Recent interest in supplements, their effectiveness and potential drug interactions may prompt inquiries from patients diagnosed with hypertension. Although foods and compounds hailing from the traditions of folk medicine are the subject of safety and efficacy studies in the treatment of high blood pressure, one trendy supplement is everyone’s favorite little aromatic: garlic.
With a long, varied history of medicinal use, garlic supplementation for decreasing diastolic and systolic blood pressure is rated as possibly effective on the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Similar to some pharmaceuticals, garlic appears to help in vasodilation, or widening of blood vessels due to relaxation of the muscular walls of the vessels. It also may inhibit angiotensin II, a naturally occurring substance in the body that narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure.