NATURAL COMPOUNDS
for Healthy Blood Pressure
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Diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are essential for controlling blood pressure. Specific food supplements may also help. A large proportion of the U.S. population suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure. Many put themselves into this situation by ignoring proper diet and exercise and/or creating a reality of stress for themselves. The following are several compounds based on natural "helpers" that are not drugs created by the drug companies and that have been able to substantially (in many cases) reduce the problem of high blood pressure and hypertension. Most of these can be obtained without a prescription, however, self-treatment is not recommended (see Notice), so you need to check with your health care provider for your specific situation, since there are many different factors involved with blood pressure/hypertension, and of course each one of us is different.

PRESSURE POINTS

ITEM

DESCRIPTION

What is Blood Pressure Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body.
How is Blood Pressure Measured Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury and recorded as two (2) numbers, for example 120/80. The larger number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes out blood during each beat, called the systolic blood pressure. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat, called the dislistolic blood pressure. It's best to measure the pressure when you are relaxed, sitting or lying down.
Why is High Blood
Pressure Unhealthy
If the blood pressure remains high it can cause serious problems such as heart attack, a stroke, heart failure or kidney dis-ease. High pressure usually does not give warning signs. The only way to find out whether one has high blood pressure (or any pressure for that matter) is to have it checked regularly.
Who is At Risk
for High
Blood Pressure
Blacks, Heavy (alcohol) drinkers, Middle-age and elderly, Obese, those with diabetes mellitus, gout or kidney dis-ease.
Blood
Pressures
Normal: Systolic - below 130, Diastolic: below 85, example: 120/84
High Normal: Systolic - 130-139, Diastolic: 85-89, example: 135/85
Mild High: Systolic - 140-159, Diastolic: 90-99, example: 145/95
Moderate High: Systolic: 160-179, Diastolic: 100-109, example: 160/105
Severe High: Systolic: 180+, Diastolic: 110+, example: 180/115
How to Measure
Your Pulse
These are the steps for determining your pulse in the radial artery in your wrist:
1) Stop any exercise
2) Using tips of your fingers, locate the area between your wrist bone (on either hand) and tendon on the thumb side of either wrist. You will feel the pulsing of the artery when you have positioned your finger properly.
3) Make sure not to press so hard on the blood vessel that the flow of blood is obstructed.
4) Count your radial pulse for 10 seconds and then multiply by six (6) to get your pulse rate per minute.

First, you should know there are several categories of hypertension drugs. These are shown in the following chart. Secondly, most if not all of these have been formulated by the drug companies to be taken upon a doctor's prescription. This chart displays the basic grouping and describes what they are about. Some of this information may surprise you!

 

DRUG TYPE WHAT IT DOES SIDE EFFECTS
Diuretics Increases kidney's excretion of sodium, which in turn decreases the volume of blood in the system. Drains the body's supplies of potassium and magnesium; raises cholesterol levels; and makes blood platelets sticker, increasing the risk of harmful clots.
Beta Blockers Lowers blood pressure by blocking responses from beta nerve receptors. This slows down the heartbeat and decreases the amount of blood that the heart pumps. Impotence, fatigue, depression, and increased triglyceride and cholesterol levels; difficulty in getting sufficient blood to the hands, feet and brain.
Calcium Channel Blockers Keeps calcium from getting into the muscle cells of the arteries, allowing blood vessels to widen. May weaken the heart and harm the liver.
Now that the above chart shows you what some of the more popular groups of prescription drugs can do, the below chart shows a few of the Natural Compounds that do the same or better job (in our opinion), without a prescription.
NATURAL
COMPOUNDS
DESCRIPTION
Hawthorn Can widen blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries. Some of the flavonoids in Hawthorn help prevent the narrowing of blood vessels. This is available through Karinya.  (*1) (See references below)
Cayenne Reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, which can lead to hypertension. Available through Karinya..
Kudzu Contains a chemical (puerarin) that has decreased blood pressure by 15 percent in lab animals (*2). In addition, puerarin has many times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Available through Karinya.
Saffron Contains a blood-pressure-lowering chemical called crocetin. Some researchers speculate that the low rate of heart disease in Spain is due to the Spaniards' high consumption of saffron. Available through Karinya.
Valerian Promotes higher levels of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the body. GABA helps regulate blood pressure. In addition, valerian has sedative activity, which has a beneficial impact on blood pressure. Available through Karinya.
Potassium Supplementation of this may be especially beneficial for hypertensives over the age of 65 (*3). "The elderly often do not fully respond to blood pressure- lowering drugs, which makes the use of potassium supplementation an exciting possibility." Available through Karinya.
Magnesium Supplements of this may also lower blood pressure. One double-blind study focused on 91 middle-aged and elderly women with mild to moderately high blood pressure. They randomly received either 480mg of magnesium asparate or a placebo each day for six months. At the end of the study, both systolic and diastolic levels dropped significantly in the magnesium group. Available through Karinya. (*4)
Vitamin C Supplementation has exerted a modest blood-pressure-lowering effect in people with mild hypertension. (*5) One way vitamin C may support healthy blood pressure is by promoting the excretion of lead, which is linked to hypertension. Available through Karinya.
CoQ10 This is a nutrient that shows promise for hypertensives and that naturally occurs in our bodies. One study investigated 26 hypertensives who took 50mg of CoQ10 twice a day for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, systolic blood pressure had dropped from an average of 165 to 147, and diastolic blood pressure dropped from 98 to 86. Available through Karinya. (*6)
Garlic Garlic helps reduce cholesterol as well as blood pressure (*7). In a 1993 study, people with high blood pressure consumed one clove of garlic, a day for 12 weeks. At the conclusion of the study, they demonstrated significantly lower diastolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Available through Karinya. 
Onions These are also recommended for hypertensives. In one study, two to three tablespoons of onion essential oil a day lowered blood pressure in 67 percent of people with moderately high blood pressure. Their systolic levels fell an average of 25 points and their diastolic readings fell 15 points. Onion essential oil is not available, but you can promote healthy blood pressure by adding more onions to your diet.
Other
Compounds
Fennel, oregano, black pepper, basil, and tarragon all contain several blood-pressure-lowering compounds. Available through Karinya.
Kava-Kava Kava-Kava is an herb that's in a class by itself. Its remarkable ability to promote relaxation without loss in mental sharpness makes it a perfect herbal supplement for today's too-busy-to-relax lifestyle. And it's safe! Used for thousands of years by the Oceanic people of the South Pacific who have the reputation of being the happiest, friendliest people in the world. Best of all, Kava-Kava is free of the side effects and addictive properties common to anti-anxiety drugs. Kava-Kava is available through Karinya.

 

References: (*1) B.Havsteen, Biochem Pharm 32:1141-1148, 1982| (*2) James A. Duke, PhD.| (*3) Michael T. Murray, N.D., Encylopedia of Nutritional Supplements, 1996| (*4) J.C. M. Witterman, et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 60:129-135, 1994| (*5) Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements| (*6) Ray Sahelian, M.D., Coenzyme Q10: Nature's Heart Energizer, 1997| (*7) Dr. James Duke, The Green Pharmacy, 1996| American Heart Association | National Heart Foundation | The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute | Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

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