Cinnamon and blood pressure

Lose the Salt, Not the Flavor

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure, your doctor has probably advised you to exercise and change your eating habits. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eating a diet of nutrient-rich, low-sodium foods can lower blood pressure naturally. And best of all, most foods that lower blood pressure are still rich in flavor.

But what foods lower blood pressure? And will foods help lower blood pressure according to the latest American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines? Because of complications that can be found even at lower blood pressure readings, these new guidelines lower the definition of high blood pressure and eliminate the prehypertension category.

The new ACC and AHA blood pressure guidelines were published online in November 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and in November 2017 in the journal Hypertension. Under these blood pressure guidelines, the number of men in the United States with high blood pressure will triple, and the number of women will double. The guidelines are:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg)
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120 and 129 mmHg and diastolic less than 80 mmHg
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130 and 139 mmHg or diastolic between 80 and 89 mmHg
  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 mmHg or diastolic at least 90 mmHg
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 mmHg or diastolic over 120 mmHg, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage

There is much research that supports pursuing lower blood pressure for prevention of heart disease. In one key study, participants who got their systolic pressures below 120 saw their incidence of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke fall by one-third, and the risk of death fell by nearly a one-quarter. That’s a substantial drop.

Instead of turning to blood pressure medication immediately, the new ACC/AHA guidelines encourage many Americans to use lifestyle measures and food to lower blood pressure, if they can. The aim is always to get blood pressure to a level that reduces the risk of complications.

People whose blood pressure is too high may first try changing some of their habits instead of taking medication. Try the following steps:

  • A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods, as well as fish and skinless poultry
  • Alcohol in moderation, and those who don’t currently drink aren’t encouraged to start
  • Increased physical activity
  • Losing weight
  • Modest salt reduction
  • Quitting smoking
  • Relaxation and stress reduction using specific techniques

How do you respond to the new blood pressure recommendations? First, see your doctor and have your blood pressure checked. Then start incorporating these hypertension-friendly foods that lower blood pressure into your meals. Your taste buds and your heart will thank you.

High blood pressure, who doesn’t suffer from this serious problem? Almost everyone (men and women) suffer from this serious health problem. It is also known as hypertension. High blood pressure can lead different health problems like- kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and so on. About 140/90 mm Hg or above is considered as high blood pressure level. You can solve this health disease by taking helps of natural ingredients which are available in your kitchen or supermarkets. Here we are suggesting some important home remedies that will help you to control your blood pressure in normal level and help you to lead a problem free life.


Lemon is one of the great home remedies for the treatment of high blood pressure. Lemon keeps the blood vessels soft and also prevents the hypertension level. In addition to that, lemon can help lower your chances of heart failure because of its vitamin C percentage. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant which helps neutralize all the harmful consequences of free radicals.


  • Take a large fresh lemon or two medium sized lemons.
  • Squeeze all the juice out of it.
  • Take some water and bring it to a simmer.
  • Mix the lemon juice to the water.
  • Take it in the morning before breakfast.
  • Once you start taking this remedy, you have to keep taking it at least for a few weeks.

Alternatively, you can just take some lemon juice with your meals every day. If you take lemon juice for a few weeks regularly, you will notice a good and considerable reduction on your blood pressure levels. You will be able to keep your high-pressure level in check.

2. Grapes

Grapes another great home remedy for the treatment of high blood pressure. Grape is considered multi-vitamin fruit which is high in phosphorus and potassium. So try to eat grapes daily, to control the blood pressure level. Grapes will make your health better and help you control your high blood pressure.


  • Take a bunch of grapes and wash them.
  • Take them one by one and put them in a blender.
  • Blend the grapes and pour out the nectar.
  • Now, mix some sugar with it if you like.
  • Drink the juice once every morning with or without breakfast.

You can also but grape juice from the store. But those have too much preservatives and artificial ingredients. You should always go for the original and fresh juices that you can make yourself. You can have a guaranteed improvement in your health by doing that.

3. Honey

To get rid of high blood pressure, you can take 1 tablespoon honey with hot water and drink it on a daily basis; surely you can avoid high blood pressure.

Honey will reduce pressure from your heart and it has a calming effect on your blood vessels as well. Therefore, it will be a helpful home remedy for high blood pressure. Honey helps you keep your hogh blood pressure under control. You can take two teaspoons of raw honey an hour right before breakfast every morning. Or, you can do the following procedure-


  • Take one teaspoon of honey and mix it into two teaspoons of ginger juice.
  • Take two teaspoons full of cumin seed powder. Mix it with the solution.
  • Take this twice every day.

Another effective home remedy would be-


  • Take a tablespoon of basil juice and mix it with half a tablespoon of pure honey.
  • Mix this with some lukewarm water and mix well.
  • Drink this solution every day on an empty stomach. You should continue taking this for at least four weeks to notice an improvement.

4. Basil Juice

To get rid of high blood pressure you can also take basil juice. Try to take basil juice every day and add 1 tablespoon honey with it. Try to drink this juice twice a day.


  • Take a bunch of basil leaves.
  • Wash them thoroughly and neatly tie them up.
  • Take some water and pour it in a pot.
  • Put the stack of leaves in the pot.
  • Boil the water until it simmers.
  • Let it steep for a few minutes.
  • Strain the water and store it in a jar.

You can use the leaves for making a paste and eating it as chutney.

Alternatively, you can do the following-

  • Chop and crush a stack of basil leaves.
  • Use it in the food you cook as an added flavor.
  • Add it to the salad and soups you make as well.
  • Eat the basil on a regular basis to keep your blood pressure in control.

5. Celery

Celery will be very beneficial for the high blood pressure patients. Try to add celery in your diet chart and eat it on the daily basis with a glass of water, surely you can cure your high blood pressure.

The phytochemical 3-N-butylphthalide is present in celery in high amount. It greatly helps you to control high blood pressure. Phthalides also help relax your muscles inside and around the arterial walls, which creates much more space and allows the blood to flow in freely. At the same time, this can help you reduce the stress hormones which constrict the blood vessels, contributing to high blood pressure as well.

You should try to eat at least one stalk of celery with a glass of water every day. However, eating four stalks of celery daily is going to be much more helpful in lowering your blood pressure. For some enhance of protein, follow this-


  • Take one tablespoon of unsalted almond butter or peanut butter.
  • Take a celery stalk and dip into it.
  • Chew on the stalk like you eat French fries dipped in ketchup.
  • Both peanut butter and almond butter have high amounts of monounsaturated fat that keeps your heart healthy.

Related: whats the truth about garcinia cambogia

6. Coconut Water

For controlling your blood pressure, coconut water is very effective. It helps to keep your body hydrated and also prevents different health problem. Try to drink coconut water every day to get rid of high blood pressure.


