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High Blood Pressure

Definition

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 140 mm. of Mercury or the diastolic above 90 mm. of Mercury, the person is considered to have elevated blood pressure. Normal systolic blood pressure is NOT 100 plus the individual’s age. Coronary artery disease and cerebral vascular disease, the great causes of death and disability, are much more frequent in those who have elevated blood pressure than those who are normotensive. On the other hand, a patient’s blood pressure may register high merely because of being excited when the pressure is taken. For this reason, it is advisable to take the pressure on several separate occasions to be certain that the true blood pressure is being obtained.
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Causes

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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Symptoms

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 4-6 months.
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Nutrients

Calcium, 1500-3000 mg. per day (calcium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure).

Magnesium, 750-1000 mg. per day.

L-carnitine (amino acid), 500 mg. twice per day on an empty stomach, aids in preventing heart disease.

Selenium, 200 mcg. per day (deficiency has been linked to heart disease).

Coenzyme Q10, taken 100 mg. per day, improves heart function and lowers blood pressure.

Garlic capsules, 2 capsules 3 times per day, helps lower blood pressure.

Germanium, 90 mg. daily, improves tissue oxygenation.

L-Glutamine plus L-glutamic acid (amino acid), 500 mg. per day, detoxifies ammonia and aids in preventing heart disease.

Vitamin C, 3,000-6,000 mg. in divided doses per day, improves adrenal function and reduces blood-clotting tendencies.

Lecithin, taken as directed on the label, emulsifies fat, improving liver function and lowering blood pressure.

Vitamin E, 100 IU, adding 100 IU each month to 400 IU, improves heart function.

Kelp tablets, 5 tablets per day, is a good source of minerals and natural iodine.

Vitamin B complex, 100 mg. twice daily, is important to circulatory function and for lowering blood pressure.
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Herbs
  • Angelica
  • Anise
  • Barberry
  • Betony, wood
  • Bitterroot
  • Boneset
  • Burdock
  • Caraway
  • Cayenne
  • Centaury
  • Chamomile
  • Chervil
  • Cleavers
  • Cloves
  • Cohosh, black
  • Corn silk
  • Cranberry, high
  • Dandelion
  • Dock, yellow, root
  • Dong quai
  • Fennel
  • Figwort
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng, Siberian
  • Goldenseal
  • Guelder rose
  • Haw, black
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Hyssop
  • Indian hemp, black
  • Ju Hua
  • Licorice
  • Life everlasting
  • Linden
  • Magnolia
  • Marshmallow
  • Meadowsweet
  • Milfoil
  • Mistletoe
  • Motherwort
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Plumbago
  • Primrose
  • Ragwort
  • Rosemary
  • Rue
  • Sassafras
  • Senna
  • Skullcap
  • Storksbill
  • Strawberry, leaves
  • Suma
  • Vervain, blue
  • Yarrow

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Recommendations

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 L-tyrosine. Avoid antihistamines unless under a doctor’s direction.

Take two tbsp. flaxseed oil per day.
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Suggestions

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 1/2 cup boiling water. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day, in mouthful doses.
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Bibliography

LiveStrong.com: Echinacea to Lower Blood Pressure

LiveStrong.com: Hawthorn Berry & Blood Pressure

LiveStrong.com: Ginko Biloba & Hypertension

LiveStrong.com: Goldenseal Root & High Blood Pressure

LiveStrong.com: Gotu Kola & High Blood Pressure

LiveStrong.com: Panax Ginseng & High Blood Pressure

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! The Old Herb Doctor, by Joseph E. Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1984, sixth printing 1994.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

PubMed.gov: Effect of Ginkgo biloba on blood pressure and incidence of hypertension in elderly men and women.

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