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This article looks at the scientific research behind some herbs and spices that may help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as having at least one of the following: 1) systolic blood pressure (the top number) over 130 mm Hg; 2) diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) over 80 mm Hg; 3) both systolic and diastolic values above these levels.
Additional to managing hypertension with prescribed medications many dietary and lifestyle changes can also reduce your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that some herbs and spices may reduce blood pressure levels, so you may want to consider adding these to your diet, too.
Basil – is a flavorful herb that comes in various forms. It’s popular in alternative medicine because it’s rich in various powerful compounds. Sweet basil is high in eugenol. Research has linked this plant-based antioxidant to many health benefits, including lowered blood pressure Studies suggest that eugenol may help reduce blood pressure by acting as a natural calcium channel blocker. Calcium channel blockers prevent the movement of calcium into the heart and arterial cells, allowing the blood vessels to relax
Parsley– contains a variety of compounds, such as vitamin C and dietary carotenoids, that may reduce blood pressure. Several studies have shown that carotenoid antioxidants reduce blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.
Celery seeds– are a versatile spice that’s packed with various nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and fiber. Interestingly, some research suggests celery seeds may help lower blood pressure. Researchers have suggested that compounds in celery seed extract may help lower blood pressure by acting as a natural calcium channel blocker. In addition, celery seed is a good source of dietary fiber, which has been linked to lower blood pressure.
Garlic– rich in many compounds that may benefit your heart. In particular, garlic contains sulfur compounds, such as allicin, which may help increase blood flow and relax the blood vessels. Collectively, these factors may help lower blood pressure. A review of 12 studies in over 550 people with high blood pressure found that taking garlic reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 8.3 mm Hg and 5.5 mm Hg, respectively. This reduction was similar to the effects of blood pressure medications.
Thyme– is a flavorful herb packed with numerous healthy compounds. Rosmarinic acid is one such compound. Research has linked it to many benefits, such as reduced inflammation and blood sugar levels, as well as increased blood flow. It may also help reduce blood pressure.
Cinnamon-is an aromatic spice that comes from the inner bark of trees from the Cinnamomum genus. While it’s not fully understood how cinnamon lowers blood pressure, animal research suggests it can help dilate and relax the blood vessels. A review of 9 studies including 641 participants showed that taking cinnamon reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 6.2 mm Hg and 3.9 mm Hg, respectively.
Ginger– is incredibly versatile and a staple in alternative medicine. Both human and animal studies have shown that taking ginger reduces blood pressure in several ways. It acts as a natural calcium channel blocker and natural ACE inhibitor. A study in more than 4,000 people found that those who consumed the most ginger — 2–4 grams per day — had the lowest risk of developing high blood pressure.
Note- These studies have been conducted on animals. More human research is needed to better understand the effects of these herbs in treating high blood pressure (Source: extracted from healthline.com)