Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath
Naturopath Vicki Martin explains the benefits of garlic for healthy blood pressure
When doctors talk about “blood pressure”, they mean the pressure that your blood creates on your arteries as your heart pumps it through them. It’s measured in units of “mm Hg”, which means millimetres of mercury, and is made up of two numbers. The first number (systolic) is the pressure in the middle of a heartbeat, while your heart is contracted. The second number (diastolic) is the pressure between heartbeats, when your heart is relaxed.
Normal blood pressure is somewhere around 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure, or “hypertension” is when your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher. High blood pressure is estimated to affect around 1 billion people worldwide.
Many people are looking for alternative, natural ways to bring their blood pressure down. Several research studies have suggested that Garlic (Allium sativum) can help to moderately reduce blood pressure. To investigate this further, researchers at the University of Adelaide, South Australia reviewed 10 studies that looked at Garlic’s effect on blood pressure.
The authors found that garlic supplements do lower blood pressure, particularly in people with high blood pressure. Their meta-analysis (an analysis of multiple studies) showed a significant difference between the groups given Garlic and the ones given a placebo. They concluded that Garlic reduced blood pressure by 4.56mm Hg more than placebo. This effect compares to the effects of commonly-prescribed blood pressure drugs.
Garlic Preparations Show Benefit in Reducing Blood Pressure
HerbalGram. 2009;81:24-25 American Botanical Council
Reviewed: Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP, Fakler P, Sullivan T. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2008;8:13. doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-13.