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 Topics in today's digest:

      1. Re: Hypertension / High Blood Pressure
           From: dusan@xxxxxx.xx


Message: 1
   Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 21:14:09 +0100
   From: dusan@xxxxxx.xx
Subject: Re: Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

>Other than garlic, what else is good for lowering high blood pressure?

Alcohol and obesity:
According to Johns Hopkins obesity is the number one controllable cause of
hypertension, and second is the consumption of alcohol.
Too much alcohol affects the entire circulatory system as well as the heart.
It can lead to high blood pressure, an enlarged, weakened heart, and
irregular heartbeat.(1) One study showed that drinkers of 3 or more drinks
per day had substantially higher blood pressure than people who drank 2 or
fewer drinks a day.(2) Another study examined blood pressure in men who
drank enough to consume over 100 ounces of pure alcohol each
month--equivalent to ten fifths of 80-proof liquor.(3) A noticeable increase
in their blood pressures was found. Alcoholics are more than twice as likely
to have high blood pressure than non-drinkers (4). Several studies have
shown that alcohol is responsible for increasing blood pressure in those
people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

Birth control pills:
A new study by Italian researchers show women who take the birth control
pill are more susceptible to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Black walnut:
Black walnut fruit seems to show promise in the fight against high blood
pressure. Although much more research needs to be done, preliminary studies
conducted during the 1960s revealed that large doses of the chemicals in the
nut could help lower blood pressure.  And perhaps even different walnuts
don't fall too far from the tree: More recent studies of the English walnut
have documented its effectiveness in helping lower cholesterol as part of a
heart-healthy diet.

Calcium becomes a potent assistant to decrease blood pressure due to
diuretic properties that help the kidneys release sodium and water, causing
some experts to suggest that some forms of high blood pressure may be due to
calcium deficiency rather than surplus sodium. Sources include dairy
products (make low fat choices), green leafy vegetables, broccoli, collard
and turnip greens, and kale, as well as canned salmon and sardines with
bones, firm tofu, dried figs, chickpeas, and white and pinto beans.
In the Nurses Health Study, a four year study of 60,000 women, those who
consumed more than 800 milligrams a day were at less risk of developing high
blood pressure compared to those who consumed less than 400 milligrams a

Cat's claw:
There exists an alkaloid known as rynchophylline in cat's claw. This
alkaloid has been studied at the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese
Medicine. According to their findings, rynchophylline has demonstrated an
ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombosis, which suggests that
it may be useful in preventing strokes and reducing the risk of heart attack
by lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and inhibiting both the
formation of plaque on the arterial walls and formation of blood clots in
the brain, heart and arteries.

According to Chinese theory, celery is effective for hypertension because it
acts upon the liver; one type of hypertension is associated with the liver.
In Mainland China, celery juice was useful in reducing hypertension in 14
out of 16 patients. The juice was mixed with equal amounts of honey and
about 8 ounces was taken orally three times each day for up to 1 week.
Fresh celery juice can be mixed with vinegar to relieve dizziness and
headache and shoulder pain associated with hypertension.
In cases of hypertension of pregnancy and climacteric hypertension, drink
fresh celery juice every day.

Scientists at the National University of Singapore researched a celery
compound's effect on systolic blood pressure.  Using an animal model
designed for human assessment of hypertension, they extracted one of the
chemicals in celery responsible for its flavor and administered it to
genetically hypertensive rats for thirteen days. The researchers found that
high daily doses of 2 mg and 4 mg of the compound didn't produce sustained
reductions in blood pressure.  However, in lower doses of 0.5 mg a day,
systolic blood pressure decreased over the thirteen-day period.  These
unexpected results led the researchers to question whether tolerance is
developed at higher doses due to complex biochemistry or whether their
equipment was operating properly.  More studies are needed.

Physicians prescribe diuretics, for high blood pressure. In one study celery
oil injections significantly reduced blood pressure in rabbits and dogs. So
Chinese researchers gave the fresh juice mix with honey to 16 people
suffering from high blood pressure. Fourteen showed significant reductions.
You can also just eat 4 stalks of celery a day to get the same effect.
Diuretics should be used in consultation with a physician. They can deplete
body stores of potassium, an essential nutrient. Those who use diuretics
should also eat foods high in potassium, such as bananas and fresh
vegetables, to replace lost electrolytes.

