Emily Kane N.D.
Hypertension is defined as a repeated blood pressure (BP) reading of greater
than 150/90 mm Hg (mercury). There are two types of hypertension: primary (aka
essential or idiopathic, which means no particular cause can be identified) and
secondary, which means due to some definable cause such as kidney failure or
About 89% of cases are considered to be primary hypertension, and while no
specific cause can be singled out as the culprit, many factors are implicated
in the development of primary, or essential hypertension. Some of the
recognized risk factors include family history, environment (family size,
crowding, eating patterns, occupation, obesity), salt ingestion and sensitivity
(there is controversy over whether the sodium or chloride part of the salt
molecule is the principal factor), race (blacks have more primary hypertension
and more morbidity and mortality than whites), hyperlipidemia, smoking, and
Secondary hypertension accounts for only a small minority of patients with
hypertension, but must be ruled out in all cases, as discovery and treatment of
the cause will cure the hypertension. Causes of secondary hypertension include:
- sympathetic nervous system
compensation in response to pancreatic hypoglycemia which usually will
fluctuate; in the morning it will be better and in the afternoon it will
- epinephrine compensation in
response to severe pancreatic hypoglycemia: the patient will seem like
they are calm outside but really tense inside. They will tend to have
increasing hypertension as the day goes on.
- obese hypertension: may be
hormonal, hormonal with adrenal compensation, or hormonal with liver
- renal hypertension: divided
into renovascular hypertension (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, usually seen
in pregnancy), and renal parenchymal hypertension (stenosis of a renal
artery causing decreased renal perfusion which results in the kidneys
activating the renin-angiotensin pathway)
- endocrine hypertension: this includes
adrenal hypertension (primary aldosteronism, Cushing's syndrome, and
pheochromocytoma), acromegaly, hypercalcemia, and oral contraceptives
(probably the most common cause of secondary hypertension).
- coarctation of the aorta
Signs and symptoms of hypertension are as follows:
In primary hypertension patients are often asymptomatic until late in the
disease, and frequently hypertension is discovered during routine physical
- occipital headache: seen only
with severe, advanced disease; worse in the morning on rising, and better
as the day goes on
- blurred vision
- epistaxis (nosebleeds)
- hematuria (blood in the urine)
- abnormal sounds over the renal
arteries, possibly due to abdominal aorta aneurysm
- no fall in BP from supine to standing. Blood
pressure should normally drop slightly with position changes just
momentarily, then calibrate.
secondary hypertension the same symptoms as primary hypertension are seen, plus
symptoms or history related to whatever is the inciting cause. In addition:
- blood pressure falls during
orthostatic measurement (sitting to standing)
- sympathetic nervous system compensation may
cause BP fluctuations with a better BP reading in the morning and worse in
the evening. The individual will appear calm but experiences internal
To treat hypertension from a physical medicine standpoint, the first order of
business is to assess cardiovascular fitness with a submaximal stress test.
This is something typically done in a hospital or sports medicine setting, by a
qualified exercise physiologist. Your aerobic condition is calculated, compared
to normal for your age and other factors, and then an aerobic exercise program
tailored to your needs can be designed. Typically heart patients need to work out
in the range of around 40% of their maximum target heart rate, sometimes for
only 10 minutes a day at first. Don't overdue. Consistency, and slowly building
up as your condition improves is the key. Severe hypertension patients may be
advised to do NO aerobic exercise at first. Isometrics are strongly
contraindicated because they can unduly stress the venous system. A system of
slow, standing Chinese exercise movements called Qi Gong have helped many
people and are widely practiced in China not only as therapy but treatment of
many diseases, including cardiovascular problems.
medicine therapies using water may also provide great benefit. Some of these
- hot baths: to promote sweating
- peroxide baths: to greatly stimulate skin
- constitutional hydrotherapy
- for acute hypertension : enema, then full body
hot bath with cold compress to head and neck
- foot baths: alternating between tubs of hot and
Stress is an important complicating factor in hypertension, so you
may benefit from stress reduction techniques. One of the oldest and best
beloved stress management technique is treating yourself periodically, as your
budget allows, to a gentle, full body massage.
importance of nutrition and diet cannot be overemphasized in disease control, and
hypertension is no exception. In general, attempt to adhere to the following
- low sugar, especially refined,
white sugar and products which contain it.
- low fat diet of unsaturated
fats -- no more than 15% is optimal, and try to avoid saturated fats (meat
- your daily food intake should
provide calories in the following percentages: 70% complex carbohydrates,
12-15% protein and 10-15% fat .
