High blood pressure may affect as much as 30 percent of the world's population, according to World Health Statistics 2012. Hypertension is treatable through medication, diet and lifestyle changes. Chronic elevation of blood pressure is a risk factor for many diseases and can lead to a decreased life expectancy. Rooibos tea is a natural remedy for decreasing blood pressure that is becoming increasingly popular. Before using this or any other remedy to treat high blood pressure, consult a doctor.
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Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is elevated systolic or diastolic pressure in the blood vessels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure, but less than half have it under control. Seven out of 10 Americans that have high blood pressure are on medication as treatment. In addition to medication, there are natural methods for treating hypertension. Hypertension that is left untreated increases your risk of heart disease, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure, which is why it is referred to as the silent killer.
Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension is a common medical condition that can either be chronic or temporary, depending on the underlying causes. Essential hypertension is the most common type and is characterized by an elevated blood pressure of unknown mechanism that is due to underlying causes such as obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, alcoholism, diabetes and aging. Secondary hypertension is when the increase is due to a definite transient cause, such as change in hormone levels, pregnancy or other disorders.
Rooibos tea is a type of herbal tea that is brewed from the leaves of the South African plant of the same name. Rooibos is only grown in South Africa, where the leaves are harvested and fermented. The tea has high levels of antioxidants, phenolic compounds and no caffeine, according to the September 2002 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." The tea has been popular in South Africa for generations but has begun to gain popularity worldwide due to its nutritional benefits. Some people believe the tea can treat conditions such as tension, digestive problems and allergies.
Effects of Rooibos Tea on Blood Pressure
Rooibos tea may treat hypertension in some cases. The identities of the compounds in rooibos tea that are attributed to this reduction are unclear. However, a study in the the December 2006 edition of "European Journal of Nutrition" presents the blood-pressure lowering capabilities of rooibos tea extract. In addition to lowering blood pressure, rooibos tea was shown to reduce the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme in the May 2010 issue of the journal "Public Health Nutrition." This enzyme constricts blood vessels, which raises blood pressure. These results suggest that rooibos tea is good for overall cardiovascular health.
- Lancet: Global Burden of Hypertension: Analysis of Worldwide Data
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: High Blood Pressure Facts
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Quantitative Characterization of Flavonoid Compounds in Rooibos Tea
- European Journal of Nutrition: Selective Bronchodilatory Effect of Rooibos Tea
- Public Health Nutrition: Effects of Green Tea, Black Tea and Rooibos Tea On Angiotensin-converting Enzyme
- India.com: World Health Statistics 2012
- American Heart Association: Hypertension: Why Blood Pressure Matters
- Circulation: What Is an Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor?