Herbs and Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health conditions that people face today. While not causing any symptoms, elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There are many ways to treat hypertension, including eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising, actively reducing stress, and making healthy lifestyle choices. Medications can also be used to control high blood pressure, although this method may suppress symptoms rather than address causes.
Herbs can be used as well to manage levels and to improve cardiovascular health. While herbal medicine can be very effective for lowering blood pressure it is important to talk to your doctor first, especially if you are taking any medications.
Herbal Tea Recipes
The following herbal teas for high blood pressure are ideal for correcting this condition. When used properly they can lower levels and help the body return to a balanced state. With herbal medicine long-term use is more effective — it will take at least two to four weeks for the body to change — but once blood pressure is normal it is not necessary to continue drinking these teas. What is important is continuing with a healthy diet and lifestyle to prevent hypertension from becoming a problem again.
Lime Blossom, Hawthorne Berries, and Yarrow
Mix equal parts of these three herbs. Take two teaspoons in total and steep in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drink three cups a
day. This tea recipe is ideal for lowering blood pressure and for toning the heart.
- Lime blossom is one of the best herbs for high blood pressure. It calms the nervous system but also helps to prevent both hypertension and arteriosclerosis. It also has diuretic properties, helping to relieve any pressure from accumulated fluids. Lime blossom is safe for general use.
- Hawthorne berries are a tonic for the heart and circulatory system. This herb acts to normalize heart function, stimulating or depressing, depending on what is necessary. Hawthorne has diuretic properties as well. Because this herb acts directly on the heart it is very important to only use under medical supervision.
- Yarrow acts to lower blood pressure by dilating the peripheral blood vessels. It is safe for general use and has many other medicinal benefits, acting as a diuretic and supporting a healthy liver.
Mistletoe and Dandelion
Use two parts of mistletoe with one part dandelion. Make the infusion in the same manner as the first tea recipe, using two teaspoons in total for every one cup of water. Drink one cup daily to help manage high blood pressure, but also as a tonic for overall well-being.
- Mistletoe soothes the nerves, reduces heart rate, and strengthens the walls of the peripheral capillaries. It is good for high blood pressure, but also arteriosclerosis. This herb is also beneficial when hypertension causes headaches.
- Dandelion is a wonderful diuretic herb. It helps to cleanse the blood of impurities and reduces serum cholesterol. Dandelion is also a rich source of minerals, including potassium, which helps to balance with sodium levels in the body.
Valerian and Skullcap
Use equal parts of these herbs to make an infusion. Of the herbal teas for high blood pressure this one is well-suited for treating elevated blood pressure that is related to stress and anxiety. This is a tension-relieving tea, ideal for drinking before resting.
- Valerian is one of the best herbal sedatives. It relieves tension and also improves circulation.
- Skullcap relaxes as well, promoting a restful sleep and reducing tension. It improves circulation and strengthens the heart muscle. While both of these herbs are safe for general use they should not be combined with alcohol nor taken before operating heavy machinery.
All of these herbs are very beneficial for high blood pressure and improving overall heart health. Drinking these teas in conjunction with eating a healthy diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices is an incredibly effective natural route to heart health. Do not take these herbs if you are taking medications, including and especially medications for high blood pressure. Make sure you discuss your treatment decisions with your health care provider.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Hoffmann, David. “The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies.” (Element Books, 1996).
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photo by Rachel Davies
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