High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
The causes of high blood pressure include:
Atherosclerosis. This is the deposition of fatty materials on the lining of the arteries. It “clogs” the arteries, and narrows the space for blood to travel through. The same volume of blood trying to squeeze through a smaller space, increases the blood pressure.
Damage to the lining of the arteries. Fatty deposits on the lining of the arteries may be due to damage to the endothelial lining. Risk factors for high blood pressure like smoking, caffeine and alcohol may contribute to atherosclerotic plaques that then increase blood pressure.
Aging. As we age, our ability to make healthy collagen declines. The walls of your arteries are made up of collagen. As collagen production declines, the arterial walls can weaken and lead to even more arterial plaque build-up.
Kidney disease. The kidneys are responsible for filtering urine out of your blood. If the kidneys can’t filter out fluid effectively, blood pressure builds.
Risk Factors for Hypertension
There are a number of risk factors that increase your chances of high blood pressure:
Being overweight or obesity
Lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle
Excessive salt intake
Excessive caffeine intake
Excessive alcohol intake
Being older in age
Family history of hypertension
Kidney, adrenal and thyroid disorders
Naturopathic Doctors and High Blood Pressure
Our naturopathic doctors can help to naturally lower your blood pressure without medications using the scientifically validated diet, lifestyle and supplement treatments listed below.
Diet for high blood pressure
Our naturopaths can recommend dietary changes to help with hypertension, strengthen the heart and blood vessels and support the cardiovascular system.
Exercise for hypertension
Our naturopathic doctors can advise on the best exercise to lower blood pressure
Herbs, Vitamins & Minerals
Supplements can be used to naturally lower blood pressure by addressing the underlying cause of why you have hypertension:
- Arteriosclerosis – hardening of the arteries due to build up of plaque on the walls of the artery
- Kidney disease
Acupuncture, TCM and High Blood Pressure
Our TCM and acupuncture expert, Joy Walraven, can help naturally strengthen the cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbs.
Registered Massage Therapy
If blood pressure is high due to stress or tension, massage therapy is an excellent way to reduce stress, increase parasympathetic nervous system activity and promote relaxation and overall wellness.
Low Blood Pressure
Do you get dizzy or light-headed if you stand up too quickly? That sensation you feel is likely from your blood pressure dropping. It shouldn’t. As you stand up your blood pressure should naturally come up to maintain adequate blood flow to your brain.
The body’s mechanisms to increase low blood pressure include increasing your heart rate and contraction, constricting your blood vessels and retaining water. Many of these tools are regulated by the adrenal glands, small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Poorly functioning adrenal glands can negatively influence blood pressure, both high and low blood pressure. The severe version of low adrenal function is termed Addison’s disease, however, there is a spectrum of adrenal dysfunction that is less severe than Addison’s. Other causes of low blood pressure include kidney disease, heart disease, blood loss, shock, dehydration and medication side effects.
Our naturopathic doctors can help regulate both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
Natural Treatment for High Blood Pressure Research
Bae S, Hong YC. Exposure to bisphenol A from drinking canned beverages increases blood pressure:
randomized crossover trial. Hypertension. 2015; 65(2):313-9.
● This study measured the effects of drinking beverages from BPA containing cans versus glass
bottles, and found that after drinking from the cans urinary BPA levels increased by more than
1600% compared to drinking from glass bottles. Systolic blood pressure increased by 4.5 mmHg
after consuming two canned beverages compared with glass beverages.
Coffee, Tea and Caffeine:
Chei CL, Loh JK, Soh A, Yuan JM, Koh WP. Coffee, tea, caffeine, and risk of hypertension: The Singapore
Chinese Health Study. Eur J Nutr. 2017; doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1412-4.
● Large prospective cohort study in Asian population – found inverse U shaped association
between coffee intake and risk of HTN, where drinking one cup of coffee per day was associated
with increased risk, however less than 1 cup of coffee per week or greater than 3 cups of coffee
per day was associated with decreased risk of HTN
Johnson SA, Figueroa A, Navaei N, Wong A, Kalfon R, Ormsbee LT, Feresin RG, Elam ML, Hooshmand S,
Payton ME, Arjmandi BH. Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial
stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension: a randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015; 115(3): 369-77.
