Since hypertension is a common health concern among Filipinos, it’s not surprising that many are looking for natural remedies. However, is there a good herbal for high blood pressure? It turns out that we have 4 potentially helpful herbs that can relieve hypertension.
Garlic or Bawang
One mainstay herbal for hypertension, especially for us, Filipinos, is garlic or bawang.
Several studies conclude that garlic can help with many cardiovascular conditions because it can improve hyperlipidemia (increased cholesterol levels) and hypertension.
One study found out that garlic can aid patients with increased systolic pressure (the number on top). However, it doesn’t seem to affect participants with normal systolic pressure.
To put it into perspective, the researchers gave garlic to 40 patients – 20 of whom have high blood pressure and the rest have normal BP. The antihypertensive properties were observed in patients with high BP compared to the participants with normal BP.
How to Use Garlic or Bawang
There are many ways to use garlic as an herbal for high blood pressure.
Perhaps, the safest is to include raw or freshly cooked garlic in small amounts to your meals. There are also available garlic powder, garlic oil, and aged garlic extract in the market. Finally, you have the option to take supplements that contain garlic.
Remember that if you’re planning to use garlic to treat your hypertension, especially by way of taking supplements, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor.
Celery and Celery Seeds
Celery is also a common Filipino herb that we use in preparing foods. A part of the Apiaceae family and a relative of carrots, celery is said to be an effective herb for high blood pressure. One reason for this is that this herb can relax the tissues of the arterial walls and increase blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure.
To analyze the effects of celery in hypertension, a study in Mainland China employed the participation of 16 hypertensive patients.
- The researchers gave them celery juice mixed with equal parts of honey.
- The patients drank about 8 ounces of the mixture thrice a day for one week.
- Results showed that the herb was “useful in reducing HTN (hypertension) in 14 of 16 patients”
One study also evaluated the effects of celery’s seeds on high blood pressure.
- In the study, the researchers gave 37 hypertensive participants (17 male, 20 female) 6 grams of powdered celery seeds.
- Afterward, they compared the blood pressure readings before and after the remedy.
- In their analysis, the researchers concluded that the seeds “can be used as a safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure.”
- However, more studies are needed to compare its effects with the effects of existing antihypertensive drugs.
How to Use Celery
Like garlic, you can add celery to many dishes. But if you want to maximize its antihypertensive effects, experts suggest eating roughly 4 stalks daily. This is equivalent to about 1 cup of chopped celery stalks.
Cilantro or Coriander
Another common culinary ingredient is cilantro or coriander. In traditional medicine, it’s also famous for its gastrointestinal and cardiovascular benefits.
Although many people consider cilantro as a good herbal for high blood pressure, there are no studies yet to prove the claim. However, there are several scientific explanations as to why it can help hypertensive patients.
For one, the extract of coriander leaves seems to increase antioxidant enzymes. Additionally, its vasodilator effect – the ability to dilate or widen vessels to decrease pressure – is “well-established.”
How to Use Cilantro or Coriander
As its antihypertensive effects are not yet backed by studies, it’s not advisable to use this herb to treat high blood pressure. However, you can continue using it as an ingredient in dishes and reap its well-established vasodilatory effects.
You can use coriander to add flavor to your dishes like curry. Some people also add them to their baked goods. Finally, you can dry-fry coriander seeds and then use them for pickling or ground them for curry paste.
Now, if you’re looking for an herbal for high blood pressure that you can quickly prepare, consider a cup of green tea.
Due to its plethora of claimed benefits, a lot of researchers have conducted various studies to identify if green tea can really improve or prevent conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and, of course, hypertension.
In several meta-analysis studies, researchers found out that drinking green tea decreased the systolic pressure by up to 1.98 mmHg and the diastolic pressure by up to 1.92 mmHg.
In another research, the investigators gave 379 mg of green tea extract to obese, hypertensive participants. After 12 weeks of treatment, results showed that both the systolic and diastolic pressure decreased by about 4mmHg.
How to Use Green Tea
The easiest way to use green tea is to purchase green tea packets or leaves. Prepare them using the given instructions which involve steeping them in hot water.
While it’s generally safe to drink green tea in moderation, you need to talk to your doctor if you plan to use it to treat your hypertension. Additionally, be careful in consuming green tea if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are taking medications that may interact with it (eg. anti-anxiety, heart medications).
Garlic, celery, coriander, and green tea are all generally safe to consume in good amounts. These types of herbal for high blood pressure are also easy to acquire and prepare. And while there are studies that conclude their effectiveness in treating hypertension, don’t forget to consult your doctor before incorporating them into your diet.
Hypertension is a serious condition that requires holistic management. This means that although taking an herbal for the high blood pressure may help, you still need to improve your diet, work out appropriately, and visit your doctor regularly.