  • Take a freshly cut tender coconut and get the juice out of it.
  • Pour the juice into a glass jar.
  • You can preserve the juice in the refrigerator if you are able to extract juice from a lot of coconuts.
  • Make sure you drink the coconut water in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach.
  • This juice will stay fresh if you keep it cool, though we suggest you cut a fresh coconut every day.

You can also eat the flesh of the fruit because it will also help you to reduce your high blood pressure levels and keep it in control.

7. Cayenne Pepper

As we all know that cayenne pepper is very spicy but to get rid of high blood pressure it works greatly. Try to take it every day or you can add cayenne pepper in your vegetables, soup or salad. A little bit of cayenne pepper is enough to control the high blood pressure level.

The people that are suffering from mild hypertension are surely going to benefit from taking cayenne pepper. It makes blood flow by the preventing the platelets from clumping up together and building up in your blood.

You should add some cayenne pepper to your daily meals, like the vegetable or fruit salads you eat. A little bit would do. If you take too much, you may burn your throat due to too much pepper. You can also do the following process-

  • Make a bowl of soup for yourself.
  • Make sure you do not put too much spices into it.
  • When it is done, add just a pinch to the bowl.
  • Since cayenne pepper is really spicy, one pinch is more than enough.

8. Garlic

Garlic has anti-bacterial properties which prevent the pressure and improves the blood flow. So try to eat garlic every day, surely it works in a proper way and gives you the best result.

A lot of healthcare studies have shown that garlic has great blood pressure lowering effects. Both cooked and raw garlic can help you control your high blood pressure. At the same time, it can reduce your cholesterol levels considerably. Garlic helps relax your blood vessels by stimulating the construction of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide.

You should eat one or two cloves of crushed garlic every day. You can just crush them with your teeth and chew on them. Crushing garlic cloves produce hydrogen sulfide. It is a compound which promotes healthy blood flow, reduces pressure on your heart and removes gas. If you dislike eating up raw garlic or in case it creates a burning sensation in your mouth, then you should take it with a warm cup of milk.

You may also follow the following process-

  • Directions:
  • Take some water and pour it into a pot.
  • Put some sliced garlic in the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • The juice should be stored in a jar and preserved in the fridge.
  • Take it twice a day mixed with some warm water on an empty stomach in the morning.

9. Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are also considered great natural remedies for controlling the high blood pressure level. It will be better if you make a juice of curry leaves. For making juice, you have to take 20-25 curry leaves and add 1 cup of hot water. Try to drink this juice in every morning.


  • Take a cup of water and pour it into a pot.
  • Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down.
  • Let it simmer and put some curry leaves into the water.
  • Let the leaves boil for a few minutes, making the solution thick.
  • Drain the water and pour it into a jar.
  • Every morning, take a cup of lukewarm water and mix a little curry juice in it.
  • Drink this on an empty stomach in the morning.
  • For better results, drink one cup in the evening as well.

10. Water

Try to drink water as much as you can, because if you drink plenty of water, your body will get hydrated. You can be able to control your blood pressure.

Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Juices and beverage do not count. Pure water will make your system relaxed and stress-free, thus reducing your blood pressure

Related: whats the truth about cumin

11. Apples

To get rid of high blood pressure apples are very beneficial. Apples are rich in zinc which prevents hypertension and also control the level of high blood pressure. You can just chew on an apple without peeling its skin off. The skin will help with your high blood pressure as well. If you do not want to chew one entire apple, you can follow this process-


  • Take a fresh apple and wash it well.
  • Slice it into small pieces and put it into a juicer.
  • Pour some water in the juicer and some sugar, if you want. We suggest not using any sugar. You can use some honey if you need to sweeten up your juice.
  • Mix up the apple slices and blend until the nectar is ready for you to drink.
  • Pour it out into a glass.
  • Drink this juice every morning with your breakfast. You can also drink it along with your breakfast.

If you drink this juice regularly for a month, you will notice a considerable change in your high blood pressure. It will reduce and stay in control.

12. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is very useful and many people prefer this oil to control their high blood pressure level. Cod liver oil is highly rich in omega-3 which controls the blood pressure and other diseases.

You can buy the capsules available in pharmacies. You should take two capsules every day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Usually, there is no side effect to these capsules, but you may experience some itching. If you do, discontinue taking these capsules. Otherwise, taking the cod liver oil capsules for a couple months will help reduce your high blood pressure levels.

If you want a better dosage, you can buy bottles of cod liver oil and use it for some cooking. it might smell bad if you put it raw in your salads. But frying some food in the oil will make it quite edible for you to consume. You can cook some vegetables like zucchini and papaya along with cayenne pepper in it.

Related: is fast weight loss safe

13. Beetroot

To control the blood pressure level in normal you can drink the juice of beetroot. It contains sodium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium which work great. Try to eat this juice every day.


  • Take a fistful of beetroots and wash them well.
  • Put them in the juicer and add a cup of water.
  • You can add a little salt to your taste to make it more edible.
  • Mix the juice well until you want. The thickness of the juice depends on your taste.
  • Pour the juice out in a glass. You can add some spices like coriander or pepper if you want to.
  • Drink this juice every day in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach. We suggest you do not take any food half an hour before or after you drink the beetroot juice.

14. Papaya

To get rid of high blood pressure you have to eat papaya, it contains sodium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and also contains multi-vitamins. Papaya will prevent many diseases and provides many health benefits.

Eating raw papaya would be the best way to keep your high blood pressure in check. However, it is not the only way to eat it. you can cook it, fry it, boil it, make a soup of it- any way you take it is absolutely fine and thoroughly effective. However, the easiest way would be just to make a juice out of it. you can follow this process below-

  • Take a fresh and tender papaya and peel it.
  • Slice the papaya into small pieces.
  • Put the slices in a juicer.
  • Pour a cup of water in the juicer with the slices.
  • Mix the juicer until you think the juice is ready for you.
  • Pour the juice in a glass.
  • Mix some salt to taste. You can also mix some pepper in it to make it more edible.
  • Drink it every morning before breakfast.

15. Olive Oil

Olive oil is very effective to get rid of high blood pressure. Try to add olive oil in your cooking and salad.

Related: feedback for apple cider vinegar

16. Watermelon Seeds

Watermelon seeds have a compound named cucurbocitrin. It helps to widen blood capillaries considerably. At the same time, these seed helps improve kidney functions as well. This reduces blood pressure levels in turn and helps with arthritis as well.

Also, watermelon has vasodilatory effect that will help lower your blood pressure very effectively.


  • Grind some dried poppy seeds and watermelon seeds.
  • Take a teaspoon of the mixture early in the morning before you eat breakfast.
  • Have it on an empty stomach in the evening as well.

Alternatively, you can follow this process-


  • Take two teaspoons full of crushed and dried watermelon seeds.
  • Mix it with a cup of boiled water.
  • Let it steep it for almost an hour and strain it.
  • Have a few sips of this solution at regular intervals all through the day.

