Blood pressure is the pressure that blood is under while it is being pumped around the body. It normally rises when we are active, excited, angry or afraid – part of the normal “fight-orfight” response – and drops when we are relaxed. Blood pressure is related to pulse rate and the normal range for both in a healthy adult of either sex is shown in the table opposite, although athletes normally have slow pulse rates and young women normally have low blood pressure. In recent years, interest in herbal medicine has skyrocketed, leading to a greater scientific interest in the medicinal use of plants. Many international studies have shown that plants are capable of treating disease and improving health, often without any significant side effects.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is common in young people especially women. However, it may also be a sign of a serious underlying condition, after an accident resultiug in severe internal or external bleeding, a heart allilck or severe allergic reaction.
Symptoms are lack of energy, dizziness on getting up suddenly, headaches, a weak pulse, cold hands and feet, and poor concentration. Very rarely symptoms such as dizziness on standing upright may signify adrenal failure, which requires medical advice.
Diet and Nutrition Vitamins C and E and minerals zinc and selenium are helpful.
Massage, Reflexology, and Aromatherapy These are beneficial.
Herbal Medicine Broom, gentian, ginseng, hawthorn berries, kola, oats, skullcap, and wormwood are said to help.
Bach Flower Remedies These can benefit any underlying psychological problem.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure – or hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke and can be a symptom of both. It can lead to stroke and heart attack as well as kidney failure and, sometimes, eye damage.
Symptoms are flushing in the face and giddiness linked to a “loud” heartbeat on exertion, but often there are no obvious symptoms.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Useful herbs include chrysanthemum, peony root, and astragalus.
Aromatherapy Essential oils of lavender, lemon, clary sage, marjoram, melissa, or ylang-ylang used in massage or added to a bath are helpful.
Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for:
Acupuncture and Acupressure Work on points on the back, knee, ankle, stomach, head, and wrist is said to be effective.
Herbal Medicine Crataegus, garlic, onion, buckwheat, cramp bark, lime blossom, mistletoe, yarrow, and strawberries are recommended.