Hypertension refers to high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure readings are usually less than 120/80 mmHg. If this touches 140/90 mmHg or more a person is said to suffer from hypertension. Hypertension, if left undetected can lead to kidney problems and heart disease. Unfortunately, until a person has their blood pressure checked, they may not know that they are suffering from hypertension. Some people could develop severe headaches, vomiting, confusion, nausea, nose bleeding or a change in vision. This could be a severe form of hypertension – malignant hypertension.
When a person has hypertension, the doctors will suggest a treatment regime of eating heart-healthy food, exercise, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, reducing salt intake and reducing stress. This alone is enough to control pre-hypertension. Medications to control hypertension may also be prescribed. This combination is usually sufficient to control hypertension.
Cinnamon and Hypertension
Cinnamon a commonly used spice is available as rolled quills, powder or liquid extract. There are many cinnamon varieties although the most commonly used is Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia (Chinese) Cinnamon. Cinnamon also offers various health benefits mainly due to the presence of volatile oils cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamyl acetate. Cinnamon contains calcium, iron, manganese, vitamin K and dietary fiber.
Cassia cinnamon has especially been used for medicinal purposes. It could be used to treat hypertension, some types of cancer, chest pain or kidney disorders. Cinnamon is said to reduce high blood pressure and improve blood glucose circulation. It is also said to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The American Heart Association says that 1 out of every 3 adults in America suffer from hypertension. This increases the risk of heart disease. Since hypertension can be controlled with lifestyle changes and common sense diet, these are the two aspects that can be considered for patients with hypertension. Various fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin C, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids etc. can help lower hypertension.
Foods rich in calcium like cinnamon could help lower blood pressure levels. Calcium acts as a mediator in contracting and relaxing blood vessels. Calcium deficiency could result in raising blood pressure levels. This is where cinnamon can help. 1 tbps of cinnamon provides close to 8% of daily body calcium requirement.
In one randomized trial that studied 58 patients suffering from type-2 diabetes, it was found that 2g cinnamon taken daily reduced high blood pressure and blood sugar levels over time. In a 2006 study it was found that cinnamon regulated blood sugar metabolism and lowered blood pressure in rats suffering from hypertension. Further studies are required and until then, cinnamon must not be used to replace conventional medication in treating hypertension.
We believe cinnamon can be of help in dealing with hypertension but detail effects of cinnamon need some more study.
Cinnamon supplements for various health conditions is usually unproven treatment. The dosage usually depends on the age of the consumer and the medical condition. The recommended dosage for therapeutic purposes is 2-4 g of cinnamon powder a day.
Food amounts of cinnamon normally do not cause any side effects. Heavy cinnamon usage – especially cinnamon oil – could cause irritation of the mouth, tongue and lips leading to sores and ulcers. Some people who use cinnamon on their skin could develop redness and a rash. Cassia cinnamon does cause liver toxicity due to the presence of high levels of coumarin in it. Those who suffer from breast cancer, pregnant and breastfeeding women are cautioned against using cinnamon supplements.
Always consult your doctor before using cinnamon especially if you are taking hypertension medicines Cinnamon supplements may interact with certain medications such as diabetes drugs, heart medicines, antibiotics and blood thinners among others.