17. Mint Leaves

Mint leaves are really a good cure for reducing one’s high blood pressure. To reduce your high blood pressure, dissolve two teaspoons of dry mint leaves powder with water or lemon water and drink it up twice a day. You can also use mint flavored chewing gums that you can carry and chew any time of the day you want.

18. Banana

Bananas are really effective that all the people having high blood pressure should regularly eat to keep it in control. Bananas are a great source of potassium. Potassium lessens the effects of sodium.

You should always try to eat two bananas very day. Along with eating bananas, you can also try other fruits. You can chop up fruits and vegetables like apricots, raisins, spinach, currants, orange, zucchini and baked sweet potatoes and mix some sliced bananas to make a salad or custard.

19. Onion

Onions have been known and proved to lower the blood pressure because it has an antioxidant in abundance flavonol called quercetin. This is a good home remedy for high blood pressure. You should try to keep one medium-sized onion in your diet daily. You can cook it into your meals or you can eat it raw and chopped in your salad.

Also, you can also take one teaspoon of honey and onion juice, mix them and drink it twice every day for a couple weeks. Your high blood pressure will come down.

Related: weight loss with NAD+

20. Fenugreek Seeds

Taking fenugreek seeds is an effective home remedy for lowering your high blood pressure. This happens because the seeds have dietary fiber content and high potassium.


  • Put two teaspoons full of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water.
  • Boil the water for about five minutes.
  • Strain the water and store it in a jar.
  • Put the boiled seeds in a blender.
  • Now, blend the seeds and make a paste of it.
  • Eat this paste two times a day. Take it once before breakfast in the morning with an empty stomach. Do the same in the evening.

Do this home remedy for about three months. You will notice a significant development in your blood pressure.

Try to follow these remedies properly, surely you can be able to get rid of high blood pressure or control your blood pressure level. If you feel acute problem, try to consult with your doctor as soon as possible and take medicine timely.

Cinnamon Honey Benefits

Some people would say that if you are interested in cinnamon honey benefits, then you only want to be in trend. It’s a new wave, like it was when we first heard of the goji berries, to give an example. The truth is that yes, it may be in trend, but it’s also a proven therapy, recommended by hundreds of years of healings.

Taken separately, each of them is an incredible food and medicine. Combined, their effects doubles. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties and it proved itself to be hugely useful for everything, from Type 2 Diabetes to sore throats and weigh control. Honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Remember to take the real cinnamon, you wouldn’t want to heal something and destroy something else.

Weekly World News published a list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon, as researched by western scientists:
ARTHRITIS: Nutritionists recommend rubbing a simple mixture of one part honey, two parts warm water and a teaspoon of cinnamon into aching areas. relief shoul be noticeable within minutes. OR simply make a tea using on cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon, and drink it every morning and evening. There have been shown significant reductions in arthritis pain and dramatic increases in mobility within one month.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the bacteria in the bladder. Substitute cranberry juice for the water in cases of severe infections.

CHOLESTEROL: The cholesterol level has dropped by 10 percent within 2 hours after the patients took 16 ounces of tea with 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon mixed in . If taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. Actually raw honey taken with food on a daily basis could relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: For common and severe colds take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon of cinnamon powder daily, for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

HEART DISEASES: If you eat every morning a slice of bread with honey and some sprinkled cinnamon, it reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves you from heart attack.
Regular use strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and clears stomach ulcers from the root.

GAS: Studies have been made in India and Japan, and it was revealed that when honey is taken with cinnamon, the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens
the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

FLU: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and protects the patient from flu.
LONGEVITY: Take 4 spoons of honey, 1 spoon of cinnamon, and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increase and even a 100 year old might start behave like a 20-year-old. 🙂

PIMPLES: Make a paste from 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and apply on the pimples before sleeping Wash it the next morning with warm water. Do it daily for two weeks, and it will removes pimples from the root.

One popular recipe says the following: Pour boiling water over cinnamon and honey and take this “tea” half an hour before breakfast and just before sleeping at night, do it daily and it will reduce the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

Another recipe says there isn’t really a recipe to follow, but a different diet, rich in these two natural ingredients: honey and cinnamon. You can enjoy all the food you like, lose unwanted pounds and even more: get healthier with this powerful and tasty new diet. All you have to do is use these two ingredients in your cooking. A lot. Combine this diet with the beverage from the previous recipe and enjoy your new figure. Remember to use only organic honey and only Ceylon cinnamon. Please read the Cinnamon Warning post to find out more about the importance of eating Ceylon cinnamon when taking it in large doses.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: After only a few weeks of daily intake of cinnamon and honey, 137 of Italian patients reported that they felt much better, according to the researchers.

IMPOTENCE: Honey has a long history as an aphrodisiac as well as a powerful cure for impotence. Some Eastern Religion even banned honey because of its “arousal agent”. In Africa men apply honey externally on their private parts to enhance their sexual stamina.

INFERTILITY: Honey has long been used in India and China to increase fertility. The spice is mixed with a small amount of honey and turned into a paste which is then spread along the gums, from where it is slowly absorbed by the body.

POISON IVY: Apply the mix directly on the affected area. Repeat until eruptions disappear.

SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.

CANKER SORES: Make a salad dressed with: honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar may clear up painful canker sores.

FATIGUE: Elders who take honey and cinnamon in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. It has been proven that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon, taken daily in the morning and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., increases the vitality of the body within a week.

CANCER: An important research in Japan and Australia has revealed that patients suffering from advanced cancer of the stomach and bones should take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

BAD BREATH: People in South America first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HAIR LOSS: Honey and cinnamon mixed with warm olive oil is a stimulant used in folk medicine. Massage your scalp before shampooing it and keep it for 5 minutes. Then wash it.

HEARING LOSS: Equal parts of honey and cinnamon powder, taken every morning and evening, helps restore hearing.

ATHLETE’S FOOT: Every evening mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and massage the affected foot area with this mixture for half of hour. Then wash it with soap and water. The problem disappears within 1 week.

SORE FEET: Rub warm honey and cinnamon on sore feet after a long day at work. Do this again in the morning and then bath them in cool water. Now you are ready for another long day at work.

Google Ebooks: weekly world news

Cinnamon Honey Benefits was last modified: October 18th, 2016 by Laura Laura 04/07/2014

Bring Your High Blood Pressure Down With This Amazing Ingredient In Your Kitchen

Cinnamon can help in reducing high blood pressure


  • Cinnamon can reduce systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm
  • Cinnamon benefits for blood pressure maybe different for everyone
  • Cinnamon can reduce fasting blood sugar levels

High blood pressure is one of the most common diseases in India. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can make a person prone to risks of heart disease and stroke. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is considered to be the best ways for keeping your blood pressure under control. Intake of salt, sodium and processed foods must be controlled for maintaining normal levels of blood pressure. Also, it has now been found that eating cinnamon may help in dealing with hypertension. The very reasonable and easily available spice can help in reducing systolic blood pressure. According to a paper published US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, eating cinnamon helped in reducing systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm.