Kapil V, Khambata RS, Robertson A, Caulfield MJ, Ahluwalia A. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood
pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015; 65(2): 320-7.
Kim JY, Gum SN, Paik JK, Lim HH, Kim KC, Ogasawara K, Inoue K, Park S, Jang Y, Lee JH. Effects of
nattokinase on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Hypertension Res. 2008;
● Nattokinase supplementation in untreated subjects with pre-HTN or stage 1 HTN resulted in
reduction in SBP and DBP, as well as decrease in renin activity.
Ranasinghe P, Jayawardena R, Pigera S, Wathurapatha WS, Weeratunga HD, Sirimal Premakumara GA,
Katulanda P, Constantine GR, Galappaththy P. Evaluation of pharmacodynamic properties and
safety of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) in healthy adults: a phase I clinical trial.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017; 17:550.
● Systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly during first month, sustained
● Significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol at the end of the 3 month follow up
● Two participants had dyspepsia resulting in discontinuation of study participation.
Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP. Aged garlic extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives: a
dose-response trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013; 67(1): 64-70.
● Duration 12 weeks, three garlic groups (1, 2 or 4 capsules per day of daily aged garlic extract) or
placebo; BP assessed at weeks 4, 8 and 12
● Mean systolic BP decreased by 11.8 mmHg in garlic 2-capsule group over 12 weeks; garlic 1
capsule group was not a significant difference and 4-capsule group was a borderline significant drop
Rodriguez-Leyva D, Weighell W, Edel A, LaVallee R, Dibrov E, Pinneker R, Maddaford T, Ramjiawan B,
Aliani M, Guzman R, Pierce G. Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive
patients. Hypertension. 2013; 62(6):1081-9.
● This study compared the effects of a diet in 30 g milled flaxseed per day with the same types of
foods not containing the flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with
peripheral artery disease. The flaxseed group demonstrated blood pressures of 10 mmHg
systolic BP and 7 mmHg diastolic BP lower than placebo after 6 months – in patients entering
the trial with SBP > 140 mmHg, the flaxseed intervention group demonstrated a decrease in 15
mmHg SBP and 7 mmHg DBP.
Wang Y, Yu H, Zhang X, Feng Q, Guo X, Li S, Li R, Chu D, Ma Y. Evaluation of daily ginger consumption for
the prevention of chronic diseases in adults: a cross-sectional study. Nutrition. 2017; 36:79-84.
● Overall, ginger consumption was associated with decreased risk for hypertension and coronary
heart disease, where probability of illness decreased when level of daily ginger intake increased
Plasma levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) were found to be inversely associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure in women. Source: Nutr J, 2008; 7(1): 35.
In subjects with moderate uncontrolled hypertension, the addition of tomato extract to 1 or 2 anti-hypertensive drugs was found to significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Source: Cardiovasc Drugs Ther, 2008 Dec 4.
Lycopene supplementation greater than 12 mg/day were found to significantly reduce systolic blood pressure. Source: Nutrients, 2013 Sept 18; 5(9): 3696-712.
Adherence to a low-salt diet was found to lower blood pressure in women. The results suggest that older females with hypertension have a sensitivity to dietary sodium intervention. Source: J Hypertens, 2009; 27(1): 48-54.
Dietary salt intake (DSI) in normotensive populations was found to have a linear relationship with blood pressure (BP), emphasizing the strong deleterious effect of DSI on BP. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 66(4):533-5.
Aged Garlic Extract:
Supplementation with aged garlic extract may help lower systolic blood pressure. Source: Maturitas, 2010 Jun 29;.
Supplementation with omega-3 plant sterol esters for 12 weeks was found to decrease triglycerides by 19% and diastolic blood pressure and hsCRP by 7%. Source: Cardiovasc Drugs Ther, 2010 July 9.
