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Blood Pressure (High)
Herbal & Home Remedies Herbal Remedies Home Remedies
Blood pressure exceeding normal values is called arterial hypertension. In itself it is only an acute problem; see hypertensive crisis. But because of its long-term indirect effects (and also as an indicator of other problems) it is a serious worry to physicians diagnosing it. All levels of blood pressure put mechanical stress on the arterial walls.

Higher pressures increase heart workload and progression of unhealthy tissue growth (atheroma) that develops within the walls of arteries. The higher the pressure, the more stress that is present and the more atheroma tend to progress and the heart muscle tends to thicken, enlarge and become weaker over time.

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, arterial aneurysms, and is the leading cause of chronic renal failure. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. At severely high pressures, mean arterial pressures 50% or more above average, a person can expect to live no more than a few years unless appropriately treated.

In the past, most attention was paid to diastolic pressure; but nowadays it is recognised that both high systolic pressure and high pulse pressure (the numerical difference between systolic and diastolic pressures) are also risk factors. In some cases, it appears that a decrease in excessive diastolic pressure can actually increase risk, due probably to the increased difference between systolic and diastolic pressures (see the article on pulse pressure).

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Hypertension can cause headaches, vision problems, dizziness, or shortness of breath - but most people with hypertension have no symptoms. This is why hypertension is referred to as the "silent killer." Hypertension is usually discovered at a regular medical checkup when a doctor or nurse takes a blood pressure reading.

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Primary (or essential) hypertension is when the cause is unknown. The majority of hypertension cases are primary. When there is an underlying problem such as kidney disease or hormonal derangements that can cause hypertension, it is called secondary hypertension. When it is possible to correct the underlying cause, high blood pressure usually improves or may even return to normal.

Other factors that can contribute to hypertension include:

  • age (blood pressure usually increases with age)
  • diet
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • lack of exercise
  • obesity
  • stress
  • sleep apnea

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Home Remedies

In 100 grams of water, squeeze half a lemon. Have this concoction after every two hours. This would provide relief and also lower the blood pressure.

Walk barefoot on green grass for about 15 to 20 minutes everyday. This improves blood circulation and helps to maintain the blood pressure at normal.

The most effective home remedy to treat high blood pressure would be to chew a clove of garlic in an empty stomach. Have a glass of water to swallow it down.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven home remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Herbal Remedies

Garlic: Garlic has been touted as an herb with numerous health benefits, from treating the common cold to serving as an anti-cancer agent. Research has proven that garlic is beneficial for those with hypertension. By thinning the blood garlic can lower blood pressure by 5 to 10 percent. It can also lower cholesterol and discourage clot formation. Unfortunately, garlic has a reputation for being an "anti-social" food, but with all of the health benefits that garlic provides, bad breath should be the least of your worries.

Hawthorne: One of the safest herbal remedies on the market, Hawthorne berries are used to treat cardiovascular disease in many different cultures. In Europe, it is one of the most popular herbs used in alternative medicine today. Studies have shown that Hawthorne berries protect arterial walls, lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, and strengthen the heart's pumping ability. The full effect usually takes several weeks to months to develop.

Rauwolfia serpentina: Otherwise known as Indian Snakeroot, this powerful herb can significantly lower blood pressure with only a small dose. The effects of the herb are usually not seen until a few days after the initial administration and have a cumulative effect. Rauwolfia does have side effects, the most common being nasal congestion. Less common side effects include dizziness, nausea, and dry mouth.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven herbal remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Wellness Program

The management of hypertension includes lifestyle changes and the use of medications. Proper treatment of high blood pressure can add years to a person's life. Controlling blood pressure with medications can decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Medications used to lower blood pressure include diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide*), beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, metoprolol), ACE inhibitors (e.g., ramipril, enalapril, lisinopril), calcium channel blockers (e.g., nifedipine, amlodipine), and angiotensin II blockers (e.g., losartan, valsartan). People who have other risk factors especially those with diabetes or have already suffered heart damage may be started on medications even if their blood pressure is below "officially" hypertensive levels.

In most cases, the goal of treatment is to bring down the systolic pressure to less than 140 mm Hg and the diastolic pressure to less than 90 mm Hg. For people with diabetes or kidney disease, target blood pressure goals are lower (e.g., less than 130/80 mm Hg). Your doctor will determine the most appropriate goal for you.

To prevent hypertension and heart disease, here are some healthy lifestyle tips:

  • stop smoking
  • lose weight
  • cut down on your salt consumption
  • eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and fibre
  • control alcohol intake (no more than 2 drinks per day to a maximum of 9 per week for women or 14 per week for men)
  • get regular physical activity (30 to 45 minutes of activity several days a week)

It is important for people to know their blood pressure in mm Hg and the importance of keeping it controlled. The evidence suggests that even a small increase in blood pressure can cause a significant change in life expectancy.

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