Celery seed may help manage them, but it should be used in consultation with
your physician as part of an overall treatment plan.

Coenzyme Q10:
Coenzyme Q10 appears to be a giant step forward in the treatment and
prevention of cardiovascular disease. A six-year study conducted by
scientists at the University of Texas found that people being treated for
congestive heart failure who took coenzyme Q10 in addition to conventional
therapy had a 75% chance of survival rate after three years, compared with
the 25% survival rate for those using conventional therapy alone. In a
similar study by the University of Texas and the Center for Adult Disease in
Japan, coenzyme Q10 was shown to be able to lower high blood pressure
without medication or dietary chances.

People who have high blood pressure often have a tendency toward diabetes
according to Michael A Weber, an editor of the American Journal of


Michael A. Weber, MD, of the University of California warns doctors may
currently underestimate the risk. Treating high blood pressure in older
people with diuretics can reduce the risk of heart failure by at least half.
In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers
gave diuretics to people with "isolated systolic hypertension", where the
top number is high but not the bottom number. In a placebo group, heart
failure occurred twice as often. But when a low-dose diuretic was
administered to the others who'd already had a heart attack, risk of heart
failure dropped by 80%, says John B.Kostis of the Robert Wood Johnson
Medical School in New Jersey.

Essential fatty acids:

Those fatty acids that cannot be made by the body and which must be supplied
through the diet are call essential fatty acids (EFAs), also referred to as
vitamin F. These essential fatty acids are also known as polyunsaturates,
and are recommended in order to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and to
reduce the risks of heart disease and stroke.
The most essential of the fatty acids is linoleic acid. The daily
requirement for essential fatty acids is satisfied by consuming an amount of
vitamin F equivalent to 10 to 20 percent of total calorie intake. The
natural form is found in many vegetables and vegetable oils (except coconut
or palm kernel oils). If such oils are heated or hydrogenated (processed),
the linoleic acid is converted to trans-fatty acids, which are not essential
substances and cannot be utilized.
These essential fatty acids have desirable effects on many disorders. They
reduce blood pressure, aid in the prevention of arthritis, reduce the growth
rate of breast cancer, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and help
eczema, psoriasis, and arteriosclerosis. Found in high concentrations in the
brain, EFAs aid transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for normal
brain function. Essential fatty acids are also needed in the treatment of
candidiasis and coronary heart disease, and to minimize blood clot


One European study seems to indicate that garlic may also lower blood
pressure.  In that study 47 people with high blood pressure were given 600
milligrams of garlic powder a day for 12 weeks.  When their blood pressures
were checked at the end of the study, scientists found that blood pressure
had dropped right along with cholesterol and triglyceride levels: Diastolic
blood pressure-the bottom number on a blood pressure reading and the one
that is most likely to indicate cardiovascular stress-decreased an average
of 11 percent.

The garlic powder used in these studies may be a little more convenient to
use than garlic cloves.  The amount used is equivalent to roughly I 1/2 to 2
1/2  cloves of raw garlic.
In one four-month German study of 261 people with high blood fat and high
cholesterol, cholesterol levels dropped 12 percent and blood fat levels
dropped 17 percent in those who took 800 milligrams of dried garlic powder
tablets a day.  In another German study of 60 people having problems with
blood platelet clumping, not only did the problems disappear but blood
pressure dropped 9.5 percent, and blood flow in the small blood vessels
improved nearly 50 percent. The hitch, however, is that not all garlic
preparations are created equal.  To be effective, your garlic preparation
must have a bit of an odor.


