Natural, Non-Toxic Approaches to Treating Hypertension – Natural Diuretics by D. Carestia

First, I want to thank everyone for reading and commenting on my first post regarding natural methods of treating hypertension. I appreciate your patience with the “two-part” beginning, and especially your understanding that it takes some time to fully develop the vast subject of alternative methods for treating hypertension in detail. I will post a new subject each week, and I will do my best to answer questions on each subject as we go forward. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to trot them out, and if you have helpful input on the subject, please also do not hesitate to chime in. Hopefully, we will all learn much together.

Second, I want to address a few questions again just in case some of you missed my earlier answers. We can lump these into appropriate“disclosures”. Again, I am not a doctor, and I cannot and do not give medical advice. I am just a guy who has studied alternative treatments for high blood pressure (and a whole host of other health problems) in depth, primarily in order to solve my own hypertension problem. Along the way, I learned a lot about holistic and natural approaches to good health generally. I also must admit that I learned a lot about physiology, the human body and organs, and not only the “medicine”, but also more natural ways to get and stay healthy. Many of the good health habits and therapies that I learned have been incorporated into my life as a result of my desire to live the best“quality of life” and be as healthy generally as is reasonably possible.

I was not paid for my “story” by anyone.  I am not paid by anyone to write this blog.  I do not receive any form of compensation whatsoever for doing this.  I am hoping that I get a lot of good-human-being credits from the bookkeepers upstairs!  I know that I already get lots of “feel good” rewards from readers’ comments.  While I may talk about certain products that I have used and which were most helpful to me in overcoming my hypertension, none of the companies that I mention have compensated me in any way for mentioning their products.  The bottom line is, if I don’t truly believe it, you won’t hear it from me.

Now to the subject of diuretics!  I am focusing on hydrochlorothiazide today because it is a very commonly prescribed diuretic drug for hypertension.  There are other diuretic drugs, but basically they all kick the kidneys into overtime to reduce fluid volume in the body.  By reducing fluid volume, diuretic drugs also reduce blood volume which lowers blood pressure.

I had a discussion with Dr. Julian Whitaker regarding the use of drugs to lower blood pressure while I was at the Whitaker Wellness Center last year for my annual checkup.  Dr. Whitaker’s opinion was that, despite the wide variety of expensive drugs with significant negative side effects and risks, simple diuretics still did about as good a job
of lowering blood pressure as any of the other types of hypertension drugs.  In addition diuretics had about as few negatives side effects as any drug available.  That may sound good at first blush, but you may want to reserve judgment on that one until you read a little further.

After having suffered some of the negatives side effects of hydrochlorothiazide (diuretic), fosinopril (ace inhibitor), and atenolol (beta blocker), I never ever take complaints of negative side effects from any of these drugs lightly.  The side effects I suffered were almost unbearable, and they became the motivation to get off and stay off the drugs that reduced my quality of life significantly.

It is easy for doctors who see side effects as a necessary inconvenience, and for those who do not suffer severe side effects, to perhaps underestimate their impact on many people or to assume that side effects are just something people have to get used to and live with.  Also, the side effects typically listed by the manufacturers really don’t emphasize the ill effects that some patients suffer. The “manufacturer’s listed and recognized” side effects for diuretics aren’t too many and really don’t seem to be all that bad – but then there are the side effects reported by patients.  To shed a little more light on the kinds of problems many people suffer, just from hydrochlorothiazide for example, patients have  reported the following:  nausea, muscle pain, joint pain, tingling in extremities, muscle cramps, stomach cramps, shortness of breath, anxiety, rashes,
skin lesions, lack of energy, nervousness, heart palpitations, migraines,  dizziness, and the list goes on…… perhaps get the picture now?  If you doubt any of this, or want to learn even more, here is only one of many educational links for you.

I am focusing on natural diuretics as one of the first natural alternative treatments to hypertension because diuretics, often prescribed by physicians, are one of the drugs for which natural alternatives exist.  Natural diuretics have been used successfully by many during the longer process of getting off drugs.  The first of the drugs that I weaned myself off was hydrochlorothiazide, and again, there were lots of natural foods and supplements to help get that job done.  Many people utilize these natural diuretics long term as a replacement for diuretic drugs.  Thankfully, for me, natural diuretics were a transition alternative while I tried and ultimately found all the other natural therapies that would allow me to get back to normal blood pressure levels without having to use diuretics daily of any kind.  So, natural diuretics have a  two-fold purpose, and they hold a place near and dear to my low-blood-pressure heart!

