Herbal Health Information on High Blood Pressure

When the blood pressure is measured there are two figures which are read, the “top” figure or Systolic pressure gives us an indication of the force with which the heart is beating and the “lower” reading or Diastolic pressure is an indication of the resistance the blood encounters when being distributed around the body.

The accepted norm is 120/80 going up to 140/90 with age. Over this and the blood pressure is thought to be too high, which may result in heart disease or stroke.

Blood circulation is a clever system in the body, resulting in everything the cells need to function, being carried to them via the blood.


The heart is a pump which pushes the blood through this system. All the blood vessels have elasticity built in to their walls so that they can take the pressure of the blood being pushed through them without bursting. As we get older some of this elasticity is lost from the vessels and they may also have been furred up with fatty deposits. This results in an increased resistance to the blood being pumped out of the heart and a raise in blood pressure.

The other causes of high blood pressure may be poor kidney function resulting in fluid retention, increased stickiness of the blood (high cholesterol) and stress.

Diet is very important to adjust for people with high blood pressure.

Top of the list to throw into the dungeon is caffeine. Cut out all caffeine containing foods:-




Cola drinks

Boost drinks

Many alco pops contain caffeine.

Caffeine has a constricting effect on capillaries and increases the heart rate, having a twofold, effect to raise blood pressure.

The other dungeon foods are;-



Red wine.

These can produce Tyramine in the body which can cause constriction of the capillaries and an increased resistance to the blood being pumped out of the heart.

Actually if you look up Tyramine on Wikipedia, many food substances contain it, but these are the most frequently ingested ones.

Then there is the never ending salt debate.

Some research says it does raise blood pressure and some says it doesn’t. BUT in countries where salt intake is restricted, an increase in blood pressure with age is not seen.

The other major adjustment to the diet is to reduce the amount of animal fat in your diet and make sure you are getting a good supply of the essential fats (Omega oils), present in fatty fish such as salmon, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, margarines and pulses.

Exercise is an absolute must. I will not go into how as you can find your own exercise preference but the why is that it will help break down excess fat, as well as improve circulation generally.

There are many combinations of Herbs which are suitable for reducing raised blood pressure so I am going to give you an example of a typical formula I would make up in my clinic for someone presenting with high blood pressure.

YARROW:- is a wonder herb that has many actions in the body, but the one I  use it  here for, is its ability to open up capillaries, allowing the blood to flow out of the heart easily.

LIME FLOWER: – this also opens capillaries and cleans out fatty deposits from arteries. See Pevensey video.

DANDELION ROOT is a diuretic, improving kidney function. It is high in potassium which can be leached out of the body by diuretics. CLEVER HUH?

MILK THISTLE: – this is liver cleansing and supporting. There is evidence that some high blood pressure conditions are caused by poor Liver function.

VALERIAN: – to make sure everything is calm and relaxed, as tension and stress will zap the blood pressure up.

HAWTHORN:-the best herb for supporting and normalising all areas of circulation, including the Heart.

I would not recommend you self medicate if you have high blood pressure but go to see a qualified Medical Herbalist if you are interested in trying complementary medicine.

You can find my clinic details by clicking here or on the “CLINIC” tab at the top of the page

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal HealthInformation