Cinnamon can help in reducing blood pressure
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 6 Reasons Why Turmeric Is Good For High Blood Pressure

However, more research is still required to look into how cinnamon helps in reducing blood pressure. Benefits of cinnamon for blood pressure may not be the same in everyone. It can be tried by sprinkling cinnamon powder on your everyday foods. Cinnamon can be added in your diet by making adding it to your porridge or as a flavoring agent to almost every dish.

Cut down on your salt intake for controlling high blood pressure
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: High Blood Pressure: 5 Worst Things You Can Do

Benefits of cinnamon

Apart from reducing blood pressure, following are the benefits of cinnamon:

1. Cinnamon can also help in reducing risk of heart disease.

2. People who are diabetic can resort to cinnamon as the spice is said to have anti-diabetic properties. Cinnamon can reduce fasting blood sugar levels.

3. Anti-viral and antifungal properties of cinnamon have made the spice a popular home remedy for common cold, lung congestion, clearing mucus, etc.

Cinnamon can reduce risks of heart disease
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: The Best Expert Recommended Diet Tips To Manage High Blood Pressure

In order to keep your blood pressure under control, you need to cut down intake of alcohol, sugar and pickles. People with high blood pressure can include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These can help for making up for intake of essential nutrients like potassium, fibre, calcium, Vitamin D and antioxidants.

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar, But One Variety May Be Best

Studies suggest cinnamon can help control blood sugar, but if you want to incorporate more of this spice in your diet, consider using the Ceylon variety. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto

If I say cinnamon, you say … sugar? It’s a popular combination, of course.

But if you’re interested in the health-promoting effects of cinnamon, you may want to think anew about the spice.

For instance, says John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., why not add it to savory dishes? He uses cinnamon to create a spice and herb rub for lamb loin. He also whips up a great spinach salad with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon.

Critchley is a fan of the intense aromatics in cinnamon, especially in Saigon — a cousin of the cassia varieties of cinnamon most commonly used in the U.S. and Europe. And he says adding cinnamon to spice blends is a great way to layer flavors when you’re cooking.

And when you start to look at the potential health-promoting effects of the spice, there’s even more incentive to experiment with it in the kitchen.

Cinnamon comes from the bark of trees. It has long been considered a medicinal plant. There are several varieties, harvested from southern China to Southeast Asia.

John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., uses cinnamon in many savory dishes, including a spice and herb rub for lamb loin. Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Allison Aubrey/NPR

John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., uses cinnamon in many savory dishes, including a spice and herb rub for lamb loin.

Allison Aubrey/NPR

For years, there have been hints that adding cinnamon to your diet can help control blood sugar. And a recent spate of studies adds to the evidence that the effect is real.

“Yes, it does work,” says Paul Davis, a research nutritionist with the University of California, Davis. He authored a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that concluded that cinnamon lowers fasting blood glucose.

“According to our results, it’s a modest effect of about 3 to 5 percent,” Davis says. This is about the level of reduction found in the older generation of diabetes drugs, he says.

That makes the findings of interest not just to the 25 million Americans who already have diabetes, but also to the 80 million other people — nearly 1 in 4 of us — who have elevated fasting blood-glucose levels. Doctors refer to this as pre-diabetes, meaning blood sugar that doesn’t meet the cutoff for a diagnosis of diabetes but that does indicate a high risk of developing the disease.

There’s also a recent meta-analysis concluding that cinnamon can help lower lipid levels, including LDL cholesterol (the unhealthy type) and triglycerides.

What’s not well understood is exactly how much cinnamon is optimal, and whether the effect is transient. It’s hard to tell from the studies whether it leads to a significant, long-term reduction in blood sugar.

For people who already have diabetes, cinnamon is not an alternative to medication. But for people with pre-diabetes who are interested in using diet to manage their blood sugar, it’s one of many strategies worth considering, says diabetes educator Emmy Suhl of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

“The evidence is still inconclusive,” Suhl notes, but cinnamon “is inexpensive,” “and it tastes good.”

So, is there an ideal variety of cinnamon to be sprinkling into your oatmeal, or blending into your spice rubs and salads?

Well, as we recently reported in The Salt, cassia cinnamon is the variety you are most likely to encounter in a grocery store. But cassia can contain high levels of coumarin, a naturally occurring ingredient that, when eaten in large enough amounts, can cause reversible liver toxicity in a small group of individuals sensitive to it.

“So the warning is, for cinnamon lovers, is to beware of excessive intake of cassia,” says diabetes educator Angela Ginn.

And Ikhlas Khan, a researcher at the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy who recently looked at the amounts of coumarin in cinnamon-flavored foods in the U.S., recently told The Salt that people who do want to use cinnamon for medicinal purposes should consult their doctor before taking large amounts.

Some experts suggest investing instead in Ceylon cinnamon, a milder — and pricier — variety of the spice that comes from a tree distinct from but related to cassia.

How much cassia is too much? For an adult who is sensitive to coumarin, the limit is about a teaspoon a day, according to the daily tolerable intake set by the European Food Safety Authority.

So if you’re a cinnamon lover and your goal is to increase your daily intake, using Ceylon cinnamon can reduce the risk of consuming too much coumarin.

Another option: cinnamon capsules. In many of the studies evaluating the benefits of cinnamon, researchers have used cinnamon supplements. And as word has spread about the potential health benefits, sales of supplements have grown — about 20 percent over the past few years, totaling $32 million in 2012, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.


Lamb Loin with Baby Spinach, Golden Raisins, Preserved Lemon and Cinnamon

Here’s the recipe from John Critchley, executive chef of Bourbon Steak in Washington, D.C. It calls for ras el hanout, a North African spice blend, and sumac, which are available at many halal markets and online.

Yield 4 portions

2 pounds lamb loin

1 pound baby spinach

1 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons preserved lemons, chopped

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ras el hanout

1 tablespoon sumac

¼ cup olive oil

1 lemon, juiced


  1. Season lamb loin with ras el hanout, sumac and 1 tablespoon Saigon cinnamon and sear in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat.
  2. Cook until medium rare or about 12 minutes constantly turning over medium heat.
  3. Let rest on your cutting board.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the baby spinach, cinnamon, raisins and preserved lemon with olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Slice the meat and arrange on a platter.
  6. Plate the salad in a bowl

Last updated by Dr Sarah Brewer on October 24, 2018

Cinnamon is an aromatic spice obtained from the inner bark of two related trees: true Celon cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum verum (also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum) while Dutch, cassia or baker’s cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum cassia (also known as Cinnamomum aromaticum). Cinnamon bark is harvested from the shoots of young trees, from which the outer bark is removed. The inner bark is then cut into thin strips and dried to form the familiar cinnamon quills from which cinnamon powder is made. Cinnamon is used medicinally to improve blood pressure and glucose control.

Quick links: These are the products I recommend from Healthspan, and

Cinnamon and blood pressure

Cinnamon not only lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension, but also has beneficial effects in people whose blood pressure is only had slightly raised and falls within the definition of hypertension in the US, but not currently in the UK.

The latest study, involving 28 healthy volunteers with a slightly raised blood pressure, assessed the effects of taking true Ceylon cinnamon (from Cinnamomum verum also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum) at three different doses: 85mg, 250mg or 500mg cinnamon per day, for 3 months. All three doses showed a similar result, with blood pressures falling by an average of 6.7/4.8 mmHg (from 124.0/76.8 mmHg down to 117.3 /72.0 mmHg) and staying low throughout the rest of the trial. Their total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol also reduced significantly. This is the first study to show that cinnamon can lower blood pressure even in healthy people, which suggests that even a low dose of cinnamon may help to slow or prevent the progression of hypertension.

How does cinnamon lower blood pressure?

Cinnamon contains several unique substances such as cinnamaldehyde and ethylcinamate which have several different blood pressure lowering actions. Cinnamon extracts improve blood vessel elasticity and promote blood vessel dilation through mechanisms involving nitric oxide, activation of potassium channels in smooth muscle, and by improving the flow of calcium in and out of cells. Cinnamon also lowers blood pressure through a mild diuretic effect that reduces the amount of sodium and fluid in the circulation.

Cinnamon and type 2 diabetes

Cinnamon has a long history of use in treating type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon appears to activated insulin receptors so they respond to insulin hormone more effectively. This reduces insulin resistance, improves the uptake of glucose into muscle and fat cells, and reduces the production of abnormally high amounts of new glucose in the liver.

The effects of cinnamon were tested in 59 adults with type 2 diabetes who took either 1,200mg cinnamon per day, or placebo, for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 3.4 mmHg in those taking cinnamon but had increased by 1.9 mmHg in those taking placebo – a combined difference of 5.3 mmHg.

Another study involving 58 people with type 2 diabetes compared the effects of taking 2g cinnamon per day, or placebo, for 12 weeks. All volunteers continued to take their normal medications. In those taking cinnamon, blood pressures reduced by 132.6/85.2 to 129.2/80.2 mmHg. Significant reductions in fasting blood glucose and HbA1c (a measure of glucose control over the preceding 12 weeks) also seen. The researchers concluded that cinnamon supplements could be considered as an additional dietary option to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels along with conventional medications used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. NB If you are taking medications, check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Overall, the combined results from three trials show that cinnamon extracts can significantly lower blood pressure in people with prediabetes (metabolic syndrome) or type 2 diabetes by an average of 5.39/2.6 mmHg

Which form of cinnamon is best?

Most commercial cinnamon comes from so-called Dutch or baker’s cinnamon, Cinnamomum cassia (also known as Cinnamomum aromaticum) which has a sweeter, less intense flavour than true Ceylon cinnamon.

True cinnamon has a lower content of coumarin (a blood thinning agent) than cassia cinnamon, and a higher content of active aldehydes, so true cinnamon supplements may be better for long term use for lowering blood pressure.

However, a paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2012 suggested that Cinnamomum cassia was the only type to have beneficial effects on glucose control in diabetes, and that true Ceylon cinnamon was less effective.

Do if you only want the blood pressure lowering benefits, select a cassia cinnamon supplement. If you also want to improve yoru glucose control, then select a true Ceylon cinnamon supplement.

Click here to see my recommended cinnamon supplements on, Healthspan (for whom I act as a medical consultant) and

Cinnamon dose

For reducing blood pressure, relatively small doses of 85mg true Ceylon cinnamon per day appear to have the same effect as higher doses of 500mg cinnamon per day.

For improving glucose control, then doses of 1g cassia cinnamon, three times per day, are most effective.

Some cinnamon supplements contain concentrated extracts so that lower doses are needed eg a 5:1 concentration means that 200mg cinnamon extract is equivalent to 1000mg raw cinnamon. Check labels for the manufacturer’s recommended dose and do not exceed this except under medical advice and supervision.

NB If you have diabetes, always keep a close eye on your glucose control when taking a supplement. Check with your doctor first, and ensure you know how to adjust your medication if needed.

What are the benefits of ceylon cinnamon?

Potential for diabetes treatment

Cinnamon is considered as an alternative treatment for diabetes mellitus. In one study, Ceylon cinnamon brought insulin levels in diabetic rats to close to normal levels. Other studies support the idea that Ceylon cinnamon is useful for diabetes treatment.

Ceylon cinnamon stimulates insulin-like activity. It reduces insulin resistance in the body. This helps glucose metabolize in the liver, according to research.

Ceylon cinnamon is a promising treatment for people looking for alternatives to synthetic insulin therapy. To use cinnamon as an insulin stabilizer, at least 120 milligrams (mg) per day are recommended.

Contains cancer-fighting enzymes

Ceylon cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. These properties mean Ceylon cinnamon supports your immune health. Ceylon cinnamon was part of a study that showed it enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity. This means it may prevent or treat certain types of cancer.

This is good news for people who are looking for dietary supplements that can help prevent their cancer from growing. You shouldn’t experiment with cinnamon to treat your cancer without speaking to your oncologist first.

Helps manage blood pressure

All varieties of cinnamon contain cinnamic acid. It has anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-inflammatory property helps blood flow through the body and puts less strain on the heart.

Research on Ceylon cinnamon dates back to 1975. The research concluded Ceylon cinnamon could help blood pressure. Weakening of the heart due to problems in the cardiovascular system often causes heart disease. Ceylon cinnamon supports cardiovascular function and contributes to healthy heart function.

Aids in Alzheimer’s prevention

Cinnamon appears to improve how the brain responds to insulin. The metabolic effect also makes Ceylon cinnamon useful in neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, researchers theorize. Studies that show a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s support the idea Ceylon cinnamon may help halt Alzheimer’s onset.

Ceylon cinnamon may help control high blood glucose levels in the brain. Hyperglycemic episodes happen in people with diabetes mellitus. This can contribute to cognitive decline. Cinnamon’s properties help make sure blood glucose levels don’t rise too fast.

Hypertension refers to high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure readings are usually less than 120/80 mmHg.

If this touches 140/90 mmHg or more a person is said to suffer from hypertension.

Hypertension, if left undetected can lead to kidney problems and heart disease.

Unfortunately, until a person has their blood pressure checked, they may not know that they are suffering from hypertension.

Some people could develop severe headaches, vomiting, confusion, nausea, nose bleeding or a change in vision.

This could be a severe form of hypertension – malignant hypertension.

When a person has hypertension, the doctors will suggest a treatment regime of eating heart-healthy food, exercise, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, reducing salt intake and reducing stress.

This alone is enough to control pre-hypertension. Medications to control hypertension may also be prescribed.

This combination is usually sufficient to control hypertension.

