Herbs for High Blood Pressure

Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)September 6, 2004

My husband has borderline high Blood Pressure 140/80 and his doc wants him to go on perscription PB med (ace inhibitors) which he doesn't want to do. He is very healthy and fit and would rather go the natural route.

What herbs are good for high BP?

Has anybody here ever heard of Anti-Ace Peptides?

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ok why is his blood pressure high if he is fit? Is it cholesterol(which apperently can happen even if fit) is it stress? ANd why would you go to herbs here when prescriptions are more tested and likely to give you a more predictable outcome? Herbs have various side effects especially those used for some of the more problematical stuff our bodies go through and their dosages are iffy, even if you grow them yourself.

to be blunt seems like you hubby needs to talk to a priest, counselor about what and how he feels abot the medication the dr wants to put him on. It may be a fear of growing old or something like that. Or get a second opinion.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 8:25PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

LOL he's not paranoid just wants to go a more natural route as all prescription drugs have side effects and can be hard on the liver or kidneys. His cholesterol is 175 and triglycerides, LDL, HDL all perfect. He had a treadmill test and he passed with flying colors. He works out 5 days a week, walks/jogs 5 miles daily and he is healthy as a horse. His slightly elevated BP might very well be genetic.
I have read various good reports on Gingko Biloba and Hawthorn and just seeking others who might be using it for some feedback.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 11:25PM
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herbman(norflk england)

Good day Bethany,I think a visit to a herbalist might be wortwhile : however hawthorn is a recognized bloodpresure regulator with minimal toxidity (unlike some b.p. drugs.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 7:43AM
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arttulip(New Zealand)

This remedy stabilising blood pressure.

Stir in 1 tbsp of corn flour in 1 glass of warm water. Leave overnight. Drink the liquide ( not sediment)in the morning.
Do it during one month.

Red clover tea is also very good for HBP.

For the quick reducing HBP dissolve 3 drops of fresh aloe juice in 1 tbsp of water and take it in mornings before meal.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 8:17PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Herbal remedies also have side effects, so your hubby will not avoid side effects by using herbals. Herbals have not been well tested, so their effectiveness and their side effects are not always known.

If he decides to try herbals, he must be certain to have his blood pressure checked by his doctor every two to three weeks; if it doesn't respond to the herbals he will have to do something else.

If he wants a truly natural treatment he should ask his doctor about non drug (herbal or ACE) methods of control, more exercise, diet changes, weight loss may help.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 11:29PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

He's not over weight or stressed out and jogs 5 miles a day.
He doesn't smoke (never has) and has an occasional beer. Most MD's in the US know little if anything about alternative methods.

arttulip will look into your suggestions. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 11:58PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Opps almost forgot to say thanks herbman for his kind email and helpful suggestion above.
What do you know about Hawthorn as far as what form to take it, amount etc.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 12:18AM
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Bethany, yoga has helped me bring my BP down. Also, do a web search for motherwort, a very good heart herb. Sometimes, it is genetics that gives you HBP and high cholesterol, not your dietary or lifestyle habits.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 2:34PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

He might want to check out the DASH diet since his blood pressure is just a little high



Here is a link that might be useful: DASH Diet

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 3:12PM
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Bethany My husband takes garlic capsules. He was on blood preasure meds for several years and had to increase them several times. He swithed to garlic 6 or 7 years ago and has been doing fine. Most Doctors agree with the garlic therapy even if they don't with most other herbal treatments. It is also a good idea to buy a blood preasure monitor so he can check it regularly between Dr visits.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 4:08PM
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A change in diet (low fat, low salt, plant based) may be more helpful than drugs or herbs. Keep in mind that high blood pressure is a symptom, not a disease. Note the article by Dr. John McDougall on "Over-treat your blood pressure and you could die sooner" in his July 2004 newsletter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Over-treat your blood pressure and you could die sooner

    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 10:06AM
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Can I just say that 140/80 is not high blood pressure! Who is the doctor - that's crazy!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 3:29PM
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gooselady_OR(z8 OR)

You might also tell your DH to have his blood pressure tested at different times to determine if he really has high blood presure. If I go to the doctor in the afternoon, after a busy day at work, my BP is just through the roof (too much traffic, too much work stress.) In the morning, it's just fine. I think doctors are too quick to diagnose without considering all the factors, and they sure don't ask the patient a lot of questions before rendering an opinion. I think that blood pressure varies depending on the circumstances, otherwise the person is abnormal (or a corpse.)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 5:22PM
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140/80 would formerly have been considered normal to "borderline" high blood pressure. Now cardiologists regard 140 (the systolic number) as unacceptably high, especially in people aged 50 or over.