- high fiber, such as the good
old apple a day, and whole grains
- low cholesterol (avoid animal
- low Sodium/Sodium-restricted
diet . Take the salt shaker off the table.
- 1-2 week fast on alkaline
juices or watermelon fast, followed by a vegetarian diet .
- if overweight, reduce weight to normal range.
Foods that can provide specific therapeutic benefit in hypertension include:
- high Potassium foods such as
millet, buckwheat, oats, rice, raw goat's milk, raw leafy vegetables,
watermelon, garlic, onions, rutin-rich foods, cornsilk tea, garlic,
broccoli, celery, cherries, nectarines, pineapple, kumquats, watermelons,
squash, pomegranate, guava, parsley, cucumber, dandelion greens, cornsilk
and white mushroom soup. If you are taking diuretics as part of your plan
to control or reduce your hypertension, replacing Potassium is especially
- increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These
high quality oils are found in vegetable, nut, and seed oils (particularly
good is flaxseed oil), salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, walnuts,
evening primrose oil, and black currant oil.
foods used in Oriental cultures for hypertension include:
- mung bean soup
- chrysanthemum and spinach tea
- cucumber vine tea
specific food-based remedies include:
- take 60 g of banana skins or
stems, steam in water and eat three times daily
- one cup of grape juice and
celery juice each, taken with warm water three times daily for 20 days.
After one 20-day course of treatment, a 5-7 day rest, then resume another
- drink the decoction of 10
water chestnuts and 25 g each of kelp and corn silk. This means bring 1
quart of water to a boil, add the ingredients and simmer for about 20
minutes on a low heat.
- soak peanuts in vinegar for 5
days, then eat 10 peanuts every morning.
- take a handful of sunflower
seeds every morning and evening with 1/2 cup of celery juice (an
effective, potassium-sparing diuretic) for one month.
- drink one small "wine
glass" of freshly pressed turnip juice morning and evening for 10
- soak 6 g black fungus in water
overnight; steam for one hour; sweeten with sugar to taste. Take one time
per day in evening before bed until the symptoms and blood pressure have
- for constipation caused by
hypertension take 500 g of peeled banana and mash together with 15 g black
sesame seed. Eat daily.
- take 60 g of water chestnuts
and 30 g of fresh orange peel. Add water, steam until cooked and eat this
dish 2 or 3 times daily.
- take 30 g dried green peach (pitted young green
fruit left to dry in the sun) cover with water and simmer until cooked and
drink in place of tea.
- allergenic foods
- salt, salty foods: pickles,
olives, chips, packaged snacks, meat, (especially ham, frankfurters,
bacon, bologna, corned beef, lunch meats, frozen fish fillets, sardines,
herring, caviar, anchovies, shellfish), dairy products, spicy foods:
salsa, white and black pepper, mustard, ginger, hot foods, canned tomato
juice, V-8 juice, processed cheese, canned, dried or instant soups, frozen
peas and beans, most processed and refined foods, MSG, mayonnaise, salad
dressings, gravies, ketchup, food with Sodium benzoate as a preservative,
Sodium proprionate in cheese and bread, baking powder, baking soda, ice
cream, milkshakes, soft drinks, smoked meats and fish, Jello, pretzels,
potato chips, salted nuts, candy, rennet tablets, pudding mixes, beverage
mixes, spicy foods, alcohol, fried foods, fatty foods, pork, overeating,
low levels of Calcium
- alcohol, sucrose, caffeine
- trans-fatty acids,
hydrogenated oils (margarine, vegetable shortenings, imitation butter
spreads, most commercial peanut butters) oxidized fats (deep fried foods,
fast food, ghee, barbecued meats)
Supplements that may be additionally helpful, because it is sometimes
impossible to get therapeutic levels of certain nutrients through diet alone.
Please contact a qualified health care provider for specific dosages.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-complex
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Calcium 1-2 grams
- Magnesium 500 mg daily
- Potassium 100 mg daily
- Coenzyme Q10 60 mg daily
- omega-3 fatty acids 10-15 g daily
- omega-6 fatty acids, especially evening
primrose oil (EPO)
The world of plant medicine has much to offer for controlling or even
reducing chronic high blood pressure. Please consult with a qualified herbalist
or naturopathic doctor to find out about specific dosages, or the form in which
to take the herbs. The following list will provide a guideline.
- Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
for essential hypertension
- Allium sativum (garlic)
- Apium graveolens: juice and
- Arctium lappa (Burdock)
- Arnica spp. (toxic)
- Berberis vulgaris (root bark
of Oregon Grape Root)
- Cimicifuga spp. (Blue cohosh)
- Crataegus oxyacantha:
cardiotonic, stabilizes heart (Hawthorne berries)
- Fagopyrum esculentum
(buckwheat) with vitamin C for raised arterial tension with capillary
- Ginkgo biloba (standardized
- Hamamelis virginiana (Witch
- Olea europaea (olive oil)
- Rauwolfia serpentina
- Scutellaria lateriflora
(Skullcap) to soothe the nervous system
- Taraxacum officinale
(Dandelion), useful as a diuretic and to tone the vasculature
- Tilia platyphyllos for
hypertension associated with atherosclerosis
- Valeriana spp. (Valerian root)
- Viscum album (Mistletoe). Beware! this plant is
toxic in relatively low doses but useful for high blood pressure which
presents with headache, dizziness, loss of energy, and irritability
- Coptis and Scute (Huang Lian
Jie Du Tang) (or if constipation, Coptis and Rhubarb C. (Xie Xing Tang));
Jiang Ya Wan (patent); Uncaria 6 (patent): Liver Fire Blazing Upward:
irritability, dry mouth, insomnia, dark urine, red tongue with yellow
coat, forceful pulse
- Bupleurum and Dragon Bone
(Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang): Gall Bladder Phlegm: irritability with
occasional attacks of palpitations, constipation, heavy sensation in the
body, wiry rapid pulse , greasy tongue coat
- Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang; Tianma
Chu Feng Pu Pien (patent); Jiang Ya Wan (patent); Uncaria 6 (patent):
Liver Wind Arising from Liver Yang Rising: dizziness, headache,
irritability, flushed face
- Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang:
Spleen Qi Xu (Deficiency) causing Phlegm and Liver WInd Stirring: vertigo,
headache, nausea/vomiting · Major Bupleurum C. (Da Chai Hu Tang): Liver Qi
Stagnation in obese or strong constitution patients
- Rehmannia Six F. (Liu Wei Di Huang
Wan): Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency)and Liver Yin Xu (Deficiency): low back
pain, tinnitus, night sweats
- Linking Decoction (Yi Guan
Jian): Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency) and Liver Yin Xu (Deficiency) with Liver
Qi Stagnation: hypochondriac and chest pain/tightness, acid regurgitation
- Tang Kuei and Gambir C.:
Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency): Weaker patients with chronic hypertension,
including due to kidney disease · Yao Qin
- Qing Dan Tang: Gallbladder
Damp-Heat: alternating fever and chills, chest pain/tightness, nausea,
bitter taste in mouth, acid regurgitation
- Gentiana C. (Long Dan Xie Gan
Wan) (available as patent); Gentiana 12 (patent): Liver and Gall Bladder
Invaded by Damp-Heat
- Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang: Xue
(Blood) Stagnation and Liver Qi Stagnation: chest and hypochondriac pain,
chronic fixed piercing headache, depression, insomnia, irritability
- Si Sheng Wan: Xue (Blood)
Heat: dry mouth, nosebleeds · Er Xian Tang: Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency)
with Empty Fire Blazing and Kidney Yang Xu (Deficiency): menopausal hypertension
- Vitality C. (Zhen Wu Tang); Du
Zhong Pian (Compound Cortex Eucommia Tablets) (patent): Kidney Yang Xu
(Deficiency)and Spleen Yang Xu (Deficiency) with Water Stagnation: primary
hypertension: edema, loose stools, dizziness, pain worse with cold
- Tienma and Shou Wu (patent);
Uncaria 6 (patent): Liver Xue Xu (Blood Deficiency) with Liver Yang
- Wan Shi Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan
(patent): Pericardium Invaded by Heat Bupleurum and Gambir F.
