lp Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Drugs



High Blood Pressure




by Andrew W. Saul

My doctor has recently declared that I have high blood pressure that has to be treated and wants to put me on blood pressure pills (the reading was 150/100). Is there a way I can reduce my blood pressure without medication?”  


You bet there is.

1) Switching to a natural, plant-based diet is a mighty good place to start. There is no downside to eating right. More fiber, less sugar and fat, and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are all great for the ticker.

2) Supplement your diet with lots of vitamin C and the mineral magnesium. Physicians investigated the effect of 600 mg/day of magnesium and 2 grams/day of vitamin C on a group of 56 non-insulin-dependent diabetics. The vitamin C improved control of blood sugar and fasting blood-sugar levels. It also lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduced capillary fragility. The magnesium lowered blood pressure in the subjects. (Eriksson J and Kohvakka A, Magnesium and ascorbic acid supplementation in diabetes mellitus. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, July/Aug 1995; 39(4) 217-223.) More on magnesium is posted at www.mgwater.com, such as :

3) Here's a great help that is often overlooked: take regular Epsom salts baths. Yes, just like my father always said. He never had a blood pressure issue that I know of. Maybe this is one reason why. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is absorbed transdermally (through the skin) in a nice hot bath. Feels great; relaxing; inexpensive; no prescription; no pills to take!

4) Your BP will be significantly higher when you are anxious, and a false reading may result in unnecessary medication. Take your own blood pressure at home, or have a friend do it.  You may find that you already have a partial cure for hypertension: avoid high-stress doctors’ office visits! A good blood pressure cuff (sphygmometer) can be purchased online for under $30. Mine cost $24.

5) No matter who takes your pressure, it is important to follow these rules (and, believe it or not, most doctors' offices miss at least two of these):

* Sit quietly for ten minutes before taking any blood pressure readings. This is by far the most omitted step. I mean sitting quietly in the actual chair where you are actually going to have the check. The waiting room does not count, as you had to get up and move to the examination location. Yes, that raises BP.

* Be sure the cuff is put on you exactly right. Illustrations abound on the internet. Do not hesitate to correct the technician if needs be.

* Your arm should be resting supported, level with your heart.

* Breathe normally, but refrain from talking during the BP check.

* Take the pressure in each arm, not just one.

6) A daily program of stress reduction (such as meditation) has repeatedly been scientifically proven to effectively reduce high blood pressure without drugs. (More on this below.)

7) Weight loss almost always helps. For me, losing 45 pounds was the single most important - and effective - step. You might not want to do this. I certainly didn't. That's not the point. Do you want to be on medication or not? THAT'S the point, and that's your free will choice.  

8.) GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) may help, is inexpensive, and from this study appears safe to try:

Shimada M, Hasegawa T, Nishimura C et al. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-54.

"The anti-hypertensive effect of GABA-rich Chlorella was studied after oral administration for 12 weeks in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in the placebo-controlled, double-blind manner in order to investigate if GABA-rich Chlorella, a dietary supplement, is useful in control of blood pressure. Eighty subjects with systolic blood pressure (SBP) 130-159 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 85-99 mmHg (40 subjects/group) took the blinded substance of GABA-rich Chlorella (20 mg as gamma-aminobutyric acid) or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks, and had follow-up observation for an additional 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure in the subjects given GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased compared with placebo (p < 0.01). Diastolic blood pressure had the tendency to decrease after intake of GABA-rich Chlorella. Neither adverse events nor abnormal laboratory findings were reported throughout the study period. Reduction of SBP in the subjects with borderline hypertension was higher than those in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure. These results suggest that GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension." [PMID: 19811362}

GABA is found in fermanted foods including black tea, yogurt, tempeh, and kefir. Lentils, beans, seeds, fish and nuts are also good to include in your diet.

Meditation Significantly Lowers High Blood Pressure

 "Transcendental Meditation (TM)is just as effective as prescription drugs for treating high blood pressure... A study published in the November issue of the journal Hypertension found that TM was twice as effective at reducing blood pressure as progressive muscle relaxation, a common stress reduction technique practiced in the 
West, and equal to results obtained with medication."
(From the Vegetarian Times, "TM Combats Heart Disease," Issue 221, February 1996, 4 High Ridge Park, Stamford, CT 06905)

The American Heart Association says: "People with high blood pressure may want to medicate and meditate."  (Press release, August 5, 1996)

Other News articles on Treating Hypertension with TM:

Ashland Daily Tidings, "Hypertensives spell relief: T-M," by Jo Garcia, August 

13, 1997.

Portland Press Herald, "A powerful case for TM," by Meredith Goad, November 27, 1995. 

Here is a summary of the Hypertension study the above news articles refer to:  

  In a clinical experiment with elderly African Americans (mean age 66) dwelling 
  in an inner-city community, Transcendental Meditation was compared with the 
  most widely used method of producing physiological relaxation. Subjects who 
  had moderately elevated blood pressure levels were randomly assigned 
  Transcendental Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), or usual care. 
  Over a 3-month interval, systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped by 10.6 
  and 5.9 mm Hg, respectively, in the Transcendental Meditation group, and 4.0 
  and 2.1. mm Hg in the PMR group, with virtually no change in the usual care 
  group. A second random assignment study with the elderly conducted at Harvard 
  found similar blood pressure changes produced by Transcendental Meditation 
  over 3 months (11 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure).
Reference I: In search of an optimal behavioral treatment for hypertension: A review and focus on Transcendental Meditation, chapter in Personality, Elevated Blood Pressure, and Essential Hypertension. Washington, D.C., Hemisphere Publishing, 1992.

Reference II: Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and longevity: An experimental study with the elderly, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57(6): 950964, 1989.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

Copyright 2019, 2005, 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul. Revisions copyright 2019. This page was updated Jan 2019.


Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

Neither the author nor the webmaster has authorized the use of their names or the use of any material contained within in connection with the sale, promotion or advertising of any product or apparatus. Single-copy reproduction for individual, non-commercial use is permitted providing no alterations of content are made, and credit is given.



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