8 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Within 10 Minutes

8 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Within 10 Minutes

If you experience severe headaches, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain, you probably suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. This condition can be caused by stress, lack of sleep, obesity, or other underlying diseases and sometimes even healthy people suffer from it. Luckily, there are some simple techniques that can help you relax your blood vessels and muscles to help keep your blood pressure under control.

Bright Side gathered 8 effective ways to reduce blood pressure quickly without using any medication.

8. Massage your ears and neck.

There are 3 spots on your head and neck that can help you lower your blood pressure within a couple of minutes:

Massaging these areas will relieve the tension in your neck muscles and restore proper blood flow to your brain.

7. Try acupressure.

GB 20, or the Wind Pool, is one of the most effective acupressure points for high blood pressure treatment. You can find these points right at the base of your skull, in the depression on both sides of your spine. Activate both of them simultaneously by applying a steady, but mild, pressure on them with your thumbs. In a minute or 2, you’ll feel that your headache has gotten much better.

6. Practice left nostril breathing.

Left nostril deep abdominal breathing will help you control the level of your blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels and reducing stress hormones.

How to do it:

5. Try hissing bee breathing.

Bhramari pranayama, or hissing bee breathing, will help you instantly ease your mind and get rid of the headaches and migraines associated with hypertension.

How to do it:

4. Listen to classical music.

It turns out that listening to soothing music like classical, Celtic, or Indian can help drop the level of your blood pressure, especially if you combine it with breathing exercises or meditation. This happens because this kind of music produces a calming effect on your body and reduces the stress hormone, cortisol.

Researchers believe that the music that might help reduce your blood pressure usually has very few changes in volume or rhythm, doesn’t have any lyrics, and has parts that are repeated at certain intervals.

3. Drink a glass of water.

In some cases, high blood pressure can be caused by dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, the volume of blood in your body decreases and your peripheral resistance, on the contrary, increases.

To avoid this condition, every time you start feeling the symptoms of hypertension, try to drink a glass or 2 of pure water. This will help you restore an adequate volume of blood in your body and reduce your blood pressure.

2. Relax in savasana.

Savasana, or corpse pose, can help reduce your heart rate and significantly lower your blood pressure. Just lie down on your back, close your eyes, and try to relax every single muscle of your body. Rest in this pose for about 10-15 minutes and you should feel much better at the end. Besides getting your blood pressure back to normal, it will also help balance your nervous system.

1. Soak your feet in hot water.

Soaking your feet in really hot but tolerable water can help you keep your head and neck cool and prevent blood from rushing to the brain. Simply take a bucket or a basin and fill it with hot water. Then sit down on a chair and put your feet into the water for 10-15 minutes. The blood from your head will move toward your feet, and your blood pressure will slowly go back to normal.

Bonus: An easy exercise to keep your blood pressure under control

Isometric handgrip exercises, or contracting and releasing your hand muscles when you squeeze a stress ball, might help you improve the flexibility of your blood vessels and their ability to relax. Perform the exercise for about 12-15 minutes 3 times a week. After a month, the level of your blood pressure should drop by 10%.

Are you prone to high blood pressure? How do you usually keep it under control? Tell us about your experience in the comments!




Scientists develop 10-minute universal cancer test | Science | The Guardian

Scientists have developed a universal cancer test that can detect traces of the disease in a patient’s bloodstream.

The cheap and simple test uses a colour-changing fluid to reveal the presence of malignant cells anywhere in the body and provides results in less than 10 minutes.

While the test is still in development, it draws on a radical new approach to cancer detection that could make routine screening for the disease a simple procedure for doctors.

“A major advantage of this technique is that it is very cheap and extremely simple to do, so it could be adopted in the clinic quite easily,” said Laura Carrascosa, a researcher at the University of Queensland.

The test has a sensitivity of about 90%, meaning it would detect about 90 in 100 cases of cancer, with 10% false positives. It would serve as an initial check for cancer, with doctors following up positive results with more focused investigations.

“Our technique could be a screening tool to inform clinicians that a patient may have a cancer, but they would require subsequent tests with other techniques to identify the cancer type and stage,” Carrascosa said.

