As a growing epidemic, it is important for us to find ways to not only treat high blood pressure but to also prevent it.
Harmful Effects of High Blood Pressure
A patient’s blood pressure is determined by their systolic pressure over their diastolic pressure. This means the pressure of the blood as it is pumping over the pressure of the blood between heartbeats.This measures how much work a patient’s heart must do to carry blood throughout the body.When a patient’s blood pressure is high, it means that their heart is working too hard to distribute their blood.This leaves little time for the heart to relax, which results in stress on the muscle that can lead to a heart attack. A normal blood pressure is around 120/80, and anything over this range is considered to be high.
While there is not one single cause for high blood pressure, there are many factors that can put one at risk.
Some unhealthy lifestyle factors that may lead to high blood pressure are inactivity, smoking, high sodium diet, alcohol consumption, and a diet low in fresh produce.
While lifestyle habits can be altered, genetics cannot, and they may also contribute to high blood pressure.
One’s age can also be a factor on blood pressure. Other disorders, such as sleep apnea and kidney disorders can also raise blood pressure numbers.
There are several prescription medicines that aim to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure. Some prescriptions cause the blood vessels to have less constriction, while others increase the salts and liquid that a patient’s body expels, which relaxes the blood vessels.
Some drugs even slow the heart rate in order to reduce its force.
While these medications may be helpful, they do not come without side effects. Some can result in a persistent cough, others in dizziness, gout, and impotence. For this reason, it is important to see these prescription medications as a temporary healing agent, rather than a cure for high blood pressure.
A change in one’s lifestyle will have a greater impact on improving one’s blood pressure.
With continued research, people are realizing the importance of proper lifestyle changes over depending on high blood pressure medications.
In addition to medications, patients are urged to make dietary changes, increase exercise, decrease stress levels, and maintain a proper weight.
With the risks and side effects of prescription medications, many people are turning to natural remedies and preventative treatments for high blood pressure.
While a lot of success has been found in the use of supplements such as magnesium, CoQ10, potassium, and fish oil, the benefits of these supplements can be increased when used with essential oils. Here are some of the best essential oils to use for high blood pressure.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil is typically used in cosmetics, due to its crisp and refreshing smell. However, studies have recently shown that this powerful essential oil has several medicinal benefits as well.
For example, studies have revealed that bergamot essential oil reduces high blood pressure when it is diffused and inhaled for 15-60 minutes. This means that those who use bergamot essential oil for aromatherapy typically show a significant reduction not only in their blood pressure but also their heart rate.
Bergamot essential oil is also known to improve one’s mood. Studies performed in a high-stress environment found that those who inhaled bergamot essential oil had a reduction in their anxiety level as well as an improved mood.
When bergamot essential oil is inhaled, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are released, creating a feeling of well-being. An aromatherapy session with bergamot essential oil can help lower blood pressure, as well as reduce the impulse to reach for comfort foods, due to the increase of dopamine in the brain.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage essential oil has been shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as significantly reduce respiratory rates of those who use it during aromatherapy. Clary sage is a good essential oil to use in situations where patients do not necessarily need to feel relaxed, but simply must have their blood pressure lowered.
Clary sage essential oil decreases stress and symptoms of depression as well. Studies have shown that clary sage essential oil not only reduces stress but also create an anti-depressant like effect. As many people who suffer from depression abuse alcohol, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure, Clary sage essential oil may be able to combat high blood pressure in multiple ways.
Rose Essential Oil
Many are all too familiar with the calming effects the scent of a rose has on the brain. Rose has potent cooling and anti-inflammatory characteristics that help relax the entire body. Almost all hormonal and emotional complaints can be addressed by the use of rose essential oil. It has a great ability to increase blood circulation, which makes it particularly useful for lowering high blood pressure.
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
While this essential oil is not as widely recognized as others, sweet marjoram essential oil is still quite powerful. Studies have shown that this essential oil helps reduce myocardial oxidative stress, which can lead to heart failure. This may prevent someone from suffering a heart attack. While this is a lesser known essential oil, it has been used in traditional Moroccan medicine to naturally treat hypertension for many years.
Marjoram also lowers high blood pressure through its ability to dilate blood vessels. Its warm and calming effect soothes the mind and limits stress. Other positive effects that marjoram essential oils have on the body are digestive support, hormonal support, brain support, and relief of muscular aches.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is a powerful essential oil that has a calming effect on the body. This not only reduces stress levels but also regulates the heart. While the body may require an increased dose of prescriptions over time for high blood pressure, frankincense is a tonic substance, meaning that its benefits increase over time while still using the same amount.
Frankincense has long been used to reduce stress levels and promote mental clarity. It has been used in ancient Egyptian ceremonies to promote peace of mind and stillness.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasmine essential oil has an uplifting and almost euphoric quality to it that is able to calm nerves, boost confidence, and create optimism. With these emotional balancing qualities, breathing is improved, depression is lifted, and nervous anxiety may be alleviated. These effects ease a tense nervous system, which is a common cause of high blood pressure.