Cinnamon and Hypertension

Cinnamon a commonly used spice is available as rolled quills, powder or liquid extract. There are many cinnamon varieties although the most commonly used is Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia (Chinese), Cinnamon.

Cinnamon also offers various health benefits mainly due to the presence of volatile oils cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol, and cinnamyl acetate.

Cinnamon contains calcium, iron, manganese, vitamin K and dietary fiber.

Cassia cinnamon has especially been used for medicinal purposes.

It could be used to treat hypertension, some types of cancer, chest pain or kidney disorders.

Cinnamon is said to reduce high blood pressure and improve blood glucose circulation.

It is also said to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The American Heart Association says that 1 out of every 3 adults in America suffers from hypertension. This increases the risk of heart disease.

Since hypertension can be controlled with lifestyle changes and common sense diet, these are the two aspects that can be considered for patients with hypertension.

Various fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin C, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. can help lower hypertension.

Foods rich in calcium like cinnamon could help lower blood pressure levels. Calcium acts as a mediator in contracting and relaxing blood vessels.

Calcium deficiency could result in raising blood pressure levels.

This is where cinnamon can help. 1 tbsp of cinnamon provides close to 8% of daily body calcium requirement.

In one randomized trial that studied 58 patients suffering from type-2 diabetes, it was found that 2g cinnamon taken daily reduced high blood pressure and blood sugar levels over time.

In a 2006 study, it was found that cinnamon regulated blood sugar metabolism and lowered blood pressure in rats suffering from hypertension.

Further studies are required and until then, cinnamon must not be used to replace conventional medication in treating hypertension.

We believe cinnamon can be of help in dealing with hypertension but detail effects of cinnamon need some more study.


Cinnamon supplements for various health conditions are usually unproven treatment.

The dosage usually depends on the age of the consumer and the medical condition.

The recommended dosage for therapeutic purposes is 2-4 g of cinnamon powder a day.


Food amounts of cinnamon normally do not cause any side effects.

Heavy cinnamon usage – especially cinnamon oil – could cause irritation of the mouth, tongue, and lips leading to sores and ulcers.

Some people who use cinnamon on their skin could develop redness and a rash.

Cassia cinnamon does cause liver toxicity due to the presence of high levels of coumarin in it.

Those who suffer from breast cancer, pregnant and breastfeeding women are cautioned against using cinnamon supplements.

Always consult your doctor before using cinnamon especially if you are taking hypertension medicines Cinnamon supplements may interact with certain medications such as diabetes drugs, heart medicines, antibiotics and blood thinners among others.

Our articles are written by writers with a deep domain understanding of the topic and usually hold Bachelors / Masters degrees. The articles are peer-reviewed before being uploaded on the website. Our writers spend 10s of hours researching and writing articles which are factual and comprehensive. Check out about our team in About Us section.

Herbal Teas And Other Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure

A Review of Healthy Teas, Soups & Juices that may help you fight hypertension

The truth is we all want to find alternatives to high blood pressure medications such as diets, exercises or special foods to lower blood pressure. The side effects that we experience can be worse than the actual high blood pressure problem itself.

Too many of us become non-compliant with the medications we are prescribed. As a result, we live with uncontrolled hypertension which is also dangerous. So what do we do if we want to lower and control our hypertension and yet be drug-free?

What we need to do is find solid alternatives to the problem. So today we want to look at three foods to lower blood pressure.

The Brews

When I talk about brews I am not talking about beer. So we will not be giving a review on “Guinness Stout, Amstel, Heineken, or Budweiser”. No. we are going to talk about teas. Brewing tea to lower high blood pressure. What types of teas, and how much to drink.

Hibiscus Tea

According to a 2013 study review, drinking hibiscus tea greatly reduces blood pressure in those individuals whose blood pressure is slightly elevated. the authors of the study review, believe that anthocyanins and other antioxidants in hibiscus tea may work together to keep blood vessels resistant to damage that causes them to narrow.

Many herbal tea blends contain hibiscus, which brews up bright red and delivers a tart flavor. researchers recommend finding one you like and drinking three cups daily.

To get the full benefits of the hibiscus, steep for six minutes before drinking hot or cold. I like drinking it over ice with a twist of lemon.

for steeping instructions

Green Tea

In a study published in “Endocrine Abstracts“, researchers asked the participants to drink four cups of green tea per day for 14 days while also maintaining their current diet. Over the 14 day period their blood pressure reduced by an average of 7.1/7.8mmHg.

The researchers concluded that green tea can indeed lower blood pressure.The reason green tea is so effective at combating high blood pressure is the polyphenols it contains.The polyphenols are a group of powerful, plant based nutrients.

Advertisement Watch How Mark Lowered His Blood Pressure Naturally. It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79 Learn More…

They can be sourced from a variety of foods but green tea is by far the richest source.Researchers found that men and women who drank tea on a daily basis for at least a year were much less likely to develop high blood pressure.

for steeping instructions

Hawthorne Berry Tea

Hawthorn tea might be very beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. You can prepare this tea by pouring about 250ml of boiling water over a teaspoon of hawthorn tea. Cover with a lid, leave it for about 10 minutes, then strain and drink. Drink three times a day.

You can find this tea in all healthy food stores and larger markets. It should be noted that Hawthorne Tea is a powerful diuretic. This increases the health also of kidney function. Drink this powerful tea on a day when you won’t be running errands.

for steeping instructions

Olive Leaf Tea

Much like willow bark, olive leaves have been used in medicine for centuries. It has been documented in ancient texts across multiple cultures.

In a double-blind, controlled study in humans, this formulation reduced systolic blood pressure by an average 11.5 points mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by 4.8 points—in just eight weeks. Olive leaf tea and extract can help support healthy blood pressure.

Olive leaf tea is unique and tastes like nothing else. A light steeping delivers a satisfying mellow flavor. Longer steeping or brewing in a tea press creates a stronger infusion with a more bitter taste that can be mellowed with a slice of fresh lemon, stevia, honey, milk, sugar and other herbal flavorings. Drink 1 cup daily.

for steeping instructions

The Juices

Juices are also a very effective way to control blood pressure. When I am talking about juice I am not talking about commercially processed juices.

Commercial juices generally contain to much sugar and sodium. The best juices to drink are the ones you can make at home. Two juices that can be purchased in your local health or whole foods stores are pomegranate and cranberry. Ensure though that you purchase 100% juice. You usually have to cut down with water.

Pomegranate Juice

I really love drinking this juice. The crisp tartness of the juice is amazingly delicious. The explosion of interest in the ancient, sacred pomegranate fruit has led to hundreds of new scientific papers in the last few years.

Recent clinical trials have found that as little as 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day lowers high blood pressure, improves cholesterol, and even decreases plaques in your arteries.

for a recipe.

Beet Root Juice

In the morning I like to make beet juice with 2 carrots, 1 granny smith apple and 1 cucumber. It is very refreshing, a little sweet but is packed with inorganic nitrates. These cause the arteries to relax and open resulting in a lowered blood pressure.

One glass of beetroot juice a day is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. Drinking 250ml beetroot juice a day can lower BP by 7.7/5.2mmHg – better than some anti-hypertensive drugs, research shows.

for an amazing recipe.

Celery Juice

Celery juice contains the compound 3-n-butylphtalide, or phthalide, which contributes to the vegetable’s taste and aroma. As a chemical affecting the body, phthalide helps relax the smooth muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, according to High Blood Pressure Info.

Blood pressure decreases as the blood vessels dilate and allow blood to flow easier and more freely. It is recommended that you juice at least 2-4 stalks daily. You can combine this with apple, carrot, and beetroot for a super juice.

for a recipe.

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice reduces hypertension due to adequate presence of potassium and lesser amount of sodium. This proportion of potassium and sodium is the best way to combat high blood pressure.

A cup of pineapple juice contains about 1 milligram of sodium and 195 milligram of potassium. So, it is suggested that persons suffering from hypertension may take pineapple juice regularly. Pineapple is considered

for a recipe.


I know water isn’t a juice. But if you are trying to lower your blood pressure here are some things you should know. Drinking adequate amounts of water is, quite simply, one of the healthiest, cheapest, and most effective ways that you can help lower your blood pressure.

Chronic dehydration causes blood vessels to constrict, which helps the body conserve water by reducing water loss through perspiration, urination, and respiration. Most people have heard of the eight-glasses-a-day rule, even if they don’t abide by it. But that recommendation is just the minimum intake.

Read more on drinking water to lower blood pressure

The Soups

Well instead of yelling at you, “No soup for you, come back in 1 year!” I will tell you yes soup for you to lower your blood pressure. We often overlook this food when it comes to taming the beast of high blood pressure so here are a few soup du jours for you to try.

Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho is a popular cold soup typically made from tomato, cucumber, green peppers, garlic and olive oil and many of these ingredients protect against high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart attack or stroke.

By analyzing the diets of some 3995 Spanish individuals at high risk of heart disease, it was found that people who reported regularly consuming Gazpacho were much less likely to have high blood pressure (hypertension).

For a recipe

Advertisement Watch how Julie Lowered her Blood Pressure Naturally. It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80 Learn More…

Chicken Soup

The soup, sometimes dubbed Grandma’s medicine, has been used as a folk remedy to cure all ills. But researchers have discovered that the chicken leg meat used to make the soup contains a chemical known as an ACE inhibitor, which lowers blood pressure.

These inhibitors reduce tension in muscles which in turn reduce the tension on blood vessels and the blood that runs through them. A caution to make this soup fresh at home. To many processed soups you buy in the store have an enormous amount of sodium in them.

For a recipe

Onion Soup

Onions contain prostaglandin A. This can dilate blood vessels, reduce blood vessel resistance, decrease blood viscosity and improve microcirculation, still does restrain the substance that increases blood pressure.

Onion skin contains quercetin, a plant pigment which can help reduce blood pressure and prevent arteries from clogging. So when you are cooking the soup don’t discard the skin. Add them to the soup while it is cooking and remove before serving.

For a recipe

Mung Bean Soup

Mung bean is botanically known as Vigna radiata and is equally known by other names such as; haricots moong, mudga, judia mungo, mung-bohnen, and fagioli mungo.

Studies reveal that mung beans contain anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, consuming mung beans is considered effective for regulating lipid metabolism.

For s recipe

In addition, here is a short video about teas to lower blood pressure:

There is such a variety of juices, teas and other drinks to lower blood pressure that this article is just the beginning. We want to empower ourselves with knowledge, educating ourselves about different ways to naturally lower blood pressure. If you have any tips, food recipes or suggestion for a future article please email me at:

Infographic of Drinks to lower blood pressure
Further Reading and Healthy Recipes:
  • Eat these foods to lower blood pressure and cholesterol –
  • Eight foods that lower blood pressure –
  • A collection of heart healthy Recipes –

Tags: heart healthy drinks


Nikki’s experience of having high blood pressure caused by liquorice

Nikki explains how liquorice caused her to develop high blood pressure. She talks about how research led her to the discovery and why she feels it’s important to let others know.

Bid to get even healthier

I am a very healthy 50 year old. I have been self-employed for 26 years and have a very enjoyable, stress-free job. I have a good BMI (21.7) and exercise regularly. I am very health conscious about what I eat; predominantly organic, no processed or fast foods, low sodium and low sugar. I don’t smoke and I drink alcohol very infrequently and of course I’m not diabetic.

In early August 2013, in a bid to get even healthier, I decided to stop drinking caffeinated tea in preference for herbal tea and substituted coffee for decaffeinated. I discovered a whole range of herbal teas, and tried several different types, before settling on a select few that I really liked; superfruits, chamomile and peppermint and liquorice. My favourite by a long way was the peppermint and liquorice and I started to drink this regularly.

Disbelief at feeling the pressure

You can imagine my disbelief, when at a periodic health check in December 2013, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I was told I should visit a doctor and have it monitored. I purchased a blood pressure monitor so that I could keep an eye on it. Over the next couple of months my blood pressure fluctuated, but seemed to reach steadily higher levels; sometimes getting up to 220/110.

In February 2014 I decided that I needed to get my blood pressure under control as it was dangerously high. The first doctor I saw prescribed potassium medication (Lorsatan potassium) to start taking immediately and arranged for me to have an ECG and blood test. I didn’t like the idea of taking medication without knowing the cause of my high blood pressure, so I decided not to take the tablets. A week later, both the ECG and blood test came back with no problems.

I went to a different doctor and he determined that I must have essential hypertension, although I have no family history of this. He prescribed two sets of medication (Ramipril and Lisinopril) on two different occasions, however, I reacted badly to both.

I stopped taking the tablets and returned to the doctor, and he suggested that I take a rest from medication to give my body a chance to recover. He also recommended that I go onto the waiting list for a 24 hour monitor to measure my blood pressure before prescribing further medication. I was never happy about taking medicine without knowing the cause and I always felt that there must be a trigger of some kind, but couldn’t think what that could be.


In my spare time, I explored the internet looking for possible ways to lower my blood pressure. I found out about the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and started eating foods that I thought would help.

Chance find on the internet

In early April, whilst surfing the internet, I chanced upon a UK homeopathic website that suggested food groups to help and foods to be avoided. I glanced down the list and noticed that it recommended avoiding liquorice, as consumption of liquorice can lead to dangerously high blood pressure and dangerously low potassium levels (hypokalemia). It informed me that liquorice contains glycyrrhizinic acid, which sets off a chain reaction of biochemical events in the body which results in high blood pressure.