Grapefruit juice when taken with some Calcium channel blockers (for chest
pain and high blood pressure) can cause light-headedness, dizziness or
fainting. For nearly a decade researchers have known that grapefruit juice,
when used to wash down certain drugs, can interfere with the drugs' effects.
Unfortunately, this information is not widely circulated and the effect can
be so striking that some are calling for warning labels on medicines for
which this could cause possible drug overdoses.  The drugs that grapefruit
and its juice affect most are common and potent, including Plendil for high
blood pressure and heart disease, Seldane for allergies, Sandimmune to
prevent rejection of transplanted organs and lnvirase for treating AIDS.
Grapefruit juice allows less of the drug to be broken down, so more remains
in the intestine and more is then absorbed into the bloodstream over a
longer period, as though the patient had taken more of the drug.
Recently the Food and Drug Administration cautioned allergy sufferers not to
drink grapefruit juice if they're using the antihistamine astemizole, or
Hismanal.  It was the second such warning for hay fever patients, who last
year were told not to mix the drink with the drug Seldane.  The concern?  A
single glass of the bittersweet beverage, unlike any other citrus juice,
boosts the strength of some medicines; in the case of these two
antihistamines, it can set off an abnormal-and possibly fatal-heartrhythm.
(Because of its risk to the heart, Seldane was pulled from the market.)
Studies show that grapefruit juice tends a kick to other remedies, too, an
effect lasting at least 24 hours.  Among them are some of the high blood
pressure drugs known as calcium channel blockers, benzodiazepine sedatives,
and cyciosporin (used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients). In
fact, some scientists estimate that the drink interacts with up to a third
of all oral prescription medications.

These drugs are normally all broken down in the gut by the same enzyme.  But
bitter compounds that are found mainly in a grapefruit's peel and oil, and
that wind up in juice, apparently destroy this enzyme.  As a result, more of
the medicine is absorbed, heightening its every effect good or bad.  The
interaction isn't always dire; indeed, some doctors say that a daily glass
might enable hypertensives who take calcium channel blockers to get by on
less.  But that sort of kitchen-table treatment needs to be consistent.
Patients who use the beverage every now and then risk sharp, even hazardous,
fluctuations in blood pressure.

The grapefruit juice effect varies widely from drug to drug and person to
person.  With so much to be learned, blanket advice is impossible.  Still, a
good rule of thumb is to check with your doctor or pharmacist, says J. David
Spence, the clinical pharmacologist at the University of Western Ontario
whose lab first reported the phenomenon.  Ask if your medicine interacts
adversely with erythromycin, an antibiotic that happens to meddle with drug
metabolism in a similar way.  If the answer is yes, switch juices

Kidney disease:

High blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart attack and stroke, but
researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have found it elevates the
risk of kidney disease as well.


Scientist suspect from animal studies that adequate magnesium may help fight
atherosclerosis. A four-year study of 58,000 women found that women who
consumed 800 milligrams of calcium and 300 milligrams of magnesium reduced
their chances of developing high blood pressure by one-third. A survey of
seven studies involving 1,31 patients found that only 3.8% of heart attack
patients who received magnesium intravenously died, while 8.2% of the
patients who were not given magnesium died.
Researchers at the State University of New York found that the lower the
level of magnesium in the body, the higher the blood pressure.  This
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that taking supplemental
magnesium can result in a significant, dose-dependent reduction in both
systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In a study of hypertension published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, it was found that unchecked hypertension in middle-age
increases the risk of memory loss in old age. High blood pressure could
cause small areas of tissue in the brain to die from lack of blood supply,
thus leading to a loss of memory.

Nutritional strategy:

Hypertension researchers, who study the diets, lifestyles and medication of
people who have high blood pressure, say that getting enough calcium,
magnesium, potassium and vitamin C may be the nutritional strategy your body
needs to put the damper on raging blood pressure.


Potassium, either from fruits and vegetables or in supplement form, can
lower high blood pressure.  Anyone who already has hypertension "should eat
a diet high in potassium or take supplements," says Harvard researcher Frank
M. Sacks, MD.  In a study of more than 300 women, he and colleagues learned
that potassium is more important than magnesium or calcium for blood
pressure control.  "Surprisingly, when we put the three together, the effect
was no greater than potassium alone.  In fact, it was a little lower," he
adds.  About 1,600 milligrams of potassium was given to the study
participants.  A glass of orange juice or banana contains about 400
milligrams of' potassium. The study is welcome news, because for the first
time in 25 years, there has been an increase in the number of Americans who
died from disorders related to high blood pressure, according to the

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Several studies confirm the link between potassium and blood pressure. In
one study, ten men with normal blood pressure were put on two experimental
diets by researchers at Temple University School of Medicine and the
University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. One diet provided normal amounts
of potassium; the other was low in potassium. After nine days on the
normal-potassium diet, the men showed no significant change in blood
pressure. But after the same amount of time on the low-potassium diet, their
blood pressure went up an average of 5 points. Similar results were observed
in men with high blood pressure. In another study, researchers in Italy
found that when people with high blood pressure went on a potassium rich
diet that included beans, fruits and vegetables, within a year most were
able to reduce their blood pressure medication to less  than half  the
dosage they'd been using previously.

