Godhaer.co.uk :: Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure treatment
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HOW TO TREAT IT NATURALLY
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[NB We also treat low Blood Pressure with herbal medicine. Contact Alan for info]
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HOW TO TREAT IT NATURALLY
by Herbal Practitioner Alan Hopking MA MNIMH
A. Right BP - Key to Long Life
The relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is a continuous one. A normal blood pressure through your years is the key to a long life say the experts. Excess risk for cardiovascular disease begins to increase substantially at a SBP (Systolic Blood Pressure) greater than 140 mm Hg and a DBP (Diastolic Blood Pressure) greater than 83 mm Hg.(2) Factors such as age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, and other cardiovascular risk factors should be considered in determining the need for treatment.(3) Since it is estimated one fifth of British adults have SBP that averages over 140 mm Hg and/or DBP that averages 90 mm Hg or greater. The Joint National Committee on Detection Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure V (JNC V) has reclassified hypertension to emphasize elevation of SBP and to phase out the outmoded adjectives mild, moderate and severe. (1)
Category SBP DBP
Normal <130 <85
Borderline 130-139 85-89
Stage 1 140-159 90-99
Stage 2 160-179 100-110
Stage 3 180-209 110-119
Stage 4 >210 >120
There is elevated risk of disease and death at all levels of hypertension and each requires long-term management.
Symptoms that can lead to or suggest high blood pressure: anger, fear, worry, anxiety, depression, guilt, overwork, physical strain, stress, mental strain, excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, light-cycle disruption (going to sleep late), late nights, surgery, trauma, injury, intermittant inflammation, infections, frequent pain, temperature extremes, toxic exposure, malabsorption, maldigestion, regular illness, allergies, hypoglycaemia, blood sugar highs and lows, nutritional deficiencies, low body temperature, weakness, unexplained hair loss, hair loss, nervousness, difficulty building muscle, muscle wasting, irritability, mental depression, difficulty gaining weight, apprehension, blood sugar imbalance, inability to concentrate, excessive hunger, tendency towards inflammation, moments of confusion, indigestion, poor memory, feelings of frustration, alternating diarrhea and constipation, diarrhoea, constipation, bone loss, auto-immune hepatitis, auto-immune diseases, lightheadedness, palpitations, heart fluttering, dizziness, poor resistance to infections, low blood pressure, insomnia, food allergies, PMS, craving for sweets, dry skin, thin skin, headaches, scanty perspiration, alcohol intolerance
B. Risks of Hypertension
The choice of 140 mm Hg to define high SBP or 90 mm Hg to define high DBP should not imply a fixed threshold by which to initiate therapy. Persons with consistent readings between 85 89 mm Hg should be considered as having borderline diastolic hypertension, and although in most cases this does not warrant treatment, non-medication treatment should be started.
"Borderline" hypertensive persons are usually significantly heavier, and have higher total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and higher glucose and insulin levels. (4) It has been concluded that "borderline" high blood pressure is associated with other cardiovascular risk factors. (4)
Coexisting high SBP is an important factor to consider since it has been found to be more predictive of cardiovascular disease and death in the majority of British men. (5) (6) Isolated high SBP is predominantly found among the elderly.
The six year risk of coronary artery disease mortality among men, 35 to 57 years of age, screened for the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) confirms earlier reports from Framingham that multiple cardiovascular risk factors increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and death. Cigarette smoking increases the risk by two to three fold independent of DBP and cholesterol levels. As cholesterol levels increase the risk of CHD mortality increases by three fold from the lowest to the highest category.(6) Between 1972 and 1990 the US experienced a significant reduction in the mortality rates for coronary heart disease (50%) and stroke (57%) in both men and women (1) compared to a decrease of <10% in mortality from all non cardiovascular diseases. (7) Goldman and Cook (8) estimated that lifestyle factors (less cigarette smoking, less saturated fat consumption and healthier dietary habits, and increased physical activity) have contributed to about 50% of the decline; physician initiated factors are estimated to account for about 40% of the decline. Recent data from the Framingham study suggest that the decrease in incidence of coronary heart disease is related to changes in lifestyle and to treatment of hypertension. (7)
Some High Blood Pressure Drugs
If you’ve wholeheartedly made lifestyle changes trying to reduce your high blood pressure and it doesn’t seem to be working, you may need high blood pressure medication. Numerous drugs exist for high blood pressure, but you need to meet with your doctor to discuss what medicine is right for you. Drugs for high blood pressure fall into several classes:
* Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: Lower blood pressure by blocking formation of a key hormone, angiotensin II, which both narrows arteries and causes release of another blood-pressure-raising hormone
* Angiotensin II receptor blockers: Lower blood pressure by preventing angiotensin II from attaching to a site
* Beta blockers: Lower blood pressure by decreasing the amount of blood pumped by the heart and by lowering the heart rate
* Calcium-channel blockers: Lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering cells, thus increasing the size of arteries
* Diuretics: Lower blood pressure by causing salt loss in the urine with accompanying body water, thereby reducing blood volume and pressure
C. Herbal Medicine and High Blood Pressure
The heart pumps 100,000 times a day. The blood travels through a maze of 60,000 miles of vessels. Blood pressure is vital to life. High blood pressure threatens it. Low SBP below 100mm Hg is also a danger. Blood pressure depends on the strength of the heart beat, the elasticity of the blood vessel walls, back-pressure resistance (e.g. body fat), muscle, blood thickness and volume, also the health of the liver, kidneys and lungs. Blood pressure has now been found to be totally unrelated to age, that is, it doesn’t rise with age. There are often no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. But don’t be deceived. To optimize heart health, choose foods such as green veggies and berries with low glycemic index ratings. If you occasionally must have foods with simple carbs, avoid those made from white flour; instead, have a modest portion of brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.(9) And exercise three times a week for half an hour. If you want to get off your diuretics, adrenergic antagonists, vasodilators, beta-blockers, etc contact Alan Hopking, MA MNIMH or your local NIMH herbalist. S/he will give you a full examination and monitor your withdrawal, as you take a mixture of herbs like Lime Flowers, Hawthorn, Motherwort, Yarrow, Garlic, Dandelion leaves, and Ginger root. Other herbs s/he may give are for the liver, kidneys, immune system, gentle detox and relaxants for a stressed nervous system. Recommended supplements for high blood pressure: vitamin C 1000mg; vitamin E 400 IU; B complex; Magnesium 300mg; Selenium 50mg. Or better still take just ½ tsp of our ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus to fully support and supplement your nutritional needs.
