Supplements and Other Alternatives
Although there are supplements that can be helpful, such as the ones I’ve listed here, it’s important to understand that they should never be considered as an alternative to the primary recommendations above, which treat the real cause of the problem.
Only using the supplements below without incorporating the lifestyle recommendations discussed above is an allopathic approach not very different from using drugs. In most instances, it is not likely to be effective.
- Calcium and magnesium. Daily calcium and magnesium supplementation can be useful in lowering blood pressure, especially if yours is on the high end of high. However, if you avoid sugars and grains and eat for your Nutritional Type™ (see above), it’s unlikely additional calcium or magnesium supplements will be necessary.
- Vitamins C and E. Studies indicate that these vitamins can be helpful in lowering blood pressure. If you’re eating for your nutritional type, you should be getting the right amount of both these nutrients through your diet alone. If you decide you need a supplement, make sure to take a natural (not synthetic) form of vitamin E. You can tell what you’re buying by carefully reading the label. Natural vitamin E is always listed as the ‘d-‘ form (d-alpha-tocopherol, d-beta-tocopherol, etc.) Synthetic vitamin E is listed as ‘dl-‘ forms.
- Olive leaf extract. In one 2008 study, supplementing with 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract daily over eight weeks caused a significant dip in both blood pressure and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol in people with borderline hypertension. If you want to incorporate olive leaves as a natural adjunct to a nutritionally sound diet, you should look for fresh leaf liquid extracts for maximum synergistic potency. You can also prepare your own olive leaf tea by placing a large teaspoon of dried olive leaves in a tea ball or herb sack. Place it in about two quarts of boiling water and let it steep for three to 10 minutes. The tea should be a medium amber color when done.
- Electrical acupuncture. Acupuncture combined with electrical stimulation has shown to temporarily lower elevations in blood pressure in animals by as much as 50 percent. It’s currently undergoing testing in humans and could be a promising alternative treatment for controlling blood pressure.
- Breastfeeding. Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed for more than 12 months have a dramatically reduced risk of developing hypertension. Researchers believe long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (the same found in fatty fish) in breast milk provide a protective effect for newborns.
- Quick tricks. Increasing nitric monoxide in your blood can open constricted blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. Methods for increasing the compound include taking a warm bath, breathing in and out through one nostril (close off the other nostril and your mouth), and eating bitter melon, rich in amino acids and vitamin C.
Like obesity, high blood pressure is an epidemic. And, like obesity, your best treatment is to evaluate your lifestyle and make the necessary adjustments.
A natural approach to preventing disease and healing yourself when illness strikes it is always the better choice. In the case of high blood pressure, lifestyle changes — with particular emphasis on normalizing your insulin levels — can put you on the road to a drug-free, all natural return to optimal health.