Instantly alarm bells sounded, as I realised that since September 2013 I had been consuming as many as 4-6 cups of liquorice and peppermint tea daily! I knew that something must have triggered the high blood pressure, but hadn’t linked it to my switch to herbal teas, as I had assumed that they are healthy. I further researched this and discovered that there have been instances of individuals being admitted to hospital after consuming too much liquorice. Seemingly, it is also not advisable to consume whilst taking ACE inhibitor medication (which could have contributed to my adverse reaction to the prescribed medications).

I immediately stopped taking the liquorice and peppermint tea and within the next week my blood pressure returned to normal levels.

Manufacturer helps me

I subsequently went back to the website from which I purchased the tea to look at the description of the liquorice and peppermint tea. There is nothing on the first page; however, if you click on the ingredients tab it states ‘This tea contains liquorice – people with hypertension should avoid excessive consumption.’ At the time I initially purchased the tea I didn’t have hypertension and to be honest, I hadn’t even noticed this before. On further exploration it appears some other herbal teas also contain liquorice, for example, some lemon and ginger teas, so it is worth checking the ingredients. I went back to the manufacturer and thankfully they have agreed to update their packaging and their website details.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. That’s because it has no symptoms. Having high blood pressure (hypertension) increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.

Six million Australian adults (34%) have high blood pressure – 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or more – or take medications for it. Of those, four million have high blood pressure that isn’t treated or under control.

No wonder heart disease and stroke directly cost the Australian economy A$7.7 billion a year.

There is some good news. High blood pressure can be treated or prevented. Eating oats, fruit and vegetables – and beetroot, in particular – helps. So does avoiding salt, liquorice, caffeine and alcohol.

Optimal blood pressure is 120 mmHg or less over 80 mmHg or less. Lowering it by 1-2 mmHg can have a big impact on reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke, and the nation’s health care costs.

What to eat to lower your blood pressure

Rolled oats

A review with five research trials included tested the impact of oats on systolic blood pressure (the first blood pressure number, which is the pressure at which the heart pumps blood) and diastolic blood pressure (the second number, which is when the heart relaxes) in about 400 healthy adults.

Further reading: What do my blood pressure numbers mean?

The researchers found that systolic blood pressure was 2.7  mmHg lower and diastolic blood pressure was 1.5 mmHg lower when participants ate around 60 grams of rolled oats (a packed half-cup raw oats) or 25 grams of oat bran per day.

This quantity of oats or oat bran contains around four grams of a type of fibre called beta-glucan.

For each extra one gram of total daily fibre, there was an extra 0.11 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure.

Half a cut of oats a day is enough. Julia Pajumae/

Recommended minimum daily adult fibre intakes are 30 grams for men and 25 grams for women.

While some of fibre’s effect is due to weight loss, soluble fibres produce bioactive products when they’re fermented in the large bowel. These work directly to lower blood pressure.

To improve your blood pressure, eat rolled oats or oat bran for breakfast, add to meat patties, or mix with breadcrumbs in recipes that call for crumbing.


Beetroot is extremely rich in a compound called inorganic nitrate. During digestion, this gets converted into nitric oxide, which causes arteries to dilate. This directly lowers the pressure in them.

A review of 16 trials of mostly healthy young men found drinking beetroot juice was associated with a 4.4 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure. But it found no change in diastolic blood pressure.

However a recent trial in 68 adults who already had high blood pressure found beetroot juice reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Drinking beetroot juice can lower blood pressure. Yevgeniya Shal/

The men were randomly assigned to drink 250ml (one cup) of beetroot juice daily for four weeks or a non-active placebo.

Blood pressure in the men who drank the beetroot juice reduced over 24 hours, with systolic blood pressure 7.7 mmHg lower and diastolic blood pressure 5.2 mmHg lower.

Try wrapping whole fresh beetroot in foil and baking in the oven until soft, or grate beetroot and stir-fry with red onion and curry paste and eat as a relish.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is found in fresh vegetables and fruit. An average serve contains 10-40mg of vitamin C.

In a review of 29 short-term trials of vitamin C supplements, people were given 500 mg of vitamin C per day for about eight weeks.

Blood pressure significantly improved, with an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of 3.84 mmHg and 1.48 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure.

Good news for fruit-lovers. saschanti17/

When only those with existing high blood pressure were considered, the drop in systolic blood pressure was 4.85 mmHg.

However, those at risk of kidney stones need to be cautious about taking vitamin C supplements. Excess vitamin C is excreted via the kidneys and can contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

One advantage of getting more vitamin C from eating more vegetables and fruit is that you boost your potassium intake, which helps counter the effects of sodium from salt.

What to avoid to lower your blood pressure


Salt or sodium chloride has been used to preserve foods and as a flavour enhancer for centuries.

High salt intakes are associated with higher blood pressure.

Most Australians eat way too much salt. HandmadePictures/

Adults need between 1.2 to 2.4g of salt each day (one-quarter to a half teaspoon), which is equivalent to 460 to 920mg of sodium.

But in Australia seven out of ten men and three in ten women eat way more than that – and much more than the upper recommended limit of 5.9 grams of salt (about one teaspoon) or 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

Further reading: How much salt is it OK to eat?

If you add salt to food yourself this pushes your sodium intake even higher.

A review of studies involving 3,230 people showed that reducing salt intakes by 4.4 grams a day could reduce systolic blood pressure by about 4.2 mmHg and diastolic by 2.1 mmHg.

In those who had high blood pressure there were even bigger reductions of 5.4 mmHg (systolic) and 2.8 mmHg (diastolic).

Avoid foods high in sodium. Don’t add salt and try to choose lower-salt versions of processed foods.


Consuming one or more alcoholic drink a day is associated with systolic blood pressure that is about 2.7 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure 1.4 mmHg higher than non-drinkers.

Interestingly, when you first drink an alcoholic beverage, blood pressure goes down, only to rise later.

Drinkers have higher blood pressure than non-drinkers. serenarossi/

A rise in blood pressure after drinking alcohol is more likely to happen when you’re awake, rather during sleep.

The bad news is that larger amounts of alcohol increase your risk of high blood pressure, especially in men, but also to a lesser extent in women.


High blood pressure due to eating black liquorice is rare, but case reports have occurred.

Most liquorice candy sold currently contains very little true liquorice root and therefore, little glycyrrhizic acid (GZA), the active ingredient.

Most liquorice contains very little liquorice root. Siegi/

Occasionally, liquorice candy does contain GZA in large amounts. GZA causes sodium retention and potassium loss, which contributes to high blood pressure.

So check liquorice food labels. Take care if it contains liquorice root.


Caffeine is most commonly consumed in coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks.

High intakes of caffeine from coffee increase blood pressure in the short term.

You need to monitor your individual response to caffeine. Billion Photos/

In a review of five trials, people given one to two cups of strong coffee had an increase in their systolic blood pressure of 8.1 mmHg and 5.7 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure, up to about three hours after drinking it.

But three studies that lasted two weeks found drinking coffee did not increase blood pressure compared with decaffeinated coffee or avoiding caffeine. So you need to monitor your individual response to caffeine.

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