What 9 herbs and supplements might lower your blood pressure (*and which common candy can make it go up)?

1) Garlic. A few smaller studies seem to suggest that garlic might help lower your blood pressure. Larger, more clinically sound studies are needed to establish a definite connection.

2) Cocoa. Cocoa is packed with antioxidants known as polyphenols. Some studies have shown people who eat chocolate have median blood pressure reductions of 4.7 points systolic and 2.8 points diastolic. Results like this are in line with what you might expect from some common blood pressure medications. There are some catches though…
1) Chocolate also contains oxalate, which binds to calcium and inhibits its absorption into our bodies. 2) Further complicating the picture, sugar might be linked with blocking calcium too. 3) Chocolate is also very high in saturated fat. Maybe you might want to consider some other foods that are rich in polyphenols like: apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapes, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, celery, onions and parsley.

3) Blond psyllium. The research is inconclusive, but 12 grams of soluble fiber per day might help reduce your blood pressure. A good source of soluble fiber is blond psyllium husk. Other top sources of fiber are beans (pinto, lima, kidney, etc.), peas (black-eyed, etc.) and lentils.

4) Calcium. Diets low in calcium have been linked to an increased incidence of high blood pressure. But… taking calcium supplements has not been associated with preventing high blood pressure. Excellent natural sources of calcium include: Milk; yogurt; cheese; sunflower seeds; sesame seeds; dark green leafy veggies; fortified tofu; and fish with small edible bones (like sardines and salmon).

5) Vitamin D. Recent research shows some promise that Vitamin D might help protect against high blood pressure by helping maintain healthy levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood. Excellent food sources include: cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, milk, egg yolks, beef liver, cheese and dairy, and tuna or sardines canned in oil. Plus, ten minutes a day of sunshine helps your body make its own natural Vitamin D.

6) DHA and EPA. These are Omega-3 fatty acids, most often associated with fish and fish oil capsules. Some research shows a small reduction in blood pressure with these fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids. There are some risks associated with the higher doses that might be needed to get any benefit though, including internal bleeding.

7) Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Alpha-linolenic acid is the veggie-derived precursor to Omega-3. One study suggested that flaxseed (high in ALA) might reduce blood pressure, but right now the evidence is less compelling than that with fish-derived Omegas. Excellent sources include: flaxseed oil, linseed oil, soybean oil, olive oil, canola oil and walnut oil.

8) Coenzyme Q-10. This vitamin-like coenzyme with antioxidant properties is a key part of cellular energy production. Low levels have been linked with high blood pressure, but it’s not clear if this is a cause or effect. More studies are needed before a conclusive connection can be made.

9) Anti-ACE peptides. This all-natural supplement is derived from the 'bonito' fish. Three clinical studies have shown that two thirds of people with high blood pressure respond significantly to it. Better yet, not a single person in safety studies has reported any negative side effects.

*Now, which common candy can make your blood pressure go up? Licorice. It contains glycyrrhetinic acid (say that three times fast) which is linked to sodium and water retention - and therefore increased blood pressure. Of course in today's world of artificial flavorings, you might be hard pressed to find real licorice. Good news - the fake stuff isn't linked to blood pressure issues. [As yet another interesting side note: DGL – which is licorice which has had that (glycyrrhetinic) acid removed, is clinically proven for treating peptic ulcers and reflux disease. In double-blind tests, it beats Zantac and Tagamet.]

So, getting back to the main question of what herbs and supplements might lower your blood pressure… Does this mean that you can eat things like a sesame seed encrusted piece of salmon, drizzled in garlic infused olive oil, served on a bed of leafy greens with a side of lentil soup and your blood pressure will go down? Yes, and it's been clinically proven through studies such as the DASH diet.

To get your FREE copy of the DASH Diet, visit us at: www.LowerBloodPressureDrugFree.com.

[Your needs are unique. Overdoing one thing can create unforeseen issues elsewhere, especially with drug interactions. Vitamins and supplements are dangerous in high doses. The best place to start is to meet with your doctor and see what dietary changes make the most sense for your whole health picture.]

To learn more about natural ways to lower your blood pressure without drugs, watch our FREE video "127 Secrets that the Drug Industry DON'T Want You to Know" at www.LowerBloodPressureDrugFree.com.

Author's Bio: 

Andy Krals is the creator of numerous naturopathic medical programs, including The Breathtaking Nature Method, available at http://lowerbloodpressuredrugfree.com/