Quest for a Way to Lower Blood Pressure
Hitting the Brick Wall
After two failed trials at finding a sustainable way to lower blood pressure, we were back to square one.
We know that the solution is not far in sight and giving up was out of the question.
Again, what were we missing?
Day 1 - How We Stumbled on a Natural Way to Lower BP
For years, my husband and I have been searching for a remedy to hypertension a.k.a. high blood pressure.
It's his problem... but it's also mine.
So, we ventured to find natural ways to lower blood pressure.
Having been into this for years, we already know that there are.
But we want more.
- Is there a natural way of lowering high blood pressure with dramatic results?
- How sustainable are the results?
- How long do they last?
We scoured the internet and meticulously weeded through available information.
There were plenty.
Among them was a clear step-by-step video on how to prepare Korean Bibimbap. Maangchi, a popular Korean author, cook and blogger, shared it in her website.
According to Maangchi, Bibimbap has three essential ingredients:
- soy bean sprouts
- carrots and/or red bell pepper.
To make a simple Bibimbap, just add egg, gochujang and sesame oil.
In her procedure, we noticed something important:
- Instead of sesame oil, she used vegetable cooking oil to saute the vegetables.
- With each preparation, she added a generous amount of garlic and sesame oil (aside from salt).
At first we thought that sesame oil, which was used in a number of international studies, was the secret ingredient to lowering hypertension.
Relevant studies that we read include:
- US Study - Effect of Sesame Oil on Diuretics or ß-blockers in the Modulation of Blood Pressure, Anthropometry, Lipid Profile, and Redox Status
- Thai Study - Health Benefit of Sesamin
- Japanese Study - Better than Olive Oil? Try Heart-Healthy Sesame and Rice Bran Oils
After watching the video, we finally found the missing piece - garlic!
Garlic is a proven ingredient for hypertension. My husband had used it in the past to lower his hypertension.
However, here's the thing.
It is not garlic alone nor sesame oil alone.
It is both.
Then there's also the vegetables.
How everything interacts and affect each other is the key.
That's what we thought.
Call it our hypothesis.
Trial #3 - Things Are Looking Up
It is important to note that in the morning before the third trial, my husband's blood pressure shoot up significantly.
That's when we knew that the second trial was a disaster.
Here's a reading of his BP in the morning:
Blood Pressure Chart #1
July 17 (Monday AM)
Reading at work
Reading at work
After lunch of tofu with maple syrup
Relevant information you may want to know are:
- His medicines consist of Nifedipine and aspirin that he regularly take at 7:00 AM.
- Before the experiment, he had been taking these and his BP were usually above his current BP readings.
- His diet of soft tofu with sago and/or maple syrup help maintain a healthy blood pressure level but not on a sustainable basis. He also drinks osterized fruits on a regular basis.
Third Trial Begins - Yahoo!
Now armed with new information and a broader perspective, we proceeded with the third trial.
The third trial started in the evening of July 17 right after work.
The ingredients and procedure are as follows:
1T cooking oil
1t black sesame seeds
2-3T sesame oil
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
Mung or soy bean sprouts
Spinach (cut up)
Red bell pepper (sliced thinly)
Alfalfa sprouts (optional)
- The quantity of vegetables my husband use is based on how much he can consume. Please see image for his usual serving.
- In the first and second trial, only 1 clove of garlic was used. Use 5 cloves instead for more potency.
My husband improvised on his procedure, which is this:
First, heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking vegetable oil on a pan or wok.
Second, saute onion until translucent.
Third, put in the thinly-sliced or julienned carrots and saute for a minute.
Fourth, add the minced garlic and saute for half a minute.
Fifth, pour in the rest of the vegetables and saute for 30 seconds.
Sixth, add the black sesame seeds and sesame oil and stir for another 30 seconds.
Seventh, transfer the mixed vegetables on a bowl or plate.
Eight, cook egg using vegetable oil.
Ninth, place the egg on top of the mixed vegetables.
Now, your food is ready to eat!
Make sure to chew well and enjoy the simple Bibimbap-inspired dish.
We recorded my husband's BP including the surrounding circumstances as diligently as we could.
There were times that we missed, as you may see in the chart below.
Blood Pressure Chart #2
July 17-19, 2017
July 17 (Mon)
Dinner (new recipe)
July 18 (Tue)
First reading before breakfast
After cooking and right after eating
Watching TV, no meds yet
Lunch break, after eating tofu
After long travel and physical activity
Some kitchen work, after tofu and juice
July 19 (Wed)
First reading before breakfast
After breakfast, assembly of piano
Lunch break, stress from work
BP reading after 12 minutes of sleep
The data gathered helped us establish some patterns and guide us on our actions.
- Blood pressure was pretty stable within the recording period.
- Although the Bibimbap-inspired recipe was eaten only once in the day, blood pressure levels over a long period of time were inspiring.
- Even in those few instances that stress level was high, the readings were relatively low.
- Stress levels are very high at work between the hours of 8:00AM and 12:00 noon as well as 1:00-4:30 PM. Results of the trial indicate that the mixed vegetable recipe was able to keep blood pressure down or maintain it at low levels in those periods.
- His instake of soft tofu (either with sago and/or maple syrup) did help bring down his blood pressure. However, he had been doing this prior to the trials and the results were short-lived.
- Note: The smell of garlic can be overpowering. It's best to drink lots of water, brush teeth properly after meal, chew gum, use a peppermint spray, or have something that could neutralize the smell.
Achieving our goal of finding a natural way to lower blood pressure proved to be a challenging but rewarding experience.
Tracking my husband's health has been much easier with my journal.
Due to my blog posts on the Korean Bibimbap experience, it dawned on me that for a long time, I have been using journaling as a tool to monitor and take care of my family's health.
My journals have been my constant companion and have served me well in so many ways.
Our search for natural ways to lower blood pressure doesn't end here.
My husband will continue to use and test our recipe on a regular basis.
I might even try it myself even if I'm not hypertensive. After all, everything in it are natural and healthy.
Also, I''ll keep on journaling to record every bit of relevant information and report back, if needed.
I enjoyed this journaling experience tremendously.
It is my hope that you learn from it.
Please help enrich this topic by sharing your personal experience.
If you haven't yet read my previous posts, you'll find them here:
I would love to know what you think.
If my journal posts inspired you in any way, please let me know below.
Please share this post also to your family and friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.
Disclaimer: This post is my journal of a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that could impact your health.
Caution: Please check for allergies to ingredients posted.