In one laboratory study, according to Louis Tobian, M.D., professor of
medicine and head of the Hypertension Section of the University of Minnesota
Hospital in Minneapolis, a high-potassium diet reduced the build-up of
artery clogging cholesterol deposits in animals by 64%. In another study, a
diet rich in potassium helped to prevent microscopic thickening and
splitting of artery walls that invites cholesterol deposits.
Although too much potassium can cause trouble, it’s almost impossible to
overdose on this mineral if you’re getting it from food. You would have to
eat the dietary equivalent of 21 baked potatoes every day to experience such
negative effects as cardiac irregularities. That’s why naturally increasing
potassium through diet is the best idea. An ideal potassium target is 3,500
mg--the Daily Value set by the Food and Drug Administration and the Food
Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foods rich in potassium include potato, avocado, cantaloupe, soybeans, Swiss
chard, apricots, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, banana, acorn squash, almonds,
salmon, herring, peanuts, and milk.

Olive oil:

Three tablespoons of mono-saturated olive oil per day was found to lower
systolic pressure nine points, and drop diastolic pressure six points,
according to researchers at the Stanford Medical School. This discovery is
echoed by Scott M. Grundy, Ph.D., who finds that a diet with adequate levels
of monounsaturated fat lowers total cholesterol levels even better than
diets that severely restrict fat, with the big bonus of dropping the LDLs
(bad) and leaving HDLs (good) intact. Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is
the best source.


In one study, 2-3 tablespoons of onion essential oil lowered blood pressure
in 67% of people with moderate hypertension. Their systolic level fell an
average of 25 points and their diastolic readings fell 15 points.
Reishi mushrooms:
For centuries, reishi mushrooms have been a highly regarded Chinese medical
treatment for hepatitis, arthritis and other condition, including
hypertension. Now it appears they make a powerful additive to prescription
drug treatment of high blood pressure. Researchers at 4 universities in
China and one in Japan have found that they act synergistically with
medications, according to Herbs for Health newsletter. Investigators tested
reishi extract in people who had not responded well to the drugs nimodipine
or captopril. Participants continued taking their medications but also took
55 mg. of extract the equivalent of  taking 4 grams of raw mushroom daily.
The combination produced general improvement of blood pressure within 2
weeks and even greater improvement after 4 weeks.

"Salt gene" may affect blood pressure:

NEW YORK, Sep 17 (Reuters) -- Genetic variations influence which patients
with hypertension will experience a reduction in blood pressure following
weight loss or dietary salt restriction, researchers say.
The form of angiotensinogen gene a person carries can influence their
response to these blood pressure reducing measures. The gene is responsible
for production of the hormone angiotensinogen, and it is thought to play a
role in the effect of salt intake on blood pressure, leading researchers to
dub it the "salt gene."

A study team led by Dr. Steven C. Hunt, of the University of Utah School of
Medicine in Salt Lake City, reports that high blood pressure is more common
but also more treatable among Caucasian adults who have variations of the

The team's report appears in the September issue of Hypertension: Journal of
the American Heart Association.
Hunt's group analyzed the DNA in the angiotensinogen gene in 1,894 men and
women. The gene can take three forms, genotypes GG, AG, and AA.
The researchers found that 20% of the 1,509 Caucasian study participants had
the AA genotype, 32% had GG, and the rest had AG. Only 3% of the
African-American participants had the GG genotype, and there were few
subjects of other races, so the researchers limited further analysis to the
Caucasian participants.
At the beginning of the study, all participants were moderately overweight
and had high-normal levels of diastolic blood pressure -- the second number
in a blood pressure reading.
The investigators randomly assigned each participant to one of four groups:
low-salt diet, weight loss, both treatments, or no treatment.
Over the 3-year study period, the incidence of hypertension (high blood
pressure) in the untreated group was greater among individuals with the AA
genotype than among those with the GG genotype, the research team

