This post is a bit lengthy, however…. so many people are walking around with high blood pressure, I felt this was a topic that really needed to dig beneath the surface in hopes of empowering more people to realize they have options and elements of control over the quality of their health. So please read thru this article I think you will find some helpful & useful suggestions and information.
Many people today find themselves on prescriptions to control the aspects of their blood pressure when it continues to float in the “too high” zone. Talking to client’s many actually state this fact like it’s as common as breathing. Going thru their health history most don’t skip a beat, “oh yeah, I’ve got high blood pressure been on meds for years”… and they float right onto the next topic. So I wanted to address this…
What is High Blood Pressure.. well it is a symptom that tells us that other areas are imbalanced within, so in reality High blood pressure is not a disease in it’s own category. What contributes to hypertension (High Blood pressure)?
Here’s how it usually goes…. When there is lots of arterial tension, the heart (a.k.a blood pumper) has to work harder to pump the blood to reach our extremities, fingers/toes….This actually results in the blood pressure reading coming in “high” and is when most end up on medications. My real question is how many people feel their high blood pressure issues truly are cured because they take those medications? “High blood pressure medication is not caused by a lack of high blood pressure medications and… the medication prescribed isn’t designed to cure it either” so stated .. (Tree of light publishing, Steven Horne, Registered Herbalis (AHG)
It’s meant to artificially “control” the issue but certainly not to fix the problem. Many just take the medications and don’t question, or change a whole bunch of anything in their daily lives or health routine. It’s like a “fix it & forget it syndrome”, I take this pill so I’m doing my part routine. It is symptom MANAGEMENT, but isn’t addressing much else.
What I’m about to say next is probably gonna rub some people the wrong way, but hey it is what it is… High blood pressure is a direct result of ‘LIFESTYLE”. Living in/on the fast lane, as in fast food, lack of sleep (over stimulate with caffeine), smoking, alcohol consumption, over processed “fake” foods, high stress environments. In other countries especially the un-developed ones, high blood pressure is pretty much unheard of, why.. well, they are eating their native/traditional diets, and their lifestyles tend to less stressful. Yet in America more than 60 million suffer with High blood pressure.
Now, when you have high blood pressure other diseases can become an issue, like we know having high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney issues even failure. Most people believe that all they can change to try to get this under control is to just monitor their sodium intake. That’s not true…. it’s helpful, but it’s not the only thing that needs to change.
There is a pretty high percentage of high blood pressure cases which classify in mild to moderate category which can really benefit with dietary & lifestyle changes. Incorporating some herbs & dietary supplements can also be helpful.
Here are some tips I’d strongly recommend:
- 1. start to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day in the form of pure, clean water.
- make sure you are increasing the amount of dietary fiber which helps to sweep toxins & debris out of the body.
- If you are over weight, start to take measures to get that extra weight off with diet & exercise.
- If you smoke… quit!!!
- the body was designed to move, which is why we have hinged joints, so give up some TV time, or computer game time and move it or lose it….
- give up using table salt, and change it up for sea salt and this gets easier to monitor when you stop eating pre-cooked foods, like canned soups and boxed instant & frozen dinners which tend to be loaded with salt. I think the average Campbells soup contains like 900 mg. of sodium per serving. Yikes…
- get rid of caffeine (stimulants can raise blood pressure)
- over indulgence in the alcohol category doesn’t improve blood pressure either.
- lean on those essential fatty acids especially Omega -3 (helps keep blood cells from being too sticky, and thins blood plasma for smoother circulation)
- make sure you are getting enough calcium & magnesium, many think calcium but leave out magnesium, well you need the magnesium for the body to properly absorb the calcium.
Like I stated earlier; hIgh blood pressure is a symptom not a disease all by itself. Yet many think the heart is defective when they are told they have high blood pressure. The heart is a pump and it’s job is to do just that, pump the blood everywhere. So when the heart is beating harder, the blood pressure goes up, I tell people these symptoms are like your dash board lights in your car alerting you to an internal problem that needs to be addressed. When the heart has to work harder that means something is causing some sort of a restriction to how smoothly the blood is flowing.
So in my opinion, when you are going to rely on the medication alone to reduce the pressure, that is not fixing or getting rid of any obstructions that are interfering with the blood flow. The end result is yes you’ve decreased the bloods pressure but you still have restricted circulation especially going to the hands & feet. Many on high blood pressure have cold feet/hands. Basically you have now just traded one health issue to take on board another one.
