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Tea, Natural Remedy for Hypertension

Tea, Natural Remedy for Hypertension

| On 22, Jan 2014

 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common health issues in today’s society and the main form of heart disease, 1 in 3 adults suffering from higher than normal blood pressure. Associated with heart failure, stroke and kidney dysfunction, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart-related death.

25% of people in the U.S. being are diagnosed with prehypertension, and 1 out of 4 hypertension sufferers are unaware of their condition, statistics show. In order for one to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, their systolic pressure has to be higher than 120 and their diastolic pressure, higher than 80.

tea and blood pressure

Still, note that one’s blood pressure can naturally vary during the day, depending on their diet and lifestyle habits. Drinking coffee, practicing intense physical activities, eating foods rich in sodium and fried products can alter blood pressure, leading to higher or lower temporary values. The table below indicates the normal values for blood pressure.

 

Category

Systolic (mmHg)

Diastolic (mmHg)

Normal

Less than 120

Less than 80

Pre-hypertension

Between 120 – 139

Between 80 – 89

High Blood Pressure (stage 1)

Between 140 – 159

Between 90 – 99

High Blood Pressure (stage 2)

160 or Higher

100 or Higher

 

Fortunately, there are several natural products that can restore the normal blood pressure values, and tea is one of these natural remedies.

How tea affects blood pressure

Tea is rich in antioxidant compounds, which are known to contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system and to protect against heart disease. Flavonoids in this beverage have been proven to improve vasodilation, EGCG – the most abundant catechin in tea – being linked with an increased production of nitric oxide, a dilator which acts by relaxing the smooth muscles and dilating the blood vessels.

However, tea also provides more or less significant amounts of caffeine, stimulant known to cause spikes in blood pressure right after being ingested. This suggests that tea could also be responsible for hypertension, but according to the American Journal of Hypertension, the spike in blood pressure after ingesting caffeine is only temporary in healthy people, values peaking 45 to 90 minutes after drinking coffee or tea.

In the long run, drinking tea actually lowers blood pressure, the already mentioned catechins being responsible for preserving the normal cardiovascular function, protecting the cardiovascular system against the harmful effects of free radicals and stabilizing the blood pressure.

Doctor measuring blood pressure

 

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Yi-Ching, drinking half-cup to two cups of oolong or green tea a day may lower the risk of developing hypertension by nearly 46%. The research involved 600 participants who drank between 120 and 599 ml of tea per day.

Another research paper, involving 1,507 subjects, investigated the long term effects of drinking tea on blood pressure and found that regular intake of green tea had similar effects with drinking coffee, leading to a small reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure values.

Also, a retrospectiv analysis presented at the European Society of Hypertension 2013 Scientific Sessions, by Dr. Bruno Pannier (Centre d’Investigations Preventives et Cliniques, Paris), showed that tea consumption can lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure. Data analyzed in this study came from 176,437 subjects with ages between 16 and 95 years, who had their blood pressure checked at the French Center, between 2001 and 2011.

Pick green, black, white or oolong tea for treating hypertension

Of all the varieties available out there, green tea remains the best replacement for coffee and one of the most recommended natural remedies for people with hypertension, a 6-oz. cup of tea providing, on average, 26g of caffeine, but also a high amount of catechins, which protect against heart disease and help with vasodilation.

Black tea can also be a solution for restoring the normal blood pressure values in hypertensive patients. Still, note that this beverage delivers, on average, 42 to 72 mg of caffeine, so it can cause a more significant temporary spike in blood pressure than green tea.

tea and blood pressure

 

Still, if you’re not into black or green tea, you can also try white tea as natural remedy against hypertension, as this beverage also provides antioxidants, being able to lower blood pressure by thinning the blood and to improve the artery function. Similarly, 2 cups of oolong tea consumed on a daily basis seem to prevent high blood pressure, thanks to the high content of catechins and caffeine.

Given the beneficial effects tea has on one’s health, it’s advisable to consume this beverage on a daily basis, as coffee replacement or in addition to coffee, as long as you don’t exceed the maximum daily allowance for caffeine, which is 400 mg in healthy adults.