How to Handle Hypertension Naturally

High blood pressure is a contributing factor to stroke, heart disease and kidney failure, so it's vital to get it under control. If your doctor prescribes prescription medication to lower your blood pressure, don't ignore her recommendation. It is time to take immediate action, but know that there are natural options.


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      Begin by understanding what pharmaceuticals do. Diuretics purge excess fluid and salt from the body and are often prescribed initially. Beta-blockers reduce the heart rate and its blood output. Sympathetic nerve inhibitors act on the nerves that cause artery constriction. ACE inhibitors block the production of angiotensin, a substance that causes the arteries to constrict, while the angiotensin II receptor blockers interfere with the chemical's effects. Doctors will also prescribe calcium antagonists to lower heart rate and relax blood vessels. It's important to note that all of the prescribed medication interfere with your body's inherent processes. If you can manage do so it's better to control your blood pressure naturally by attacking its causes.

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      Ease stress with meditation or bio feedback. In his book "The Relaxation Response," Herbert Benson, MD, of Harvard has tracked the beneficial effect of meditation on stress relief. According to his studies, daily meditation can reduce hypertension. Biofeedback is simply a machine aided way to get the same effect. For less than $300 you can get a RESPeRATE bio feedback machine that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure within weeks. You can buy one at

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      Know that sodium is a cause of hypertension. It's the seasoning of choice in most prepared and fast foods, so even if you never use a salt shaker you are probably getting a hefty dose. Cut back on salt, to one or two grams a day, then gradually add it back to your diet while monitoring your blood pressure.

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      Be aware that adding more potassium will help lower your blood pressure, so eat bananas, tomatoes, watermelon, celery and leafy vegetables. Foods high in Omega 3' fatty acids like salmon and seasoning like garlic also help control hypertension.

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      Understand that excess weight contributes to high blood pressure risk, so make an effort to lose a few pounds.

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      Consider that daily exercise not only helps lower your weight and stress, but it also directly reduces your risk of hypertension. Find aerobic exercise that you enjoy like bike riding, tennis, hiking or swimming, so that you don't have to force yourself to work out. Yoga is a great exercise option that can be described as moving meditation. It also increases your flexibility.

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      Be aware that a daily glass of wine will also help lower your blood pressure. Don't consume more than two a day for men while women should stick with one. Red wine is better for you than white, because of resveratrol, a longevity aiding compound found in grape skins. Chocolate can have the same effect. Go for dark, mildly sweetened bars without milk or trans fats.

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      Make sure that you get enough fluids through the day. This advice might seem paradoxical given the fact that diuretics are frequently prescribed for prescription hypertension relief, but fluids can help flush salts from the body.

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      Know that L-Arginine, one of the amino acid building blocks of protein, can work as a very potent vasodilator, relaxing your blood vessels. You can take a couple of grams a day. It's sold for less than $22 a pound at

Tips & Warnings

  • This article is not meant to replace the advice of a physician. If you find your blood pressure creeping over 120/80, it's time to start to apply these recommendations.
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