Yet individuals with the AA genotype responded more favorably to the
antihypertensive measures. In the low-salt group, study participants with
the AA genotype had greater drops in their diastolic blood pressure after 3
years than those with the GG genotype.
Hunt's team found similar results for the weight loss group, although not
for the combined-treatment group.
Reduction of systolic blood pressure -- the first number in a blood pressure
reading -- was not associated with genotype in any of the treated groups.
Individuals with the AA genotype "may be an important subgroup to target for
effective diet counseling and weight loss," the authors propose.
But in a statement released by the AHA, Hunt cautioned that the study is
only a "first step" in defining who is salt-sensitive -- likely to have
their blood pressure lowered by a low-salt diet.
The research is "not to the point yet where we can say on an individual
basis: If you have one particular form of the gene, the AA form, you are
salt-sensitive," Hunt added.
Hunt and his colleagues recommend that until further research is completed,
doctors should continue to recommend sodium reduction and weight loss for
all patients with hypertension.

"(I)dentification of genetic markers for hypertension and for salt
sensitivity of blood pressure may have important implications for the
prevention and treatment of hypertension," according to an editorial by Dr.
Theodore A. Kotchen, of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
But after reviewing the data published by the Hunt group, Kotchen concludes
that "angiotensinogen genotype has, at best, a modest influence on the blood
pressure responses to sodium reduction and to weight loss."

Ultraviolet light:
Tulane University researchers found signs that ultraviolet light exposure
strengthens the heart and enables it to pump more blood.  A 1980 study done
at the University of Frankfurt in Germany concluded that exposure to
sunlight produces benefits similar to exercise, namely increased strength,
energy, endurance, stress tolerance and a decrease in resting heart rate,
blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood sugar and lactic acid.

Vitamin C:
The lack of  vitamin C can contribute to hypertension. Recent studies
correlate the highest incidences of hypertension and fatalities from strokes
among those who consumed the least amount of vitamin C. Foods containing
vitamin C include oranges, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, grapefruit,
Brussels sprouts, kiwis, cantaloupe, pimentos, and broccoli.

Vitamin E:
In a recent large population study in Europe, it was found that low blood
levels of vitamin E were much more predictive of heart disease than were
high levels of blood cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. High levels of
blood cholesterol were predictive 29% of the time, high blood pressure was
predictive 25% of the time, but a low blood level of vitamin E was
predictive of a heart attack 69% of the time.
In perhaps, the most impressive study of vitamin E, published in the journal
Lancet, daily doses of 400-800 IU of vitamin E were shown to decrease the
incidence of heart attacks by 77% in a group of 2,000 people.
The death rate from all causes was 34% lower in older people taking vitamin
E supplements, according to the National Institute on Aging Research.
Use cayenne, chamomile, fennel, hawthorn berries, parsley, and rosemary,
tarragon, black pepper, dill, garlic, hawthorn berries, corn silk, oregano,
basil, suma and mustard.
Hops and valerian root are good for calming the nerves.

Drink 3 cups of suma tea daily.

Some experiments show that astragalus can help reduce blood pressure, dilate
blood vessels, and improve circulation.  Since the early 1990s, several
Asian research groups have conducted studies showing that astragalus root
protects the liver from toxic compounds.

Cayenne is good for the heart; it helps to regulate the heart and blood
pressure. It strengthens the pulse rate while it cleanses the circulatory
system. When taken with garlic it helps lower the blood pressure.

Do not use chamomile on an ongoing basis, as ragweed allergy may result.
Avoid it completely if you are allergic to ragweed.

