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How To Prevent High Blood Pressure

by Klaus Ferlow(more info)

listed in heart, originally published in issue 228 - February 2016

The typical image of a person with high blood pressure (hypertension) is an overweight, overworked male executive with a very short fuse. The truth is, high blood pressure affects people of all ages, races, social classes, sizes, shapes, women as well as men, and even children - an estimated more than 80 million Americans.

What is Blood Pressure?

Let's look first at the symptoms. The long-term effect of high blood pressure are serious and can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and retinal damage. Unfortunately, most people do not notice they have high blood pressure until they develop on of the long-term effects!

Every cell in the body needs a constant supply of blood to bring in oxygen and nutrients to remove waste products. Symptoms are masked since everyday fluctuations of blood pressure are usually minor and well compensated for by the body. A gradual rise in blood pressure over month and years is particularly dangerous, as it slips by the body's warning signal which are: nervousness, headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds and flushed cheeks. Stress, anxiety, anger and physical activity cause substantial changes in blood pressure readings.

The force that keeps blood moving comes from the heart, but a complex system of nerve signals, hormones, and other elements regulate the blood flow to each organ by widening or constricting small muscular blood vessels called arterioles, much like a faucet controls the flow how much water. Blood pressure depends on a number of factors, including how much blood is flowing through the arteries, the rate of blood flow, and the resiliency of the arteries' walls. Blood pressure fluctuates from moment to moment and factors influencing it are the time of the day, it is lowest in the morning, and your degree of physical exertion or anxiety; blood pressure tends to go up with age!

What are Causes of Hypertension?

High blood pressure means that the force with which the blood presses onto the artery walls is higher than it should be; the most common reason for high blood pressure is arteriosclerosis. Narrowed arteries plugged with fatty deposits are usually linked to poor eating habits, junk fast food, pop drinks with artificial sugar, high stress, insomnia problems and little physical activity. A rich diet in saturated fats, red meat, refined sugar and salt, cholesterol-free commercial vegetable oils such as canola, shortening and margarine as they contain trans-fatty acids is to blame. Another unknown fact is that many people produce in their body too much bad cholesterol LDL that overtakes the good cholesterol HDL and creates plaques inside the arteries and as a result high blood pressure. High density lipoprotein, HDL, is capable of removing cholesterol from the blood to the liver and out through the bile. Low density lipoprotein LDL on the other hand carries cholesterol to the cells and contributes to the development of plaques and arteriosclerosis. [For an alternative yet authoritative version of the theory regarding the causes of atherosclerosis, readers are invited to access articles published by Carolos Monteiro in PH Online.]

Interesting enough the medical profession came up with lowering the levels for high blood pressure and  cholesterol and as a result millions of people take prescription drugs for lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol and the pharmaceutical industry loves it!

Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because it does not produce any symptoms, at least none that most people are aware of, until considerable damage has already been done. Untreated high blood pressure is the leading cause for strokes; the added pressure also damages the artery walls increasing fatty plaque being deposited, leading to scarring and  hardening of the vessels  creating atherosclerosis. As a result it reduce the flow of oxygen to the kidneys, heart, and eyes, or allows a blood clot to form in a narrowed artery.

Ferlow 228 Blood Pressure Chart

Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is commonly measured with a sphygmomanometer ( I am using a type called Tensoval due control I bought in Germany); a variety of different commercial types are available. Lately more and more pharmacies and drug stores offer them so you could test your blood pressure yourself for free or you check with your health care practitioner an a regular basis, very important!