Acupuncture point combinations:
After assessing the person and palpating, consider these patterns:
- Flourishing of Fire of Liver
and Gall Bladder
- Liver Wind Stirring
- Liver Yang Rising
- Liver Fire Blazing Upward
- Upward Attack of Qi and Xue
- Gall Bladder Phlegm
- Liver and Gall Bladder Invaded
- Xue (Blood) Stagnation and
Liver Qi Stagnation
- Liver Xue Xu (Blood
Deficiency) with Liver Yang Rising
- Pericardium Invaded by Heat
- Xue (Blood) Heat
- Xiao Yang imbalance in the
Windows to the Sky
- Spleen Qi Xu (Deficiency)
- Excessive secretion and obstruction
by Wet Phlegm
- Wind-Phlegm Obstruction
- Liver and Kidney Yin Xu
(Deficiency), esp. with Empty Fire Blazing
- Xu (Deficiency) of both Yin
- illustrative combinations:
- Stomach-9, Large Intestine-11
and Stomach-36 for hypertension
- Liver-3, Urinary Bladder-18,
Stomach-36 and Large Intestine-11 for primary hypertension; also consider
Heart-7 and yin tang (extra point between eyebrows) with dizziness;
Pericardium-6 and Urinary Bladder-15 with palpitation; Heart-7 and
Spleen-6 with insomnia
- Gall Bladder-20, Large
Intestine-11, Stomach-36 and Liver-3 for hypertension; also consider
Liver-2, tai yang (extra point at lateral edge of eyebrows), Triple
Warmer-7, Heart-7, an mian (extra point behind ear), Spleen-6, Kidney-3,
Gall Bladder-34, Spleen-9, Stomach-40, Pericardium-6, Conception Vessel
(CV)-4 and CV-6
Homeopathy is another form of "energy" medicine, which like
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses substances to stimulate your own innate power
to heal. Homeopathic medicine is often touted as the "medicine of the 20th
century" by its proponents because it uses minute doses of plants,
minerals or animal parts to produce "remedies" with very little
resultant environmental damage. The remedies to consider in hypertension are:
- Aurum metallicum if the presentation
is violent palpitation; orthopnea (difficulty breathing while lying down),
fullness in the heart region, with symptoms worse at night
- Baryta carbonicum is you are
chilly, physically and mentally compromised, have palpitations which are
worse while you're lying on your eft side; vertigo in the morning,
fainting with nausea
- Conium maculatum for vertigo
which comes on with the slightest motion of head or lying down, if you
feel better closing your eyes or if you have an occipital headache on
rising in the morning
- Kali iodatum for hypertension
with a past history of syphilis or Mercury poisoning; for hypertension
with bleeding problems; for chronic, burning nasal discharge and pain in
the frontal sinus
- Lachesis for left-sided heart
failure, hemorrhagic tendencies, with angina, and in a hot patient
- Natrum muriaticum for headache
and vertigo, throbbing, one-sided symptoms if you're also a hot patient;
have vertigo with nausea and tendency to fall forward and to the left
- Picric acid for hypertension
due to enlarged prostate, renal conditions; with occipital headache that
feels better when a tight bandage is applied to the head
- Plumbum metallicum with
atherosclerosis; nephritis; mental depression; when symptoms are worse at
night, worse from mental exertion; for dark, hard stools
- Secale cornutus is the remedy
for you if you feel internal heat with external coldness, and you feel
better uncovering bedclothes or clothing; if you have a bleeding tendency;
with palpitation and a boring pain in chest.
- Strontium carbonicum with flushed face and
threatened apoplexy; vertigo with headache and nausea; chilly, better
immersing hands in water.
Another popular, new to the West, type of plant medicine makes use of specially
prepared flower "juices" whose essences are extracted in alcohol,
usually. The flower essences to consider in hypertension are:
Yet another form of "vibrational" medicine consists of the use of
various colors for the specific therapeutic properties these colors emit. There
are different ways to apply color therapy, including wearing clothing of a
certain color, or assuming a relaxed or meditative state then imagining the
color seeping into your body, or using thin colored pieces of plastic
("gels") over a light source in the home or office, such as a lamp.
Colors reputed to benefit hypertension are:
- lemon (helps to dissolve blood
clots) and purple (helps to lower blood pressure by three pathways:
vasodilation, slows heart rate, and helps to calm kidney and adrenals)
- magenta (a cardiotonic; helps
to build up and balance the functional activity of kidneys and adrenals)
on chest and kidneys
- indigo (an astringent,
antipyic, antiemetic, and hemostatic) on whole body if tumors found in
chromaffin system, or on kidneys if found in kidneys or adrenals
- blue or green
- green on top of head
- indigo, blue, green, and
people like to use "healing rocks," or semi-precious stones to help with
physical, emotional or spiritual complaints. Gems that have been reported to be
helpful in hypertension are:
- Pearl, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond combination
Emerald, Sapphire, Cat's Eye combination
As with most diseases, hypertension is likely
to have mental and emotional correlates, that may even be part of the causation
of the trouble. When exploring who to best treat your hypertension, open you
mind to the following concepts. They may help!
- Do you have a mainly type A
- Could you describe your
personality as dynamic, maybe even hyperactive? Do you work with a large
steady output of energy. Are you sensitive and quick tempered, but without
serious mood fluctuations?
- Do people tell you exhibit too
much anxiety, ambition, and anger?
- Can you relate to feeling that
your blood and anger are boiling over and need to be cooled?
