Erin Schumcher, Guest
High blood pressure causes no symptoms until complications develop, hence it is known as the ‘silent killer.’
There are many possible causes of high blood pressure: cigarette smoking, stress, obesity, high sodium intake, and excessive use of stimulants like coffee, tea or drugs. And chances are, if you are reading this, you (or someone you know) has high blood pressure.
What is our Blood?
Blood is the fluid inside the body that transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells and carries waste away from the cells. It also transports cells involved in the immune and inflammatory response, hormones, and other chemical messengers that regulate the body’s functions, and platelets that help facilitate the blood clotting necessary to repair damaged blood vessels. Blood is circulated in the body by the pumping action of the heart propelling blood through various blood vessels. Proper and healthy circulation and function of blood throughout the body is critical for health and even for the sustaining of life!
What does it mean when your blood pressure is high?
When the heart pumps blood through the arteries, the blood presses against the walls of the blood vessels. In people who suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), this pressure is abnormally high. If blood pressure is elevated, the heart must work harder to pump an adequate amount of blood to all the tissues of the body. About one in every three Americans have high blood pressure. From 1995 to 2005, the increase in death from high blood pressure increased 25%! High blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and death.
So, what can you do?
Luckily for you, there are dietary changes you can make to help your little heart out. Additionally, there are ways to change your current lifestyle to reduce stress and increase the amount of joy in your life! You can even add in essential oils and herbs to naturally reduce your blood pressure!
Solutions to Naturally Reduce your Blood Pressure
One: Essential Oils
There are certain essential oils that help reduce blood pressure. I only use the doTERRA brand. If you use another, make sure you use a brand that can be taken internally (not all oils are suitable for ingestion).
Lemon: When taken internally it will regulate your blood pressure (raise or lower as necessary).
Ylang Ylang: Studies have shown that those who applied this oil to their skin had decreased blood pressure and reported feeling more calm and relaxed then those in the control group.
Marjoram: Studies have demonstrated that marjoram (in addition to eucalyptus) helps to lower blood pressure without decreasing heart rate, through vascular wall relaxation.
Additional helpful oils: eucalyptus, lavender, clover, clary sage, and wintergreen.
Avoid: rosemary, thyme, and peppermint.
Want more information on essential oil usage? Check out this great book or just email me with questions!
Two: Yoga and Meditation
Chill out! Seriously. A high-stress lifestyle more easily leads to high blood pressure than a low-stress lifestyle. By adopting a daily yoga and/or meditation practice you calm the body and the mind. Luckily there are yoga studios popping up EVERYWHERE nowadays, and plenty of online sources as well. Check out YogaGlo,DoYogaWithMe, or YOME to start your home practice today! Or, you can do virtual yoga with me! All you need is a camera on your computer and a good internet connection.
Three: Liver and Gallbladder Flush
Poor blood flow through the liver always affects the heart. When movement through the liver is obstructed because of gallstones, the slowed blood circulation stresses the heart, raises blood pressure and injures blood vessels. Almost all types of heart disease have one thing in common: blood flow is being obstructed.But blood circulation does not become disrupted easily. It must be preceded by a major congestion of the bile ducts in the liver. Gallstones obstructing the bile ducts dramatically reduce or cut off the blood supply to the liver cells.
Flushing out the liver can help for a variety of health problems, but when high blood pressure is concerned, a series of liver flushes is highly recommended!
Four: Adopt a Healthy Sleep Cycle
The cyclic alternation of night and day regulate our natural sleep/wake cycles as well as various biochemical processes. The onset of daylight triggers the release of cortisol and corticosterone. Peak levels occur between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. These hormones regulate some of the more important functions in the body, including metabolism, blood sugar level, and immune responses. The natural rhythm of the body is to be in bed sometime after/around sundown, ideally before 10pm. The natural rhythm is to awaken with the sun, or around 6 a.m. If, for example, you go to bed after midnight and get up around 8 or 9 a.m., the body is forced to create a hormonal time-shift which can create a chaotic condition in the body.
