Can High Blood Pressure Be Treated Naturally?

Integrating Natural Supplements With Your Blood Pressure Medications

Garlic bulbs
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Many people who are on medications for their blood pressure ask what natural supplements they can take to help manage their blood pressure and potentially reduce their need for medications. Treating high blood pressure naturally is often a gradual process as it requires working with your physician to see not only if and when a certain medication can be stopped but when and how quickly. Certain medications can be stopped quickly without worrying about rebound hypertension.

Others, like beta blockers and Clonidine, cannot and must be decreased slowly.

Natural Supplements for Treating Hypertension

Before integrating any new natural therapies, be sure that you speak with your physician or health care provider especially as you potentially begin to reduce the dose and/or frequency of your blood pressure medications. 

Here are some natural supplements that can be used to treat your blood pressure.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is a natural antioxidant with both antibacterial and antifungal properties. Several studies have demonstrated that it has effective blood pressure lowering properties. In one study, it was olive leaf extract was as effective as Captopril (an older member of the class of medications known as ACE Inhibitors) at lowering blood pressure. This is a natural supplement with little side effects. A usual recommended starting dose is 500 mg a day and I will increase this to 1000-1500 mg a day over a period of a few weeks.

Olive leaf extract has been helpful in those situations where the blood pressure was higher and either the person strongly was against adding another medication or was in a position that few if any other medications could be added.

Magnesium

The effects of low magnesium levels on high blood pressure have been discussed in other articles like Magnesium Deficiency and Hypertension.

Supplementing with magnesium is an excellent way to help lower blood pressure. There are many different types of magnesium; some of the better forms of magnesium include magnesium glycinate, magnesium threonate, and magnesium malate

The threonate form can be beneficial if you are suffering from migraine headaches (the threonate form can cross the blood brain barrier) and malate is a great addition if you have low energy levels.In general, you want to be sure that you are consuming about 400-600 mg of magnesium daily between your supplements and your diet. Magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea for some.

Pycnogenol

Also referred to as pine bark extract, pycnogenol can help reduce blood pressure as well as treating high cholesterol. In one study of 66 patients who consumed 150 mg of pycnogenol on a daily basis, it improved aspects of the metabolic syndrome. There was a reduction in waist size, improvement in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and blood pressure compared to the control group.

It may be that the changes in body chemistry due to improving markers of metabolic syndrome also helped to improve blood pressure.

In another study, the use of Pycnogenol at a dose of 200 mg was demonstrated to improve endothelial function and markers of oxidative stress in patients In this study, the effects on this were minimal.

While the blood pressure lowering effects of this compound were modest in some studies, the improvements in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, waist circumference and even blood glucose lowering effects which overall can only improve your blood pressure health. I would start in smaller doses like 200-250 mg daily.

Garlic

Some of the important similarities between garlic and pycnogenol include their effects in improving endothelial dysfunction. Garlic, particularly aged garlic extract also thins the blood. It has effective blood pressure lowering properties. In one study, fifty patients who had difficult to control high blood pressure (as defined as a systolic blood pressure > 140 mmHg) were either treated with garlic or a placebo. Over the 12 week testing period, those in the garlic treated group saw a reduction in systolic blood pressure​ of at least 10 points compared to the control group.

Garlic is an excellent supplement that you can add to your blood pressure regimen.  Because many people are on blood thinning medication and garlic is a blood thinner, I will start at lower doses of 250- 500 mg and increase slowly. While there are several different forms of garlic, I tend to like the garlic capsules of aged garlic extract.

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