More on the new guidelines.

More on possible herbal remedies.

For someone who exercises regularly and is fit, undertaking dietary changes may be the way to go (in consultation with one's physician).

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 7:51PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Thank you all for the additional comments.
NancM that is a VERY interesting article!
I have long found the relationship between drug companies and doctors (MD's)a conflict of interest.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 7:29PM
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Thirsty_Houstonian(z9 TX)

Hi Bethany, this may be a bit late, but could be helpful.

Hibiscus-containing herbal teas may be useful. It appears to lower both blood pressure and blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL). It also appears to reduce risk for atherosclerosis by other mechanisms.

The links are pretty scientific, but the first one basically says that human subjects drinking a tea made with 10 grams of hibiscus were able to lower their averaged blood pressure from 139/90 to 124/80. It appears to be as effective as captopril, a prescription ACE inhibitor.

Standard disclaimer:
I am not a medical doctor and this should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2004 at 5:34AM
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Interesting research and worth more investigation.

One other disclaimer: the cited hibiscus research that involved human subjects was not a double blind study, which is considered essential for getting reliable results (the patients who got the hibiscus infusion had to know they were receiving an herbal remedy and not the pharmaceutical preparation).
One should also be leery of a report that claims that both hibiscus and captopril showed "100% tolerability". Captopril has a known range of side effects in certain patients including dizziness, abdominal pain, and possible detrimental effects on blood and kidney function. It would likely take much more extensive testing with a standardized product before we could know that hibiscus doesn't cause similar or worse problems.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 8:43AM
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Thirsty_Houstonian(z9 TX)

Good points, Eric. I definitely agree that more testing would be necessary to ensure the safety of the herb. Hopefully, they'll find the active agent of hibiscus, so that a standardized formulation of the herb can be made for experiments.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 10:36PM
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I have a book called "Food as Medicine" by Earl Mindell. He states some things about Celery. Let me quote him, he says on pg 111,

"For more than 2000 yrs, celery has been used by Oriental healers to treat high blood pressure. Paradoxically, Western physicians have cautioned their patients to avoid celery because it is relatively high in sodium as compared with other vegetables -35mg per stalk-which can actually increase blood pressure in susceptible indivuals. Researchers at the University of Chicago have recently discovered that the ancient healers may have been right. They found that a chemical in celery called 3-butylphthalide reduces blood pressure in laboratory rats by relaxing the smooth muscle lining of blood vessels. Once relaxed, the vessels dilate, allowing the blood to flow more freely throughout the body. When fed a dose of phthalide equivalent to what is found in four stalks of celery a day, the rats experienced a 13 percent drop in blood pressure and a 7 percent drop in cholesterol. If phthalide works the same way in humans-and there's no reason to think that it doesn't- it could explain why the Chinese often forego traditional blood pressure medication in favour of celery, which may provide the same benefit with out any of the drug induced side effects, such as dizziness or impotence"

This book was first published in 1994, so I don't know if the information is out of date. He goes on further to say

"However, if you are a borderline hypertensive-that is, you have slightly higher than normal pressure and your physician is not sure whether or not you need medication- you may try eating four celery sticks daily for a week or so and see if it helps. Whatever you do, work closely with your physician or healer-do not dismiss high blood pressure as unimportant. Untreated, it can have devastating results".

It's just some information I have that might be interesting. I really don't know it's credibility.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 8:59AM
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Well, a scientific literature search turns up nothing on celery/3-butylphthalide and high blood pressure, not even in rats. So whatever the significance of this finding, it apparently wasn't considered sufficient to support a published report. Did Mindell list a reference?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 5:18PM
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There is a 16page long bibliography but it doesn't reference to the page where he refers, so I don't know which one is for which. I couln't guess from scanning the titles.I did a search and found this health information website that offers a lot information on high blood pressure. It mentions:
"Celery can lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients by 12% - 14%, even at low doses (due to the 3 -n-Butyl-Phthalide content of Celery)".
The Website is:

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 9:12AM
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Well, even if one were inclined to believe an online pharmacy site that markets "Fat Blaster Tablets" and "ActiCleanse Detox Program", none of their statements re antihypertensive agents come with checkable references. And it's easy to find undocumented and indefensible claims (for instance, that shark cartilage is supposedly an antihypertensive agent).

