Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure is measured with both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number). A reading of less than 120/80 is considered normal blood pressure. More attention is given to systolic blood pressure (upper number) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. An upper reading of 120 to 139 denotes the person is at prehypertension. An upper reading of 140 to 159 denotes the person is at Hypertension stage 1. An upper reading of 160-179 denotes the person is at Hypertension stage 2. An upper reading of 180+ is considered Hypertensive crisis and the person should be brought to the emergency care immediately.
Dangers of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure typically has no symptoms, but it causes progressive harm to the cardiovascular system. That’s why it is often called “the silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms until after it has done significant damage to the heart and arteries.
When you have hypertension, it means that as your blood is being pumped by your heart, it’s putting too much force against the walls of your arteries, enough force to lead to health problems. If your arteries are narrow or stiffen with age, your blood pressure becomes higher.
“You can think of it as putting excessive pressures on the pipes,” Dr. Richard Ward says. “The risk of those pipes bursting is the biggest effect.”
When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder. That extra effort can lead to thickening of the heart muscle, making it more difficult for this organ to do its job. Heart failure can follow. If high blood pressure causes your arteries to harden, the risk of heart attack rises.
Your brain is also in danger when your blood pressure goes up. Hypertension is the top trigger for stroke, in which a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds, or a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Stroke can cause death, or it can cause brain damage and lifelong disability.
High blood pressure can also give you brain fog: trouble learning, remembering and understanding. And increasing evidence is showing a link between blood vessel disease and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. ‘If there’s inefficiency in the blood getting to the brain, it only makes sense that brain health would be compromised,’ Dr. Ward notes.
Your kidneys, too, can deteriorate when your blood pressure rises. The blood vessels in these organs may become weak or narrow, and your kidneys become less effective at their job of filtering out wastes and fluids from your body. Since too much water in your body will in turn raise your blood pressure, it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. And it explains why hypertension is one of the most common reasons for kidney failure.
Even your eyes aren’t immune to the effects of high blood pressure. There are tiny blood vessels here too, and when they’re damaged or blocked, the result is blurred, distorted or lost vision.
Both men and women with high blood pressure can experience sexual dysfunction because of compromised blood flow to your precious parts. You’re also at greater risk of bone loss and sleep apnea.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
Olive oil and extract from olive leaves are both good medicine for your heart. Olive oil is full of beneficial, healthy (monounsaturated) fats, and antioxidants. Adding olive oil to your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and raising good HDL cholesterol levels. Look for virgin or extra virgin olive oil, as it has the least amount of processing and the highest levels of beneficial compounds.
Olive leaves have also been shown to reduce blood pressure. In a clinical trial, administration of a special olive leaf extract lowered systolic pressure by 11 points and diastolic pressure by 5 points. The participants experienced additional benefits – their LDL cholesterol levels went down as well. Similar results have been reported in other scientific studies.
Researchers believe that it is a combination of its antioxidant activity (much more powerful than vitamin E) which protects the walls of the blood vessels, and because it acts as a vasodilator – that is, it helps widen narrow blood vessels so that blood flows more easily and with less effort by the heart. I recommend looking for an olive leaf extract standardized to the compound oleuropein, which is the key compound associated with olive leaf’s ability to reduce blood pressure.
Another natural remedy for high blood pressure is hibiscus. You may think of hibiscus as just a beautiful flower. Red hibiscus flowers are often worn tucked behind an ear by women in South Pacific areas such as Hawaii and Tahiti. However, the hibiscus flower has many uses beyond being a decoration. It is brewed as a tea that is consumed in many tropical areas of the world – the Caribbean, West Africa, and even in the Middle East.
Researchers testing the effects of hibiscus tea found that it can significantly lower blood pressure. In one study, participants with mildly elevated blood pressure consuming hibiscus tea experienced a 7 point drop in systolic blood pressure. Participants with higher blood pressure levels (over 129) had up to a 14-point drop. In a comparison test with the blood pressure medication lisinopril, people drinking hibiscus tea had better blood pressure reduction than those taking the synthetic drug, and with absolutely no side effects at all.
Hibiscus contains compounds called anthocyanins, which work in a similar way to some drugs used to lower blood pressure. These plant compounds are angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. To put it simply, they work by moderating the activity of an enzyme that can cause blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to increase. This natural ACE inhibitor helps keep blood vessels relaxed and open and therefore blood pressure goes down.
Blood Pressure Shifa
We now offer a hijama-based healing and coaching program to help people overcome the ailment of high blood pressure. This is a 12-month program which is part of our Shifa series. The other program in our Shifa series is the Blood Sugar Shifa program designed to heal people with diabetes Type 2.
For more information, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or visit www.shahclanhijamaherbs.net