Health matters. Live a lifestyle that’s both healthy & happy!
Herbs important for heart health:
1. CholesterolLess Tonic used for those with a need to keep cholesterol under control - designed to gently cleanse the heart and arteries of lipids (fats). It’s also a gentle stimulant for those who have circulatory problems like cold hands and feet. With Hawthorn, Ginkgo, Melilot tops, Safflower, Buck wheat, Madder root, Ginger root, Prickly Ash and Red Sage root, this tonic taken on a low dose daily will keep your cholesterol down.
More about herbs and cholesterol
2. Heart and Circulation Tonic to normalize blood pressure and regulate the circulation - great for those who have general good health but are looking to support their heart health into the latter years. With Hawthorn berry, Lime flower, Motherwort herb, Horse Chestnut, Blood root, Stevia, Heartsease, Broom tops, Jujube seed and Hart’s Tongue leaf.
More about herbs for the heart and circulation
Free Orderline 0500 90 96 97 (++44 1425 839280 outside UK)
1. Joint National Committee on Detection Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. The Fifth Report of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC V). Arch Intern Med 1993;153:154 183. 2. Kannel WB, Stokes JI. Hypertension as a cardiovascular risk factor. In: Bulpitt CJ, ed. Epidemiology of Hypertension: Handbook of Hypertension, Volume 6. New York/Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishing Co, Inc., 1985: 15 34. 3. Browner WS, Hulley SB. Effect of risk status on treatment criteria: Implications of hypertension trials. Hypertension 1989;13(suppl I):I 51 56. 4. Julius S, Jamerson K, Mejia A, Krause L, Schork N, Jones K. The association of borderline hypertension with target organ changes and higher coronary risk: Tecumseh blood pressure study. JAMA 1990; 264(3) :354 358. 5. Lichtenstein MJ, Shipley MJ, Rose G. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures as predictors of coronary heart disease mortality in the Whitehall study. Br Med J 1985;291:243 245. 6. Kannel WB, Neaton JD, Wentworth HD, et al. Overall and coronary heart disease mortality rates in relation to major risk factors in 325,348 men screened for the MRFIT. Am Heart J 1986;112:825 836. 7. Sytkowski PA, Kannel WB, D'Agostino RB. Changes in risk factors and the decline in mortality from cardiovascular disease: The Framingham Heart Study. N Engl J Med 1990;322(23):1635 1641. 8. Goldman L, Cook EF. The decline in ischemic heart disease mortality rates: an analysis of the comparative effects of medical interventions and changes in lifestyle. Ann Intern Med 1984;101:825 836. 9. Am J Clin Nut 2000; 71(6): 1455-61.
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Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH MRCHM FINEH.
Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. Telphone using our freephone 0500 90 96 97.
Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines
Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies
are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care.
• Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist).
• Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care.
• Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing.
• If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking.
• Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
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Alan N Hopking MA MNIMH MRCHM
Advanced Botanical Centre of Medicine
5 Station Road
+44 (0) 1425 839280
Freephone UK 0500 909697
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HERBACTIVE Clinic and Shop is near the New Milton Train Station
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Disclaimer and pledgeAs a professional herbal practitioner I am in practice in conformity with the laws of England and the 1968 Medicines Act. The UK legislative provisions for herbal medicine are to be found in the Medicines Act 1968, Section 12, paragraphs 1 & 2, and Section 56, paragraphs 1 & 2. Section 12:1 specifies exemption for herbal medicines from licensing provided that they are supplied subsequent to private personal consultation. Section 12:2 exempts herbal medicines provided that they are produced according to standard traditional, non-industrial methods. It also specifies that no written claims may be made for the use of the remedy. Therefore at HERBACTIVE no claims about any medical condition regarding the herbal medicines prescribed by Alan Hopking are made. Indeed, be it a doctor, surgeon or herbal practitioner, the successful outcome of our treatments cannot with any certainty be predicted, let alone guaranteed. Further, following UK and EU law, the information on this web site attach no medical claims and no claims concerning the medicinal herbs mentioned relating to any medical conditions listed. All the herbal prescriptions are unlicensed and made by Alan N. Hopking at the address of HERBACTIVE for patients of Alan N. Hopking. I pledge that, I shall do all I can, using my knowledge of herbal medicines and natural treatment, to help you regain your deserved health.
Alan Hopking MA MNIMH MRCHM All our herbal medicines are made from the raw herb at our dedicated clinic and dispensary at HERBACTIVE Botanicals. We collect the fresh herbs, or import the dry herb. They are organic if at all possible. We only use whole herbs. We are against the use of standardized extracts, or the concentration of herbs by adding more of the active constituent. We recommend you do not use such products in any form (dry, in capsules or as tincture extracts). To use our herbal tonics you should follow the prescribed dose. Any side effects or problems should be reported to us.