High Blood Pressure
This is paraphrased from Christopher, John, R. Dr. 1976, School of Natural Healing Herbal Reference Guide. Provo, Utah: Christopher Publications, which is the best description I have seen about the causes, symptoms and ways to manage high blood pressure.
How it looks and acts – too much pressure on the valves and on the heart’s pumping muscles. Pressure is also exerted on the arteries, the capillaries, etc. This condition is visible by a red or flushed complexion, más alla del peso then your frame can support, creating discomfort, and sometimes making your skin look bland y palida.
High blood pressure can be lowered by choosing other foods and exercise.
High blood pressure is caused by a thickening of the blood “from catarrhal and excess glutinous and fibrinous matters loading the circulatory system”. Usually, there is a clogging of the bowels, so it is necessary to cleanse them and this is why fiber is also so important (scrub those intestines whistle clean!).
Herbal aids: With high blood pressure, cholesterol and mucus form a sludge making the blood soupy. Avoid mucus-forming foods and take herbs that act as solvents such as cayenne, garlic, sassafras. It has been shown that taking cayenne (the whole herb, not the extract) working up to a teaspoon three times a day is helpful. This increases the power of the heart and corrects the circulatory problems. Garlic in large amounts has been shown to bring down high blood pressure. Pure tomato juice has also been shown to be very good as a nutritional and medicinal herb. Wheat germ oil has been shown to be excellent for feeding the heart and helps cut the cholesterol and keep it moving. Cut down on the use of liquour and tobacco, get plenty of sleep, and reduce your worries and avoid being super tired. There is a very important connection between how we live and how our body works (no que es tu culpa, ¡sino que tu si puedes manejar y mantener tu salud buena!).
Useful herbs to reduce blood pressure are: Black cohosh, blue cohosh, boneset, broom, buckthorn bark, cassia bark, cayenne, culver’s root, European alder bark, fruit, linden flowers, myrrh, peppermint, poke root, red clover, rue, sanicle sassafras bark, skullcap, sweetwooed root, valerian, vervain, water shamrock, wild cherry bark.
Now some more useful info from Green, James. 1991. The Male Herbal Health Care for Men and Boys. Berkeley, Ca: The Crossing Press (content in the parenthesis are my words).
p. 88 – Hypertension “…is modern humanity’s most salient contribution to the sotry of evolution (or creation). High blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, seems to be visiting the majority of our offices and homes. There are several categories of allopathic medication available to treat high blood pressure, but most of them have side effects ranging from fatigue to impotence. So, as an alternative for male health care (along with appropriate lifestyle and occupational changes) herbs with hypotensive action help reduce elevated blood pressure, apprearing to normalize both systolic and diastolic levels. From many reasons, both aesthetic and non-aesthetic, Garlic stands out as the most famous of hypotensives. (It even helps normalize low blood pressure.) At the same time that Garlic gives hypotensive actions to its user it is also alterative (blood cleansing) anti-catarrhal (quita la toz), antimicrobial, anti-spasmodic, cholagogue (promotes the discharge and flow of bile from the gall bladder into the small intestine), diaphoretic (helps u sweat), expectorant and tonic.”
“So by using this herb as a food or in a formula with other herbs one can help prevent or treat high blood pressure, and at the same time support other systems which may have a minor weakness, freeing the body to put more energy into healing the bigger problem. Some other herbs having hypotensive actinon that can be used in combination depending on an individual’s needs are: Crampbark (which is also anti-spasmodic, nervine and astringent), Yarrow (anti-microbial, astringent, bitter, diaphoretic, and diuretic); Onion (anti-catarrhal, anti-microbial, diaphoretic, expectorant, hepatic -good for the liver, tonic and vulnerary – help the body heal cuts and wounds, applied externally); Hawthorn beries (cardiac tonic, digestive); Siberian ginseng (adaptogen – herbs that assist the body’s ability to deal with stress and adapt to it) and Vervain (anti-spasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, hepatic, laxative and nervine).
Other non-drug techniques to help keep the cardiovascular system strong and the blood pressure mellow are:
* Limiting sodium intake…today we eat far more sodium than potassium. A low sodium, high potassium diet seems to be the better way to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables, Plantain, Dandelion and the sea vegetable, Kelp, are all high potassium foods.
* Keep all oils at a minimum in your diet, but especially eat less saturated fat. This does not mean that one should eliminate all saturared fats. Our ancestors ate meat, but it was wild meat and contained only about 5% fat which was predominantly unsaturated fat. today’s domesticated animals’ meat contains about 25+% fat, most of it being saturated fat (along with the residue of growth hormones and antibiotics commonly feed to commercial livestock). The important thing to remember is to balance the intake of saturated fats with the intake of unsaturated fat. The body requires a balanced intake of both these fats to increase the efficiency of their metabolism. This can be facilitated by adding ‘unrefined’ safflower, canola, sesame, sunflower, wheat germ, almond, or peanut oil to your diet. These oils are all excellent sources of unsaturated fats. Ban margarine from the kitchen and dining room as a food impostor. Instead mix safflower, canola or sesame oil with butter and use this blend as a more balanced food, but eat even this only ocassionally in small amounts. Be aware that lard, palm and palm kernel oils are extremely high in saturated fat content. Try putting seasame oil, chives and a little apple cider vinegar on your baked potato in place of butter.
* Lose weight when necessary. Obesity (definition: presently weighing in at 20% over desirable weight) causes high blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol and excessive secretion of insulin, which can lead to diabetes, which in turn can lead to impotence, depression and so on. Exercise and enjoy aerobic activity regularly, which in itself reduces blood pressure independent of dietary changes and weight loss.
* Limit alcohol. Alcohol comsumption seems to be the most common cause of curable high blood pressure (and highway slaughter).
* Smoking and coffee. Throw away the cigarettes and once in a while have a nice hot of coffee. Neither coffee nor cigarettes seem to cause high blood pressure, but nicotine causes other pathogenic changes that lead to heart disease. We have to have something if we can’t enjoy butter any longer, so a ritualistic cup of coffee (a touch of bitter) seems to be the lesser of all dietary evils, and its the last legal high we have left. Coffice is a stimulating nervine, a good medicine for those who require this particular herbal action. However, if your nervous system is greedy for this relatively mild drug you will do well to also feed yourself some nervous system tonics, such as Wild Oat, Scullcap, and St. John’s Wort. This may give you your nervous system nutritional support while you push it caffeine. Cut down on using sugar and cream in your coffee; develop an appreciation for its inherent bitter flavor. Bitter is one of coffee’s most positive actions, but bitter flavor must be tasted (not hidden) to be effective.