Alright so what is the real scoop with garlic and high blood pressure? Well, first and foremost, garlic is NO substitute for medical attention when it comes to high blood pressure or any other medical condition. If you suffer from or suspect you suffer from high blood pressure, it is important that you see your doctor.
That said garlic has quite a reputation for helping people control blood pressure. Research shows that garlic may in fact reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure!
“In a study, when people with high blood pressure were given one clove of garlic a day for 12 weeks, their diastolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels were significantly reduced. Eating quantities as small as one clove of garlic a day was found to have beneficial effects on managing hypertension.”(1)
Various studies on garlic have shown benefits for many other disorders such as cancer, immune problems and diabetes. Many people believe garlic is the end-all cure for just about anything including the common cold.
So how does one actually consume one raw clove of garlic a day? It’s easier than you think. Here are some suggestions:
- Finely minced a clove and sprinkle on your salad
- Mix with cold pasta and vegetables
- Use as a dip with hot bread. Mix olive oil, spices and garlic
- Mix with mayo and use on your next sandwich
Just use your imagination….
Of course, if you are unable to consume raw garlic you can always take the garlic pills. Although raw is always better.
So what exactly does garlic do?
“Garlic dilates the muscles of blood vessels, which helps in lowering blood pressure. It consists of a compound called adenosine, which helps in vasodilation and is also a muscle relaxant. Although, both raw and cooked garlic can benefit blood pressure, raw garlic is more potent and benefits faster. Garlic also interferes with the formation of blood clots and helps in reducing cholesterol. It not only helps lower the risk of colon, gastro intestinal tract and stomach cancers but also improves immunity and prevents gas formation.” (3)
“It appears, according to research that the beneficial effects of garlic on blood pressure come more from the garlic sulphides than from allicin. Unlike allicin, garlic sulphides are not destroyed by cooking.”(2)
Want to learn more about The Health Effects of Garlic? This article was published in the Journal of American Academy of Family Physicians.
Just so we all know what we are talking about, below is a quick definition along with a list of symptoms of high blood pressure:
“High BP, or hypertension, means a pressure above 140/90 mmHg. High blood pressure symptoms are usually absent unless hypertension is elevated above 240/120 mmHg.
Hypertension symptoms may be a combination of:
- headache, often upon awakening
- blurred vision
- ringing in the ears
- facial redness
- heart attack”(1)
My mother-in-law had all of these symptoms for years and doctors thought is was all in her head until she had a heart attack and needed by-pass surgery. During surgery her doctors reported that her heart was enlarged and that her situation was dire, she ended up dying. High blood pressure is nothing to fool around with. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, see your doctor immediately.
High blood pressure is a condition that is treated with a combination of prescription drugs, diet, daily exercise, avoiding caffeine, managing stress and, if you are willing garlic.
Garlic is rather harmless and quite tasty so whether you’ve just discovered you have high blood pressure or you’ve had it for years it’s well worth your while to give garlic a try.
If you enjoyed reading this article, Garlic and High Blood Pressure you may also like to read my article on Holistic Health and High Blood Pressure