Clinical evidence found in Chinese and Japanese pharmaceutical and medical
journals show that chrysanthemum flowers are excellent for treating high
blood pressure and its associated symptoms of headache, dizziness and
insomnia.  Snip enough mum flowers to equal 6 tbsps, then divide into 4
equal portions of 1-1/2 tbsps.  each and set aside for use throughout the
day.  Beginning in the morning at 8 a.m. and every 4 hours thereafter, put I
portion in a cup and pour hot, boiling water over the flowers and cover with
a small saucer or piece of aluminum foil, allowing them to steep for 15
minutes before drinking.  Repeat this same procedure 3 more times that day
for up to one month.  In one experiment where a total of 46 hypertension
patients were thus treated, 35 of them showed fairly rapid improvement in
their symptoms, with blood pressure returning to normal in less than a week.

The remaining patients also showed varying degrees of symptom relief and
dropping of blood pressure after 10-30 days treatment. This same procedure
twice daily in identical amounts brought considerable relief from very
severe constricting chest pains in 80% of a group of 61 patients suffering
from angina pectoris of the heart.  In both applications, the infusions
should be taken on any empty stomach preferably for maximum effectiveness.

Japanese researchers report that cinnamon helps reduce blood pressure. In
China the effects of cinnamon bark on animals indicate it calms the central
nervous system in rats and also reduces their blood pressure.

Dry cocoa powder is used by some natives in the Philippines for treating
high blood pressure. They attribute this to theobromine present, which
enlarges the constricted blood vessels common in hypertensive victims.
Anyone with insomnia, anxiety problems, high cholesterol, high blood
pressure, diabetes, or heart disease should limit caffeine consumption. On
the other hand there has been some recent studies that dispute the effects
of caffeine.

Dandelion is used for high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. In
the spring dandelion leaves and roots produce mannitol, a substance used in
the treatment of hypertension and weak heart throughout Europe. A tea is
made of the roots and leaves are good to take during this period, from about
mid-March to mid-May. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, reduce heat and add
2 tblsp. of cleaned and chopped fresh roots. Simmer for 1 minutes, covered,
then remove from heat and add 2 tblsp. of chopped, freshly picked leaves.
Steep for 40 minutes. Strain and drink 2 cups per day.

When injected into laboratory animals, dill extract stimulates respiration,
slows heart rate, and opens blood vessels, all of which reduce blood
pressure. This suggests that there is more to learn about this herb. Since
dill contains the mineral vanadium it may be helpful in inhibiting
cholesterol synthesis. There may be an interaction between vanadium and
chromium. Take extra chromium at a different time. Tobacco decreases uptake
of vanadium.

Garlic therapy has a healing effect on high blood pressure and eliminates
angina pain, dizziness and headaches without the side effects of
hypertension drugs, thanks to its prostaglandin A content.

Ginkgo biloba is a powerful antioxidant herb that is best known for its
ability to enhance circulation. It has the ability to squeeze through even
the narrowest of blood vessels to increase the supply of oxygen to the
heart, brain, and all other body parts. This aids in mental functioning
(ginkgo biloba is known as the "smart herb") and helps to relieve muscle
pain. Ginkgo biloba also lowers blood pressure, inhibits blood clotting, and
has anti-aging properties

Clinical research in China and Japan has confirmed hawthorn's benefits to
those with heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Instead
of taking its extract, the Chinese prefer to decoct the dried hawthorn fruit
and drink it as a tea. Recently, the journal, Phytomedicine, published a
study bolstering the case for hawthorn. Seventy-eight people suffering the
significant heart fatigue known as congestive heart failure were divided
into two groups. One received 600 milligrams a day of hawthorn for eight
weeks. The other took a placebo. Comparison testing of the two groups on a
stationary bicycle showed that those taking hawthorn had significantly more
stamina and lower blood pressure. Hawthorn may cause dizziness if taken in
large doses

One herb Ayurvedic healing introduced was Rauwolfia serpentina. This plant
is the source of resperine, still used in Western medicine to manage high
blood pressure.

A study done by scientists in the Soviet Union found that wood betony
contains a mixture of glycosides, which showed some effect in lowering blood
pressure. This might explain why infusions of betony have been recommended
for headaches and mild anxiety attacks.
Herbs to be cautious of:
Large doses of angelica can affect blood pressure, heart action, and

Barberry contains chemicals that may help reduce elevated blood pressure by
enlarging blood vessels, thus lending support to the herb's traditional
Russian use as a treatment for high blood pressure. In high doses, barberry
can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, hazardous drops in blood pressure,
and depression of the heart rate and breathing. Those with heart disease or
chronic respiratory problems should be careful not to take large doses and
should take this herb only with knowledge and approval of their physicians.
Barberry is a powerful herb and should be used cautiously. If it causes
dizziness or faintness, stop using it. Should not be used during pregnancy.

