Last week we talked in depth about natural diuretics. For me, the combination of celery juice, melons and other diuretic foods, and especially the supplements of Dandelion Leaf, Parsley, and Juniper Berry (all capsules) were nature’s gifts that allowed me to replace a drug formula (harmful side effects) with a natural formula (healthy benefits). Utilizing natural diuretics was not enough to get my blood pressure back under 140/90 however, so I had to find other natural, healthy therapies that would be in addition to my natural diuretic regimen.
I am wondering, for those who have already tried this regimen, how much did your blood pressure come down on natural diuretics? I was happy with reducing my systolic pressure 10 to 15 points on natural diuretics.
This was about the equivalent of what the hydrochlorothiazide could do, and I thought that pushing too much of one therapy was probably not the way to go. So, my next step was to find other therapies that would help reduce my blood pressure further.
My mission then focused on the ace inhibitor that I was taking, fosinopril. That cough every night was telling me that the drug was doing something to my body that just wasn’t good for it. If you wantto have some fun with your doctor, ask him or her to explain exactly what causes that cough from your ace inhibitor. In addition, even though the drugs had lowered my blood pressure, I just didn’t feel good. I looked up the negative side effects that patients had reported on ace inhibitors and found more of the same bad news that I had read about diuretic drugs. I wanted that drug out of my system if at all possible!
Having found natural diuretics to help lower my blood pressure, I wondered if there weren’t also natural alternatives to the other drugs that I had been prescribed. In my case those additional drugs were an ace inhibitor (fosinopril) as mentioned, and a beta blocker (atenolol). My research to find a natural ace inhibitor paid off when I discovered pomegranate! The first time I tried pomegranate juice I was surprised at its powerful ace inhibitor effect. I bought a 32 fluid ounce bottle of R. W. Knudsen’s “just pomegranate” juice and drank some before going to bed that night. I drank 8 ounces of the juice and found about an hour later that I had drank too much! My blood pressure dropped about 20 points and my heart rate slowed considerably over what it had been before taking the pomegranate juice. It actually made me a little nervous at the time because I had no idea how low my blood pressure and heart rate would go, so after that, I drank only about 4 ounces each evening. I also added some stevia and water after first tasting it because it had a bit of a bitter taste. I didn’t realize before I tried it how effective this would be for me, but the news was very good!
There are lots of pomegranate supplements on the market. I tried capsules from a few different manufactures that I could take when I traveled, but I have to say that these did not have the power of just drinking some Knudsen’s pomegranate juice. For me, the juice was a much more effective ace inhibitor. And just as with the cranberry juice, I am talking about pure, 100% pomegranate juice, and not the sugary “drink” alternatives that don’t get it done and are not all that healthy.
I also want to mention a pure concentrated pomegranate juice that Jarrow Formulas makes. Their pomegranate juice is so concentrated that it pours out of the bottle like a syrup, and you just add water to make a juice out of it. Jarrow actually includes a caution on the bottle that if you are on blood pressure medications (drugs!), you need to be careful about how much Jarrow Pomegranate juice you drink, the risk being that your blood pressure may get too low. That said, of the two, I still slightly preferred the effects of the Knudsen “just pomegranate” juice although the Jarrow formula tastes really good!
I mentioned last time that I really like the Eclectic Institute freeze dried dandelion leaf as a diuretic supplement. Eclectic Institute now also makes a freeze dried pomegranate powder. If I had to use a dry supplement for pomegranate at times, I definitely would try this one based on how well their freeze dried dandelion leaf worked for me as a diuretic when combined with the parsley and juniper berries capsules.
There is also reference in the literature to bonito fish peptides as ace inhibitors, so I of course read all about it. And then I tried them, but I did not notice any difference in my blood pressure on the peptide supplements. For me, these didn’t add anything to my overall formula.
Whey protein is also noted for its properties as an ace inhibitor. Our diet is not largely whey protein, although we do drink smoothies two or three times each week, so whey protein was not a major factor in my use of natural ace inhibitors to reduce my blood pressure either.
The essence of all this for me is that pomegranate juice was my most effective natural ace inhibitor. In addition, pomegranate is a powerful anti-oxidant so it also addresses the underlying inflammatory process while at the same time lowering blood pressure. Addressing the underlying inflammatory condition in blood vessels is something toxic ace inhibitor drugs simply couldn’t do for me, and that was an important part of my longer term plan.
Finally, while we are on the subject of the inflammatory process and the condition of blood vessels, the root solution to many circulatory problems is to improve the condition, or the environment if you will, within our blood vessels. Diet, which we will continue to talk about at much length, is one of the keys to doing that. For now, suffice that one of the best defenses against oxidation and inflammation within our blood vessels is an anti-inflammatory diet – a robust diet of phytonutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and clean protein sources. Non-starchy vegetables, herbs, teas, juices, and supplements are great sources of anti-oxidants with low carbohydrate content. The right healthy supplements play a major role in the “anti-oxidant” category. Healthy fats include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, fish oil, flax oil, primrose oil, and nuts and seeds. Wild caught fish, grass fed red meat (in moderation), and organic, free-range chicken and turkeys, nuts, beans, quinoa, tempeh, and whey, make up some of the healthy proteins.
The point is that while we are modifying our lifestyles in terms of diet, exercise, and healthy supplements, natural diuretics and now natural ace inhibitors can help us ease and quicken that transition to better health including healthier blood pressure. The good news for me when I personally reached this point was that I finally and realistically had both healthy diuretics and a healthy ace inhibitor to help lower my blood pressure while I worked on the longer-term task of modifying the underlying problems in my circulatory environment (heart and blood vessels). Life started looking up!
We will talk about much more in coming weeks! In the meantime, healthy diuretics and healthy ace inhibitors are now on board!
As always…………..all the best………….naturally!