Mandarin Essential Oil
This soothing oil relaxes the muscles, relieving cramps and stiffness. It also calms the nervous system, which can relax one’s mind, limiting the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
The smooth scent of ylang ylang essential oil easily releases daily stress. Studies actually show that it is not only the scent of ylang ylang, but its blend in an essential oil that creates the most benefits for decreasing blood pressure rates and stress.
Studies have also combined ylang ylang essential oil and bergamot essential oil, providing an impressive result of the inhalation of these essential oils together not only reduces blood pressure but cortisol levels as well. The use of these essential oils is an effective nursing intervention for those suffering from hypertension.
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
Lemon balm essential oil, also known as “Melissa”, calms and uplifts the body. With its strong antidepressant properties, it increases mood and restores the balance of emotions. Lemon balm essential oil is also a tonic for the heart, resulting in a decrease in blood pressure. It protects against heart palpitations, tachycardia, and heart attacks.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the most well known essential oils available. Among other health benefits, reducing high blood pressure is on the top of its list. Lavender oil is a general healer that comes with a wide variety of therapeutic uses. It is often used to induce sleep by reducing tension and stress. It also contains analgesic actions that make it beneficial to cure headaches as well.
In a recent study, the impulses of patients’ brains were measured before and after inhaling lavender essential oil with an EEG machine. The study revealed that lavender essential oil has several health benefits, such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure and increasing the amount of relaxation waves in the brain. Patients who inhale lavender essential oil report that they feel more alert, relaxed, and refreshed after doing so.
Valerian Essential Oil
Valerian essential oil is known to have powerful calming effects on the nervous system. It relaxes the tense sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the counteractive parasympathetic nervous system, which tells the body to rest and relax. Valerian essential oil eases heart palpitations, insomnia, hyperactivity, and nervous tension. This may be the best oil to use at bedtime in order to get a deep and restful night’s sleep.
How to Use Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure
If you are new to experimenting with essential oils, you may not know where to begin. Some of the best essential oil recipes that are used for high blood pressure involve a combination of several oils. It is important to find a combination that works best for you, but here are some examples.
Mix together equal parts of lavender, clary sage, and frankincense essential oils. Mix this with enough coconut oil to create a balm (about 2 oz per 15 drops of oil). Rub this balm into your temples or under nose if you feel as if you need to clear your mind and let go of some stress.
Mix together equal parts of bergamot, lavender, and ylang ylang essential oil. Put this mixture into an aromatherapy diffuser and slowly inhale the oils for 15-30 minutes.
Combine 20 drops of marjoram with 10 drops of ylang ylang, 10 drops of mandarin, and 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake about 7 drops of this mixture together with 2 ounces of almond oil to create a relaxing massage oil. This can either be used for a massage or added to a warm bath.
With the use of these essential oils with daily physical activity, a heart-healthy diet, and a decrease of stress, high blood pressure can be prevented or treated in a healthy and natural way without the side effects of medication. Try a few oils to find what is best for you and stick to a relaxing regimen to help keep your blood pressure under control.
What Causes High BP?
There are several factors that have been linked to high BP. Obesity is an obvious and well-known cause. Slightly less known is that you can have high BP from a lack of consistent exercise, so that means that those of you with high metabolisms should still take care of yourselves. Stress is the root cause of many health problems, and high BP is not an exception to this. Finally, there are many minerals that your body requires for upkeep. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium deficiencies are the three main minerals that you must consume on a daily basis. Be aware of your intake, and increase it if necessary.
What is Systolic and Diastolic BP?
As you know, your heart is always beating. When it beats, it compresses, and that compression increases the pressure within the blood vessels. At this point, during the compression, the pressure is measured; this is called Systolic Pressure. When the heart is relaxed, it is decompressed, and there is less pressure on the the blood vessels. At this point, the pressure is also measured; this pressure is called Diastolic Pressure.
What is a Normal BP and what is High BP?
A normal BP range is 120 (Systolic – Heart Muscles Contracted) over 80 (Diastolic – Heart Muscles At Rest) There is a chart above that goes into more detail.
What Health Problems are Associated with High BP?
High BP doesn’t usually give any symptoms until something serious develops (Stroke, heart disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction, etc. ). Roughly a third of the people that have high BP, don’t even know it. Don’t wait until potentially long-term damage is done. Be proactive.
How Do I Know if I have High BP? When should I schedule an appointment with my Doctor?
It isn’t something that you are likely to be able to feel. You will need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. A test will need to be run that will measure your BP. Keeping an eye on your BP is a good idea for everyone.
What Type of Diet Should I Follow?
First, The obvious tip is to reduce your sodium intake. Two, alcohol should also be watched, but not necessarily reduced. In small quantities, alcohol can slightly lower your BP. If your intake is moderate or large, it will raise your BP…so please be careful. Three, increasing your potassium can help to counteract the effects of sodium on your BP. Fourth, try adding flaxseed into your diet. It has been shown to lower both systolic and diastolic BP. Fifth, believe it or not, dark chocolate has been shown to slightly lower BP. There are a thousand other ways to improve your BP, but this should give you somewhere to start.