A Garlic Pill a Day Helps Keep High Blood Pressure at Bay
It is a common experience amongst those of us with hypertension that the medication prescribed by our doctors only manages our condition. We were expecting nothing less than a complete cure. As we live with our high blood pressure we realize that we need something to supplement our medication, to make it more effective and if possible, to wean us from the drugs we are taking. Fortunately for us, there is such a supplement. It is garlic.
The benefits of garlic
Garlic was known to the ancient Egyptians who built the Great Pyramids; it was known to the ancient Greeks; it was known to the Romans; and, it was well-known in the Middle Ages when it was used to combat the Black Death.
lowers cholesterol levels
boosts the immune system due to its anti-oxidant properties
is naturally anti-bacterial
is naturally anti-fungal
helps prevent cancer
helps prevent cardiovascular disease
has no harmful side effects
How does garlic lower blood pressure?
Our BP rises as our body increases production of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Garlic contains a natural ACE inhibitor. This, combined with the high amounts of allicin found in garlic give it its ability to dilate arteries, thereby lowering our BP readings.
How effective is garlic in reducing hypertension?
In a recent trial conducted by the University of Adelaide, Australia, 50 hypertensive patients who were taking prescription drugs for their condition were given a garlic supplement in 960mg capsules. Their systolic pressure was found to be much lower after 12 weeks of taking the supplement.
Patients in the trial who had a systolic reading above 140mmHg saw it drop 10.2 lower on average than a control group on a placebo or dummy pill. This reduced the BP readings of some patients down to healthy levels. The significance of this result should not be underestimated. A 5mmHg drop in systolic pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 8 and 20 per cent.
How to get the most benefit from garlic
Much of the allicin is destroyed when garlic is heated, so it is not as effective as raw garlic. To ensure a consistent dosage of the active ingredients and also to avoid “garlic breath”, many people prefer a good quality garlic supplement taken in capsules.
It would be easy to think that popping a garlic pill everyday is all that you need to do to lower your high blood pressure. The greatest benefit comes when garlic, either raw or a supplement, forms part of a healthy balanced diet designed to reduce hypertension, such as the DASH dietary guidelines. You should also take regular exercise.
If you are looking to lower your hypertension naturally, a garlic pill a day will help to keep high blood pressure at bay.