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Turmeric For High Blood Pressure: How The Golden Spice Can Help

Turmeric For High Blood Pressure

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help you fight high blood pressure. Turmeric also inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) which increases blood pressure. Aside from reducing high blood pressure, turmeric can also mitigate the damage caused by it. It can prevent damage to your arteries and any changes in your blood platelets caused by high blood pressure.

High blood pressure contributes in some way or the other to around 1000 deaths every day. To make matters worse, about 1 out of 3 Americans have it.1 A largely symptomless condition, high blood pressure or hypertension can lead to serious health issues like heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Which is why it’s critically important to check your blood pressure and keep it under control.2

While diet, exercise, and medication may be required to control hypertension, discover an unlikely ally in your fight right on your spice rack – turmeric! This golden spice is valued by the ancient science of ayurveda for its many medicinal properties and is used for treating a variety of conditions from rheumatic pains to poor vision and skin diseases.3 As it turns out, it may be beneficial for those with high blood pressure too. Here’s a look at the many ways in which turmeric can help:

Antioxidant Curcumin In Turmeric Lowers High BP

Turmeric may be able to bring your blood pressure down primarily due to the action of curcumin. In one animal study, high blood pressure was chemically induced in rats. But when curcumin, an antioxidant component present in turmeric, was administered to these rats, it significantly reduced the increased blood pressure.4

Curcumin works thanks to its potent antioxidant properties.5 One animal study found that the antioxidant capacity of curcumin made it work as a protective agent against high blood pressure and vascular dysfunction in subjects administered the toxic element cadmium.6

Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Turmeric Counter High BP

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property is also useful in the fight against hypertension – again because of curcumin. Research shows that systemic inflammation can increase arterial stiffness and may, therefore, may play a part in the progression of high blood pressure.7 Turmeric is able to counter this inflammation to some extent.8

Turmeric Inhibits ACE, An Enzyme That Increases BP

Turmeric may also work on your blood pressure by inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). This enzyme is needed to produce angiotensin II, a chemical which makes your blood vessels narrower. The inhibition of ACE widens and relaxes your blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure. Interestingly, many medications prescribed for high blood pressure also work through this mechanism.9

Turmeric Prevents Arterial Damage Due To High BP

Turmeric doesn’t just lower high blood pressure, it might also mitigate the damage caused by it. You already know that high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. These conditions develop when plaque accumulates in your arteries, making them narrow and slowing down the flow of blood to your heart, brain, and other body parts. So what part does blood pressure play here? When you have high blood pressure, the friction and force exerted by the flow of blood damage the tissues inside your arteries over time. Then LDL cholesterol starts depositing and forming plaque on tiny tears in your artery walls. As the plaque in your arteries increases, your arteries become more narrow, further raising your blood pressure. This vicious cycle spells terrible news for your health.10

Animal studies have found that curcumin in turmeric can to an extent prevent the damage caused by high blood pressure in your arteries.11

Turmeric Prevents Platelet Changes Caused By High BP

High blood pressure can also cause changes to your blood platelets, which are small blood cells that form clots and stop bleeding. Elevated blood pressure levels can make your platelets hyperactive. This means that they’re more likely to form dangerous clots in your arteries, which can then block off blood supply to your heart or brain and cause a heart attack or stroke. But one animal study found that dietary supplementation with turmeric prevented hypertension-linked changes in platelet activity.12

Turmeric Also Works On Other Heart Damaging Factors Like High Blood Sugar And High Cholesterol

One of the scariest things about high blood pressure is that it is a significant risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Turmeric doesn’t just help with high blood pressure but also modulates other risk factors such as high cholesterol levels and diabetes that increase your chances of heart disease.13 Many studies have found that curcumin, the antioxidant compound present in turmeric, can lower blood glucose as well as cholesterol levels.1415 So adding turmeric to your diet may help you tackle several risk factors for heart disease at one go!

Precautions To Take While Using Turmeric

While turmeric is often a kitchen staple in many households and considered safe, you may need to be careful in some scenarios.