Supplementation with magnesium may prevent hypertension in women in the final trimester of pregnancy. Source: Arch Gynecol Obstet, 2013 May 30
After 12 weeks of supplementation in pregnant women, those taking magnesium had significantly lower blood pressure than those in the placebo group. Source: Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013 May 30.
Magnesium has subtle muscle relaxing properties as well as lowering blood pressure and has been found to increase effectiveness of all types of antihypertensive medications. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012
Supplementation with magnesium and potassium can improve the therapeutic effect, decrease dosage, and minimize side effects of antihypertensives. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012
Research has shown that supplementation with magnesium reduces blood pressure. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 66(4):411-8.
Supplementation with vitamins C and E in hypertensive men was found to reduce blood pressure. Source: Clin Exp Hypertens, 2013 May 9.
Vitamin C supplementation in patients with essential hypertension significantly lowered systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures. Source: Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 May;114(10):625-34.
Vitamin C supplementation for a median period of 8 weeks was found to reduce systolic blood pressure. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 April 4
Naringin, a flavonoid responsible for grapefruit’s bitter taste, was found to normalize systolic blood pressure and improve vascular dysfunction and vascular diastolic dysfunction. Source: Nutrients, 2013 Feb 27; 5(3): 637-50.
A causal link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency was discovered in a large-scale genetic study. Source: ScienceDaily, 10 Jun. 2013. Web. 15 Jun. 2013.
Serum concentrations of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone were found to be independently associated with blood pressure and with the presence of hypertension or prehypertension. Source: J Hypertens, 2010 July 5; [Epub ahead of print].
Supplementation with resveratrol may improve flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery in obese subjects with untreated borderline hypertension. Source: Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2010 Jul 29.
Researchers found that decreasing systolic blood pressure to lower than 130 mm Hg in patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease is associated with a increased risk of all-cause mortality. Diet and weight loss were found to be better alternatives for this population of patients. Source: JAMA. 2010;304(1):61-68.
L-theanine was found to decrease blood pressure in high stress-response adults. Source: J Physiol Anthropol. 2012 Oct 29;31(1):28.
Quigong, a Chinese therapy close to Tai Chi involving movement and coordinated breathing patterns, was found to have a positive effect on blood pressure. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.
After supplementation with vitamin E, patients with essential hypertension had significantly lower systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures. Source: Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 May;114(10):625-34.
In hypertensive patients, green tea extract was found to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressures after 3 months. Source: Nutr Res. 2012 Jun; 32(6):421-7. Epub 2012 Jun 20.
After supplementation with vitamins C and E, patients with essential hypertension had significantly lower systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures. Source: Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 May; 114(10):625-34.
Disturbance of slow wave sleep or deep sleep has been linked to cardiovascular dysfunction and increased risk of hypertension. Source: Hypertension. 2011; 58: 596-603.
Low dose (100g) beetroot juice supplementation was found to reduce blood pressure. Source: Br J Nutr, 2012 Mar 14:1-9.
Increased protein intake was found to reduce blood pressure in overweight adults with hypertension. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 95(4):966-71.
Folate intake in young adults was found to significantly lower incidences of hypertension late in life suggesting that folate has a long term effect on blood pressure. Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr 4
Distance reiki, a putative therapy, was found to reduce lower heart rate and blood pressure in elective C-section surgery patients. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.
Epicatechin, found in cocoa, was found to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure after ingestion. Source: Am J Clin Nutr; 2012 Jun; 95(6):1365-77.
Higher intake of dark chocolate is associated with lower blood pressure. Source: Curr Drug Deliv, 2011 June 22.
In patients with obesity-related hypertension, green tea extract was found to reduce cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Source: Nutr Res, 2012 Jun; 32(6):421-7.
Olive Bark Extract:
In patients with hypertension, treatment with Eucommia ulmoides Olive bark extract was found to reduce blood pressure. Source: Altern Med Rev. 2011 Dec; 16(4):338-47.