Herbs with Blood Pressure Drugs?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Henry
Posted on: March 08, 2004

I am taking a drug called Lisinopril (20 mg, one a day) for blood pressure. I was wondering if it is okay for me to start taking garlic, hawthorn berries and cayenne pepper supplements with this drug?

I know you are going to say consult with your health care provider. I will do this but I still would like to know what your answer and comments are.

There are no contraindications for taking these herbs with your drug, an ACE inhibitor. Hawthorn berry strengthens the heart and garlic is beneficial to the heart, the blood vessels and the blood. They are safe to take for long periods of time. Garlic is best taken fresh, especially in salads, but also cooked briefly. Supplements cannot duplicate all of the active chemicals in fresh garlic, so the health benefits cannot all be achieved. Cayenne pepper is stimulating, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a long period of time. Over time, stimulation of the body depletes its reserves and weakens the affected organs.

Yes, I do recommend that you consult with a natural health care provider. It is much more effective to take the right combination of herbs for you as an individual. For example, stress, tension and anxiety are often factors in high blood pressure, so herbal recommendations often include nervous system relaxants. Some of these relaxants, like linden flower (Tilia cordata), also relax the muscles in the blood vessel walls to allow the blood to flow more freely, helping to reduce blood pressure.

When using herbs that may affect blood pressure, it is important to keep a close check on your blood pressure measurements.

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