  • Excessive amounts of turmeric or curcumin may upset your stomach and, in severe cases, cause ulcers.
  • Turmeric may not be safe for those who have gallstones or an obstruction in their bile passage. Speak to your doctor before taking turmeric if you have these conditions.
  • Since turmeric can lower your blood sugar, it may cause low blood sugar when used in combination with medicines used in diabetes by supplementing their effect.
  • Since turmeric can act as a blood thinner, you should stop using it a couple of weeks before you have a surgical procedure. Also, do remember to inform your doctor if you’ve been taking turmeric.16

References   [ + ]

1. Blood Pressure: Make Control Your Goal Infographic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. High Blood Pressure. National Institutes of Health.
3. Turmeric. University Of Michigan.
4, 11. Hlavačková, Livia, Andrea Janegová, Olga Uličná, Pavol Janega, Andrea Černá, and Pavel Babál. “Spice up the hypertension diet-curcumin and piperine prevent remodeling of aorta in experimental L-NAME induced hypertension.” Nutrition & metabolism 8, no. 1 (2011): 72.
5. Turmeric. University Of Michigan.
6. Kukongviriyapan, Upa, Patchareewan Pannangpetch, Veerapol Kukongviriyapan, Wanida Donpunha, Kwanjit Sompamit, and Praphassorn Surawattanawan. “Curcumin protects against cadmium-induced vascular dysfunction, hypertension and tissue cadmium accumulation in mice.” Nutrients 6, no. 3 (2014): 1194-1208.
7. Tomiyama, Hirofumi, Kazuki Shiina, Chisa Matsumoto‐Nakano, Toshiharu Ninomiya, Shunsuke Komatsu, Kazutaka Kimura, Taishiro Chikamori, and Akira Yamashina. “The Contribution of Inflammation to the Development of Hypertension Mediated by Increased Arterial Stiffness.” Journal of the American Heart Association 6, no. 7 (2017): e005729.
8. Akinyemi, Ayodele Jacob, Gustavo Roberto Thomé, Vera Maria Morsch, Nathieli B. Bottari, Jucimara Baldissarelli, Lizielle Souza de Oliveira, Jeferson Ferraz Goularte et al. “Effect of Ginger and Turmeric Rhizomes on Inflammatory Cytokines Levels and Enzyme Activities of Cholinergic and Purinergic Systems in Hypertensive Rats.” Planta medica 82, no. 07 (2016): 612-620.
9. Lekshmi, P. C., Ranjith Arimboor, V. M. Nisha, A. Nirmala Menon, and K. G. Raghu. “In vitro antidiabetic and inhibitory potential of turmeric (Curcuma longa L) rhizome against cellular and LDL oxidation and angiotensin converting enzyme.” Journal of food science and technology 51, no. 12 (2014): 3910-3917.
10. What is High Blood Pressure?. American Heart Association.
12. Akinyemi, Ayodele Jacob, Gustavo Roberto Thomé, Vera Maria Morsch, Nathieli B. Bottari, Jucimara Baldissarelli, Lizielle Souza Oliveira, Jeferson Ferraz Goularte, Adriane Belló‐Klein, Ganiyu Oboh, and Maria Rosa Chitolina Schetinger. “Dietary supplementation of ginger and turmeric rhizomes modulates platelets ectonucleotidase and adenosine deaminase activities in normotensive and hypertensive rats.” Phytotherapy Research 30, no. 7 (2016): 1156-1163.
13. How to Prevent Heart Disease. National Institutes of Health.
14. Zhang, Dong-wei, Min Fu, Si-Hua Gao, and Jun-Li Liu. “Curcumin and diabetes: a systematic review.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).
15. Ramırez-Tortosa, M. C., M. D. Mesa, M. C. Aguilera, J. L. Quiles, L. Baro, C. L. Ramirez-Tortosa, E. Martinez-Victoria, and A. Gil. “Oral administration of a turmeric extract inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolemic effects in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis.” Atherosclerosis 147, no. 2 (1999): 371-378.
16. Turmeric. University of Maryland.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.