So basically we have determined that the heart is having to pump too hard to do it’s job of circulating the blood all over the body, so fix the cause and the heart will stop having to work overtime. If you simply make it easier for the blood to flow, the blood pressure is going to respond by going down.
What are some of the things that contribute to high blood pressure coming from within ?
1. Good ole hardening of the Arteries. – this is like getting the hard water deposit build up in your pipes, the deposits are going to make the size of the blood vessels smaller inside and restricts how the blood flows thru them. So if you have been told you have hardening of the Arteries, understand that years of over eating starches & refined sugars have contributed, as the body pH has retained more of an acidic state, so getting the starches & refined sugars out of your daily routine is a plus all the way around. You can also incorporate some herbal assistance with Mega-Chel which works like oral chelation.
- Provides a powerhouse of nutritional support for the circulatory system.
- Provides 100% or more of the Daily Value for 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
- Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining circulatory passageways.
- Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining arteries, veins and capillaries.
- Balances the glandular system.
Now lets address Vaso-constriction: This is all about the muscular strength in the vascular walls. Your blood vessels have muscular walls they squeeze & release which is what helps to move the blood thru them. When they stay squeezed (tense), there is what is referred to as vaso-constriction. The same sort of concept occurs when someone is having an asthma attack, their bronchial tubes begin to restrict the amount of air flowing thru them and they can’t breathe, this is the same concept when it comes to vaso-constriction in the arteries. What contributes to vaso-constriction? I’m so glad you asked….
- Stress is a big contributor – Our body has built in stress responders, the adrenal glands….when you walk up on a spider (if you’re afraid of them), almost without thinking about it you can jump back, scream and in my case I’m doing an Irish jig, couple of things happen though, the heart starts to pound, you may even sweat, get light headed, skin can get tingly, why? Well, the body releases some hormones and a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (or many know it as adrenaline rush). The body has nerve receptors that are designed to obviously react to the epinephrine. There are really two types of reactors, the alpha & beta. When the beta receptors are stimulated by the hormone, they cause blood vessels to contract and the heart beats harder. Those who have been prescribed Beta-blockers take them to help lower their blood pressure, by blocking these beta adrenergic receptor sites from registering the hormone stimulation.
- caffeine can over stimulate the nervous system (sympathethic deals with the adrenals) which encourages high amounts of epinephrine to be turned loose. So if your consume large amounts of caffeine during the day, some start with coffee, then graduate to caffeinated pops or energy drinks and drink very little water. Some of the foods that jump on board with triggering this response: alcohol, tobacco, chocolate (yes I know, I’m sorry), cheese, refined sugars, your cured meats like pork, lunch meats which majority contain MSG, which contributes as an excito-neuro-toxin…
- Magnesium depleted – we are bombarded with advertising that shoves calcium intake down our throats, however I believe the top most mineral deficiency suffered is in fact magnesium depletion. When a muscles contracts, calcium ions flow into that muscles cells; as the muscle seeks to relax there is an exchange of magnesium for calcium. Calcium is what causes the contraction and magnesium causes the relaxation of the muscle. Many who are depleted in magnesium suffer from lots of leg & toe cramps, or those twitches under the bottle eye lid. There is also some prescriptions used here called calcium channel blockers can be given to lower ones blood pressure. What these drugs do is block calcium from entering the muscle tissue, which causes them to be more relaxed. But I have found that you can also take extra magnesium and create same result.
- Syndrome X – This can also contribute to high blood pressure, What in the world is Syndrome X- hIgh insulin levels in the blood. When someones diet has been high in the carbohydrate & sugar zone, it causes the blood vessels to become inflamed which for obvious reasons is going tor restrict flow. When the diet is high in refined sugars or simple sugars those sugars tend to react with proteins and this reduces how elastic the blood vessels are and they lose flexibility. Many will see results of this long before its a problem in the form of spider veins in calves & ankles. So reducing or even eliminating simple carohydrates can be super helpful.
