High blood pressure or hypertension often go unnoticed for years, making it a notorious silent killer. However, from a geographical point of view, the US has a higher prevalence of hypertension than other regions. As per specific organised data, nearly 47% of the American adult group suffers from high blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure can put you in peril of kidney failure, blocked arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Therefore, it becomes imperative that it is your responsibility to address the concern for yourself and your loved ones. Fortunately, switching to heart-healthy cooking oils and exposure to specific essential oils could have a beneficial impact on your blood pressure.
If you use oils properly, they are not your enemy. First, of course, you must avoid recycling used oil. It tends to turn into trans-fat after each use. However, staying away from oil is not necessary if you have high blood pressure. But, not all oils are equal. Therefore, choosing the right kind and right amount of fats plays a vital role in blood pressure management. They help to control blood pressure with little to no side effects. But be it cooking oil or essential oil, they aren’t a proven cure for high blood pressure. Nonetheless, trying some of them can help improve blood pressure levels.
The Best Cooking Oils For High Blood Pressure
Olive oil, produced by pressing olives, is extensively researched for its antihypertensive effects. People following the virgin olive oil diet show slightly lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Thus, promoting healthy blood flow and reduced blood pressure. Furthermore, every 10 grams of olive oil offers 5 mg of antioxidant polyphenols. The antioxidants selectively reduce nitric acid levels, a substance known to raise blood pressure. Similarly, it improves circulation and boosts your immune system.
Make sure to use extra virgin olive oil as it contains more antioxidants than refined olive oil. It is not a secret that the Mediterranean diet uses extra-virgin olive oil primarily. And it might be the reason why people who follow it appear to have better blood pressure control. You can drizzle it on a salad or use it for and sautéing.
Avocado oil is one of the healthiest oil options for people looking to improve heart health and reduce blood pressure. It’s perfect for sauteing, dressing, marinades, smoothies, and making dips. Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid with a hypotensive effect. It simply means that the fatty acid causes the blood vessels to be more receptive to blood pressure-lowering signals. Thus, managing hypertension. Moreover, monounsaturated fats in the oil either maintain healthy blood pressure or lower elevated levels.
Flaxseed oil has a dense nutrient profile. In addition, it provides alpha-linolenic acid for lowering blood pressure. A study shows that taking just one tablespoon of flaxseed oil could lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. In addition, it improves the elasticity of the arteries, thereby reducing related heart strain and blood pressure. Flax seeds oil can be used for salads, smoothies, dips and spreads, etc
Cold Pressed Almond Oil
Most people with high blood pressure or general heart issues can use cold pressed almond oil for high heat cooking. It has a high smoke point, so it’s perfect for browning and searing. Due to being high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat content, almond oil is good for hypertension. Furthermore, one also receives the heart-healthy goodness of antioxidants from it.
Oils to Avoid During High Blood Pressure
There are many benefits to using coconut oil. Still, it’s not as healthy, particularly for high blood pressure. It’s a myth that coconut oil is a heart-healthy cooking alternative. The oil is primarily saturated fat, which raises bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. In addition, it could trigger artery damage and blockage, thereby causing high blood pressure. So while coconut oil raises cholesterol, the good and the wrong kinds, it’s essential to be cautious while using it.YOu can use in it moderation, but not as a primary ingredient for cooking.
A study shows that you can link prolonged consumption of palm oil with a rise in blood pressure levels. While fresh palm oil has no detrimental effects, it is better to steer clear of palm oil during high blood pressure. On the other hand, reheated palm oil contains comparatively high saturated fat, responsible for unfavourable blood pressure fluctuations.
Refined Vegetable Oil
Despite a surge in the production and consumption of refined vegetable oils, they’re not healthy. Too much vegetable oil consumption increases heart disease risk — rather than decreasing it. Vegetable oil is better than margarine and animal fats, containing unsaturated fats. However, the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils can trigger blood-vessel plaques, a known factor of high blood pressure.
