Home Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and palpitations. Drinking water, cutting down on carbs that digest too quickly, using compression stockings, moving physically (for instance, stretching before getting up), and avoiding standing for long periods can be helpful. You may also need to slightly up your salt intake (on your doctor’s advice). Having coffee in moderation after your meals and smaller meals in general can work in your favor. Ayurveda recommends having a nutritious diet and avoiding strenuous exercise.
High blood pressure is cut out to be a villain, but did you know low blood pressure can be troublesome too? If your blood pressure is below 90/60 mmHg, it’s considered to be low.1 If blood pressure dips too low, it can reduce the amount of blood that flows to your brain and other organs. This can lead to symptoms like dizziness, fainting, nausea, blurred vision, and palpitations.
Low blood pressure comes in more than one form. For instance, some people experience low blood pressure when they change position – for example, when they stand up (orthostatic hypotension). You could also experience the symptoms after you have a meal (postprandial hypotension) or when you stand for long periods of time (neurally mediated hypotension).2
What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure?
Factors that can cause low blood pressure include:
- Medical conditions like heart problems, hormonal problems, septic shock, neurological disorders, anemia etc.
- Certain medications – for instance, some antidepressants or beta blockers prescribed for heart conditions
- Blood pressure tends to drop during the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.3 4
Home Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure Naturally
Some people naturally have low blood pressure. This generally doesn’t cause any symptoms and should not be a cause for worry. Remember, low blood pressure requires treatment only when it’s causing symptoms that affect your normal life. If your low blood pressure is caused by an underlying condition, your doctor may initiate treatment for it. And in some cases, medication may be prescribed for your condition. However, the symptoms of low blood pressure can usually be treated with home remedies and lifestyle changes. Here are some measures you can try.
1. Drink Enough Water
Having enough fluids will increase the volume of your blood, which will cause an increase in blood pressure. Also, drinking around 12 to 18 ounces of water about 15 minutes before a meal can reduce the fall in blood pressure that’s experienced after eating.5 6
2. Pass The Salt
Salt makes your body retain water, which in turn increases the volume of blood in your body. Increasing the amount of salt in your diet can, therefore, raise your blood pressure. However, only do this after checking with your doctor.7
3. Perk Up With Caffeine
One study found that when caffeine was administered after a meal, it prevented the postprandial fall in blood pressure in elderly, fit participants. So ending your meal with a cup of coffee might be useful in tackling low blood pressure.8
However, do keep in mind that coffee may have beneficial as well as adverse effects – it could help lower your risk for diabetes and kidney stone but might increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. So if you’re not a regular coffee drinker, do speak to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake.9
4. Have Smaller Meals
Having larger meals are more likely to cause postprandial hypotension. This occurs because your stomach and intestines need blood for digestion and your heart rate doesn’t increase sufficiently to account for this increased demand. So, try eating smaller meals more frequently. Go from three meals every day to six smaller meals a day.10
5. Cut Down On Rapidly Digested Carbs
Foods like white rice, white bread, sugary drinks, and potatoes are quickly digested and passed from your stomach to your small intestine. This leads to postprandial hypotension. So cutting back on foods like this and adding more foods that are slowly digested – for instance, protein, beans, and whole grains – can help prevent your blood pressure from dipping too low after a meal.11
6. Have Some Rest
Blood pressure generally tends to fall the greatest around half an hour to an hour after you have a meal. Lying down or sitting for about 60 minutes after you eat can help you deal with postprandial hypotension. And if you do need to move about, please watch out for signs that your blood pressure is dropping.12
7. Get Moving
Physical movements can increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing. So if you notice signs of low blood pressure due to orthostatic stress (for instance, standing for long periods), techniques like raising your toe, bending at the waist, elevating your leg, marching slowly in place, or contracting your thigh muscles can improve your condition.13 Also, since orthostatic low blood pressure is common while getting out of bed, activities like stretching in bed or moving your legs up and down while still sitting on your bed can be helpful.14
8. Use Compression Stockings
Compression stockings fit tightly and exert pressure on your feet and legs. This can improve blood circulation and increase your blood pressure. A garment that compresses the abdomen (somewhat like a girdle) can also be helpful. However, remember to speak to your doctor before using compression stockings as they might not be appropriate for you.15
9. Get Off Your Feet
Standing for long periods of time can trigger neutrally mediated hypotension. So avoiding this can be helpful. 16
Ayurvedic Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
According to Ayurveda, low blood pressure (which is called nyuna raktachap) is caused by vitiation of vayu (the element of air) in the body. It considers a nutritious, balanced diet with proteins and carbohydrates to be helpful for people with this condition. Dry fruits, chicken, rabbit, mutton, soups of black gram and meat, legumes, and fruits like mangoes, apples, bananas, and grapes are especially recommended. People with low blood pressure are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise.17
Should You Use Herbal Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure?
Certain herbs like licorice18, arnica 19, guarana20, and Asian ginseng21 have been known to increase blood pressure. However, do keep in mind that these herbs may have significant side effects and may also raise your blood pressure to undesirable levels. High blood pressure, in turn, is associated with serious conditions like heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke. So, on balance, it might not be advisable to use herbal remedies to raise your blood pressure. In case you are considering it, get your doctor’s go-ahead and have them under the guidance of an expert practitioner.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||What Is Hypotension. National Institutes of Health.|
|2.||↑||Low blood pressure (hypotension) – Symptoms. National Health Service.|
|3.||↑||Low Blood Pressure – When Blood Pressure Is Too Low. American Heart Association.|
|4.||↑||Low blood pressure (hypotension) – Causes. National Health Service.|
|5.||↑||[Low blood pressure (hypotension) – Treatment. National Health Service.|
|6, 11.||↑||Eating can cause low blood pressure. Harvard Health Publications.|
|7.||↑||Salt and blood pressure. Blood Pressure Association.|
|8.||↑||Heseltine, D., M. Dakkak, K. Woodhouse, I. A. Macdonald, and J. F. Potter. “The effect of caffeine on postprandial hypotension in the elderly.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 39, no. 2 (1991): 160-164.|
|9.||↑||Coffee and your blood pressure. Harvard Health Publications.|
|10, 12.||↑||Eating can cause low blood pressure. Harvard Health Publications.|
|13.||↑||Figueroa, Juan J., Jeffrey R. Basford, and Phillip A. Low. “Preventing and treating orthostatic hypotension: as easy as A, B, C.” Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine 77, no. 5 (2010): 298.|
|14.||↑||When blood pressure dips too low. Harvard Health Publications.|
|15.||↑||When blood pressure dips too low. Harvard Health Publications.|
|16.||↑||Low blood pressure (hypotension) – Treatment. National Health Service.|
|17.||↑||Murthy, N. Anjneya. Ayurvedic cure for common diseases. Orient Paperbacks, 1995.|
|18.||↑||Licorice Root. National Institutes of Health.|
|19.||↑||Arnica. National Institutes of Health.|
|20.||↑||Guarana. National Institutes of Health.|
|21.||↑||Asian ginseng. University of Maryland.|