Address Hypertension Naturally: A Guide to the Best Teas That Help With Blood Pressure

Mugs of tea next to their un-seeped herbs

Are you tired of taking medications to manage your blood pressure? Perhaps you’re looking for a natural alternative that can help you maintain healthy levels without the side effects of prescription drugs. When it comes to your heath, there are many teas that help with blood pressure (and bring a ton of extra benefits into your life!) They are delicious and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Plus, they provide other health benefits, such as reducing stress and inflammation. 

So, if you’re ready to brew up some natural remedies, keep reading! Discover the teas that can help you take control of your blood pressure, one cup at a time.

Addressing the Root Causes of Hypertension

Studies show that a whopping 33% of American adults have high blood pressure, compared to only 3% in traditional hunter-gatherer populations. 

This suggests that hypertension is not an inherent genetic condition but instead the result of unhealthy, modern lifestyle choices such as:

  • Diets high in processed foods, sugar and inflammatory oils
  • Sitting for most of the day
  • Less time outdoors and vitamin D deficiency
  • Chronic stress (Work, Financial, Family and Relationships)

What About Medication?

As enticing as it may be to just pop a pill or sip a tea to fix that ‘pesky blood pressure problem’ instead of changing your habits and lifestyle, I’d really like to emphasize the importance of getting down the bottom of WHY you have high blood pressure. Until you correct the root cause of your issue, it will continue to persist even if you mask it with a pill.

Furthermore, while many doctors prescribe drugs to lower blood pressure when a patient is still in the ‘prehypertension’ stage (between 120/80 – 139/89), a Randomized Controlled Trial involving almost 9,000 participants found no evidence to support this practice. 

The study gave participants either antihypertensive drugs or a placebo for five years and found that the drugs did not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular events. Plus, they led to increased withdrawal symptoms like increased blood pressure, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. 

Now I’m not suggesting that prehypertension shouldn’t be addressed… 

quite the opposite. 

My goal as a functional medicine practitioner is to help your body perform optimally and to prevent disease. Luckily, for most people, a combination of a change in diet and lifestyle and using herbal medicines can be life-changing for controlling blood pressure numbers especially if it’s still in the prehypertension range.

It’s always easier to fix a small problem than to let it snowball into a larger one. The same principle applies to your health. Taking proactive steps to address imbalances early can help prevent more serious issues from developing.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS A WARNING SIGN

Ignoring consistently high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening issues like heart attacks, strokes, and heart or kidney failure. Just like how the check engine light in your car warns you of potential problems, high blood pressure is a warning sign from your body that something isn’t right. How do you know that you may have high blood pressure or are about to? When is the best time to start integrating teas that help with blood pressure?

  • When you’ve tested borderline high a few times but aren’t taking the medication yet 
  • Maybe you ARE taking medication but hate the not-so-pleasant side effects that come along with blood pressure meds.
  • if you’d like to lower your dosage and live a longer, healthier life.

While drinking tea can potentially lower your blood pressure, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magical cure-all.

If you’re taking medication it’s important to discuss with your doctor you’d like to explore what else you can do to lower your dosage or titrate off safely. Tea can have a cumulative effect on blood pressure, so it’s essential to monitor your levels closely and adjust your medication as needed so you don’t drop too low.

Remember, always prioritize your health and safety above any blog post advice.

Medication should certainly be considered if you aren’t able to lower it after making significant diet, lifestyle, and herbal changes.

Other Ways To Support Healthy Blood Pressure

For BEST results you must also address the root causes of your high blood pressure by improving your diet, increasing physical activity, and managing stress levels. 

It’s like fixing a leaky roof instead of just putting a bucket underneath. You need to address the underlying issue to prevent further damage.

Following a paleo-style diet, sitting less, and engaging in daily stress-management activities is absolutely vital and will significantly enhance your efforts.

 If you’d like to take a holistic approach and live in Orange County, consider a functional medicine appointment with our team!

Teas That Help With Blood Pressure

To maximize the benefits of teas, I suggest rotating the following varieties and drinking 1-3 cups per day. This way, your body can experience the unique effects of each tea and you can enjoy the full range of benefits they offer.

1. TEAS THAT HELP WITH BLOOD PRESSURE – HIBISCUS

Hibiscus flower, used to make one of the teas that help with blood pressure

Hibiscus flowers make for a beautiful and delicious tea that packs a punch for blood pressure health, according to multiple studies (1, 2). This is thanks to natural compounds that act as ACE inhibitors. While hibiscus tea may have a mild laxative effect in high doses, it also contains antioxidants, vitamin C, and minerals such as iron and magnesium. These nutrients contribute to overall health and may even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

 

HIBISCUS TEA VS LISINOPRIL

A 4-week, randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical study compared the effects of Hibiscus extract vs Lisinopril in patients with stage I or II hypertension.

Results showed that the Hibiscus extract decreased blood pressure from 146/98 mmHg to 130/86 mmHg and those reductions were lower than the Lisinopril results.

Based on the study data, the authors concluded that hibiscus extract has an antihypertensive component through at least 2 mechanisms: diuretic effects (likely as an aldosterone antagonist) and ACE inhibitory effects. The study’s author also noted that the diuretic activity did not alter plasma potassium levels and did not have mineralocorticoid effects.

