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| Dandelion for High Blood Pressure? |
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Mary
Posted on: March 19, 2004
My husband has high blood pressure. He is on two different medications for it. Someone told me that high blood pressure is nothing more than excessive fluid, perhaps around the upper body. He told me to check into the herb "dandelion." Would you take it as a pill form or do you cook with it?
There are many possible causes for high pressure, including kidney disease, hyperactive thyroid, genetics, heart disorder, blood and blood vessel disease including blood thickness. In most cases, there is no associated disease. Stress and diet are often implicated in these cases. High blood pressure can cause kidney disease and heart disease. It is important that your husband remain on his medication until he has consulted a qualified professional who can provide him with safe alternatives.
Diuretics eliminate excess fluid from the body, decreasing the pressure in the arteries. Prescription diuretics, often the first choice of the medical profession in treating high blood pressure, usually eliminate potassium as well, necessitating a prescription for potassium. Dandelion is a diuretic containing potassium, so in herbal medicine, it is often used as part of a herbal recommendation for high blood pressure.
A few fresh dandelion leaves in a salad is the best way to take this herb. It may also be used fresh or dried as a tea or taken in tincture form. Pill forms of herbs are usually not as active as the fresh or tinctured form, because the amount of processing required to manufacture a pill makes it less like the real herb. Dandelion root is also diuretic. The root is used extensively for liver support in many health problems. It may be taken as the fresh or dried root cooked in soups and stews or as a tincture. Dandelion "coffee", consisting of the roasted root, is available in health food stores.
In a holistic medicine like Herbal Medicine, we look for underlying causes of a disease and factors that contribute to the problem. Because diet and lifestyle are often contributing factors, natural medicine recommendations include information for help in these areas. Herbal recommendations often include herbs that are relaxing to the body in general and relaxing to the blood vessels, herbs that improve blood circulation, herbs that strengthen the heart, and herbs that nourish the blood, the blood vessels, kidneys and adrenal glands.
For more information, please see our web site at www.richters.com. Choose Q&A from the main menu, and enter "pressure" for the search. There is more information under "hypertension".