Normal blood pressure is usually said to be 120/80 (systolic/diastolic) or less, measured in millimeters of mercury, abbreviated in mm Hg. Both systolic and diastolic readings are very important, but diastolic pressure has traditionally been emphasized because it is less subject to fluctuations. Recent studies, including the ongoing Framingham heart study, have revealed that systolic pressure may be as significant a heart attack predictor as diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure is indicated by two numbers each referring to how in millimeters the pressure of the blood in your arteries can raise a column of mercury (Hg). The first number, the systolic pressure, represents the force of blood  during the heartbeat. The second number, the diastolic, indicates the pressure between heartbeats. Here is the schedule:

Blood Press Table of Normal and High Values

Blood Press Table of Normal and High Values

 

Ferlow 228 How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Take these Steps to Reduce Your Risk

Exercise regularly, keep your weight at a desirable level, moderate your intake of alcohol (studies have shown that a glass of red wine  at a warm meal can prevent blood clotting which I use for over 50 years!), don't smoke (I never did) or quit smoking, moderate daily intake of cane sugar and Himalayan crystal salt and avoid poisonous refined sugar and table salt, eat a diet  with adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

There are supplements you can use for high blood pressure such as niacin, vitamin B5, C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium, coenzyme Q10, evening primrose oil, lecithin, also herbal remedies:

ginger, cayenne, Taheebo / Pau'deArco, hawthorn, burdock, birch, stinging nettle, dandelion, mistletoe, valerian tincture, liquid kelp, barberry, black cohosh, feverfew, ginger, garlic, motherwort, saffron.

And here is a recipe for high blood pressure from the book:  Ageless Remedies from Mother's Kitchen by Hanna Kroeger, the “grandmother of health”:

Blood Pressure - High

Oranges and Lemons: 2 oranges, 2 lemons, cut into pieces, boil 1 quart of water for 14 minutes, then add 2 tablespoon of honey, boil another 10 minutes, strain and drink 6 ounces 3 times daily before meals (not for diabetics).

Conclusion

Doctors disagree about when to start drug therapy for people who have stage 1 and some experts prefer to avoid drugs at first. In any case, you should be monitored by your health care practitioner who will need to evaluate other factors, such as your age and family history. You will be told to adopt the lifestyle changes mentioned in this article. If you want to enjoy life in your later stage it is really necessary to check your blood pressure on a regular basis and act accordingly if you blood pressure is too high!

Words of Wisdom

Health is not everything but without health everything is nothing.

Bernard Jensen DC PhD Clinical Nutritionist

References

Gursche Siegfried, Rona \Zoltan. Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, Natural Life Publishing. 1997.

Adamo Peter J.D.,  Whitney Catherine, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, G. Putnams Sons, 1996.

Castleman Michael, The Healing Herbs, Rodale Press, 1991.

Moore Richard, The High Blood Pressure Solution, Healing Arts Press, 2001.

Brill Jenat Bond,  Blood Pressure Down, Three Rivers Press, 2013.

Sinatra Stephen T., Lower Your Blood Pressure in eight weeks, Balantine Books. 2003.

Carrol David, Karmally Whahid S., Control High Blood Pressure, Ballantine Books. 2000.

Note

This article is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose or treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.

Copyright 2008@ revised, upgraded 2015, all rights reserved

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About Klaus Ferlow

Klaus Ferlow HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist, Dominion Herbal College, Burnaby, B.C., est. 1926), HA (professional Herbal Advocate Canadian Herbalist's Association B.C., Victoria, is a traditional herbalist, innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder of Ferlow Botanicals, Vancouver, B.C., www.ferlowbotanicals.com now retired. Peter Ferlow is acting President, manufacturing/distributing herbal medicinal and personal care products with no harmful chemical ingredients to holistic practitioners and selected stores in traditional medicine in Canada and parts of USA since 1993; the company was founded in 1975. His educational articles about health, healing, herbs, nutrition have been published in health & women's magazines, newspapers, newsletter in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa in print and online and on the internet.
Klaus founded in 2013 NEEM RESEARCH, Mission, B.C. to protect and promote the precious healing gift of the Neem tree from India to humanity and with over 23 years experience working with Neem he published in 2016 the book Neem: Nature's Healing Gift to Humanitywww.neemresearch.ca and is also a co-author of the book 7stepsdentalhealth.com. He is a member of the National Health Federation, Monrovia, Ca., International Herb Association, Jacksonville, Fl, United Plant Savers, Rutland, OH, Neem Foundation, Bombay (Mumbai), India and may be contacted via neemresearch1@gmail.com

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