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 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter


Alternative and Complementary Remedies for Hypertension

Common Sense Recommendations for Hypertension

Lean Diet

A diet high in fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis. The more clogged the arteries, the higher your blood pressure becomes. Cut down on meat (especially the red meat such as beef and pork), dairy (except for non-fat milk), heavy desserts, and fried foods. A vegetarian diet rich in fiber is recommended for your heart and your blood pressure.

Take a diet that is rich in high potassium foods (vegetables and fruits) and essential fatty acids. Daily intake of potassium should total 7 grams per day. The diet should be low in saturated fat, sugar and salt. In general, a whole food diet emphasizing vegetables and members of the garlic/onion family should be consumed.

Take one to three tablespoons of herbal bulking formula containing such things as oat fiber, guar gum, apple pectin, gum karaya, psyllium seed, dandelion root powder, ginger root powder, fenugreek seed powder and fennel seed powder.

Eliminate the use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

Reduce the Intake of Salt

Sodium increases the amount of fluid in your vascular system. When more liquid flows through your arteries, the blood pressure increases. Minimize the salt in your cooking or on the table. Many canned foods are also high in salt.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise increases flexibility and improves circulation. It is great for cardiovascular health.

Exercise for half an hour three to four times a week. A vigorous daily walk is easy and is good for heart. Yoga, tai chi, and aerobic exercises are also good. 
Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Practice Yoga and Deep Breathing

Yoga asanas and deep breathing provides great relaxation. It also is a good exercise and hence is great for cardiovascular health. Recommended Yoga postures include the Shoulder Stand, Cobra, and, the corpse (Savasana) poses . You can also use yoga nidra or yoga relaxation.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Being overweight is associated with high blood pressure.

Minimize Stress

Hypertension is often associated with excessive stress. Take time every day for meditation, deep breathing, quiet listening to soothing music, Yoga stretching, and other activities that help you relax. For example, Transcendental Meditation (TM) was found to be as effective as anti-hypertensive medication, in clinical trials sponsored by US National Institutes of Health. Unlike drugs, Transcendental Meditation has no side effects and costs less.

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