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Chinese medicine can lower your blood pressure without side effects.

One of the earliest health problems people experience is high blood pressure. It's often the first sign we see before other health issues develop. That's because your blood pressure is a clear indicator of your underlying health. We know that any kind of inflammation in your body can push your blood pressure up. Many inflammatory conditions can increase your blood pressure.

High blood pressure isn't just a sign of an underlying problem. It also can cause serious health problems. High blood pressure causes approximately 62% of strokes and 49% of heart attacks. And it's not a small problem. Nearly 972 million adults worldwide have high blood pressure. It kills 7.6 million people every year. And it disables another 92 million. So if you have high blood pressure, it's time to take action. Here's where to begin.

Women's Health Letter readers are smart and know the problems that some drugs may cause. In those who take antihypertensive drugs, numerous adverse reactions, including headache, dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, and decreased sexual function, limit the clinical use of many antihypertensive drugs. In fact, antihypertensive drugs help only 25% of the patients who take them reach their blood pressure goal.

One of the best blood pressure treatments in natural medicine is the mineral magnesium. You probably already know how great magnesium is for your heart. If you have any heart problems or just struggle with high blood pressure, you may have read some of the impressive information in this newsletter through the years about magnesium. It truly is a powerhouse heart mineral. In fact, magnesium is remarkable in that it allows your body to better use other nutrients. And it works well with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal formulas.

In TCM, there are four different main strategies that are used to control high blood pressure.

The first is eliminating dampness and resolving phlegm. This is vital if you hold water. Another way to know if you need this is to pay attention to your legs. When you get off of an airplane or a long car ride, do your legs and/or ankles get swollen? If so, it's important you eliminate excess body fluids and wastes. This sounds daunting, but it's really not. All you have to do is encourage your body's own fluid elimination system. The primary way to do this is through urination. Some herbs and foods you can use to encourage this are corn silk, plantain seed, water plantain, parsley, and celery. In addition, consider a bath. Relax in a warm bath with the water up to your neck for 20 minutes. You'll quickly be urinating.

The second TCM strategy for relieving high blood pressure is soothing and calming the liver and removing wind.

This sounds strange too, but in TCM the liver controls the nervous system. By calming the nervous system, it lets the blood vessels naturally relax and it balances calcium metabolism. So how can you know if your liver has "wind" in it? It's quite simple. You're easily annoyed. This can become so strong you sometimes don't recognize yourself. So how can you relieve this issue? In Chinese medicine, we use herbs such as white peony root, chrysanthemum, poria, and bupleurum root. These can be found in a variety of Bupleurum Formulas, such as Bupleurum and Peony.

The third strategy is moving blood and resolving stagnation. This involves relaxing blood vessels and improving circulation. Most of us can use some relaxing, especially in today's highly stressful world. The herbs TCM uses for this issue are danshen (salvia), motherwort herb, Chinese safflower, and Crataegus (Hawthorn root).

The fourth TCM strategy for lowering blood pressure is removing excess heat. This involves calming the body and using anti-inflammatory herbs to rid the body of "heat." These herbs include baical skullcap root, radish seeds, peony bark and moutan. How do you know if you need to remove excess heat? You're more impulsive than you used to be, your complexion is more ruddy than it once was.

High blood pressure is considered an imbalance of yin and yang. Most hypertensive individuals are excessive in the yang or heat department and deficient in the yin or cool arena. So it's important to include yin foods in your diet. These include onions, garlic, celery, cucumber, broccoli, sprouts, green beans, sour jujube seed, and other vegetables. But don't stop with magnesium and vegetables.

Some of the best natural tools for maintaining a healthy blood pressure come from herbs. The most effective way to use Chinese herbs is to get them in a formula, specifically for your type of blood pressure. But here are some individual herbs that you can consider no matter what causes your high blood pressure.

Several studies have found that Danshen, or Salvia miltiorrhiza, can reduce pressure in the arteries. In a large study that evaluated the effectiveness of a number of herbs on patients with hypertension from 2003 to 2009, researchers analyzed the different herbs that the patients used to treat hypertension. There were 154,083 patients involved in this study, 80% of whom had used TCM at least once. Salvia was the most frequently prescribed herb for treating the patients' hypertension, indicating that both doctors and patients were seeing good results.

Salvia not only helps lower blood pressure, it also exerts antimicrobial effects thanks to one of its active ingredients, tanshinone. A study recently published in Natural Product Research indicated that tanshinone can help kill off bacterial strains that include Staphylococcus aureus and Esherichia coli and the fungi species Candida alibicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Salvia also has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. It's so effective, researchers are now investigating its ability to treat multiple sclerosis.

Another popular herb in TCM is Rehmannia glutinosa (RG). RG is useful in treating not only high blood pressure but diabetes as well. It has both anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects. In one study conducted with diabetic mice, researchers found that injecting them with RG lowered not only blood glucose levels, but total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels as well. Even better, it increased beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.

If you've already investigated ways to control your blood pressure, you probably are familiar with nitric oxide (NO). NO is notable for its ability to keep your blood vessels in good shape, which helps keep blood flowing and prevents pressure from increasing too much. You can and likely should take supplemental NO to protect your cardiovascular health. But did you know that your body makes some NO on its own?

However, one of the reasons that our risk of cardiovascular disease goes up as we age is that our natural production of NO goes down. Fortunately, the herb Scutellaria baicalensis (SB) can help. SB is known to help regulate blood pressure. One of the ways it does that, according to a study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, is by stimulating the endothelial cells that line our blood vessels to produce more nitric oxide.

SB also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a good tool not only in keeping blood pressure down, but in fighting off staphylococci, cholera, dysentery, pneumococci, and the influenza virus. SB even contains a flavonoid called baicalein that has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Because baicalein is so good at hunting down dangerous free radicals, it helps keep endothelial cells healthy.

If you'd like even more ways to lower blood pressure, one strategy is to drink hibiscus tea. And no, it's not because the pictures on the box might make you feel like you're on vacation. Hibiscus plants are tropical, so they flourish in places like Hawaii. But it's a very effective medicinal plant as well. One clinical trial found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea a day for six weeks lowered systolic blood pressure by 7.2 points on average compared to only 1.3 points for a placebo group. Those who had the highest blood pressure at the start of the study had even better results.

TCM is unique in that herbs are used in combination. The intention of a formula is to influence and balance as many of the different organ systems as possible. In order to accomplish this, several herbs are usually used in a formula. Their complementary action is much stronger than they are by themselves.

So if you go to the store and buy one of these herbs by itself, you might see a little of its action, but not much. However, if you use them in combination, you'll have much more success. It's also unlikely that you'll find a formula specifically for blood pressure that can address all causes of blood pressure. Chinese medicine has several different formulas for treating blood pressure. This can be confusing if you're not trained in TCM. That's why we've tried to address this and make one formula that will work for most types of hypertension.

These herbs can add an advantage to blood pressure regulation you won't find in any antihypertensive drug. Plus, they offer a number of other benefits that can protect other systems in your body, not just your heart. There is no known formula that contains these efficacious herbs along with magnesium that gently lowers your blood pressure naturally.

That's why we formulated Advanced Blood Pressure Support. This formula contains a 5:1 concentration of the most synergistic blood pressure herbs: Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza); Peony; Scutellaria baicalensis; Rehmannia and Chrysanthemum. Together, along with just enough magnesium and a good dose of Hibiscus (750 mg), this formula can work to lower blood pressure naturally. For more information on Advanced Blood Pressure Support, please call 800-791-3395 and give them special offer code WH4316.
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Publication:Women's Health Letter
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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