Bayberry changes the way the body uses sodium and potassium. Those who must
watch their sodium/potassium balance, such as people with kidney disease,
high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure, should consult their
physicians before using this herb.

A study published in Nature shows black cohosh reduces blood pressure by
opening the blood vessels in the limbs (peripheral vasodilation). The herb
may help manage high blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol, lowers high blood
pressure (equalizes circulation), helps cardiovascular and circulatory
disorders. A word of caution since this herb can depress the heart rate. So
consult your physician if you have congestive heart failure before using it.
It is potentially hazardous.

Despite its traditional reputation as a treatment for high blood pressure,
studies show blue cohosh is more likely to cause this than treat it. The
inadvisability of using this herb stems from the fact that caulosaponin
contracts the blood vessels of the heart, which has a toxic effect on the
cardiac muscle. No one with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes,
glaucoma, or a history of stroke should use this herb. In studies with small
animals, it has caused intestinal spasms. When powdered, blue cohosh root
irritates mucous membranes. Handle with care. Take care not to inhale any or
introduce it into your eyes. Blue cohosh should be used only at term to
induce labor, and then only under medical supervision. Should be taken for
only 1 week at a time.

The flowering stem tops of butcher's broom, when collected before blooming,
contains sparteine, a volatile compound that causes diuretic, cathartic, and
in large doses, emetic (vomiting) reactions. Scientific research has
demonstrated that sparteine both slows down the heart and stimulates uterine
contractions. Because of this, it was used therapeutically to slow the pulse
in cardiac disturbances and to induce labor. Both uses have been
discontinued, however, because they were found to be unsafe. Should not be
used in cases of high blood pressure or pregnancy.

Physicians prescribe diuretics to treat high blood pressure and congestive
heart failure. Those with these conditions should consult their physicians
before taking buchu.

Dyers weed due to its vaso-constrictive activity.

Avoid the herb ephedra (ma huang)  as it can elevate blood pressure.

Do not use Siberian ginseng if you have hypoglycemia, high blood pressure,
or a heart disorder. Ginseng should be used with discretion if suffering
from heart disease and high blood pressure. It should not be taken by those
with what Chinese medicine call a "yang constitution". A person with a yang
constitution is usually large in stature, is aggressive and forceful and
often has a red complexion. Some People may find panax ginseng too
stimulating, especially if used before bedtime. Therefore, use it early in
the day. High doses may make you feel jittery. Do not exceed 5 to 10 grams a
day. In rare cases, some people may develop headaches or high blood pressure
from panax ginseng. Vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of ginseng,
so take Vitamin C supplement either 2 hour before or 2 hours after you take
ginseng. In rare cases, ginseng can cause vaginal bleeding in menopausal

Horsetail can have drugs interacts with digitalis and its cardiac glycosides
may become more toxic due to the loss of potassium from its diuretic effect.

Avoid licorice if you have high blood pressure. Excessive amounts or daily
use for longer than 6 weeks can cause problems (headache, lethargy, sodium
and water retention, and loss of potassium and high blood pressure). These
side effects can be largely be eliminated by using a processed form of the
herb called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL).

Lobelia is contraindicated with high blood pressure due to the x-adrenergic
hypertensive effects of lobeline. It is also not for people with an enlarged
heart or fatty heart, fluid around the heart, etc. due to the interference
of lobeline with the heart's neural conductivity.

Night-blooming cereus is not for high blood pressure or heart over-activity
due to cardiac-stimulating effect.

