Can high blood pressure be lowered using a simple, safe herbal remedy?
Hopeful news for high blood pressure sufferers comes from Dr. Ann Walker. She’s a practicing physician and Senior Lecturer with Reading University in the UK. And she recently conducted an important study, published in the British Journal of General Practice. It shows that one natural remedy reduces blood pressure without affecting any medication the patients may be on.
Even better, it works quickly and has no adverse side effects.
“Hypertension is a huge problem in society,” says Dr. Walker. “So any safe, natural approach, which can be used with or without modern drugs, is worth exploring.”
The Health Crisis Affecting One in Three Americans
One out of every three adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. And if you’re one of them this puts you on the fast track for two of America’s worst killers: heart disease and stroke.
A quick glance at the statistics paints a dismal picture. According to a study published in The Lancet, nearly one out of every five premature deaths worldwide are caused by high blood pressure.1 That’s more than 7.6 million deaths annually.
The condition is also responsible for nearly $100 billion in prescription drugs and other related health care costs each year.
And in addition to the one third of Americans who currently experience hypertension, another 25 percent of Americans have pre-hypertension. That means they’re also on their way to poor health and an early demise if they don’t take action now.
But Dr. Walker and her team offer hope that high blood pressure can be defeated with the help of a simple herbal remedy.
So what is this simple herbal remedy? It’s an extract that comes from hawthorn flowers. And Dr. Walker and her team are convinced it could help save thousands of lives each year.
The extract comes from the hawthorn tree, found in Europe, North America, and Asia. Its flowers and fruit contain a flavonoid that dramatically improves blood circulation.
“[Hawthorn] works by relaxing blood vessels which reduces the pressure needed for blood flow,” says Dr. Walker.
Dr. Walker stumbled into research on herbal medicines after her husband succumbed to chronic fatigue. His doctors offered him drugs, but they had no effect. So his wife began to look for alternatives. That began the journey that led to this study and the formation of one of the most successful alternative health clinics in Northeast England.
16 Weeks to Dramatically Lower Blood Pressure
Dr. Walker studied 79 patients with type II diabetes and hypertension. Half were given the herbal extract. The other half were given a placebo.
She took blood pressure readings at the beginning of the study. These readings measure the force exerted on the walls of the arteries when the heart beats. She then gave the patients either the placebo or hawthorn extract.
They made no changes in lifestyle or diet.
At the end of 16 weeks, she took their readings again.
In every case, the people taking the extract had dramatically lower blood pressure.
UK Researchers Uncover Bonus Heart Benefits
Dr. Walker’s study is only one of many to show favorable results for hawthorn. In fact, this natural product has a long history of medicinal use and is still widely used in Europe. However, due to the rise of pharmaceutical advertising and high-profit patentable drugs, it has all but disappeared from consumer awareness.
Another study which showed the benefits of hawthorn was performed by researchers associated with the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration.2 They looked at 14 randomized trials and a total of 855 patients.
They found that in addition to lowering blood pressure, hawthorn extract provides a long list of benefits to the heart and circulatory system:
- Improve the circulation of blood vessels that supply the heart itself
- Strengthens the heart muscle and improves the maximal workload of the heart
- Reduces oxygen consumption by the heart
- Reduces shortness of breath and fatigue and increases exercise tolerance
- Lowers cholesterol levels and prevents cholesterol deposits on artery walls
- Improves circulation to the extremities
- Provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
It’s clear that this natural remedy can be a lifesaver for those with chronic cardiovascular conditions and for those at risk. And considering the long history of use, hawthorn extracts have been proven to be perfectly safe.
So how can you get hawthorn into your diet?
You can consume it as a tea, and there are a number of varieties available online. But the best way to consume a therapeutic dose it to take it in supplement form. Dr. Mark Houston, a cardiovascular expert and director of The Hypertension Institute, recommends up to 900 mg of standardized hawthorn extract daily. Several manufacturers offer this product for less than $10 per bottle.[Ed. Note: Nature abounds with safe, effective ways to protect your heart. Our researchers have pinpointed one natural substance found in 13 foods that can help decrease heart risk by up to 15 percent in just three months. They’ve uncovered a powerful vitamin that can help cut your risk of heart attack by up to 33 percent. And they’ve tracked down a 10-minute test that has been shown to help pinpoint your risk of heart attack death – so you can take action now. If you want to protect your heart, I urge you to learn more now.]
2 Pittler MH, Guo R, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1.