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Blood pressure (low)

General characteristics

General characteristics

Low blood pressure or hypotension does not always signify a serious problem unless it is consistently very low for longer periods or drops low enough to give the person physical symptoms such as light headedness, tiredness and weakness, palpitations and fainting episodes.
Hypotension occurs naturally during resting periods, in very physically active people, during pregnancy, after an emotional shock, sometimes after eating, or can occur after getting out of a hot bath or standing up suddenly from a resting position for example. Emotional stress and tension greatly increase the likelihood of lowered blood pressure. It can also occur if you have high blood pressure and are taking prescribed medicines or diuretics. It is more common in slim women and can be exacerbated by not eating for long periods and low blood sugar levels and can also be a symptom of anaemia and blood loss. Hypotension is often associated with poor and under functioning adrenal glands and poor diet or malnutrition.
It is much more serious when the flow of blood is consistently very low or rapidly falls to very low levels which result in a lack of blood flow to the organs and tissues. This can result in medical shock when tissues are starved of oxygen and organs are quickly damaged.
If your blood pressure readings are always low and you have no signs of other underlying health problems then this is generally considered to be normal and nothing to worry about.
Herbs and natural treatments aim to treat any underlying cause, strengthen and support the heart action, give more tone to the blood vessels, stimulate the circulation and balance the secretions of the endocrine glands if they are implicated (thyroid, adrenals etc).

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Adopt a whole food diet based on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Include foods rich in B vitamins and vitamin C. Increase your intake of protein and cut out refined sugars and 'junk' foods.

Avoid caffeinated drinks as they cause blood pressure to drop after an initial rise.

Make sure you are drinking enough water as dehydration can lead to blood pressure drops.

Eat regular meals and avoid going for long periods without eating. Do not allow the blood sugar to go too low and avoid feeling hungry if possible.

Eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas, potatoes in their skins, olives, nuts, green leafy herbs and vegetables. See also 'minerals'in the 'natural healing' section of this site for more food ideas.

Drink a glass or 2 of fresh beetroot juice daily to build iron levels and increase blood volume.

Use cayenne as a sprinkle on foods to increase blood flow and balance blood pressure.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Drink nettle tea daily, up to 4 cups.
A beneficial formula is hyssop, rosemary, gingko, damiana, liqourice, hawthorn flowers and siberian ginseng which will strengthen the heart, improve circulation and blood flow, stimulate the adrenal glands and give energy to the body. Use in equal parts as a tea (1 cup with meals) or tincture (1 teaspoon in water with meals). Use this formula until symptoms fade and keep it as a standby for times when you feel low in energy or symptoms return.
Add a pinch of cayenne powder to each glass or cup of herb tea for its blood pressure balancing effects and stimulation of blood flow. Gradually increase the amount you use daily.
Damiana can also be useful to raise low blood pressure.
Ginseng is good for raising energy and blood pressure to normal levels.
Prickly ash is known as a diffusive stimulant as it encourages blood flow to the peripheries, add a few drops of the tincture to drinks. It is particularly useful if you suffer from cold extremities.
Ginger has similar properties and is even more diffusing. It can be added to teas or cooking.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Finish a shower with a blast of cold water across your chest and back to stimulate circulation and to tone and strengthen the blood vessels. You will feel nicely warm afterwards!
Engage in moderate exercise regularly such as walking or swimming. Avoid exhaustive exercise as this could lead to a further drop in blood pressure and a weakening of your system overall.
Dry brushing the skin with a brush or rough naturall fibred cloth will encourage effective circulation. Skin brush each morning before dressing.

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