Alternative Medicine for High Blood Pressure

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Known as the silent killer, hypertension damages your entire body without you even knowing about it. This lesson goes over alternative therapies for treating high blood pressure.

Hypertension

Do you know what a healthy blood pressure is? If you said 120/80 mm Hg, you're correct. In the mainstream sense of things, of course. What you may not know is that there's some pretty good alternative scientific evidence that shows a blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg is actually bad for you over the long run and that a healthy blood pressure is closer to 115/75 mm Hg or less.

In the same spirit, high blood pressure, or hypertension has mainstream and readily accepted treatments, as well as alternative ones that aren't as well known. The alternative treatments outlined in this lesson don't have as much (or any) credible evidence for them as that figure of 115/75 mm Hg you just got, however. So keep that in mind as you read on. Also, keep in mind that you should talk to a licensed healthcare professional prior to starting, stopping or changing any treatments for your hypertension.

Dietary Therapies

Today, we're going to visit Betty's house. Betty's a big believer in managing her hypertension with alternative therapies. The first thing you do is go to Betty's kitchen. Immediately, you spot a few things: there are a lot of vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts. These foods have a lot of fiber and fiber may help control high blood pressure. You also see a big pitcher of water. Betty drinks clean water on a regular basis to stay hydrated in order to help minimize the risk of developing worsening high blood pressure.

What you don't see is sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol or saturated (animal) fats like butter. All of these can increase the risk of hypertension. Betty doesn't eat foods with high (or any) amounts of these substances. However, she makes sure to eat plenty of foods that contain potassium. As a result you see lots of apples, bananas and asparagus lying around.

What is unmistakable, though, isn't what you see, it's what you smell! You can smell onions and garlic in the entire kitchen. Betty just finished cooking some soup with those ingredients because onions and garlic are believed to lower a person's blood pressure. The soup also contains lots of celery, which might lower Betty's blood pressure, as well. For desert, Betty tells you she eats dark chocolate with some pomegranate juice, as both could have anti-hypertensive effects.

After she finishes her meal, Betty begins to take a few supplements. She shows you a cabinet full of them, all believed to help lower blood pressure in one way or another. You pick them up and read on the label:

  • Hawthorn, an herb that might decrease blood pressure by dilating the arterial wall
  • Hibiscus, in the form of tea, might have anti-hypertensive effects
  • Fish oil supplements
  • Coenzyme Q10, a kind of antioxidant
  • Calcium and magnesium, both are types of minerals
  • Taurine, a type of amino acid
  • Homeopathic remedies such as Argentum Nitricum, Glonoinum and Nux Vomica, to name just a few.

Further Alternative Therapies

Betty isn't done, though! After taking all of those supplements and homeopathic remedies, she show you a few points on her body. Nope, those aren't liver spots, they're acupressure points. Betty uses self-massage techniques on various spots on her body to try and relieve her high blood pressure. She shows you the acupuncture points she stimulates: Bladder 38, which is said to lower blood pressure and Heart 3 and Heart 7, which are said to help with circulation in the heart and chest. She also goes to see an acupuncture specialist to help lower her blood pressure with the help of specialized needles.

Betty then takes you to a special room in her home. As you walk in, you're almost overwhelmed by the smells. You swear you can smell ylang-ylang, lavender and marjoram. All of these essential oils are claimed to help a person relax and lower their blood pressure. Betty uses this room for her aromatherapy.

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