Come to think of it, if that long list of common foods, herbs and trace elements that they cite was capable of significantly lowering blood pressure in hypertensives, no one would have high blood pressure - since we commonly ingest many of those things without buying store-bought supplements.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 2:25PM
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True. It might all be made up. It could all be just a money making lies to sell silly products that don't help. True. The references aren't checkable. I'm a bit angry that the author Earl Mindell didn't number his references to his pages where he cites them. It's a bit of a waste of a bibliography. In fact, it makes the whole book a bit useless because it makes it very hard to check what he says. Thanks Eric_OH. Before I share any info I have again, I will make sure there is defensible evidence so that no-one can get misled.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 7:27AM
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Some interesting sites came up when I used the search words Butyl-Phthalide on google.

A test

The site linked below talks about celery seed extract, as well as fish peptides. I found this site by using the words Butyl-Phthalide blood pressure when searching on google.


Here is a link that might be useful: AMAZING FISH PEPTIDES LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 1:27AM
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I looked at the naturopath's site, and he is listing several papers that don't come up on a PubMed scientific literature search (although some other papers by that author in better-known journals do), and I can't find the missing references on the Internet, so it's hard to judge what they say.

If the "amazing fish peptides" really are effective in controlling high blood pressure, it's surprising that practically no one has picked up on it in the 7 years since the studies, except for a handful of supplement sellers. One thing that should set off alarm bells is the naturopath's claim that "not a single subject experienced any side effect" with these drugs. It would be hard to imagine a blood pressure-lowering drug that didn't at the very least cause temporary dizziness or light-headedness in some people. If a product sounds too good to be true...

As for the celery seed extract, there are no studies listed in humans to support the idea that it's effective in controlling hypertension.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 9:04AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Most MD's I've talked with don't believe that natural alternatives work despite the fact that many have found them to be most beneficial and healing. Dismissing such cases as the "placebo effect". As I stated above, I question the close relationship between physicians and drug companies. Indeed prescription drugs are crucial is some cases but many are neither proven to be safe (i.e Vioxx etc.) or truly needed in many cases. Frankly prescription drugs are over prescribed by doctors who are rarely questioned by their too trusting or naive patients.
How are drug companies any different from those who profit from selling natural supplements and herbs and who has a worse track record for their products causing bad side effects and deaths?
Personally I will try alternative products even if they haven't had double blind studies done on them.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 11:26PM
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"How are drug companies any different from those who profit from selling natural supplements and herbs and who has a worse track record for their products causing bad side effects and deaths?"

First of all, both supplement dealers and pharmaceutical firms are drug companies. In some instances, they are one and the same outfit.
As for track record, when making direct comparisons one must take into account the number of people treated with prescription meds as opposed to supplements, and the conditions involved (i.e. is someone being treated for a life-threatening condition or is it an otherwise healthy person taking something purported to decrease cancer risk).

Lastly, consider again whether one is assuming some risk of side effects in return for gaining a proven benefit (as in the case of a drug shown to be effective in clinical trials), or taking a chance on a supplement that either has no documented effectiveness or has outright been shown to be worthless.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 7:58AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Eric while you make some valid points all I have to do is look at the long list of adverse side effects on any given drug to know that all of them come with a price, not to mention that many damage your liver or kidneys. The risk is high no matter what way you look at it, even with so called FDA approved drugs (i.e. Vioxx and the list goes on and on). With most natural alternatives, when used properly they produce no adverse side effects. A substance does not have to produce adverse side effects to be helpful or benefical as you seem to indicate above, since they work more naturally and slowly with the body.
God gave us herbs for our medicine and frankly I trust Him more than I do the drug companies. I can't help but wonder if you have some ties to the medical world or prescription drug business.
You sound just like any MD I have ever talked with when I've discussed natural alternative products. Sadly many don't even give credit when a natural product is known to work.
Its a narrow minded way to practice healing.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 9:46AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

