(NaturalNews) Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious health problem which impacts nearly 30% of the American population. Its prevalence is growing as is it's cost, and people who suffer from this condition are also likely to experience heart attacks and strokes as well as kidney damage, loss of vision, and impaired cognitive ability. In 2008 the cost of hypertension was estimated to be in excess of $69 billion not including associated cardiovascular complications which up the total by another $100 billion. Unfortunately, according to an article in the American Journal of Hypertension only about 24% of those affected by hypertension are able to control their blood pressure. In addition, among those who take drugs for this condition, only 43% have it under control. Fortunately there are many natural blood pressure remedies which are effective, less costly, and lack the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
These days most health food stores and supermarkets carry coconut water which is the fluid found inside coconuts. Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk which is made from the meat of this delicious fruit. Coconut water has long been used as a source of nutrition during famines and can be safely injected into the human blood stream...the only natural substance for which this is the case.
In a 2005 article in the West Indian Medical Journal, researchers reported on the effectiveness of coconut water and another tropical drink, mauby, for reducing hypertension. Mauby is a drink made from the bark of the buckhorn tree and is popular in the Caribbean. For this study 28 subjects were divided into four groups. One received water the others received mauby, coconut water or a combination of the two for two weeks. Results showed 71% of the coconut water group had a significant reduction in their systolic blood pressure followed by 40% and 43% for the mauby and mixture groups respectively. Similarly, 29% of the coconut group saw significant declines in their diastolic pressure as did 40% and 57% of the other two treatment groups.
Increased potassium intake helps reduce blood pressure as it balances out the sodium that promotes hypertension. Coconut water's high potassium content may explain its effective for this purpose, and along with reducing dietary sodium can help bring down blood pressure.
Meditation helps control blood pressure
Over the years there have been several studies of the benefits of meditation for reducing blood pressure. A 2004 review article which appeared in the journal Cardiology Review looked at meditation's impact on the risk of cardiovascular disease including hypertension. The authors concluded that twice daily meditation promoted heart health in part by contributing to significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to control groups. The results were seen in both sexes and in people who were both low and high risk for hypertension. A group who learned a muscle relaxation technique had some success in this regard, but not to the extent of those who practiced meditation.
The article's authors concluded that meditation is effective for reducing blood pressure because it helps lower stress and corrects its negative impact on the body.
Use stevia to reduce blood pressure and sugar intake
A number of animal and human studies have demonstrated that stevia helps reduce hypertension. For example, in a 2003 study reported in Clinical Therapeutics patients received either stevioside (derived from stevia) or a placebo for two years. Results showed significant declines in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the stevia group.
Stevia can also promote lower blood pressure if used to replace sugar in the diet. Dr Gerald Reaven, who is credited with creating the concept of the metabolic syndrome, was one of the first to recognize the connection between excess sugar intake and hypertension. In a 2005 article on Heart Wire at theHeart.org he is quoted as saying that 40%-60% of patients with essential hypertension are also insulin resistant and that insulin resistance predicts the development of hypertension.
About the author: Celeste Smucker is a freelance health writer and blogger with years of experience in sales and marketing. She is also a meditation teacher and staff member at Synchronicity Foundation located in Virginia's blue ridge mountains.
In addition to writing for NaturalNews.com she blogs about how to live younger longer with joy and vitality at celestialways.com.