High blood pressure is a pretty common condition affecting over 100 million Americans according to research composed in 2018. And, with every year, the numbers continue to rise. There are many causes of high blood pressure, but the most common include dietary issues such as high cholesterol, hormone and kidney problems, diabetes, and obesity. Men are more prone to hypertension (high blood pressure) than women when under the age of 50. After the age of 50, women are more prone to high blood pressure.
A normal blood pressure is around 120 over 80, and pre-hypertension qualifies for numbers above those, such as 85-90 for Diastolic (bottom number) and 129 for Systolic (top number). The more you know, the better tools you will have to cope with the condition. That leads us to our latest information - high blood pressure and essential oils. What are essential oils, and what can they do for an elevated blood pressure? On top of that, have any studies proved this information to be true? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about using essential oils to help reduce high blood pressure.
Note: We are not doctors, nor do we intend to give you professional medical advice. Always seek a licensed medical professional if you have high blood pressure or hypertension. These conditions can lead to further medical complications and should be treated promptly. The information listed in this article is for personal use of your own free will.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the ‘essence’ of a plant, specifically, a compound that has been extracted from the plant. They retain the natural scent (and even flavor) of the plant and have been used for thousands of years in Eastern Medicine. Over the past 100 years, Western Medicine has started recognizing that plants and essential oils hold many medicinal benefits that have been backed by science. Essential oils are used to aid in the reduction of many conditions and illnesses such as muscle inflammation, skin conditions such as eczema, mental health, and even high blood pressure and hypertension. They are most commonly used in aromatherapy practices and applied topically, but sometimes they are even used in food items or drink.
Essential Oils That Can Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
As we mentioned earlier, hypertension can have many frustrating conditions with symptoms that include headaches, fatigue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, vision problems, and much more. Fortunately, there truly are essential oils that can not only alleviate these symptoms, but they can reduce high blood pressure completely. Let’s take a look at the most popular essential oils that are used to combat hypertension:
According to research, bergamot may help reduce blood pressure in many individuals. A bergamot is a type of orange with the outside color similar to a lime. Studies using bergamot essential oil suggest a cardio-protective effect while taking a single daily dose. Bergamot also can reduce cholesterol and lower anxiety - both of which are common factors that increase blood pressure.
Your first thought when it comes to citronella is repelling bugs. However, citronella has been shown in studies to not only reduce blood pressure when inhaled, but also reduce both respiratory and heart rate. Citronella also works inside the central nervous system to reduce stress, which in turn, lowers blood pressure.
This essential oil is known for its calming properties. Cedarwood essential oil stimulates the limbic system in the brain - the area responsible for emotions. Cedarwood oil contains the sesquiterpene called Cedrol, which produces a sedating effect on the autonomic nervous system, thus, lowering blood pressure.
With science to back this essential oil up - you should really consider it for treating high blood pressure! Research showed that after 60 minutes of inhalation, clary sage reduced participants systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 4.7% and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 5.1%. The contributing factor was clary sage and the anti-inflammatory products found within the plant. These compounds have shown to relieve stress and tension - both can contribute to high blood pressure.
There have been many investigations on the effects of lavender essential oil and reducing blood pressure, amongst many other studies on different conditions. In fact, it is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils to treat almost anything and everything. However, understand that if you take prescription medications to lower your blood pressure, lavender essential oil may make your blood pressure drop too low. Lavender essential oil affects the central nervous system to greatly reduce stress, thus reducing blood pressure. This essential oil kind of does it all, so if you are looking for an herb that keeps everything in check - this is the one.
Rose essential oil has shown to boost blood circulation which can lower blood pressure. It can also aid in addressing emotional and hormonal issues which can contribute to a heightened blood pressure at certain times. You can inhale rose essential oil, use it in massage therapy, or apply it to one of many carrier oils for skin and rub it on your wrists or temples.
Jasmine essential oil also works within the central nervous system to alleviate stress, anxiety, and symptoms associated with both. While positively affecting the central nervous system, jasmine essential oil can play a role in reducing high blood pressure numbers.
Like rose essential oil as well as many others, geranium also improves circulation, and it also promotes a restful sleep which lowers stress. In turn, blood pressure is lowered. Geranium also helps balance the nervous system to reduce stress and anxiety and calm the overactive mind.
You see, there are many ways that essential oils can help reduce blood pressure, and some improve tons of other conditions and associated symptoms as well. Science as well as plenty of research and studies have backed up peoples claims of reduced blood pressure by regular use of essential oils. As an added bonus, you can find all-natural and organic essential oils in most major retailers or you can easily purchase them online.
How to Use Essential Oils
Surprisingly enough, there are definitely more than a few ways to get essential oils (safely) into your body in order to lower your blood pressure. The easiest and most common way to use essential oils is by aromatherapy and inhaling them - there are plenty of ways to do this option alone. You can use diffusers, smell them directly from the bottle, or inhaling the amazing aromas while you take a bath or shower. If you are looking for quick relief, try the steam method. This includes using hot water in a bowl with a few drops of essential oils and using a towel to drape over your head and the bowl. All you have to do from that point on is inhale - do this for a few minutes 2-3 times every day.
You can add oil to your pillow which will enable you to fall asleep to the scent. You can also use essential oils as lotion or massage oil by simply adding a few drops to your favorite carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and rub it directly onto your body. For more effective results, apply your carrier oil and essential oil combo to an area that you can easily breathe in the aroma, such as your temples or neck.
Word of caution: Be mindful while using essential oils and do further research before using them. Some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or nursing women as well as children under the age of 12. Also, before you steam up an area, make sure the oil you are using is pet-safe - some essential oils are toxic to animals.Final Thoughts
It’s safe to say that for many reasons, you should really consider filling your medicine cabinet up with essential oils. Essential oils have been used medicinally for thousands of years for many different conditions and to reduce inflammation both inside and outside of your body. On top of that, they smell incredible!
You should always consider consulting your doctor if you have high blood pressure, prehypertension, or hypertension. These conditions may require medical attention or medication. However, using essential oils will only aid and never hurt you if you use them properly. Make sure you always follow the directions on the essential oil bottles and rely on carrier oils to avoid skin irritation if you decide to apply the oils topically.
Essential are found almost everywhere in most stores and online, and products to use them are found in similar areas (such as diffusers and carrier oils). A method that has been tested, tried, and true for decades, along with medical and scientific research backing up claims, will surely help your conditions including high blood pressure. With a wealth of proven health benefits, utilizing essential oils is such a versatile, convenient, and affordable way to improve the quality of your life and take control of your body and mind.