Heart disease and high blood pressure are often thought of as middle-aged man’s disease. However, their occurrence is increasing rapidly among younger women as well.
What is high blood pressure?
For blood to reach every organ in the body it needs to be pumped by the heart. As blood moves through the arteries a certain amount of pressure builds. If you’re healthy your arteries will be flexible and will allow the blood to pass through easily.
Risk Factors If you’re unhealthy the pressure builds up in the arteries and in severe cases this can result in heart attacks or even strokes. High amount of cholesterol in the arteries can cause blockages, which can contribute to arterial problems and serious heart complaints.
Fatty diets, high salt intake, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle all increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. Treat this condition by adopting a healthier lifestyle including regular exercise, a low-fat diet and consider using some traditional herbal remedies.
Plant extracts reduce blood pressure in three ways. Firstly, they can thin the blood, making it easier to flow through constricted arteries. As part of a balanced diet they can also help to lower cholesterol and act as an antioxidant, inhibiting the formation of plaque in the arteries. Garlic and Ginko are good herbal remedies for boosting circulation and can help to reduce fatty deposits on arterial walls. Turmeric is a good antioxidant and herb that reduces anxiety, for example Mistletoe and Motherwort, also relieve hypertension and lower blood pressure.
Herbs To Treat High Blood Pressure-
- Turmeric- A brightly coloured Asian spice, Turmeric is a close relative of Ginger. It’s knobbly rhizome can be used fresh or dried to make tinctures or herbal infusions. Turmeric’s active antioxidant ingredients act to lower blood lipids and cholesterol and prevent blood clot formation. It’s also know to strengthen blood vessels.
- Garlic– The ultimate heart food, Garlic lowers blood pressure by reducing the stickiness of the blood and cholesterol levels . It helps to prevent plaque form adhering to the artery walls and to dissolve blood clots. The pungent odour of Garlic cloves is due to active volatile oils. It’s flavour is sweetened by cooking, especially by baking. many believe the new, deodorised Garlic pearls to be less effective.
- Hawthorn– This humble thorny, hedgerow shrub is a remarkable herbal cardiac tonic. Hawthorn regulates blood pressure, strengthening and balancing the heart and circulation. It helps to prevent heart disease by dilating blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries. Antioxidant proanthocyanins and bioflavonoids also reduce arteriosclerosis.
- Rosemary- The aromatic leaves of the Mediterranean herb are packed with volatile oils and flavonoids. These inhibit free radical damage to the arteries, lowering blood pressure. Flavonoids also strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation. Rosemary tea makes a pleasant and refreshing heart tonic. Rosemary also lifts the spirit and calms anxiety, reducing stress, a risk factor for high blood pressure.
- Mistletoe- Decoctions of the leaves, branches and berries of the parasitic evergreen creeper are all used to reduce hypertension. Once common in Orchards, Mistletoe is harvested in Autumn. It contains glycoproteins and viscotoxins, which relieve anxiety and promote relaxation.
- shitake- Increasingly familiar on your supermarket shelves, this Oriental mushroom has many different therapeutic properties. it can lower cholesterol by up to 15%. Its active ingredients are protective antioxidants that inhibit the formation of plaque in the arteries of the body.
” Warning” – If you suffer from high blood pressure you should consult your doctor before trying any of these treatments.
Recipe for high blood pressure
Sweet Potato and Onion Soup
Onions have been shown to reduce lipoprotein and cholesterol, helping to lower blood pressure. This tasty soup incorporates both onion and garlic.
You will need:
- 1 kg Sweet Potato
- 2 Large Onions (sliced)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 2 Carrots (diced)
- 5 ml Vegetable Oil
- 1 L Vegetable Stock
- 225 ml Natural Yogurt
1. Saute’ all the vegetables together in the oil for five minutes, being careful not to burn any of them.
2. Add the litre of vegetable stock and gently bring all of your gathered ingredients to the boil.
3. Simmer for around 25 minutes until the vegetables have become fully tender.
4. Blend the mixture together with a hand blender or a liquidiser.
5. Bring to the boil and add the yogurt and a little coriander as a garnish for your soup.