5 Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure

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5 Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure
Infographic – herbs-info.com Photo sources – see foot of article

The data the World Health Organization has on hypertension is staggering. An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide are affected by hypertension. The latest brief of the disease published by the WHO was back in 2013 but even then, the numbers didn’t lie – 2003 data found that over 40 percent of adults aged 25 and older had high blood pressure warranting a hypertension diagnosis. Countries with low to middle income population had higher rates of hypertension – with continually growing rates attributed to population growth, ageing, and behavioral risk factors. [1][2]
The best way you can control your blood pressure is through proper diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Sometimes, when those don’t work, you can be prescribed with medications which may or may not work for you. Another option, which is gaining popularity, is going natural! There are a few herbal methods in order to try and lower your blood pressure the natural way.
1. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata/Passiflora edulis)
Known by other names like maracuja, apricot vine, maypop, and water lemon, the passion flower was first discovered in the 16th century by Spanish explorers in Peru. American natives used the flower as a mild sedative which led the explorers to bring back the plant to their homeland and try to find out other uses for it. Today, passion flower is popularly used to manage anxiety and sleep disturbances, pain, problems with attention-deficit, irregular heart rhythms. [3]
Various studies have linked its sedative properties with an ability to lower blood pressure. Appel, et. al. in 2011 found that passion flower was able to manage anxiety by modulating the body’s GABA system, which has been linked to different neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including anxiety. Anxiety can cause hypertension since anxiety fires up the body’s fight or flight response which raises blood pressure. [4]
Studies on Passiflora edulis, another kind of passion flower, found that the yellow fruit pulp’s anti-hypertensive effect could be due to its powerful antioxidant abilities. Similar to Appel, et. al.’s study, another investigation conducted by Ichimura, et. al. found that the GABA-modulating properties of the passion flower caused a systemic vasodilatory effect which causes the lowering of blood pressure. [5][6]
2. Lavender
Lavender is quite popular in dealing with anxiety – very similar to the passion flower. Lavender teas and oils are used in meditation and relaxation techniques, to reduce stress and anxiety. Similarly, the sedative effects of passion flower can reduce blood pressure is also mirrored in the ability to lavender to relax the body and therefore lower blood pressure. Lavender can also improve appetite and mood, which can lead to better over-all health and a significant reduction in anxiety and blood pressure. [7]
A study on aromatherapy, which included lavender oil, found that it was able to effectively manage essential hypertension by lowering systolic blood pressure. The study by Cha, Lee, and Yoo also concluded that aromatherapy with lavender oil was able to do this by moderating the body’s sympathetic nervous system. [8]
3. Basil
Basil is not only used in pesto, but also in the management of hypertension! There are different studies on different kinds of basil, one of which was published in 2011 by Tabassum and Ahmad. The researchers focused on different herbs that could help treat hypertension, one of which was basil. Basil extract was able to reduce systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure, with the median effective dose of 30mg per kilogram of weight. The study also found that this antihypertensive effect, though short, was from eugenol, a substance found in basil leaves. Similar results were found in Umar’s study which involved hypertensive rats in 2010. [9][10]
A more recent study published in 2016 by Irondi, et. al. focused on two kinds of basil, clove basil and sweet basil, was able to exhibit significant antihypertensive effects on the study’s obese test subjects, specifically hypertension caused by the test subject’s increased weight. [11]
4. Valerian
Valerian, which is popularly used as a dietary supplement to help with anxiety and insomnia, is can also be used in the management of hypertension. Native to Europe and Asia, valerian was brought to the United States and is marketed as a sleeping aid for people with insomnia. However, recent studies have linked its anxiolytic properties to hypertension, specifically on how to lower blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. [12]
In 2007, Circosta, et. al. conducted a study on two Valerian extracts and discovered that both had significant antihypertensive, anticoronaryspastic, and antibronchospastic properties. The results showed that valerian was able to manage not only hypertension but heart conditions that affected the blood vessels as well. The mechanism of action of the extracts were very similar to medications sold on the market, such as nifedipine. [13]
5. Oregano
Googling medical uses of oregano will show you how this herb, typically used to flavor meat like chicken, has potent antibacterial properties. However, other studies have also begun to look at the role of oregano in fighting hypertension, among other complications of metabolic syndromes. In 2008, Mueller, et. al. focused on the action of oregano on the body’s peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors or PPAR. Oregano was found to bind these receptors, preventing dysfunction that lead to hypertension, obesity, hyperglycemia, and hyper or dyslipidemia. [14]
PS. For those interested to research further, we also have a few more lists of herbs relating to the heart, on our site:
10 Herbs For The Heart
10 Herbs For high Blood Pressure (includes several different herbs)
10 Herbs For Heart Palpitations

[1] World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/blood_pressure_prevalence/en/
[2] World Health Organization. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/79059/WHO_DCO_WHD_2013.2_eng.pdf
[3] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Passionflower. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/passionflower
[4] Appel, K., et. al. (2011). Modulation of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system by Passiflora incarnata L. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21089181
[5] Konta, E., et. al. (2014). Evaluation of the antihypertensive properties of yellow passion fruit pulp (Passiflora edulis Sims f. flavicarpa Deg.) in spontaneously hypertensive rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23436457
[6] Ichimura, T., et. al. (2006). Antihypertensive effect of an extract of Passiflora edulis rind in spontaneously hypertensive rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16556991
[7] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Lavender. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/lavender/ataglance.htm
[8] Cha, J., Lee, S. & Yoo, Y. (2010). [Effects of aromatherapy on changes in the autonomic nervous system, aortic pulse wave velocity and aortic augmentation index in patients with essential hypertension]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21157172
[9] Tabassum, N. & Ahmad, F. (2011). Role of natural herbs in the treatment of hypertension. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210006/
[10] Umar, A., et. al. (2010). Antihypertensive effects of Ocimum basilicum L. (OBL) on blood pressure in renovascular hypertensive rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20448636
[11] Irondi, E., et. al. (2016). Inhibitory effect of leaves extracts of Ocimum basilicum and Ocimum gratissimum on two key enzymes involved in obesity and hypertension in vitro. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27757270
[12] Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Valerian.
[13] Circosta, C., et. al. (2007). Biological and analytic characterization of two extracts from Valeriana officinalis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17467210
[14] Mueller, M., et. al. (2008). Oregano: a source for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonists. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19053389
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