So, you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle to better manage blood pressure and avoid complications, right? If you go online and look for herbal supplements for high blood pressure, you will find hundreds of them with many health claims attached. But which one is the most effective, you may wonder?
Here, we will tell you what the research studies tell us are the best herbal supplements on the market. Researchers now have a better understanding of how they work, although many have long been around as part of folk medicine.
Still, the best approach to using herbal supplements for high blood pressure is to seek medical advice. Make sure you talk to a doctor who is an expert in natural products to get the best supplements in the right doses. It’s also vital to avoid interactions with prescription drugs.
As a member of the onion, shallot, and leek family, garlic has been used for thousands of years in folk medicine. It is most well-known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. But as it turns out, garlic promotes heart health, too. A review of 20 research studies showed that garlic can reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and lower total and LDL cholesterol by as much as 10%. This means it can help prevent heart diseases.
According to one study, garlic extract was just as good as the drug “Atenolol” at decreasing blood pressure over a six-month period. You can also simply add garlic to your diet, either fresh or cooked.
In research, the Kyolic brand of aged garlic is the most widely studied. The “extra-strength formula” for heart health contains 1 g of aged garlic.
Allicin is one of its key active ingredients. Garlic is also a source of fiber, manganese, selenium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Since garlic has blood thinner qualities, use it with caution if you take prescription blood thinners like Warfarin.
Hawthorn is found in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for heart health. The key active ingredients are flavonoids and oligomeric procyanidins.
You can find hawthorn in any health food store either as a tea or in supplement form. The most studied hawthorn extracts are WS 1442 and LI 132. Hawthorn is as good as the prescription drug “Captopril,” according to one study. Hawthorn may help mild to moderate cases of heart failure, according to lab and ultrasound testing.
Interestingly, hawthorn seems to promote healthy blood pressure levels in both those with high and low blood pressure. If the blood pressure is too high, hawthorn lowers it. If the blood pressure is too low, hawthorn helps raise it. Other health benefits include anti-anxiety effects and digestive help. The daily dose of hawthorn berry powder is 1000 mg. For hawthorn extract, it’s 300 mg 1-2x per day.
Berberine can help in cases of diabetes comorbid with high blood pressure because it helps lower blood sugar levels. Based on a few research studies, berberine shows similar success compared to the anti-diabetes drug “Metformin.” Moreover, berberine may help lose excess weight and has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
The daily dose is 500 mg berberine (from berberis root extract). In terms of drug interactions, one should note that berberine increases the effects of anti-diabetes, antihypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering agents. Therefore, taking this pill may require your doctor to adjust your prescription drugs.
Cinnamon is not only a tasty spice, but it can also help you manage high blood pressure and balance your blood sugar levels. It appears to lower the blood pressure by dilating and relaxing the blood vessels. Taking cinnamon often for over 3 months may help you lower your SBP by 6.2 mmHg and DBP by 3.9 mmHg, based on the results of a research study.
When it comes to blood sugar levels, cinnamon helps regulate both low and high glucose levels. Although most studies found cinnamon to help manage diabetes, it also helps with hypoglycemia. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
The daily dose varies from 500 to 2400 mg. Cinnamon extract is also found as a pill. True Ceylon cinnamon is a better choice than the common Cassia cinnamon found in stores. Read more about the link between high blood pressure and diabetes in this article.
When you decide to make changes to your diet and fitness plan and take herbal supplements, make sure you watch your blood pressure. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication as your health is improving. It is best to seek medical advice before starting herbal supplements. Don’t stop using prescription drugs on your own. Improving your sleep and reducing stress can further help keep your blood pressure in check.