RX-Hypertension Princeton NJ

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.

William Garland
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Princeton, NJ
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Emanuel Amendo
(609) 497-4126
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Pine Rogelio
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William Haynes
(609) 921-7456
281 Witherspoon Street Suite 210
Princeton, NJ
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Charles Ream
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Hadley Conn
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Tobia Mercuro
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J McCabe, MD
(609) 921-7456
281 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ
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Cardiology Associates of Princeton
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(609) 921-8774
193 North Harrison St
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John Mercuro
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181 N Harrison St
Princeton, NJ
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RX-Hypertension

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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
to experiment.”

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