HYPERTENSION

2010

GARLIC In Alabama domestic medicine, garlic is taken, cooked, preferably fried, to reduce blood pressure. Actually it is still prescribed, chopped finely in milk, for arteriosclerosis, as well as for hypertension. Like true garlic, wild garlic, or RAMSONS, as it is generally known, has been used for hypertension, either by eating the fresh leaves, or by drinking a tea made from the dried leaves. Actually, all the Alliums can be used to reduce blood pressure, including SHALLOTS, and particularly ONIONS. MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE (Catheranthus roseus) is used in Haiti to bring down blood pressure, and that is one of its uses in Chinese medicine, too.

A decoction of HAWS, was traditionally taken in Scotland instead of tea or coffee, as a medicine for high blood pressure, for it helps to prevent arteriosclerosis. Haws, in various preparations, have been used for angina pectoris both in Russia and in Germany, where it was said that the infusion in alcohol was the only effective cure for angina. LIME-FLOWER tea is another favourite, for it is reckoned to be a cure for arteriosclerosis, so improving the circulation, and being helpful for hypertension as well. A cupful a day of dried RED CLOVER flowers, with alfalfa hay added, is taken for high blood pressure in parts of America, and raw CABBAGE, chopped fine and mixed with salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar, eaten once a day, was also said to bring blood pressure down. SWEET CICELY is also used in herbal medicine to lower blood pressure, and MISTLETOE has long been used for the purpose, always provided, Pliny said, “it has not touched the ground”. OLIVE leaf tea is prescribed by herbalists for the condition.

The use of the yellow leaves of BREADFRUIT, in decoction, to treat high blood pressure, is reported from Guyana, and the juice squeezed from the unripe fruit of CHINESE DATE PLUM is taken in China for the condition. GREEN HELLEBORE was official in America, where it very rapidly naturalized, up to 1960, and was used to slow the heart’s action and to lower blood pressure. WHITE HELLEBORE (Veratrum album) is a highly poisonous plant, causing among other symptoms a fall in blood pressure. That property has been appropriated to medicinal use — a tincture is prescribed to treat hypertension. AMERICAN WHITE HELLEBORE (Veratrum viride) supplies a similar extract for the same purpose. ARNICA, in minute doses, has also been prescribed. WATERMELON is said in Americe to be good for the condition, the treatment being to drink a tea made from the seeds. SHEPHERD’S PURSE has been adopted in Chinese medicine to treat hypertension, as well as colds and fevers, and enteritis (Chinese medicinal herbs of Hong Kong).