Because yohimbe is a short-term MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor, it should
be used with caution if you have high blood pressure and not be taken with
any food or drink containing tyramines (cheese, chocolate, beer, aged meats,
nuts), and particularly not with the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine.
It may be dangerous if used with antidepressants, sedatives, antihistamines,
caffeine, or amphetamines.  These side effects and cautions need to be given
careful attention by each individual, and some people perhaps clearly should
avoid using yohimbe products.
Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan. Lentinan has been shown to reduce both
blood pressure and cholesterol, suggesting usefulness in preventing and
treating heart disease and stroke. In a half-dozen Japanese studies, daily
servings of 1/3 of an ounce of shiitakes reduced cholesterol an average of
7%. Every 1% reduction in cholesterol means a 2% reduction in heart attack
risk, so the mushroom cut heart attack risk 14%.
In China dill leaf is considered warm, pungent and oppressive. They believe
it to have an effect of lowering blood pressure and expanding blood vessels.
This recipe is for a health cardiovascular system:
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup of water
Splash of Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dillseed
1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon (1/2 tsp. dried)

Soak mushrooms in water until soft, about 20 minutes. Reserve soaking
liquid. Slice off and discard the stems, then slice mushrooms. In a small
saucepan, combine mushrooms, soaking liquid, worcestershire sauce, garlic,
mustard and dillseed. Bring to a boil and boil until liquid has been reduced
to about a tablespoon. Stir in tarragon.

Combine equal parts of dried basil, oregano and dried ground lemon zest or
combine ground celery seed, ground cumin seed, dried sage and dried marjoram
in a salt shaker. A  teaspoon or two of raw rice to keep the mixture from

Or fill a pepper mill with whole allspice, coriander seed, and white and
black peppercorns.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, asparagus, bananas,
string beans, blackberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrot, eggplant,
garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, melons, onions, peas, prunes,
raisins, raspberries, tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Blueberries are considered number one in antioxidant action and high in
fiber. They also contain chemicals that keep a lid on blood pressure,
improve eyesight, combat bacteria, curb diarrhea, stifle bacteria and thin
the blood.

Include fresh "live" juices in the diet.  The following juices are
healthful: beet, carrot and celery, currant, cranberry, citrus fruit,
parsley, spinach, and watermelon.

Eat grains like brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and oats
Things to avoid:
Follow a strict salt-free diet. This is essential for lowering blood
pressure.  Lowering your salt intake is not enough; eliminate all salt from
your diet.  Read labels carefully and avoid those food products that have
"salt," "soda," "sodium," or the symbol "Na" on the label.  Some foods and
food additives that should be avoided on this diet include monosodium
glutamate (Accent, MSG); baking soda; canned vegetables (unless marked
sodium- or salt-free); commercially prepared foods; toothpastes containing
saccharin or baking soda; over-the-counter medications that contain
ibuprofen (such as Advil or Nuprin); diet soft drinks; foods with mold
inhibitors, preservatives, and sugar substitutes; meat tenderizers; softened
water; and soy sauce.

Avoid all animal fats.  Bacon, beef, bouillon, chicken liver, coined beet
dairy products, gravies, pork, sausage, and smoked or processed meats are
prohibited.  The only acceptable animal foods are broiled white fish and
skinless turkey or chicken, and these should be consumed in moderation only.
Get protein from vegetable sources, grains, and legumes instead.

Avoid foods such as aged cheeses, aged meats, anchovies, avocados,
chocolate, fava beans, pickled herring, sour cream, sherry, wine, and

Avoid all alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.

If you are taking an MAO inhibitor (one of a class of drugs prescribed to
counter depression, lower blood pressure, and treat infections and cancer),
avoid the chemical tyramine and its precursor, tyrosine.  Combining MAO
inhibitors with tyramine causes the blood pressure to soar and could cause a
stroke.  Tyramine-containing foods include almonds, avocados, bananas, beef
or chicken liver, beer, cheese (including cottage cheese), chocolate,
coffee, fava beans, herring, meat tenderizer, peanuts, pickles, pineapples,
pumpkin seeds, raisins, sausage, sesame seeds, sour cream, soy sauce, wine,
yeast extracts (including brewer's yeast), yogurt, and other foods.  In
general, any high-protein food that has undergone aging, pickling,
fermentation, or similar processes should be avoided.  Over-the-counter cold
and allergy remedies should also be avoided.

Do not take antihistamines except under a physician's direction.

Do not take supplements containing the amino acids phenylalanine or
tyrosine.  Also avoid the artificial sweetener aspartame (Equal,
NutraSweet), which contains phenylalanine.