Many people would like to find a way to manage their blood pressure without taking a lot of medications. Although they should try this only with their physicians’ knowledge, it is quite feasible. In essence, a conscientious person can often use non-drug approaches successfully. One reader wants to control blood pressure with cherries.
How Can You Lower Blood Pressure With Cherries?
Q. My doctor says I need blood pressure medication. I’m looking for natural alternatives because I already have joint problems for which I take pills. Do you know anything about the efficacy of tart cherries?
A. Scientists report that 60 ml of Montmorency (tart) cherry concentrate daily lowers systolic blood pressure in men with early hypertension (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2016). The same dose (60 ml) of Montmorency cherry concentrate also lowered systolic blood pressure in another study (British Journal of Nutrition, Dec. 2016). People taking cherry concentrate did not better on cognitive tests, however.
Other Benefits of Tart Cherries:
A review of tart cherry research points out that you can do more than lower blood pressure with cherries. They also help moderate blood sugar and reduce inflammation (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Oct. 30, 2019). In addition, tart cherry supplements have also proven helpful for easing arthritis pain in some studies (Nutrients, March 17, 2018). This could be useful to you with your joint problems. In fact, if you have been taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen to ease the pain, those medications might contribute to your elevated blood pressure.
We offer a number of other natural approaches to controlling hypertension in our eGuide to Blood Pressure Treatment. You’ll be able to learn more about how to measure your blood pressure properly. Moreover, we have included information about how weight loss, exercise, slow breathing, following the DASH diet and getting adequate minerals can help you lower your blood pressure.
You may also wish to listen to our interviews with Dr. Katy Bell of the University of Sydney in Australia, Dr. Randall Zusman of Harvard and Dr. Jari Laukkanen of the University of Eastern Finland. You will find them in our Show 1134: Can You Control Your Blood Pressure Without Drugs?