High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health complications. While there are many pharmaceutical options for treating high blood pressure, an increasing number of people are looking towards natural and holistic approaches as well.
One natural remedy that has been gaining popularity for lowering blood pressure is celery juice. Celery is rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and electrolytes that may help relax the muscles lining the blood vessel walls, potentially lowering blood pressure. Some proponents claim drinking 16 ounces of fresh celery juice every morning on an empty stomach can significantly reduce high blood pressure.
But is there any scientific evidence to support these claims? And if so, how much celery juice do you need to drink to get the blood pressure lowering benefits? Let’s take a closer look.
The science behind celery juice for blood pressure
Celery is a nutrient-dense vegetable that contains several beneficial compounds that may help lower blood pressure, including:
- Potassium: An essential mineral that helps control fluid levels in the body and balance electrolytes. Potassium helps relax blood vessel walls, reducing blood pressure.
- Phthalides: Antioxidant compounds found in celery that may help relax muscular arteries walls and increase circulation.
- Polyacetylenes: Anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce inflammation in blood vessels.
- Nitrates: Help dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Animal studies have found celery juicecan reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A 2015 study in rats with hypertension found celery juice lowered blood pressure significantly compared to a control group. The blood pressure lowering effect may be due to celery’s ability to prevent stress-induced blood vessel constriction.
However, human studies are more limited. A small study in China found drinking 8 ounces of celery juice daily for one week reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 10 patients with hypertension. Another study found a small drop in blood pressure after 15 men drank 8 ounces of celery juice for one week, however the drop was not statistically significant. More research is still needed.
How much celery juice to lower blood pressure?
Based on the current research, drinking around 8-16 ounces (1-2 cups) of fresh celery juice daily may help lower high blood pressure. Here are some general guidelines based on available evidence:
- 8 ounces (1 cup) – May result in a small, short-term reduction in blood pressure.
- 16 ounces (2 cups) – Often recommended as the optimal daily dosage for lowering high BP.
- 24+ ounces (3+ cups) – Unlikely to provide much added benefit compared to 16 oz.
For reference, 16 ounces is around 4-5 celery stalks juiced. It’s best to drink celery juice on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning. You can drink the juice by itself or add it into a smoothie with other fruits and vegetables.
Some people report needing to drink celery juice for at least 1-2 weeks before seeing significant drops in blood pressure. The effect also seems to be cumulative, providing progressive benefits over time the longer it is consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Other tips for using celery juice to lower BP
Here are some additional tips to maximize the blood pressure benefits of celery juice:
- Use organic celery whenever possible.
- Juice the celery stalks and leaves.
- Drink the juice immediately after juicing for best nutrient retention.
- Aim for a daily dose for at least 2 weeks for best effect.
- Include other blood pressure-friendly foods like berries, bananas, beets and herbs.
- Increase lifestyle factors like exercise, sleep and stress management.
- Talk to your doctor before discontinuing BP medications.
Can celery juice lower blood pressure too much?
For most people with high blood pressure, celery juice is likely safe to consume daily and unlikely to cause blood pressure levels to drop too low. However, some people may be more sensitive to the blood pressure lowering effects of celery juice, especially in high amounts.
People who are already on blood pressure lowering medication or experience low blood pressure symptoms like dizziness, fatigue and fainting may want to be cautious with high daily doses of celery juice. Start slow and talk to your healthcare provider.
If your blood pressure becomes too low, you may need to reduce your celery juice intake and dosage of any BP medications you are taking. Monitor your levels closely and avoid dramatic or sudden increases in celery juice consumption.
Celery juice and drug interactions
Celery juice is high in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting. People taking blood thinning medications like Warfarin should exercise caution with dramatically increasing vitamin K intake from celery juice, as it may interfere with the drug’s effectiveness.
Celery juice may also have diuretic effects due to its potassium content, which could potentially affect some medications. Speak with your doctor about possible celery juice interactions with your medications, especially blood pressure or diuretic drugs.
Other natural ways to lower blood pressure
While celery juice may offer blood pressure benefits, it’s most effective when combined with an overall healthy lifestyle. Here are some other evidence-based ways to lower high blood pressure:
- Lose extra weight – Being overweight strains your cardiovascular system. Shedding just 5-10 lbs can make a significant impact on blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly – Getting 150 minutes per week of moderate activity like brisk walking can lower BP.
- Reduce sodium – Limiting sodium to 1500mg or less per day can help control hypertension.
- Follow DASH diet – The DASH diet plan is designed specifically to lower blood pressure by focusing on fruits, veggies, lean proteins and low-fat dairy.
- Limit alcohol – Drinking alcohol regularly, even moderately, is linked to increased risk of hypertension.
- Quit smoking – Smoking damages blood vessels and causes immediate spiking in blood pressure.
- Try meditation – Managing stress through yoga, meditation, deep breathing can all provide blood pressure benefits.
A combination of celery juice along with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes may be the best approach for managing high blood pressure.
Potential side effects of celery juice
For most people, drinking 16 ounces or less of fresh celery juice per day is likely safe and well-tolerated. Possible minor side effects can include:
- Bloating or gas
- Increased frequency of bowel movements
- Celery allergy symptoms (itching, rash)
Start with a small amount like 4-6 ounces to assess tolerance, especially if you have sensitivities to certain foods. If juicing a large amount of celery daily, introduce it gradually over the course of a few weeks.
Some medical professionals believe too much celery juice may have a diuretic effect and flush out important electrolytes like sodium and potassium. However, this risk is likely only present at very high intakes (more than 24 ounces daily).
The bottom line
Current evidence suggests drinking 8-16 ounces of fresh celery juice per day may help lower elevated blood pressure, especially when combined with diet, exercise and lifestyle measures. More human research is still needed. Speak with your doctor before using celery juice or any supplement as a natural treatment for high blood pressure.
Monitoring your levels, being consistent, avoiding excessive doses and using celery juice as part of an overall healthy regimen is the best approach and likely to provide you with the most benefits for lowering your blood pressure.