Researchers conducted an observational study in 2012 where 72 male volunteers were given either lemongrass or green tea to enjoy. The results of the experiment were then recorded in the medical journal Medical Forum Monthly, stating that lemongrass tea has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure. Drinking lemongrass also led to a significantly lower heart rate.
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The healthy herbal drink is thought to have originated from Sri Lanka and South India, but is now commonly grown all over the world.
Shoppers can find loose lemongrass or lemongrass teabags at most natural food stores or online.
To make lemongrass tea:
- Pour one cup of boiling water over one to three teaspoons of fresh or dried lemongrass
- Steep for at least five minutes
- Strain the tea
- Enjoy hot or add ice cubes for iced lemongrass tea
Some people may be allergic to lemongrass. Get emergency help if you experience allergic reaction symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heart rate
You shouldn’t drink lemongrass tea if you:
- Are pregnant
- Take prescription diuretics
- Have a low heart rate
- Have low potassium levels
Measuring blood pressure
Blood pressure is measured by a device called a sphygmomanometer. Results are recorded using two numbers representing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure
Systolic blood pressure signifies the force of blood against artery walls while the two lower chambers of your heart contract, pushing blood out to the rest of your body.
This is represented in the top number found in readings, such as 110/80mmHg (with 110mmHg being the systolic blood pressure reading).
Diastolic blood pressure
Diastolic blood pressure signifies the force of blood against artery walls when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.
This is represented as the bottom number, such as 110/80mmHg (with 80mmHg being the diastolic blood pressure reading).
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The British Heart Foundation details how to interpret blood pressure readings, as listed below:
- Low blood pressure reading: 90/60mmHg or less
- Normal blood pressure reading is between: 90/60mmHg to 140/90mmHg
- Possible hypertension: 140/90mmHg to 180/110mmHg
- Severe hypertension: 180/110mmHg and higher
What causes high blood pressure?
Lifestyle can have a great influence on whether or not somebody suffers from high blood pressure.
Those at higher risk of the condition:
- Eat too much salt
- Don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
- Aren’t active enough
- Are overweight
- Drink too much alcohol
The NHS warns that “high blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases”, including:
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Diabetes and kidney disease
To get your blood pressure measured, visit your local GP.
If it’s discovered you have a high blood pressure reading, your doctor will need to take several readings over a set period of time to check whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day.
Digital blood pressure devices are now commercially available, too, so that you can record your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home.
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