Tension or tonus that is greater than normal. A condition in which the patient has a higher blood pressure than that judged to be normal. There are no precise rules concerning what blood pressure reading is considered to represent hypertension. In general, if on several separate occasions the systolic pressure is above
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The primary factor in hypertension is an increase in peripheral resistance resulting from vasoconstriction or narrowing of peripheral blood vessels. The specific causes for this condition can be determined in only a small number of patients with hypertension. However, it is important to attempt to define the exact cause because, if the disease is due to certain pathological states, definitive and curative therapy can be instituted. High blood pressure and arteriosclerosis seem to run in families as an inherited tendency.
Hypertension is often precipitated by cigarette smoking, stress, obesity, excessive us of stimulants such as coffee or tea, drug abuse, high sodium intake, and use of contraceptives.
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When the heart pumps the blood through the arteries, the blood presses against the walls of the blood vessels. Those who suffer from hypertension have abnormally high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis are common precursors of hypertension. Because the arteries are obstructed with cholesterol placque in atherosclerosis, circulation of blood through the vessels becomes difficult. When the arteries harden and constrict in arteriosclerosis, the blood is forced through a narrower passageway. As a result, blood pressure becomes elevated.
An estimated 40 million Americans have high blood pressure. The heart must work harder to pump blood in those with hypertension, often leading to heart failure and stroke. High blood pressure is often associated with coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, kidney disorders, obesity, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and adrenal tumors.
Hypertension is often without symptoms. Advanced warning signs include headache, sweating, rapid pulse, flushed complexion, shortness of breath, dizziness, and vision disturbances. Because hypertension often shows no signs, regular visits to the doctor to check blood pressure are important, especially for those individuals in high risk categories. Have your blood pressure checked every
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Lecithin, taken as directed on the label, emulsifies fat, improving liver function and lowering blood pressure.
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- Betony, wood
- Cohosh, black
- Corn silk
- Cranberry, high
- Dock, yellow, root
- Dong quai
- Ginseng, Siberian
- Guelder rose
- Haw, black
- Hawthorn berries
- Indian hemp, black
- Ju Hua
- Life everlasting
- Strawberry, leaves
- Vervain, blue
A salt free diet is essential for lowering blood pressure. Lowering your salt intake is not good enough; eliminate all salt from your diet. Read all labels carefully and avoid those food products that have “soda,” “sodium,” or the symbol “Na” on the label. These indicate that the product contains salt.
Some foods and food additives that should be avoided on a low-salt diet include: Accent flavor-enhancer, (monosodium glutamate); baking soda; canned vegetables; commercially prepared foods; certain dentifrices and over-the-counter medications that contain ibuprofen, such as Advil and Nuprin; diet soft drinks; foods with mold inhibitors, preservatives, and most sugar substitutes; meat tenderizers; softened water; and soy sauce. These products can cause the cells to swell and interfere with the effectiveness of diuretics used in the treatment of hypertension.
A high fiber diet and supplemental fiber are recommended. Oat bran is a good source of fiber. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, melons, peas, prunes, raisins, squash, and sweet potatoes. The following juices are recommended: beet, carrot and celery, currant, cranberry, citrus fruit, parsley, spinach, and watermelon. Include seeded foods like brown rice, buckwheat, millet and oats.
Avoid foods such as aged cheeses, aged meats, anchovies, avocados, chicken liver, chocolate, fava beans, pickled herring, sour cream, sherry and wine, and yogurt. Bacon, corned beef, pork, sausage, and smoked or processed meat are prohibited. Eat only white fish and skinless turkey or chicken. The diet must be low in fats; avoid all animal fats, gravies, and bouillons.
Keep your weight down. Regular moderate exercise is important to maintain proper circulation. Do not overexert yourself in hot or humid weather. Avoid excessive exercising and emotional stress.
Do not take phenylalanine (found in NutraSweet) or
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Drink only steam-distilled water.
Be careful that you do not overexert yourself during sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse can be dangerous for the hypertensive patient.
Tea suggested for high blood pressure:
- Caraway (1 part)
- Fennel (1 part)
- Anise (1 part)
- Milfoil (1 part)
- Chamomile (2 parts)
- Peppermint leaves (2 parts)
Steep 1 tsp. in
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Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994
The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)
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