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How to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

How to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

Q: My doc says I have high blood pressure and prescribed some medication, but I don’t like how it makes me feel. How can I lower my blood pressure naturally?

A: I often call hypertension the “silent killer.” Elevated blood pressure gradually damages the blood vessels in your heart, brain, kidneys and elsewhere, putting your life at risk even when you don’t feel a thing. It is very important to get your blood pressure under control. For most people that means maintaining a systolic number (the one on top) of less than 140 and a diastolic (the number on the bottom) of less than 90. There are some behavioral changes that can help, but while you are doing this lifestyle overhaul, you should continue to use the medications, monitor your blood pressure with a home monitor, and check in with your doctor frequently to see if you need to change the dosages of your medication. With diligence, it is possible to eliminate the need for medications all together or at least reduce the dosages (and the likelihood of side effects).

Here are the starting points:

A moderately low-sodium, low-fat diet with a high intake of fruits and vegetables (called the DASH diet). Learn the specifics about the DASH diet here.
Weight reduction to get your body mass index (BMI) less than 25. Calculate your BMI here.
It is recommended that hypertension patients who consume alcohol have no more than one alcoholic drink (for women) or two alcoholic drinks (for men) daily.
Physical activity (at least 30 minutes of walking or equivalent at least three times per week) is recommended for patients with hypertension who are on medications.

These may seem like deceptively easy steps (and they are), but you have to be committed to improving your health to stick with them.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


+ add your own
12:08PM PST on Feb 10, 2013


4:30AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Thank you Dr. Brent, for Sharing this!

2:57AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Thank you.

11:23PM PST on Feb 9, 2013

Thanks for the information.

4:48PM PDT on Oct 23, 2011


1:16PM PDT on Oct 23, 2011

I find cayenne has helped many of my friends. Cayenne is a spice, which contains medicinal properties that have proven benefits for the human body. Cayenne pepper is dried chilly pepper, which is ground and used as a condiment. People undergoing holistic healing have used and felt the advantages of this pepper for treating high blood pressure. Although I do not have high blood pressure I do use cayenne regularly everyday. Thanks for the article. I will add to my points of interest.

11:14AM PDT on Oct 23, 2011


2:45PM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

Thank You. Saved, emailed to others.

2:44PM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Thank you for this information .... it inspires me to try harder.

7:35PM PST on Feb 13, 2011

The weight-loss part doesn't happen with that amount of exercise - the rest is easy.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Thank You for sharing =)

Cheers! You have really allured me; I have no words to explain my feelings about your post.

I would try that but can't run, don't have a bike or rowing equipment.


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