This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
Three out of ten people in North America who have high blood pressure don't know they have it. Of those who do know, about seven out of every ten people don't have their blood pressure under control. If you have no idea what your blood pressure is, ask your health care practitioners inclusive registered licensed lifeblood analyst to check it. A high blood pressure reading means your heart is working harder than it should to pump blood, and your arteries are stressed. That's risky. If you don't lower your blood pressure, you will face an increased risk for coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, and other deadly illnesses. You are considered to have high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension,( is a disease, not just an increase in high blood pressure), when systolic pressure (the top number) is 140 or higher or the diastolic pressure (bottom number) is 90 or higher. Whenever your blood pressure readings start to creep upward, the urge is to take measures to control it.
Because high blood pressure usually causes no symptoms until complications develop, it is known as the "silent killer."
A gradual rise in blood pressure over months and years is particularly dangerous, as it slips by the body's warning signals. Danger signals are if you experience chronic headaches, heart palpitation, nervousness, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, nosebleeds, sweating, blurred vision, flushed cheeks, frequent urination and ringing in the ear. If you check your blood pressure, at least three readings should be made before the final diagnosis, since fluctuations are normal. Stress, anxiety, anger and physical activity cause substantial changes in the reading. For those over fifty, individual fluctuations should be taken into account. Some people get so nervous when a doctor checks their blood pressure that they experience a temporary rise in blood pressure. This happened all the time with my mother. If you are one of them, you can get a more accurate picture of your blood pressure by buying a blood pressure monitor and taking your own readings at home. The most reliable monitors have an inflatable cuff and stethoscope, but the latest generation of automatic blood pressure monitors are quite accurate as well and easier to use. Once you get the hang of it, you can take a reading any time of the day or night. By averaging out of the readings, you will be getting a true picture of your pressure.
By far the most common reason for high blood pressure is arteriosclerosis. Narrowed arteries plugged with fatty deposits are usually linked to poor eating habits, high stress and little or no physical activity. Typically, a diet rich in saturated fats, meat and refined products, and lacking in fresh vegetables, fruits, fiber from whole grains, is to blame. The cholesterol-free commercial vegetable oil, processed food, shortening and margarine are no better, as these contain trans-fatty acids. Refined, bleached table salt, (suggest to use Himalayan Crystal salt), coffee, alcohol and cigarettes are not direct causes but certainly contribute substantially to increasing blood pressure. If high blood pressure exists, these substances should be reduced, and preferable eliminated. With old age, the artery walls become less elastic, increasing the risk of hypertension. Besides arteriosclerosis, kidney disease is a serious cause of high blood pressure. The presence of toxic metals, especially cadmium, lead and mercury (amalgam fillings in teeth) also affect the blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the diseases that has resulted from the typical diet of affluent Western societies. When I immigrated in early 1975 from Germany to Canada I was shocked learning about the eating habits of North Americans and noticed fast-food chains and outfits everywhere offering hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs, donates, pop drinks such as coke, especially diet coke, pepsi, seven-up, sprite and other pop drinks seemed to be the norm what people consume on a daily basis and that drive-by fast-foods are very popular. An excellent book to read is "Fast Food Nation." Saturated fat from animal sources, artificially hardened vegetable fats like shortening, margarine (margarine is one molecule away from being plastic) and refined vegetable oil, such as canola are all creating high blood pressure responsible for building up plaque inside your arteries and harden them. Furthermore foods in many restaurants contain a variety of health hazardous chemicals like MSG (Monsodium glutamate), a neurotoxin. You can learn more about the nearly 300 chemical additives that repeatedly appear in the standard North American diet form the book "Hard to Swallow" - the truth about food additives.
Avoid any artificial sweeteners like aspartame, neotame, saccharin, cyclamate, acesuflame-K and sucralose sold as splenda found in most pop drinks and even in bottled water, food and sugar-free chewing gum and large amounts can elevate blood pressure.
Fresh, raw or steamed vegetables (asparagus, avocados, cabbage, potatoes, corn, lima beans, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables for their valuable vitamin and mineral content and fruits (bananas, oranges, grapefruit, prunes, grapes, raisins, apple (a apple a day keeps the doctor away), whole grain, oatmeal, should prevail in a diet to control high blood pressure. Supplement with garlic, magnesium (almonds and cashew nuts are excellent sources of magnesium), cold pressed, unrefined nut and seed oil such as hemp, flax, evening primrose with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, pumpkin, sunflower, hazelnut, walnut, olive, all GMO free. Other excellent supplements are Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10 and zinc.
Herbal remedies that are effective to bring high blood pressure down are:
Hawthorn, milk thistle, wild yam, chamomile, valerian single tinctures, hawthorn combo and milk thistle combo tinctures, cayenne, garlic, bee pollen, kelp, carrot juice, fennel, parsley, rosemary, mistletoe, horseradish, marjoram, thyme, chill peppers, curry. Pure genuine essential oils of lemon and lavender externally used are beneficial too.
Acupressure, reflexology, physical exercise, mediation, yoga and proper breathing exercise can also be helpful.
And remember: if you don't have health, you have nothing, but most people take health for granted! You are what you eat and Health is Wealth!
"Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy food."
Hippocrates (Greek Father of medicine 460 - 377 BC)
Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser, IDBN 0395977894
Hard to Swallow: The Truth about Food Additives, Doris Sarjeant, Karin Evers, ISBN 0-920-470-47-5
Aspartame (Nutrasweet): Is It Safe? H.J. Roberts. M.D., ISBN 0-914783-58-0
Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal, James F. Balch, M.D., Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., ISBN 0-94202302-1
Rapid Healing Foods, Ben Davis, ISBN 0-13-753179-6
Eat Right for Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia, Peter J.D. Adamo, N.D., ISBN 0-399-14255-X
Food & You, Paul A. Hogarth, ISBN 0-9698706-0-4
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.