Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition where a restriction in the flow of blood through arteries and veins causes a build up of pressure that can damage artery walls and the heart over time.1
Headaches, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds can be signs of hypertension, but symptoms do not always appear, even in people with dangerously high blood pressure levels.1
For many, high blood pressure is a matter of genetics and develops gradually over the course of many years. This is referred to as primary hypertension.1
When high blood pressure is caused by a specific health issue, it is referred to as secondary hypertension. Issues that can lead to secondary hypertension include sleep apnea, issues with kidneys, thyroid and adrenal glands, drug and alcohol abuse, and because of medication and prescription drug side effects.1
High blood pressure will affect most people eventually, but certain risk factors can aggravate and speed up the damage done by hypertension.1
Age is a significant factor in high blood pressure, with men over 45 and women over 65 being at significantly higher risk of developing hypertension. Genetics and family history are the most significant factors, as primary hypertension is passed on genetically.1
Sedentary lifestyles, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, high sodium diets, vitamin D and potassium deficiencies, along with stress, are all significant contributors to secondary hypertension.1
Conventional treatments for high blood pressure generally focus on lifestyle adjustments such as increasing physical activity, improving diet and reduction in stress. In severe cases, medications can be prescribed to try and lower blood pressure via slowing the heartbeat and relaxing blood vessels by blocking hormones.2
Both the cost, and the possibility of complications and side effects from hypertension medications, make natural blood pressure remedies an attractive option over conventional prescriptions. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to reduce blood pressure using essential oils for hypertension, stress management, and overall physical and mental health.
High Blood Pressure Essential Oils
Determining the best essential oil for high blood pressure management requires an evaluation of individual health concerns and which hypertension risk factors are applicable to your situation. There is a wide variety of natural blood pressure reducers, but determining which essential oil is right for you will depend on individual risk factors.
While stress reduction or weight-loss may be the primary benefit of particular essential oils, high blood pressure reduction may be a convenient, secondary effect. The following list of essential oils for lowering blood pressure have been noted for their effects on hypertension, or ability to help reduce risk factors.
Cedarwood Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
One valuable benefit of cedarwood essential oil is its ability to promote relaxation. When used in an aromatherapy stress treatment, cedarwood essential oil was found to temporarily decrease heart rate and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. These results suggest that cedarwood essential oil acts similar to prescription medications, which help relax the nervous system.
Lavender Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
When used in aromatherapy, lavender essential oil’s calming properties have been shown to help reduce heart rate and blood pressure in clinical studies. Lavender essential oil has also been shown to be useful for relaxation and anxiety reduction, which makes it one of best essential oils for blood pressure and stress management.
Helichrysum Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
A clinical study conducted on helichrysum essential oil’s hypotensive properties suggested that using the oil may be a natural way to reduce blood pressure. Once absorbed into the bloodstream, the oil acts as a natural vasorelaxant and stimulates smooth muscle function. This results in a decrease of blood pressure levels.
Note: While data is promising, further research on human subjects is required. Using essential oils to lower blood pressure should only be conducted through inhalation or therapeutic message. Never ingest essential oil unless you have been instructed to do so by a qualified professional.
Clary Sage Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
In a recent clinical trial, researchers investigated the potential anti-anxiety benefits of clary sage essential oil and lavender when inhaled during aromatherapy. Results show that inhalation of clary sage and lavender essential oil helped reduce anxiety levels, resulting in a 4.7% drop in systolic blood pressure (pressure on blood vessels caused by the beating of the heart) and a 5.1% drop in diastolic blood pressure (pressure in the arteries between heartbeats). Linalyl acetate, a main component of clary sage essential oil, is believed to work as an anti-inflammatory on the smooth muscles.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
A 2012 study investigated the beneficial properties of ylang ylang essential oil as part of a mixture of essential oils for hypertension reduction. Cortisol is a hormone released by your adrenal glands, but at high levels can lead to high blood pressure. Patients in this study showed reduced levels of both cortisol and blood pressure after inhaling the ylang ylang essential oils mixture, suggesting it is one of the best essential oils for blood pressure management.
Lemon Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
One of the many benefits of lemon essential oil is its ability to relieve stress, which may support lowering blood pressure naturally. Multiple aromatherapy studies have demonstrated a correlation between the use of lemon and blood pressure regulation. The scent of lemon essential oil has been shown to have anti-depressant like activity which help manage serotonin and dopamine levels. While further research into these properties is necessary, lemon essential oil may help reduce symptoms of stress and depression, both of which can result in high blood pressure.
Lime Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
Stress management is one of the most important factors regarding how to control high blood pressure naturally. Because of lime essential oil’s soothing properties, it is a valuable option for battling hypertension. In a four-week trial, patients who underwent aromatherapy massages using lime essential oil were recorded as having a significant reduction in their stress levels and blood pressure, due to an increase in parasympathetic (automatic nervous system) activity.
Neroli Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
One of the benefits of neroli essential oil is its anti-hypertension property. When neroli essential oil was mixed with lavender, ylang ylang, and marjoram essential oil in a 2012 aromatherapy study, researchers noted both immediate and long-term blood pressure reduction in patients. Results of the four-week aromatherapy sessions were significant when compared to those taking a placebo.
Sage Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
Losing weight can be one of the most important steps to treating high blood pressure. One of the benefits of sage essential oil is that it has been shown to increase the body’s metabolism, and thus helps with the process of losing excess weight. A 2014 study showed that sage essential oil affected the activity of proteins involved in the metabolism of fat, by including pancreatic enzyme activity, which sped up the rate at which the body breaks down and eliminates fat.
Citronella Essential Oil for High Blood Pressure
Some of citronella essential oil’s qualities suggest it may be useful for treating stress via aromatherapy. In a 2015 clinical trial, citronella essential oil was observed to lower blood pressure, heart rate, reduce stress and improve patients’ mood.
Participants who were exposed to the citronella scent were observed to have significant reductions in anxiety and improvements in overall mood. Throughout the test, researchers noted that inhaling the citronella essential oil lowered blood pressure, breath rate, and heart rate of the study’s participants.
Essential Oils Mixtures for High Blood Pressure
You can see that these essential oils can compliment each other, lowering blood pressure naturally by treating a wide range of hypertension risk factors via aromatherapy. Essential oils for high blood pressure can also be combined with other stress relievers or methods of relaxation, such as meditation. For an aromatic experience, try combining a few drops of ylang ylang, lavender, neroli, and marjoram essential oils to reduce stress and tension and help fight high blood pressure.3
No matter which risk factors you are dealing with, using the right aromatherapy blend may be a convenient and complementary approach to lowering blood pressure. By implementing a combination of conventional treatments and natural remedies such as essential oils, blood pressure reduction is a goal you can reach for.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Mayo Clinic. (2016, September 9). High blood pressure (hypertension). Retrieved April 20, 2017 from – View reference
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2009). Hypertension: Fast facts from the 2009 survey on living with chronic disease in canada. Retrieved April 20, 2017 from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/slcdcfs-epamccfi/pdf/SLCDCFactSheet2009-Hypertension-eng.pdf
- Kim I., Kim C., Seong K., Hur M., Lim H., Lee M S. (2012). Essential Oil Inhalation on Blood Pressure and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Prehypertensive and Hypertensive Subjects” Hindawi. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/984203/