Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects 26% of the worldwide population, and this number continues to increase, and this may rise to 29% by 2025. Unlike most ailments, it is typically found during standard testing of individuals with no symptoms, which is undoubtedly a positive thing as the consequences of hypertension can be severe. Hypertension is very prevalent and can occur equally in both sexes.

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What is hypertension?

Hypertension is defined as having blood pressure at 140/90 or above. There are two classifications:

  • Primary (no clear cause): 90-95%.
  • Secondary (caused by another medical condition): 5-10%.

There are also four stages to hypertension:

  • Pre is 120/80 to 139/89 – STAGE 1.
  • Mild is 140/90 to 159/99 – STAGE 2.
  • Moderate is 160/100 to 179/109 – STAGE 3.
  • Severe is 180/110 or higher – STAGE 4.

Although primary hypertension is classified as having no identifiable cause, there are various risk factors that come into play, such as obesity, stress, potassium deficiency, salt sensitivity, alcohol abuse and vitamin D deficiency. Severe Hypertension is 180/110 or higher.

The role of diet


One of the more recognised approaches to combating and preventing high blood pressure is the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The DASH diet has also been shown to reduce other diseases, such as stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. For more information, specifically on the DASH diet, please visit our blog DASH Diet.

Moving into more vegetable and herbal remedies, we have compiled a short list of the best performing ingredients under testing that should be relatively accessible:

  • Garlic – anti-oxidative & antihypertensive agents act to increase nitric oxide (helps reduce hypertension in patients with raised systolic pressure)
  • Celery – if mixed with same amount of honey, celery could reduce systolic and diastolic pressure.
  • Unfermented green tea – unfortunately black tea isn’t as helpful!
  • Chinese Hawthorn – Although this may be more difficult to get hold of, it contains two powerful antioxidant agents and has been shown to lower hypertension and stroke risk.
  • Carrot – contains compounds that lower blood pressure by balancing our potassium and sodium levels.
  • Soybean – could possibly have a modest effect in lowering blood pressure.
  • French lavender – could reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Linseed/flaxseed – these are rich in fatty acids which can lower blood pressure and heart rate. They can also help to reduce plaque build-up in the blood vessels. 
  • Tomatoes – not only do tomatoes contain antioxidants, but they can also help reduce high blood pressure. When combined with ACE inhibitors or calcium channel blockers they can have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure.


Hypnotherapy is an effective way of reducing stress, tension and increasing self-awareness. There are multiple sources that suggest hypnotherapy can reduce hypertension too, as it serves as a modality to trigger your relaxation response, which in turn lowers blood pressure.

Unfortunately, there seems to be less of a correlation between self-hypnosis and reducing hypertension. This may be due to the fact that self-hypnosis seems to be less effective than seeing a hypnotherapist. 

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When we sleep less, we trigger activation of what’s called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (pictured) which stimulates the sympathetic (fight or flight) response. 

A sleep hygienist would be the best referral in this case, as increasing sleep quality can make a significant impact.

For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask:

0161 209 2980


Ed Madeley M.Ost