Herbs for Stress-Related High Blood Pressure
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: September 19, 2000

What can you tell me about using herbs for moderately high blood pressure which is stress related and usually situational? Also which herbs? Would there be interactions or side effects? Are there side effects or drug interactions with kava kava or garlic?

High blood pressure that is related to stress can often be normalized with daily physical exercise, such as a brisk walk, and with relaxation exercises, such as practising meditation, yoga or tai chi daily. It is important to look at the causes of stress and seek ways to minimize it.

The diet is important in regulating blood pressure. It should be high in whole, fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains, nuts and seeds, and low in fats, fried food, alcohol, coffee, sugar and salty food (including most prepared and processed food).

Herbal teas that are safe, relaxing and useful in stress-related hypertension include German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Linden flower (Tilia cordata) and Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a natural relaxant to the nervous system that is very effective in calming stress reactions in most people. Some people, usually those who are excitable types, find that Valerian does not work for them, and in these people it may cause an opposite reaction to the desired effect.

For information on the side effects of Kava Kava, please go to our website at http://www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu choose, then choose "Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses" and search for the item " Kava Kava Side Effects ".

For more information on herbs for high blood pressure, please go to our website at http://www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Search Richters Q&A", and perform searches on the words "pressure", "Hypertension" and "garlic".

A potential side effect of garlic is blood thinning. If taken with blood-thinning drugs or aspirin, you should monitor for signs of too-thin blood. Easy bruising and blood that does not clot quickly in cuts and wounds may be signs that the blood is too thin.

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