Some of these herbal suggestions can be incorporated to help if you have been told you have vaso-constriction issues:
Magnesium Complex can be used in conjunction with vaso-dilative herbs to dilate blood vessels & reduce blood pressure.Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/magnesium-complex-100-caps/1859/
Hawthorn & ginkgo have both been found to dilate peripheral blood vessels and improve flow. Ginkgo biloba leaf is one of the most popular and well-studied herbs in the world. Its ability to increase circulation has been documented in numerous clinical trials. Ginkgo is a powerful free radical scavenger. It helps protect blood vessels and optimizes the amount of oxygen supplied to brain cells. It may also help support blood flow to the extremities. Hawthorn berries contain flavonoids and other compounds that may benefit the circulatory system, especially the heart. They also contain volatile oils, saponins, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/ginkgo–hawthorn-combination-100-caps/909/
Garlic can reduce blood pressure. If you take garlic on a regular basis many have reduced blood pressure by 10-15 points. Not to mention an added benefit of the garlic is it kicks butt on blood cholesterol & triglycerides too. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/garlic-oil-60-softgel-caps/1694/
Blood Pressurex which contains l-arginine, which is an amino acid that acts on a chemical messenger called nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels. The main ingredients in Blood Pressurex are the powerful herbs Coleus forskohlii, olive leaf extract, hawthorn berries extract and goldenrod; the amino acid arginine; and the antioxidants vitamin E and a powerful, proprietary grape seed extract. These combine to help protect blood vessels, promote blood flow in the peripheral arteries and inhibit cell damage. Grape seed extract contains an array of bioflavonoids, antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies suggest that grape seed extract may be beneficial for maintaining blood pressure levels and may contribute to overall cardiovascular health. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/blood-pressurex-60-caps/554/
Lobelia – which has lobeline that acts as a natural beta blocker. It goes together well with capiscum and a small amount of black cohost to reduce cardiac stress and angian. improves circulation to the heart, and lower blood pressure caused by stress/tention.
- Supports the respiratory system
- Calms the nervous system.
- Works as a universal relaxant.
Then there are also Adaptagens which can also assist in reducing blood pressure issues. Like
Eleuthero Root – American & Korean ginseng, schizandra these are found in Nutri-calm
- Supports the nervous system.
- Soothes frayed nerves.
- Aids in relaxation and encourages restful sleep.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Is a source of antioxidants (vitamin C and lemon bioflavonoids).
- Provides 100% or more of the daily value of nine important nutrients.
Also Nervous Fatigue Formula: his TCM concentrate contains the same herbs found in Nervous Fatigue formula but in a highly concentrated blend. Traditional Chinese Medicine would consider this a fire-enhancing formula. Its Chinese name yang xin translates to “nurture the heart.” Weakness in the fire element usually manifests itself in the digestive, cardiovascular or reproductive systems. Biota seed contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect. These compounds also have a mild laxative effect. Jujuba seed contains bitter compounds that help promote relaxation. Schizandra fruit, a supporting herb in this formula, allows the body to respond quickly to stress, thus increasing the body’s capacity to work. Its bitter compounds also support circulation. Ginseng acts as an adaptogen to help maintain balance in the body and help the body adapt to stress.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/nervous-fatigue-tcm-conc-30-caps/1017/
Suma Combination – SUMA Combination supplies nutrients that support the body’s regenerative functions. It is a blend of six powerful adaptogenic herbs that bolster the immune system and provide energy and emotional support. Suma root is referred to as para todo in South America, meaning “for everything.” Suma is not a true ginseng, but it shares many of ginseng’s properties. Astragalus root is a Chinese herb that also shares many properties of ginseng and is known as an energy-booster.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/suma-combination-100-caps/1088/
Next aspect that can contribute towards the high blood pressure problem is “WATER RETENTION & KIDNEY FUNCTION”…..
When our body is retaining excessive fluid, it will also put pressure on our blood vessels restricting the flow issue. Kidneys have an influence on the heart, So I believe the kidneys to be a major contributor to maintenance of our blood pressure. Many times when someone is retaining extra fluid, they will be prescribed a diuretic to try to reduce the blood pressure. There are some more natural versions that will act like a diuretic without the side-effects. like the Chinese Kidney Activator –
- Promotes kidney function.
- May help clear retained water.
- Supports the urinary tract.
- May support joint health.
We talked earlier about reducing your intake of salt, I’d again recommend trading regular table salt in favor of sea salt which can also help reduce fluid retention. I have to say that kidney issues are usually not the 1st go to place of addressing high blood pressure, but when I have a client who says they have high blood pressure, I always encourage them to support their kidneys while making diet & exercise changes.
So there ya have it, if you are interested in scheduling a more detailed consultation based specifically on what your body says it needs, then please schedule a 1 hr. consultation (we can do these either by skype (no video) only audio, and or phone consult or in my office. QFA Analysis is in office only, (urine & saliva). go to. http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and sign up for your desired services.
Jodi Barnett N.D.
QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist,
Raw Food Coach
Harvested Health LLC
http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (High quality herbs & supplements)
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