RX-Hypertension Gaylord MI
Garden City, MI
Mount Clemens, MI
Internal Medicine Associates
Cardiology, Internal Medicine
Medical School: Mi State Univ, Coll Of Osteo Med, East Lansing Mi 48824
Graduation Year: 1982
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease
Michigan Cardiovascular Institute
Port Huron, MI
Medical School: Med Coll, Baroda Univ, Baroda, Gujarat, India
Graduation Year: 1974
Hospital: Port Huron Hospital, Port Huron, Mi
Group Practice: Cardiology Associates Of Port Huron P C
Traverse City, MI
Farmington Hills, MI
Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease
By Jennifer Pirtle
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Association, nearly one-third of Americans suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure). Like thin-walled hoses holding too much water pressure, the blood vessels of hyper- tensives become stretched and fragile. The intense pressure can also endanger the other organs and lead to heart and kidney failure, strokes, or blindness.
To control high blood pressure, doctors usually recommend lifestyle changes—exercise, relaxation, and cutting back on salt—plus medication. Soon, daily hibiscus tea may join that line up. It appears to ease mild hypertension the same way many anti-hypertensive drugs do—by opening the blood vessels, decreasing the viscosity of the blood, and increasing urine production (which reduces blood volume).
Hibiscus teas are made from the flowering bush Hibiscus sabdariffa, a relative of the yard-dwelling tropical beauty with the dinner plate-sized flowers. Sometimes called roselle or karkade, the plant grows a thick, juicy calyx (the ring around the base of the blossom) that people the world over use for flavorings, drinks, desserts, and now, hypertension treatment. In a study published in Phytomedicine in 2004, patients drank a daily infusion of 10 grams of the dried calyxes. Study results show the tea controlled mild to moderate hypertension as effectively as captopril, a leading drug for hypertension and heart failure.
It also works quickly. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that after just 12 days, 31 patients drinking hibiscus tea averaged an 11.2 percent drop in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and a 10.7 percent drop in diastolic blood pressure (DSP). (Your heart generates SBP during a beat and DSP between beats.) In hypertensive individuals, SBP tops 140 and DSP 90. Normal blood pressure measures below 120 SBP and 80 DSP, which means hibiscus tea could bring a mild case of hypertension down to near normal in less than two weeks.
How should hypertensives use this wonder beverage? If you currently take blood-pressure medication, Ellen Kamhi, PhD, RN, and coauthor of The Natural Medicine Chest (Evans & Co., 2000), recommends working with an herb-savvy medical professional using conventional diagnostic techniques to make sure your blood pressure stays within acceptable levels as you slowly cut back on one pharmaceutical drug at a time. “Herbs’ benefit-to-risk ratio is much better than pharmaceutical drugs’,” she adds, “so it’s worth your time
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