Often assumed as the healthiest cooking oil for blood pressure, soybean oil is not that great for you. When consumed in excess, it takes a toll on blood pressure levels. Soybean oil contains around 54% linoleic acid, which is a lot for regular intake. When too many such fatty acids enter your body, it could be a problem. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly unhealthy when heated as it raises the possibility of inflammation.
Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure
In the past couple of years, much talk around essential oils as a healthier and holistic solution for specific medical concerns has been undergoing social media. Hence, one finds their usage in beauty, culinary, and health products. As a result, the present-day popularity of essential oils is growing. Above all, essential oils are alternative medicines that treat various conditions: e.g. high blood pressure.
It is possible to keep the blood pressure in check with essential oils. However, it is more effective during the early stages. In addition, essential oils are adaptogenic substances. It means that they help the body run in a balanced state called homeostasis. Because of this mechanism, your resilience and resistance to stress increase. It, in turn, can help to regulate blood pressure.
Top 6 Essential Oils Useful For High Blood Pressure
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
The ylang-ylang essential oil is derived through the steam distillation of tropical ylang-ylang flowers. A study shows that inhaling ylang ylang essential oil reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Its beneficial effect on high blood pressure rates correlates with Ylang Ylang’s soothing nature. You can mix it with coconut oil or almond oil to massage your body, which will make you feel stress-free and relaxed. A stress-free mind plays a significant role in managing high blood pressure.
Besides its blood pressure-lowering effect, ylang ylang essential oil is used as a folk remedy to boost sexual desire. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. However, it is advisable to conduct a patch test before using the essential oil.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil comes from the tough outer skin of the bergamot orange fruit. It has a soothing citrusy scent with significant medicinal value. In addition, bergamot essential oil lowers cholesterol levels, an important cause of high blood pressure. As for the claim of its immediate blood pressure lowering effects, a study shows that even short-term exposure to bergamot oil could help with hypertension. However, there’s a threshold limit of one hour, which means exposure for over an hour might result in elevated blood pressure and heart rate and reversing its lowering effects.
Bergamot essential oil offers both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also helpful in treating acne, pimples, and cysts, among its other benefits. In addition, inhaling the essential oil provides a soothing effect and magnifies a positive mood.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood essential oil is a relatively safe oil extracted from the berries, bark, and leaves of cedar trees. It offers a robust, relaxing earthly smell that temporarily decreases the heart rate, beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. In addition, when topically applied, it reduces stress and anxiety, the two closely related factors that contribute to elevated blood pressure. Cedarwood essential oil also works better for hair loss, scalp conditions, and occasional insomnia.
Lavender Essential Oil
The lavender essential oil is versatile in aromatherapy to treat eczema, insomnia, allergies, and fungal infections. In addition, it shows outstanding results in dealing with high blood pressure. Patients who have undergone open-heart surgery often complain about high blood pressure due to pain and stress. Hypertension always arises as a stress response to surgery. Findings of a study show that inhaling lavender essential oil effectively reduced blood pressure among patients after open-heart surgery.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
As the name says, clary sage essential oil is from the fresh buds and leaves of a Mediterranean flowering herb called clary sage. It is the best oil for hypertension since it reduces diastolic pressure to 5.1% and systolic pressure to 4.7%. Another reason why clary sage oil can help with your blood pressure is that it opens up narrow vessels and stimulates blood circulation. As a result, blood flows more efficiently without any undue stress. Moreover, clary sage oil exhibits healing properties and helps in lowering the bad cholesterol in your body.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Extracted from the white Jasmine flower, Jasmine essential oil has tremendous health benefits. To start with, it increases blood saturation and calms the body, which works wonders for high blood pressure. In addition, it offers relief from anger, anxiety, and stress, leading to a relaxed state of mind. Relaxing the body and mind is synonymous with lowering blood pressure. On another note, Jasmine essential oil is particularly effective for hypertension when used in massage and aromatherapy.
How To Use Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure?
You should not apply essential oils directly to your skin to lower high blood pressure. However, some of the best ways to use them are as follows:
Soaking in a warm bath positively affects people with high blood pressure and even those who don’t. It relieves tension and stress, thereby bringing down your blood pressure. You can simply sprinkle a few drops of essential oils in water. However, adding them to your regular warm baths is not only for people with high blood pressure, anyone can do it twice or thrice a week.
Massage is the most popular method of using essential oils for high blood pressure. You can mix one or more suitable essential oils with a carrier oil to massage your body. For example, you can combine the lavender essential oil with ylang-ylang essential oil and dilute it with coconut oil. Then, massage that mixture to your body. It acts as a non-invasive method to reduce high blood pressure and associated symptoms.
The diffuser method is common among high blood pressure patients who choose aromatherapy. An essential oil diffuser works by releasing the scent directly to the room. Then, inhale the essential oil scent for about 30-40 minutes. Fragrances like rose, frankincense, lavender, and bergamot work best as a diffuser.
Oil For High Blood Pressure: Precautions
- People with chronic medical conditions should consult a doctor before trying essential oil. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women with high blood pressure must refrain from using essential oils without first talking to a doctor.
- Essential oils are natural and potent oils. However, you must dilute it with a carrier oil to prevent potential side effects like irritation and uneasiness.
- Rather than focusing on what’s popular on the market, choose the oils that work for you. For example, avocado oils are suitable for high blood pressure but make sure that you’re not allergic. People with pollen and latex allergies are more likely to be allergic to avocado oil.
Oils are an unavoidable part of our day. The first step towards controlling high blood pressure begins with the type of oils in your diet. Oils like mustard oil, olive oil, canola oil, and avocado oil can help reduce the root cause of hypertension. Some people might see positive results with essential oils. However, the use of heart-healthy cooking oils and natural essential oils don’t necessarily mean they’re curing high blood pressure. You might feel better. However, diet and exercise are the key factors. Since essential oils influence blood pressure, use them cautiously and only after consulting a healthcare professional. A healthy lifestyle routine, essential oils and heart-friendly cooking oil are the best ways to control your high blood pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How can I bring my blood pressure down immediately?
A. There’s no scientifically proven method to decrease your blood pressure levels. However, inhaling bergamot essential oil for no more than an hour could instantly lower blood pressure. But it is only temporary and doesn’t work for the long term. If it’s a high blood pressure emergency, immediately connect with medical help. Ultimately, medical intervention is required to lower your blood pressure immediately.
Q. Does lemon water reduce blood pressure?
A. Yes, drinking lemon water can help in reducing high blood pressure. The presence of vitamin C in lemon water fights off the harmful free radicals known to raise blood pressure. The primary purpose of lemons is to make the blood vessels flexible and softer, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Q. Is Ginger good for blood pressure?
A. Ginger is a healing herb that addresses high blood pressure. It lowers overall blood cholesterol, which is responsible for restricting blood vessels and hypertension. You can consume ginger tea to improve blood circulation for the early stages of blood pressure. Although ginger may be beneficial for high blood pressure, please do not consider it an alternative treatment.
Q. Does garlic oil lower blood pressure?
A. Just like ginger, garlic oil is also suitable for hypertensive patients. In addition, it acts by reducing cholesterol and arterial stiffness related to high blood pressure. However, garlic oil is not so potent compared to other heart-healthy oils. Therefore, it is much better to use olive oil instead of garlic oil. Having raw garlic or using them in cooking to improve heart health.
Q. Is a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil good for you?
A. Absolutely! You might benefit from taking a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil daily. It makes food taste better, but olive oil also keeps the blood pressure in check. It keeps your arteries healthy and reduces the risk of blockage. Thus, protecting you from high blood pressure.
Q. Is frying in olive oil healthy?
A. Olive oil is one of the healthiest options around. It is relatively safe and reliable for frying. Moreover, the smoke point of olive oil is about 410 °F (210 °C), which is ideal for frying. Frying, in general, is not the healthiest food preparation method, but if you’re using olive oil moderately, then it is not that bad choice.
Q. Is mustard oil good for the heart?
A. Mustard oil possesses cardiovascular benefits, including the potential to lower blood pressure. In addition, it has a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats, which is considered suitable for your heart. Moreover, its alpha-linolenic acid reduces heart-damaging inflammation and oxidative stress.