The test was made possible by the Queensland team’s discovery that cancer DNA and normal DNA stick to metal surfaces in markedly different ways. This allowed them to develop a test that distinguishes between healthy cells and cancerous ones, even from the tiny traces of DNA that find their way into the bloodstream.

Healthy cells ensure they function properly by patterning their DNA with molecules called methyl groups. These work like volume controls, silencing genes that are not needed and turning up others that are. In cancer cells, this patterning is hijacked so that only genes that help the cancer grow are switched on. While the DNA inside normal cells has methyl groups dotted all over it, the DNA inside cancer cells is largely bare, with methyl groups found only in small clusters at specific locations.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the Queensland team described a series of tests that confirmed the telltale pattern of methyl groups in breast, prostate and colorectal cancer as well as lymphoma. They then showed that the patterns had a dramatic impact on the DNA’s chemistry, making normal and cancer DNA behave very differently in water. “This is a huge discovery that no one has grasped before,” said Carrascosa.

After a series of experiments, the scientists hit on the new test for cancer. The suspect DNA is added to water containing tiny gold nanoparticles. Though made of gold, the particles turn the water pink. If DNA from cancer cells is then added, it sticks to the nanoparticles in such a way that the water retains its original colour. But if DNA from healthy cells is added, the DNA binds to the particles differently, and turns the water blue. “The test is sensitive enough to detect very low levels of cancer DNA in the sample,” Carrascosa said.

Led by Matt Trau, a professor of chemistry at the University of Queensland, the researchers have run the test on 200 human cancer samples and healthy DNA. “We certainly don’t know yet whether it’s the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics, but it looks really interesting as an incredibly simple universal marker for cancer, and as an accessible and inexpensive technology that doesn’t require complicated lab-based equipment like DNA sequencing,” Trau said.

The scientists are now working towards clinical trials with patients that have a broader range of cancer types than they have tested so far.

To test for cancer today, doctors must collect a tissue biopsy from a patient’s suspected tumour. The procedure is invasive and relies on the patient noticing a lump, or reporting symptoms that their GP recognises as a potential sign of cancer. A less invasive test that has the potential to spot cancer earlier could transform how patients are screened for the disease.

The DNA in cancer cells can be riddled with mutations that drive the growth of a specific tumour, but these mutations tend to differ depending on the type of cancer. A universal cancer test would not be precise enough to pinpoint the location or size of a tumour, but would give doctors a swift answer to the question: does this patient have cancer?

Tests in the lab showed that the scientists could distinguish normal DNA from cancer DNA by looking for a colour change in the gold particle solution that was visible to the naked eye within a few minutes.

“This test could be done in combination with other simple tests, and become a powerful diagnostic tool that could not just say that you have cancer, but also the type and stage,” said Carrascosa.

Ged Brady, of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said: “This approach represents an exciting step forward in detecting tumour DNA in blood samples and opens up the possibility of a generalised blood-based test to detect cancer. Further clinical studies are required to evaluate the full clinic potential of the method.”



The Notorious Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome, also known as premenstrual tension or PMS, refers to the emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 250 million women suffer from PMS at least once during their menstrual cycle.

Causes and Symptoms of PMS

PMS usually starts after ovulation and can last for seven days or longer in some women. Some of the common causes of PMS include the following:



  • Hormone cycling: During the luteal phase, progesterone levels are high and estrogen can be low, resulting in some of the symptoms of PMS.

Women with PMS often experience symptoms based on their menstrual cycle. These symptoms could be severe and typically subside in a week or two. Consistent symptoms are also observed in some women and the condition is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Behavioral symptoms of PMS include:



  • Long spells of unnecessary crying
  • Insomnia
  • Alteration in eating habits
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Increased anger

Physical symptoms of PMS include:

  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Acne
  • Tenderness and swelling of the breasts
  • Heart palpitations

Treatment Strategies for PMS

Various treatment strategies are available depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some of the most common strategies are:


  • Diuretics: Drugs like Aldactoneare most effective in managing weight gain, inflammation and bloating.
  • Contraceptives: Various contraceptives are available that can reduce or inhibit ovulation but are rarely used in managing PMS as they do not provide any relief from the symptoms.

Alternative treatments for PMS include:

  • Chromium: An intake of chromium could regulate insulin and blood sugar levels, keeping food cravings under control.
  • Vitamins and minerals: A combination of vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium may elevate mood and reduce PMS symptoms effectively.

Complications Associated With PMS

Apart from mood swings, bloating and pain, PMS can also worsen other conditions that a woman may suffer from, including:


PMS is often characterized by changes in mood and behavior during the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. These symptoms subside on their own as the cycle continues, but you can alleviate its symptoms and bring back some normalcy to your routine with rest, medications and natural ingredients.


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Studd J. Hormone therapy for reproductive depression in women. Post Reprod Health. 2014 Dec;20(4):132-7.

Chung SH, Kim TH, Lee HH, et al. Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder in perimenopausal women. J Menopausal Med. 2014 Aug;20(2):69-74.

Abraham S, Luscombe G, Soo I. Oral contraception and cyclic changes in premenstrual and menstrual experiences. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Sep;24(3):185-93.

Bianco V, Cestari AM, Casati D, et al. Premenstrual syndrome and beyond: lifestyle, nutrition, and personal facts. Minerva Ginecol. 2014 Aug;66(4):365-75.

Helmerhorst FM, Lopez LM, Kaptein AA. Premenstrual syndrome. Lancet. 2008 Aug 9;372(9637):446; author reply 446-7.

Coffee AL, Kuehl TJ, Sulak PJ. Comparison of scales for evaluating premenstrual symptoms in women using oral contraceptives. Pharmacotherapy. 2008 May;28(5):576-83.

Take 3 vacations a year to boost your longevity, good health

Want to have a long life? Besides leading a healthy lifestyle, taking at least three vacations a year between your work schedule seems to be the key, especially for men, suggested a study. People with shorter vacations worked more and slept lesser than those who took longer vacations, which took a toll on their health and affected their life span.

Compared with those who took more than three weeks, men who took three weeks or less annual leave from their regular work schedule were found to be 37% more likely to die early, the study showed. “Don’t think that having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays,” said Timo Strandberg, Professor at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress,” he added.

The study, presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Germany, included 1,222 middle-aged male executives, and were randomised into a control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received oral and written advice every four months to do aerobic physical activity, eat a healthy diet, achieve a healthy weight and stop smoking.

Men in the control group received usual healthcare and were not seen by the investigators. Shorter vacations were associated with excess deaths in the intervention group. Vacation time had no impact on risk of death in the control group. “However, our results do not indicate that health education is harmful. Rather, they suggest that stress reduction is an essential part of programmes aimed at reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases,” Strandberg cautioned.

Why modern medicine is a major threat to public health

When former airline pilot Tony Royle came to see me last year to seek reassurance that it was OK to participate in an Ironman event, having stopped all his medications 18 months after suffering a heart attack, I was initially a little alarmed.

But after talking to him, I realised he had made an informed decision to stop the medication after suffering side effects, and instead had opted for a diet and lifestyle approach to manage his heart disease.

His case is a great example of how evidence-based medicine should be practised. This is the integration of clinical expertise, the best available evidence and – most importantly – taking patients’ preferences and values into consideration.

But our healthcare system has failed to keep to this gold standard of clinical practice for the most important goal of improving patient health outcomes.

The consequences have been devastating. Modern medicine, through over prescription, represents a major threat to public health. Peter Gøtzsche, co–founder of the reputed Cochrane Collaboration, estimates that prescribed medication is the third most common cause of death globally after heart disease and cancer.

In the UK, use of prescription drugs is at an all-time high, with almost half of adults on at least one drug and a quarter on at least three – an increase of 47% in the past decade. It’s instructive to note that life expectancy in the UK has stalled since 2010, the slowdown being one of the most significant in the world’s leading economies.

Contrary to popular belief, the cost of an ageing population in itself is not a threat to the welfare system – an unhealthy ageing population is. A Lancet analysis revealed that if rising life expectancy means years in good health, then health expenditure is expected to increase by only 0.7% of GDP by 2060.

The greatest stress on the NHS comes from managing almost entirely preventable chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes alone (demonstrated to be reversible in up to 60% of patients) takes up approximately 10% of the NHS budget. A disturbing report from the British Heart Foundation suggests that heart attacks and strokes are set to “surge” in England over the next 20 years as the prevalence of diabetes continues to increase.

