Can Turmeric Lower Blood Pressure?

If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure or your numbers are beginning to climb in that direction, are there ways you can lower your blood pressure, besides taking prescribed blood pressure medication? The ancient spice turmeric is often touted as a natural way to address high blood pressure. 

According to the research book, "Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects," turmeric is an herbaceous plant related to ginger and native to South Asia and has been in use for roughly 4,000 years. Often added to foods, turmeric is sometimes referred to as "the Indian saffron" or "the golden spice" for its yellowish-orange color, but for centuries it has also been used in Eastern cultures for its healing properties. The research book also asserts turmeric is well known for its long association with the ancient Indian holistic medicine system known as Ayurveda, which uses plants to heal a variety of medical conditions.

What the science says about turmeric

If you are considering trying turmeric to lower your blood pressure, there is some science that supports the benefits. According to WebMD, curcumin is the key chemical in turmeric and is believed to be a potent anti-inflammatory. And based on 11 studies that involved 734 participants with hypertension, a 2019 report published in Pharmacological Research, found encouraging though inconclusive results showing that "consuming curcumin/turmeric may improve [systolic blood pressure] when administered in long durations."

While turmeric may have an effect on lowering blood pressure, taking the spice may have unintended consequences. Per MedicineNet, when co-mingled with blood pressure medications, turmeric can potentially increase the blood concentration of the blood pressure medication by slowing the movement of the prescribed drugs within your cells. Turmeric can also affect certain enzymes in the liver, which could increase the blood pressure medication's unwanted side effects.

While researchers acknowledge that more studies are needed, there is growing evidence to suggest that turmeric can have an influence on lowering your blood pressure when consumed over a long period of time. Health experts suggest that it is in your best interest to first consult with your doctor about safety and dosages before consuming turmeric for a serious condition such as high blood pressure.