You might know garlic as that herb that you usually use to add flavor to your food. What you might not know about garlic is that it can save your life. One newspaper headline even went as far as to say “A daily dose of garlic can save your life” and right now, scientific research is indeed proving this point as evidence that is pointing to the efficacy of garlic against high blood pressure continually mounts against critics. Although this growing evidence has not silenced those who remain dubious on the effects of garlic and there is continued debate over the validity of these early studies, the results of the the research already done is indeed thought provoking and these studies have already fostered further research into the effects of garlic to our health and to those who suffer from hypertension.
You would never have thought that garlic and high blood pressure could ever be associated and we would never have been able to guess that the worst thing about garlic, the bad garlic breath, could actually be what presents the solution to your hypertension problems. Of course, it’s not the actual breath that’s the remedy but it’s a good sign. To get a more detailed picture on the behaviour of garlic and how it affects high blood pressure, we first have to understand how high blood pressure affects us. So read on and learn more about garlic for high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is can result from a number of factors. One basic and highly possible cause of high blood pressure is when the walls of your arteries and veins have gotten thicker because of bad cholesterol. This results in a smaller pathways for blood to flow and so higher blood pressure. One other factor for high blood pressure is when we have a high sodium intake. It has been recorded for blood pressure to rise after eating a salty snack or meal. Another source for concern is smoking. Smoking lessens the amount of oxygen we are able to take into our system and this stresses the heart and makes it work harder. The heart working faster can give a higher blood pressure than normal. Tied in with all this is alcohol intake. Doctors usually tell you to limit or eliminate alcohol when you experience high blood pressure this is good too as alcohol coats the walls of the red blood cells and the blood vessels and results in higher surface tension and so, again, we get higher blood pressure. All these factors, bad cholesterol, sodium intake, diet and alcohol, mainly stem from diet so this means that we have to watch out for things that go into our body.
How does garlic help those with high blood pressure?
In an Australian study concerning 50 individuals suffering from high blood pressure, results showed that the intake of garlic for high blood pressure did have a positive effect. These patients notably had high blood pressure even under medication and this study was able to show that there was a notable drop in the blood pressure of those patients who took 4 capsules of garlic extract as compared to those who were given a placebo. In the latest study of the same team of Australian researchers, patients who were given garlic for high blood pressure showed a lower 10mmHg systolic blood pressure difference to the group who was receiving placebo. These two instances who that taking garlic for high blood pressure does work.
What’s in the garlic that help?
In another study, researchers have found that allicin, which when broken down by the body gives that oftentimes unwanted garlic breath, could be the beneficial agent in the use of garlic for high blood pressure. Sulfur agents are released after allicin is broken down by the body and these compounds react with our red blood cells further creating hydrogen sulphide which in turn relaxes our blood vessels allowing the blood to flow more freely. In one experiment, an Alabama based team bathed rat blood vessels in a bath containing garlic extract. The results were astounding as the tension within the vessels was reduced by 72%. This team also found that the exposure of red blood cells to minute doses of garlic extract from your supermarket garlic led these red blood cells to immediately emit hydrogen sulfide. Clear indication that using garlic for high blood pressure does indeed work.
If you’re still asking ‘Is taking garlic for high blood pressure a good practice?’ why not consult with your health care provider and see if you can also try using garlic for high blood pressure. We’re sure that you’ll start seeing the tasty results for yourself.