An upset cortisol cycle can bring on acute health problems. We need our ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason because of all the biological processes that occur during the night. It is during the night when our bodies cleanse and repair themselves and do the most of the rejuvenation work. Studies have shown that those who work the ‘night shift’ have a greater incidence of insomnia, infertility, cardiovascular illness, and stomach problems.
Five: Drink Enough Water
In addition, the body uses a lot of water to maintain normal blood volume, hydrate the cells and connective tissues, cleanse out toxins, and carry out literally thousands of other functions. Aim for at least six to eight glasses of water a day. The most important time to drink water is right after waking. This helps the kidneys to dilute and excrete the toxins released during the night. Having enough water available in your body helps ensure that the blood, bile, and lymph remain sufficiently fluid to conduct their respective activities in the body.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, make sure and drink plenty of water. By increasing your water consumption, you may find that your blood pressure naturally decreases.
There are certain herbs that are toted in their natural blood pressure lowering abilities! Instead of taking your blood pressure lowering meds, why not first try a natural route?
Hawthorn Berries: The active principles in these berries appear to be flavonois, which slowly act on circulatory and cardiac problems by causing dilation of the blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries, thereby causing reduction in blood pressure.
Typical daily usage: 2-6 teaspoons of the fresh berry; 1-3 grams of the dried berry; or 2 grams dried berry in 10ml water/alcohol extract. It’s suggested to take it with a meal to avoid nausea.
Passion Flower: Herbalists have had great success using passion flower to treat imbalances of the nervous system, including nervous tension and stress headaches. Because it is a sedative, it makes it a great cure for high blood pressure. The medicinal properties of passion flower are attributed primarily to its alkaloids and flavonoids. The true effect of this plant works only when the alkaloids and flavonoids have not been separated. Passion flower also has a high antifungal principle called passicol that shows pretty good power in killing the candida species.
Typical daily usage: 1-2 tablespoons of the fresh herb; 1-3 grams of the dried herb; or 2 grams dried herb in 10ml water/alcohol extract.
Siberian Ginseng Root: Siberian Ginseng contains saponins called eleuthrosides. These chemicals are more commonly known as adaptogens. Adaptogens are non-toxic compounds that increase resistance to physical, chemical, and emotional stress. These compounds are activated when one is under stress. They work to increase the activity of natural killer cells and other immune cell and chemicals. They also increase the efficiency with which oxygen is delivered to individual cells. Blood pressure, as a result, is normalized.
Typical daily usage: 1-2 teaspoons of the fresh root; 0.5-1 gram of the dried herb; or 1 gram dried root in 5ml water/alcohol extract.
Seven: Dietary Changes
- Follow a salt-free diet.
- Eat a high-fiber diet.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but especially: apples, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, melons, peas, prunes, raisins, squash, and sweet potatoes. Fruits and vegetables cause the release of a hormone that opens up blood vessels. Eating up to twelve servings a day of both fruits and vegetables can reduce blood pressure.
- Drink fresh (and alive) vegetable and fruit juices daily. Make sure to include: beet, carrot, celery, currant, cranberry, citrus fruit, parsley, spinach, and watermelon.
- Eating more fresh garlic has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure. (It’s also a great immunity booster!)
- Avoid animal fats such as: bacon, beef, chicken, liver, dairy products, pork, sausage, and all smoked and processed meats. The ‘best’ animals foods to eat in moderation are: broiled whitefish, and skinless turkey or chicken. Essentially avoid saturated animal fats.
- Avoid foods such as: aged cheeses, aged meats, anchovies, avocados, chocolate, fava beans, pickled herring, sour creams, wine and yogurt.
- Avoid all alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
- Fast for three to five days each month. (A fast is a period where you consume only water and/or fresh vegetable/fruit juices.) Periodic cleanses help the body to detoxify.
By adopting any or all of these practices, I’m more than confident that you can either prevent high blood pressure or normalize your high blood pressure! Are you familiar with any others to add to the list?
About the Author
Erin Schumacher is a health and nutrition theorist and healer, and shares her love of yoga and self-healing with her students and personal coaching clientele. Please visit her excellent website at www.ErinSchumacher.net.
Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Radiation from Medical Procedures in
the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease
Medical Journal Lancet
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Science by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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