| Dr. Charlie Ware

Can You Lower Blood Pressure With Herbs? The Answer Lies in Bioactive Nutrients.

High blood pressure ranks high in the list of disease risk factors across the world. The current guidelines for the management and treatment of hypertension advise patients to proactively adopt a healthy diet and implement lifestyle changes.

Among these changes, the bioactive compounds in herbs make a strong case for inclusion based on their abilities to manage and lower blood pressure. Consequently, there has been a marked increase in the use of herbs as a therapeutic treatment of blood pressure over the last two decades.

From potent nervines that reduce cortisol levels in the body to herbal teas that have anti-inflammatory properties, herbal plant-based formulations have been used throughout human history. Their reputation is unrivaled in the traditional medicinal systems across the world.

However, the reputation of herbs isn’t merely driven by their popularity in traditional medicine. Recent research has built upon the traditional use of herbs by enhancing their bioavailability and therapeutic potency. The main reasons for their growing popularity include: 

  • Better bioavailability
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Cheaper alternative 
  • Few to no side effects

 

Also Read: 10 Herbs and Spices to control Hypertension (Blood Pressure): Evidence Based & Science Backed

 

What are Bioactive Compounds?

Bioactive compounds are naturally occurring substances found in small quantities in herbs, plants, and fruits. Various studies [1] have demonstrated how these chemical substances can be valuable in managing, improving, and promoting good health.

Bioactive compounds are found in all natural substances including vegetables and fruits.

However, the phytochemicals in herbs have more diversity and better bioavailability.

There has been extensive research [2] on the bioactive compounds of herbs, a lot of which has focused on their ability to manage blood pressure. The current data on antihypertensive herbs establishes them as a potent therapeutic option to support conventional treatment.

 

High blood pressure and herbs

 

Herbal Bioactive Nutrients to Lower Blood Pressure:

Several major groups of bioactive compounds from herbs/plants have demonstrated a significant capacity to lower blood pressure. Moreover, nutritional intervention studies also linked them to an improvement of vascular function and a decrease in risk factors caused by hypertension.

For instance, research [3] shows that bioactive compounds in turmeric (curcuminoids) have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protective effects. Similarly, studies [4] have found that cinnamon has various cardiovascular-disease-lowering compounds like cinnamaldehyde.

There are a growing number of cases where antihypertensive herbs have helped lower blood pressure in patients who do not respond well to modern medication.

To avail the health benefit of herbs, you can either add them to your diet or use a herbal formulation or supplement.

Various herbs and spices are power-packed with bioactive nutrients with antihypertensive properties.

 

Also Read: Eating Herbs to Correct Epigenetic Alterations Due to High Blood Pressure

 

Why Bioactive Nutrients Through Food May Not be Enough. And Why You Need Supplements.

Bioactive compounds are found in extremely small quantities in food.

And above that, they aren’t easily bioavailable and tend to be ejected from the system without absorption. Trying to attain their health benefits via cooking/cuisine leads to variable and unreliable results. 

 

 

This makes it difficult to control, predict, or estimate actual dietary intake to make it an effective remedy. Additionally, it is difficult to locally source foods rich in these bioactive compounds and it’s even harder to find palatable ways to include herbs like licorice root in your diet.

This is where herbal supplements and polyherbal blends step in to streamline the issues regarding availability, ideal recommended daily dosage, storage/shelf-life, and others. The Healing Blends

HTN-CARE, for instance, is a potent blend of 7 super-herbs that reduce stress and promote better cardiovascular functioning.

It is rich in plant polyphenols and bioactive compounds that improve the integrity of the cardiovascular system and repair the damage inflicted due to hypertension. Its formulation is a meticulous result of well-researched ingredients known for their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure by reducing stress.

To summarize, herbal supplements, blends, and formulations are a better choice because: 

  1. Many herbs/spices cannot be found locally 
  2. It’s hard to adjust to the new taste or add them to your cuisine
  3. Supplements and formulations are backed by studies and clinical trials
  4. Formulations use multiple herbs with precise and deliberate dosage
  5. Herbal blends have a better shelf-life for hassle-free and long-term use

 

High Blood Pressure and herbs

 

 

How Reliable is the Research on Using Herbs to Reduce Hypertension?

The methodology of any scientific study of dietary and nutritional intervention is of great importance. Many early studies allowed participants to self-report their diet. This would lead to unintended statistical inaccuracies and erratic/ambiguous results.

On the other hand, recent research has adopted the methodology of objectively measuring the food intake of participants and studying it using nutritional biomarkers. This is the gold standard for research. In the last decade, many such reliable studies have investigated the bioactive compounds of herbs using a large sample size.

Thus, the results of these studies can be confidently interpreted and used to make clear-cut attributions to the bioactive compounds found in herbs. Time and again, these herbal ingredients have shown promising results as a treatment to effectively manage and lower blood pressure.

 

Article Takeaways:

  • Dietary changes are an essential part of managing hypertension
  • Studies have shown bioactive compounds in plants and herbs are an effective option
  • Herbal bioactive nutrients have better bioavailability and effectiveness
  • A herbal formulation is the ideal way to ensure proper intake and correct dosage 
  • Science-backed herbal blends like HTN-CARE can play a pivotal role in managing blood pressure 

 

Final Thoughts:

High Blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic condition and a principal cause of mortality in the world today. Every patient is advised to manage their condition with a three-pronged approach of dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, and natural supplements. Before you leave, take a look at the four-step action plan we outlined in a previous article.

 

Also Read: Naturally Control Hypertension: Simple, Effective & Often Overlooked Ways

 

High Blood Pressure and herbs

 

 


  References:

  1. Huang WY, Davidge ST, Wu J. Bioactive natural constituents from food sources-potential use in hypertension prevention and treatment. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(6):615-30. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.550071. PMID: 23627503.
  2. Tabassum N, Ahmad F. Role of natural herbs in the treatment of hypertension. Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jan;5(9):30-40. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.79097. PMID: 22096316; PMCID: PMC3210006.
  3. Xu XY, Meng X, Li S, Gan RY, Li Y, Li HB. Bioactivity, Health Benefits, and Related Molecular Mechanisms of Curcumin: Current Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 19;10(10):1553. doi: 10.3390/nu10101553. PMID: 30347782; PMCID: PMC6213156.
  4. Rao PV, Gan SH. Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:642942. doi: 10.1155/2014/642942. Epub 2014 Apr 10. PMID: 24817901; PMCID: PMC4003790.

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