This means that the hibiscus was MORE EFFECTIVE at lowering blood pressure than the widely used Lisinopril medication with minimal to no side effects.

Now that’s some major TEA for thought.

 

HIGH CHOLESTEROL

They have also found Hibiscus to help with dyslipidemia (high cholesterol). A 2007 clinical trial showed that Hibiscus reduced cholesterol by 8.3% after just 1 month!

Hibiscus tea has a fruity, tart and refreshing  taste that makes it delicious, both hot and cold. It’s a great alternative to sugary drinks that can contribute to high blood pressure. 

I recommend making a large jug of iced, unsweetened hibiscus tea and drinking 2-3 cups a day.

2. TEAS THAT HELP WITH BLOOD PRESSURE – HAWTHORNE

Hawthorne berries and leaves before processing for tea

This plant has been used to treat heart disease as far back as the first century! (1, 2, 3). Modern research has focused on its effects on reducing congestive heart failure and it’s widely used in Europe for this purpose.

TYPE 2 DIABETES

One study showed that Hawthorn extract was effective for hypertension in people with type 2 diabetes who were also taking prescribed medicines. Participants took 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for 16 weeks. Those taking Hawthorn had lower blood pressure than those taking the placebo.

 

ANGINA

Other evidence suggests hawthorn can help reduce chest pain (angina), which is caused by low blood flow to the heart. In one study, they gave 60 people with angina either 180 mg/day of hawthorn berry leaf flower extract or a placebo for 3 weeks. Those who received hawthorn experienced improved blood flow to the heart and could also exercise for longer periods of time without suffering from chest pain.

It helps to:

  • Dilate blood vessels (specifically coronary arteries)
  • Increase the strength of heart contractions
  • Improve blood flow

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

  • DO NOT use hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Be very careful if on medications!
    • Hawthorne should not be used with digoxin, which is used to treat congestive heart failure and heart rhythm problems. The same goes for beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, two classes of blood-pressure medication. Hawthorn can amplify their effects to dangerous levels. Chat with your doctor if you’re looking for more natural ways to reduce your BP!
  • Side effects of Hawthorn are rare but may include headache, nausea, and palpitations (a feeling of a racing heart).
    •  One review of 29 clinical studies with over 5,500 people found that hawthorn was safe when used in recommended dosages. Doses found to be safe were from 160-1,800 mg daily and from 3 to 24 weeks.

 

It’s also important to note that plant medicines take more time to see effects than pharmaceuticals. You may not notice any improvement for 6 to 12 weeks.

Plant medicines tend to act more gently than the extracted, lab-concentrated molecules that make up pharmaceuticals.  They’re often helping to correct what is causing the high blood pressure as opposed to acting like a “band-aid” that is only stopping the symptom (aka the blood pressure being high).

 

3. TEAS THAT HELP WITH BLOOD PRESSURE – OOLONG + GREEN

One study of more than 1,500 subjects showed that drinking 1-2  cups of oolong or green tea on a daily basis can lower a person’s risk of hypertension by 46%.

Compounds called catechins, found in green and black teas, relax the smooth muscle that lines the blood vessels. Relaxing these smooth muscle which can lead to lower blood pressure.

A meta-analysis of 13 observational studies— conducted on green tea drinkers found that people who drank the most green tea had a 28% lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who didn’t drink green tea.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Although no serious side effects were reported in the studies, catechins have been reported to raise liver enzymes in animals.
  • Green tea is also a major source of oxalate, which can cause kidney stones. This suggests that drinking 5+ cups of green tea a day might have more risks than benefits. When consumed wisely, green tea may improve your cardiovascular health.

4. TEAS THAT HELP WITH BLOOD PRESSURE – GOTU KOLA

This plant species hailing from Asia is famous for its purported longevity-promoting properties. As the Sinhalese saying goes, “Two leaves a day keep aging at bay.” In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s referred to as ji xue cao and is utilized for reducing fever, increasing urination, and purifying the body. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder it’s considered a natural diuretic!

Gotu Kola is suggested to lower blood pressure, specifically with venous insufficiency. (1, 2). It’s been studied for its effect on varicose veins and on poor venous circulation in the legs. The results suggest that the extract of Gotu Kola (known as TECA, titrated extract of c. asiatica) can stimulate the synthesis of collagen in the walls of the veins and help them hold their tone and function better. This suggests it can strengthen weakened veins and helps improve circulation.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Avoid during pregnancy
  • This herb is not appropriate for people with epilepsy.
  • Gotu Kola increases the possibility of photosensitivity. Fair-skinned people and those who have reacted badly to sunlight while taking other medications should avoid sunshine, tanning lamps, and other sources of ultraviolet light.

Tea is a simple and delicious addition to a holistic approach to managing high blood pressure. It’s not the sole solution but it can be the help you need for your blood pressure. By combining tea with a Paleo diet, quality sleep, regular exercise, and daily stress management, you can create a well-rounded approach to decreasing high blood pressure. 

Remember, everyone’s journey is unique! It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before making any major changes to your health routine. So brew up a cup of your favorite tea, sit back, and relax. Every sip is a step towards better health.

Check out my favorite place to buy teas at Mountain Rose Herbs

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