- Do you feel suppressed rage,
fear or repressed hostility resulting from frustration or resentment? Do
you have inhibited aggressive impulses and hostile tendencies?
Hypertensive patients are like overreactive sounding boards and often display
increased anxiety, inappropriate coping behaviors in socially distressing
situations or exaggerated dependency needs.
Treatment procedures derived from a cognitive-behavioral base and consisting of
training experiences for coping effectively with stress may produce significant
decreases in your state of anxiety and your systolic blood pressure. High
diastolic blood pressure is more dangerous, and more difficult to treat with
psycho spiritual approaches.
The heart represents your center of love and security. Heart problems are thus
logically associated with long standing emotional problems such as lack of joy
or belief in strain and stress. If you are a person who feels threatened with
being harmed by an ever-present danger you will constantly feel the need to be
on guard, as though you need to be prepared to meet all conceivable threats.
This stance is exhausting, especially to the heart! A suitable psycho spiritual
approaching to treating hypertension must be geared towards resolving residual
anger, fear or frustration in your life
Consider this quote: "The blood pressure is an expression of a person's
general dynamism. It arises out of the mutual effects of the behavior of the
liquid blood on the one hand and the behavior of the limiting walls of the
blood vessels on the other. When considering the blood pressure we always need
to bear in mind these two mutually contradictory components: the fluid and the
flowing on the one hand, and the limitation and the resistance on the other. To
the extent that the blood corresponds to our own inner being, the walls of the
vessels correspond to the limits that the unfolding personality sets upon
itself and the resistances that stand in the way of our development.
In the case of hypertension, the circulatory system maintains a long term
excitation in the expectation that it will eventually be translated into
action. If the action fails to materialize, the patient stays 'under pressure'.
Of even greater importance is that the same relationship applies where conflict
is concerned. These patients take refuge in superficial 'busy-ness', attempting
through great external activity to divert both themselves and others from the
challenge to come to grips with their conflict." People with hypertension
have a good deal of aggression which they repress by exercising self-restraint.
(Dethlefsen, p. 195-197, 201)
Here are some specific therapeutic ideas towards using the power of
your loving mind to heal hypertension:
- Any relaxation techniques such
as meditation, Transcendental Meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation,
autogenic training will be beneficial.
- Qigong (Chinese breathing
exercise) treatment indicates that breathing exercises may reliably
regulate the internal autonomic functioning, and thus signal the nervous
system to slow down.
- Relaxation techniques may fail
if underlying behavioral factors are not addressed. In other words you can
meditate all you want but it won't help if you're still really angry at
your mother/father/lover/ boss.
- One study using relaxation and
meditation aided by biofeedback reinforcement showed significant reduction
in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 77% of patients. In 50%
of patients it was also possible to reduce antihypertensive medications.
Biofeedback-assisted training showed a significantly greater fall in blood
pressure (11mm systolic and 9mm diastolic) than other combinations.
Results were maintained eight months after the training.
visualization is a type of meditation technique where you find a
quiet, comfortable place and gently focus you mind on an image you want to hold
there for a time. Don't be discouraged if other thoughts keep popping up. This
is natural. The quieting of the mind takes practice, practice, practice. Try
these specific visualizations:
- Visualize anything because the
best treatment is relaxation.
- reducing blood flow to the
- cooling down with ice cubes.
Prayer, in whatever form
seems genuine to you, is also helpful, for similar reasons outlined above. One
form of praying is to consciously recognize the God-self that you are by
reciting affirmations, either out loud, looking at yourself in the mirror, or
quietly before sleep. Here are several suggested by Louise Hay:
- I joyously release the past. I
am at peace.
- I bring joy back to the center
of my heart. I express love to all.
- Joy, joy, joy. I lovingly allow joy to flow
through my mind and body experience.
With heart disturbances and heart conditions, the
following questions are possibly worth exploring:
- Are my head and heart, my
intellect and feelings, in harmonious balance?
- Am I giving enough scope to my
feelings and trusting myself to express them?
- Am I living and loving
'heartily', or only 'halfheartedly'?
- Is my life borne along by a
living rhythm, or am I subjecting it to a rigid way?
- Does my life still contain
enough combustible materials and explosives?
- Am I listening to, seeing,
feeling, moving my heart?
NOTE: Advice and info on this page is for Information only. It is not considered to be a cure or miracle recovery from this deisese.
It has been collected from info on the Internet and is for information purposes only.Please consult your doctor to start any medical program.
Administration Hypertension Program
Guidelines For Management Of Hypertension Year 2000
VHA/DoD Clinical Practice
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertension in the Primary care
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