Let’s divide natural diuretics into two basic categories –  (1) foods (with raw juices as a sub-category), and  (2) food-based supplements. There are a significant number of foods that are natural diuretics. These include celery, parsley, cranberries, asparagus, artichoke, apple cider vinegar, melons, and others.  So, with all that and more to choose from, what do you use?  I have some favorites based on my own experience.  I found celery to be very effective, as well as cranberry juice, and by that I mean pure cranberry juice such as R. W. Knudsen’s, not the Ocean Spray sugary “drink” stuff.  Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup were anathema to my maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and indeed to maintaining good health generally, so they had to go.   I still drink a few glasses of “cranwater” almost every day which I make from Knudsen’s “just cranberry” juice diluted with water and with a little stevia added for sweetener.  I drink several glasses of pure water each day also.  The mixture I use for my cranwater is 4 ounces of Knudsen’s “just cranberry” to 20 ounces of water with 1/4 teaspoon of stevia powder.

When I first began to wean off the hydrochlorothiazide, I would also eat 3 celery sticks every morning.  Then I got onto raw juicing, making our own fresh juices every day.  I would juice 3 celery sticks, a couple of carrots, some raw beet, some spinach, and I drink a good sized glass of this juice every morning.  The celery was the primary diuretic in this very healthy raw, fresh juice.  I also enjoyed eating melons which are also served as natural diuretics.  While I don’t do this daily anymore, it is a healthy regimen that I have stayed with at least a few times each week.

Some people can get an adequate diuretic effect with just foods.  My blood pressure was high enough, and I was in a big enough hurry, that I couldn’t do it with just foods and juice alone.  So, I began to also bring food-based diuretic supplements into my formula until I got a reduction in blood pressure similar to using hydrochlorothiazide. There are some exceptional diuretic supplements that really boosted the diuretic effects of the juicing and food diuretics that I was taking.  My two all-time favorite diuretic supplements are dandelion leaf (not root) and juniper berries.  During the course of my experimentation I also tried parsley, alfalfa, and some natural diuretic formulas by Natrol and Thompson which included such supplements as buchu, parsley, juniper, and uva ursi extracts.  The formulas were effective, but the uva ursi in there bothered me, and after a while I really could sort of create my own mix with parsley, dandelion leaf, and juniper berries.  Once I put that all together with my diuretic foods and raw juice, I could gradually get off of the hydrochlorothiazide completely.  The gradual part was because I was also changing my diet, my exercise regimen, and incorporating lots of other therapies and healthy modalities into my daily life while still figuring out the right natural diuretic supplement mix for me.  I was pretty sure it would take some time to remedy a problem that had been created over many, many years, but I was determined to do so.

One of the bad things that hydrochlorothiazide did, and one of the reasons I wanted off that drug, was that it created an imbalance in my electrolytes.   Because of all the excess kidney work and urine output getting rid of fluids, I was losing important minerals, not the least of which were potassium and magnesium which are very heart healthy. The great thing that I found about dandelion leaf, and the reason I loved dandelion leaf so much as one of my supplements was that it was not only an effective diuretic, but it was also rich in both potassium and magnesium, probably the two most important minerals that hydrochlorothiazide depleted.  My dandelion supplement by contrast actually helped replenish food based minerals in a very bioavailable way improving my electrolytes while also helping to lower my blood pressure.  I thought, “what could be better”?  In addition, the minerals that I was receiving from my raw juices and other natural supplements were really doing a great job keeping my electrolytes up naturally while I also still got rid of excess fluid and lowered my blood pressure with natural diuretics.  So, my juice cocktail every morning was a fixed staple, and my supplements every day were parsley, dandelion leaf, and juniper berry.

The most effective dandelion leaf supplement I found is manufactured by Eclectic Institute and it is “Fresh Freeze-Dried Dandelion (Leaf)” capsules.  Maybe it is the freeze drying process, I don’t know, but I have to tell you, I LOVE this supplement!   This one and juniper berry were the most effective for me, and I added parsley for its diuretic and other good-food healthy properties.  If I was traveling, I would take celery seed extract capsules as my celery for that day.  I purchased the dandelion from Vitacost or Supersupplements online for about $11.00 per bottle along with the parsley and juniper berry capsules.

Eventually, I stopped taking hydrochlorothiazide altogether because the natural diuretics helped replace that function in a much healthier way.  The change of diet, exercise regimen, and many other healthy additions to my life which we will talk about in depth in future posts eventually helped me eliminate all the toxic drugs for hypertension.

So, that was one of my first steps, utilizing natural diuretics instead of the drug diuretic.  There is obviously much more to talk about when considering lowering blood pressure through natural alternatives.  I plan to get to those many other topics in due course. For now, hopefully many will find something of value here on natural diuretics.

As always………all the best………naturally!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (65 votes, average: 4.62 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...