What are conventional medical treatments for low blood pressure?
Mild symptoms such as feeling dizzy for a moment or two when you stand up suddenly generally don’t require any treatment.
The first step is to address any underlying causes (e.g. to change medications if the one you are taking is causing low blood pressure). Some other things that may help include:
- Adopting a healthy diet which is low in saturated-fat, trans-fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars and plentiful in low-fat forms of protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart healthy.
- Using more salt (but check with your doctor first, as excess use of salt can cause heart failure).
- Drinking more water and less alcohol.
- Wearing compression stockings.
- Eating small, low-carbohydrate meals – this is useful for people who suffer from low blood pressure after eating.
- Going slow when getting up: breathe deeply for a few minutes and then slowly sit up in bed in the morning before standing.
- Sleeping with the head of the bed slightly elevated can also help.
- Special maneuvers: If you feel faint while standing, to encourage blood to flow from your legs to your heart cross your thighs in a scissors fashion and squeeze, or put one foot on a ledge or chair and lean as far forward as possible.
- Caffeine – having a cup of strong coffee, or any caffeinated beverage in the morning can also temporarily increase your blood pressure. But the long-term effects of caffeine are not clear.
- Medications such as fludrocortisone for orthostatic hypotension or midodrine (Orvaten), but as with all medications, there are side effects.
- Monitoring your blood pressure regularly.
What are alternative treatments for low blood pressure?
Some herbs such as licorice can help strengthen adrenal function, and over time, this can also help to increase blood pressure. You can take it in tablet, capsule or tincture form.
Other herbs that can increase blood pressure include ephedra (Ma Huang), and yohimbine (from the bark of a West African tree).
The traditional Ayurvedic remedy for hypotension is to soak raisins overnight in hot water and to eat them in the morning (and drink the liquid they are soaked in).
Eating Holy Basil leaves (or juicing them) is also said to help. Some also believe that drinking a cup of beetroot juice twice daily is useful and that carrot juice and lemon juice are also beneficial.
Another traditional remedy is to soak five to six almonds in water overnight, peel off the skin in the morning, and grind the almonds into a smooth paste, then boil the paste in a cup of milk and drink this in the morning.
Of course, essential oils traditionally have also been used for low blood pressure. For more information, see the Useful Essential Oils tab.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.