(Natural News) Looking for another natural medicine for high blood pressure? Researchers from South Africa and Zambia suggest taking the African medicinal plant called Senecio serratuloides.
S. serratuloides is used in folk medicine to treat hypertension, skin problems, internal and external sores, rashes, burns, and wounds. Because of its efficacy, it is traditionally referred to as the “two-day cure” plant. While S. serratuloides is widely used in South African traditional medicine, its ability to lower blood pressure has not yet been investigated.
Therefore, for their study, the researchers looked at the safety and antihypertensive effect of hydroethanolic extract of S. serratuloides using a rat model. They gave mice 40 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of N-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) once daily for four weeks to induce hypertension. L-NAME is an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase activity and, consequently, the synthesis of nitric oxide.
Then, they divided the rats into five groups. One group received 20 mg/kg of L-NAME and 150 mg/kg of S. serratuloides hydroethanolic extract. The second group received 20 mg/kg of L-NAME and 300 mg/kg of S. serratuloides hydroethanolic extract. The third group was treated with 20 mg/kg of L-NAME and 20 mg/kg of captopril. The fourth group received saline only, while the fifth group did not receive any treatment. The researchers measured the rats’ blood pressure, lipid profile, nitric oxide, renin, and angiotensin II levels. Additionally, they quantified mineralocorticoid receptor concentration in the kidney homogenate.
The researchers found that S. serratuloides hydroethanolic extract treatment significantly and dose-dependently lowered blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels of the rats. It also dramatically prevented L-NAME-induced decrease in blood pressure regulators such as angiotensin II, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and nitric oxide concentrations. In addition, it greatly prevented collagen deposition in cardiac tissue. Furthermore, S. serratuloides hydroethanolic extract was found to be non-toxic.
Taken together, S. serratuloides hydroethanolic extract exhibited antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic, and cardioprotective effects in rats. These findings confirmed the use of S. serratuloides in traditional antihypertensive treatment. The researchers published their findings in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Other ways to lower blood pressure naturally
Today, about 75 million American adults have high blood pressure – that is one in every three adults. What’s even more alarming is that only approximately half of these people have their condition under control. Managing hypertension is important. Left unchecked, the condition puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in the U.S.
While there are drugs used to lower blood pressure, they cause side effects such as dizziness, leg cramps, and insomnia. For this reason, many people look for safer alternatives. Aside from taking S. serratuloides, making healthy lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure.
One of the things you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally is to exercise regularly. According to an analysis of about 400 studies, regular exercise, such as brisk walking, appears to be just as effective at reducing blood pressure as commonly used antihypertensive drugs. This is because exercise helps the heart to use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood.
Adding potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and prunes, to your diet can also help. Potassium helps the kidneys to get rid of more sodium through urination, and that sodium excretion can help reduce blood pressure. Likewise, reducing your sodium intake can help lower your blood pressure. The American Heart Association suggests keeping your sodium intake below 1,500 mg for healthy blood pressure. (Related: What you eat plays a large role in protecting your heart, protect yourself with Natural News’ latest book release.)
Read more studies on natural treatments for hypertension and other cardiovascular problems at ReverseHeartDisease.news.