Yet rather than address the root cause of these conditions through lifestyle changes, we prioritise drugs that give – at best – only a marginal chance of long-term benefit for individuals, most of whom will derive no health outcome improvement.

The reality is that lifestyle changes not only reduce the risk of future disease, their positive effects on quality of life happen within days to weeks. However, those patients unlucky enough to suffer side effects from prescribed medicines may find their quality of life will deteriorate in order to enjoy small longer term benefits from the medication.

Of course patients may need to use both, but what’s important is that information is presented in a transparent way to encourage shared decision making. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Choosing Wisely campaign encourages patients to ask their doctor whether they really need a medication, test or procedure.

Prof Luis Correia, director of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine in Brazil, says if a clinical decision is not in keeping with the patient’s individual preferences and values, “it will not work”.

A report commissioned by thinktank the King’s Fund in 2012 recommended putting patient preferences at the heart of decision making in medicine, suggesting it would not just be a victory for ethics and policy but for finance, too, as the data shows patients given all the information choose fewer treatments. But more than saving money, it will be about redistributing resources within the system to where they are needed most, in acute and social care.

This solution to the NHS financial crisis and giving patients the very best chance of improving their health will require a national public health campaign to reduce the amount of medications the population takes, improving lifestyle and adhering to the true principles of evidence-based medicine that make shared decision making the priority in clinical practice.

A few weeks ago, four years after his heart attack and two years after coming off all medications and dramatically changing his diet, Tony completed his first Ironman at the age of 58, revealing it’s never too late to improve fitness. But the most important message remains clear: you can’t drug people into being healthier.

Dr Aseem Malhotra is an NHS consultant cardiologist and visiting professor of evidence-based medicine, at the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Brazil

Too much sleep linked to ill health

Sleeping longer than the recommended seven or eight hours a night has been linked with a higher risk of premature death, according to new research.

Researchers looked at data from 74 studies involving more than three million people and found those who slept for 10 hours were 30% more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for eight.

Staying in bed for more than 10 hours was also linked to a 56% increased risk of death from stroke and a 49% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Poor sleep quality was associated with a 44% increase in risk of coronary heart disease, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers said their study suggests abnormal sleep could be “a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk” and said GPs ought to ask questions about sleeping patterns during appointments.

Lead researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok, of Keele University’s Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, said: “Abnormal sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk and greater consideration should be given in exploring both duration and sleep quality during patient consultations.

“There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep such as the need to care for children or family members, irregular working shift patterns, physical or mental illness, and the 24-hour availability of commodities in modern society.”

The study, which also involved researchers from the universities of Leeds, Manchester and East Anglia, said the research was limited as duration of sleep was self-reported and that underlying mental or physical conditions may have had an impact on “extreme sleep patterns”.

A Modest Dose of Ginger Improves 8 Markers of Diabetes Type 2

A promising study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition reveals that the popular kitchen spice may be an effective treatment for the prevention of diabetes and its complications.

The trial participants were divided randomly into a ginger group and control group, receiving either 1600 mg ginger or a 1600 mg placebo daily for 12 weeks. The patients were measured before and after the intervention for blood sugar levels, blood lipids, C-reactive protein, prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα).

As a result of the intervention, ginger treatment reduced the following parameters significantly compared with the placebo group:

  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • HbA1C (aka glycated hemoglobin) – a measurement of how much damage is being caused by sugars to red blood cells in the body, reflective of body wide damage caused by chronically elevated blood sugar
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Total cholesterol
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation
  • Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) – a marker of inflammation

No significant differences in HDL, LDL and TNFα between two groups (p > 0.05).

The researchers concluded:

Ginger Already Proven To Have Anti-Diabetic Properties

This is, of course, not the first study to establish the value of ginger for diabetes. Simply dropping the two search terms “diabetes” and “ginger” into Pubmed.gov will draw up 63 results. Our database of abstracts on ginger contains a number of gems on its benefit for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes which can be viewed here: Ginger Health Benefits

How Much Was Used?

