When you think of living a full life, what sorts of things do you suppose that would include? Maybe having high performance at work, the feeling of adrenaline because of a sporting endeavour, or winning some sort of award. The thing that most people simply do not realize though, is that living a full life includes more than these material things… it also means maintaining vitality and good health. Now you may think, “But that’s so obvious! Who wouldn’t want to have good health on top of all of these glorious material things?” But you might be surprised at how many people skim over all of the health tips and advice that are out there, thinking either that they are most likely invincible and that the laws of the universe do not apply to them (at least where their health is concerned), or that they are so far down the path of ill health already that there really is just no turning back. They notice things like high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of focus or worse. With all of this, they may even lose hope and give up on their health entirely. And yet… so many do nothing!
POPPYCOCK! Yes, that’s right – I said poppycock. Thinking that way is downright foolish and will only succeed in pushing you even farther down that path of ill health. It is never ever too late to improve your health!!! Even people with the worst and most devastating of health conditions can turn things around, at least a little.
It’s simple – people yearn to live! And we need to remember that. They long for those sporadic days when they will feel their best, perform at their peak capacity, and where they feel revitalized and energetic. Sadly, though, these days are few and far between for many people… even though there are very clear steps that can be taken to help lessen the painful blows that ill health can bring. Many conditions have clear and obvious causes – and high blood pressure is a huge one.
High blood pressure is a problem that is widespread and growing – it is estimated that around one in every three adults suffers from high blood pressure. That’s about 16 million people!! Around 18% of (adult) men and 13% of (adult) women have high blood pressure and are not receiving treatment for it. This is not only dangerous, but terrifying! If this many people have high blood pressure (16 million is no small number!), what if we are all just doomed?
Well, as it turns out, all of those bad habits that you have end up creating havoc and catching up with us in their own time. High blood pressure comes from a combination of things like smoking, eating fatty foods, drinking alcohol and lack of physical activity. The natural process of aging and your family history will also cause your body to perform at less than peak capacity as you grow older. If left untreated, high blood pressure can actually damage your blood vessels and lead to life-threatening conditions such as stroke, heart problems, or even cardiac arrest.
We are all aware of the risks of living an unhealthy lifestyle… but that doesn’t mean that we have wait for it to happen to all of us!! If you start taking proactive measures immediately, things like managing your blood pressure and watching what you eat become easy and even habitual. This may very well be the best decision you can ever make to benefit your longevity!
Now, when I say to start taking proactive measures, I definitely do NOT mean relying on prescription drugs such as supplements and expect them to do all of the work for you! There are so many natural solutions out there that are designed to keep your body in a state of better well-being and equilibrium. One great way to avoid the pharmacy and go au natural is to start adding certain herbs to your diet to see what benefits they might bring you. The following five herbs, for example, may help you to experience a drop in your blood pressure when taken on a consistent basis. Try them out, and see what works best for you! (ALWAYS ask your doctor before starting down any herbal path though… you always want these things to be monitored and supervised!)
1) Passion Flower: this herb is effective in lowering blood pressure because it reduces stress and anxiety, which are definitely factors that can cause a rise in blood pressure. It can also be used as a natural sleep aid for those experiencing trouble sleeping
2) Lavender: everyone loves a massage, right? Well, if you massage the body with lavender oil, you can reduce your blood pressure by up to as much as 50%! Lavender works as a vasodilator because it relaxes and expands the blood vessels, which causes the blood pressure to lower. Lavender oil can be applied nearly anywhere on the body or by adding either lavender flowers or the oil itself to bathwater. You can also boil lavender leaves and flowers to use as a tea, which has the added benefits of treating an upset stomach and helping with insomnia
3) Holy Basil: everybody in the 21st century must have heard time and time again how stress plays an extremely destructive role in our overall cardiovascular health. What a lot of people may not realize is that holy basil can actually help to alleviate the stress-related damage that our bodies sustain as we live! Basil prevents stress-induced biochemical changes, supports healthy immune functioning, improves energy levels and endurance, and promotes healthy gastric tissue (which is frequently subjected to damage during stressful times). It also has been shown to have many beneficial actions on the heart by working as a blood thinner and promoting good circulation. If consumed daily, it can help lower blood pressure by optimizing cholesterol levels
4) Valerian: valerian actually contains a natural tranquilizer that helps to relax muscles and lower blood pressure. If you consume valerian daily, it may aid in a state of overall relaxation and help with the elimination of stress. This is especially great news for people suffering from hypertension, as it will decrease blood pressure
5) Oregano: oregano contains a component called carvacrol, which has been proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure. This is because it actually reduces your heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and both your diastolic and systolic blood pressures! Try using oregano as an alternative to salt in your meals (did you know that sodium is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure?). A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure as each teaspoon of salt has more than 2,300 mg of sodium. Oregano, however, is a sodium-free food, so this will not be a contributing factor to high blood pressure!
All of these remedies are completely natural and should not cause any reactions with anything you are already taking (but still always check with your doctor before embarking on any journey with natural supplements). Most of all though, just relax! Maybe take a nap. These both work wonders for lowering your blood pressure!