthy fatty acids, essential amino acids and minerals which can help reduce blood pressure.

Holy basil, when taken daily,  can lower high blood pressure by helping optimize cholesterol levels.

Maqui berry is a Chilean 'super fruit' which contains the highest amount of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural food. It also contains a high amount of compounds which boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption can also help to reduce weight dramatically.

Nuts and raisins: One small daily handful (especially pistachios and walnuts) and raisins have all shown some effect in lowering high blood pressure.

Passionflower is effective in lowering blood pressure since it reduces stress and anxiety.

Pineapple has powerful properties that act as anticoagulants that can reduce high blood pressure.

Pomegranates and pomegranate juice can radically reduce plaque on artery walls. Drink around two large glasses daily.

Valerian contains a natural tranquiliser which relaxes muscles and lowers blood pressure. Daily consumption of valerian will aid in a state of overall relaxation and elimination of stress which will, in turn, decrease blood pressure in people experiencing hypertension.

Wheatgrass has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for the reduction of high blood pressure and lowering of cholesterol. It can easily be grown as a sprout on the windowsill.

See the Nature Cures Sprout page.

Raw juice therapy can successfully treat high blood pressure. The best organic natural foods to juice or blend are: beetroot, carrots, cucumber, grapes, orange and raisins. Add any other the other natural foods on this page if desired.

People who cooked with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils saw a significant drop in blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. The researchers found cooking with a combination of these oils in a variety of ways worked nearly as well as commonly prescribed high blood pressure medication.

Massaging the body with lavender oil can dramatically reduce blood pressure by 50 percent. Lavender works as a vasodilator by relaxing and expanding the blood vessels, thereby causing the blood pressure to lower. Lavender oil can be applied throughout the body or by bathing using either lavender flowers or the oil itself. Boiled lavender leaves and flowers can be used internally, as a tea, which has the added benefits of treating insomnia or an upset stomach.

Bioflavonoids (vitamin P) are vital in their ability to increase the strength of the capillaries (blood vessels) and to regulate their permeability. They assist vitamin C in keeping collagen, the intercellular "cement" in healthy condition; are essential for the proper absorption and use of vitamin C. Also prevents vitamin C from being destroyed in the body by oxidation and is beneficial in hypertension by preventing haemorrhages and ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues and builds a protective barrier against infections. Quercetin is a very highly concentrated form of bioflavonoids derived from citrus fruits.

Herbs and spices known to reduce blood pressure

Lower the blood pressure naturally

The body is already at a disadvantage because of the poor food that has been ingested for so long that any extra stress leads to a downward spiral of health. Shedding pounds, cutting down on sodium, boosting potassium intake, stopping tobacco smoking and limiting alcohol are all proven ways to help control blood pressure.

Check the body mass index chart to find out the ideal weight: Body Mass Index Chart

Cut out coffee
Besides the obvious adverse effects of caffeine on the brain and body, the toxic pesticides used on coffee beans and the roasting process creates a composition of chemicals in coffee which block absorption of many vital nutrients and affect the adrenal glands. This creates a harmful imbalance and toxic affect on the brain and intestines. See the Dangers of Coffee page for more information and alternatives.

Cut out sugar
Sugar is highly addictive and has become more profitable than tobacco and alcohol so it is now added freely to thousands of processed food products to ensure repeat sales but it is one of the most detrimental foods consumed today. The massive rise in diabetes, obesity, heart disease and many other devastating and deadly diseases can be attributed to the daily consumption of high amounts of sugar. Pure honey, sweet potato, Swede, parsnips, coconut, raisins, sultanas, currants and sweet fruits like berries, apricots and peaches can be used as a very simple alternative to give the same satisfaction of a sweet taste but with added benefits of nutrients which sugar (especially bleached white sugar) does not possess. Sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria in the intestines so they crowd out the friendly bacteria which leads to nutrient deficiency, infection, fatigue, depression, a lowered resistance to viruses and yeasts and ultimately to disease. See Dangers of Sugar

Cut out cream and cheese
Use cold-pressed coconut oil, coconut milk or organic plain yoghurt as an alternative to cream in sauces and with fruit. Yoghurt adds some more of those necessary beneficial bacteria to the intestines. Cheese contains too much sodium for those suffering with high blood pressure so should be avoided.

Cut out white flour
White flour has had all the nutritional value bleached and stripped out. Use amaranth, barley, buckwheat, coconut flour, oatmeal, quinoa, rice flour and rye as alternatives. Rye especially cannot be stripped of its nutritional husks in the food manufacturing process. The body needs fibre every single day for the intestines to do their job. See the Fibre page to find out why.

Cleanse the system
Visit the Cleanse and Detoxify page to find out how to flush out the system and detoxify the brain, blood and liver.

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"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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