The amount of ginger used in the study amounted to 1.6 grams, which is a non-heroic, ‘culinary’ dose of approximately a quarter of a teaspoon. In the study, participants were given two doses of 800 mg, delivered twice daily, orally through capsules. This dose scheme points to the fact that higher doses does of complex plant extracts within the spice category are not necessarily better, and in fact, in some cases, may actually have effects opposite to the expectation. This study, for instance, found that rosemary at a lower dose (750 mg) improved cognition whereas a higher dose (6,000 mg) interfered with it. The point is that lower doses, as used traditionally in culinary applications, passed down to us through previous generations as ‘recipes’ (literally: ‘medical prescriptions’), may be more effective than higher ones; a perspective that obviously turns conventional pharmacological wisdom and practice on its head. .

Other Essential Resources for Type 2 Diabetes

The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains 350 abstracts on 180 natural substances that have been researched to have potential value in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, and which can be viewed on our Type 2 Diabetes Research page.  The resource also includes Problem Substances (e.g. fructose, BPA), Therapeutic Actions (e.g. yoga, low carb diets) and Problematic Actions (e.g. vaccination, microwave cooking) linked to this condition in the published research. We also have a curated health portal on Blood Sugar Problems which aggregates both our research sections on type 1 and type 2 diabetes and our reporting on various studies related to these conditions in greater depth.

Additional References

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

92 Alkaline Foods That Fight Cancer, Inflammation, Diabetes and Heart Disease


Human life, just like all life on earth, depends on appropriate pH levels in and around living organisms and cells. For us, a tightly controlled pH level in the serum of about 7.4 – that’s a slightly alkaline range – is needed in order to ensure survival.

Increasing industrialization, especially in developed nations like the United States, has lead to increasing CO2 deposition – resulting in the pH of the ocean dropping from 8.2 to 8.1, a change which has had a negative impact on marine life. Even the pH balance of the soil we grow our food in has an impact on the mineral content of that food – minerals are, after all, used as buffers to maintain pH balance.

When it comes down to it, the alkaline diet is simply a diet that relies heavily on nutrients derived from vegetables and other natural foods. Anyone can benefit from such a diet, so with that in mind, here are several alkaline foods that you can start adding to your diet.

1. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is an incredibly healthy food – not only is it alkaline, it also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, and is full of much-needed antioxidants(2).

2. Melon

With a pH level of 8.5, these fruits are super alkaline, but they’re also loaded with fiber to help cleanse your digestive tract, and water to help hydrate you.

3. Berries

Loaded with fibre and antioxidants, berries are one of the best type of fruits you can eat.

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, making it a great addition to any diet.

5. Flax seeds

High in fiber and vitamin E, flax seeds are a very alkaline food – but they also have other benefits: they can reduce hot flashes in women(3) and help fight inflammation.

Other Foods To Include In An Alkaline Diet

The previously mentioned five foods are a good place to start when building any diet, but if you’re looking to alkalize your body, there are plenty of other alkaline foods to look to as well.

Alkalizing Vegetables

  • Alfalfa
  • Barley Grass
  • Beets
  • Beet Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard Greens
  • Chlorella
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelions
  • Edible Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Fermented Veggies
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nightshade Veggies
  • Onions
  • Parsnips (high glycemic)
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Sea Veggies
  • Spinach, green
  • Spirulina
  • Sprouts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Wheat Grass
  • Wild Greens

Alkalizing Fruits

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Banana (high glycemic)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries, sour
  • Coconut, fresh
  • Dates, dried
  • Figs, dried
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit*
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lemon*
  • Lime*
  • Orange*
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Tangerine*
  • Tomato
  • Tropical Fruits
  • Umeboshi Plums
  • Watermelon

*Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect in the system.

Alkalizing Protein

  • Almonds
  • Chestnuts
  • Millet
  • Tempeh (fermented)
  • Tofu (fermented)

Alkalizing Spices & Seasonings

  • Cinnamon
  • Curry
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Chili Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Miso
  • Tamari
  • All Herbs

Alkalizing Others

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bee Pollen
  • Molasses, blackstrap
  • Probiotic Cultures
  • Green Juices
  • Veggie Juices
  • Fresh Fruit Juice
  • Mineral Water

Alkaline Foods


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