I should give credit where credit is due.
I am living proof that unproven, un-double blind studied natural products work. I do not feel I am the exception.
Heres a short list of products my MD has poo-poohed that have worked for me by eliminating all symptoms with not one single adverse side effect:
Topical Progesterone Cream (peri-menopause symptoms)
Vitamin C (bleeding gums)
Vitamin E (heart palpitations)
Sam-e (2 year long clinical depression & chronic fatigue so bad I had to quit my job. St. Johns Wort and 5HTP did work in my case but Sam-e did.)
Garlic (pregnancy induced high BP)
Aloe Vera Juice (indigestion)
Pro-biotics (Candida, chronic indigestion & bloating)
Calcium-magnesium (insomnia, tension)
B-Complex (fatigue, tension)
Peppermint & Chamomile Tea (tension, nausea)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 10:12AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Sorry, I'm on a roll here but would like to make one more point, and that is, unlike quick fix and often dangerous prescription drugs, natural products can vary in their effectiveness and it is sometimes a process of elimination to find one that works for you. I would like to point out that this is often the case with perscription drugs as well. Some examples of me finding a natural product that worked for me would be, when I was dealing with and taking prescription drugs for severe indigestion and bloating and not getting any results, other than minor relief and masking, not curing the problem. I tried a number of pro-biotics before I found one that worked for me and to this day if I get lazy and go off my pro-biotics my symptoms return within a couple of months. I am assuming this is the time frame it takes for my good intestine tract bacteria to die off.
It also took me trying 3 products (St. Johns Wort, 5HTP and Sam-e) before I found one that worked for me. Sam-e worked so well it has totally healed me of my depression and fatigue symptoms and I have been able to discontinue taking it all together.
So while it make take some effort to find the natural approach that works personally for you its a comfort to know you are taking a product that is neither harmful to your body, nor produces any adverse side effects.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 10:37AM
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The list of herbs/botanically derived drugs associated with significant and sometimes life-threatening side effects is extensive. These include colchicine, digitalis, taxol and salicylates (to name a few). Even St. John's wort has its associated problems (including photosensitivity causing skin reactions and interference with other drugs). Given this history, it seems more reasonable to conclude that plants developed bioactive compounds to fill some evolutionary need rather than to serve mankind. Sometimes the mutual needs overlap.

Many of us appreciate knowing that a drug, herbal or otherwise, has been found to be effective before we decide to spend the money and entrust our health to it. Since testimonials can't be documented and are commonly used to promote ineffective products, that means emphasizing well-run clinical trials. To some that may seem "narrow-minded", to others it is common sense.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 11:59AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Eric, I guess it depends on what you want to put in your body. Some people prefer a more natural route.
Once again FDA approved drugs do not mean they are safe.
People cannot depend totally on their physicians (or the FDA's stamp of approval) advise to make the important health decisions they are faced with.

Here is a link that might be useful: The dangers of prescription drugs

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 9:50AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Back to the natural approuch to dealing with high BP.
I found this information most interesting!
If you have the time do some digging and reading.

Here is a link that might be useful: Medical Publications

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 9:55AM
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It's worth noting that no clinical trials in humans suggest that arginine supplementation is the answer to controlling high blood pressure. This is another example of a promising but limited research finding that is prematurely being touted as a cure-all.

As for Dr. Mercola, his statements on the subject are not very reassuring when you see that he is promoting nonsense like fish oil and no-sugar diets being the foundation of pain control and the idea that water flouridation is a deadly plot to poison Americans.

It is well to be skeptical of claims for drugs - especially ones with no testing or scientific backing. And those self-identified health leaders who advise you to trust no one (except themselves, of course) should raise red flags as well.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 8:18AM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Eric I really don't want to continue this debate.
It obviously has come to the point where we need to agree to disagree but I will add this, that I have had knee joint pain relief from using fish oil and I'm certainly not the exception. Fish oil is a known natural anti-inflammatory. I have also had success using Alfalfa tablets for joint pain relief which is another natural anti-inflammatory.
You might also be surprised to know that stints for opening clogged arteries are now coated with L-Arginine.
Finally (and again) despite double blind studies and FDA approval prescription drugs are over prescribed, almost always have bad side effects and in many cases can be very dangerous, even deadly.
Fish oil? (or) Vioxx? Thats a no brainer.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 12:57PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Quote Eric: "It's worth noting that no clinical trials in humans suggest that arginine supplementation is the answer to controlling high blood pressure".
This simply isn't true. While it may not be *the* answer it is an option. L-Arginine (an amino acid) cannot be taken by people with certain medical problems.
Consult your physician before taking any supplement.

L-arginine shows promise in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease (including atherosclerosis, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and angina pectoris), in the treatment of some forms of male infertility and some kidney disorders and it is helpful in accelerating wound healing in some circumstances. It has demonstrated some positive immune-modulating and anticancer effects. There is preliminary evidence that it could be helpful in some men with erectile dysfunction and in some others with migraine, liver disease and primary ciliary dyskinesia. There is conflicting but mostly negative evidence related to claims that it can improve exercise performance and promote lean muscle mass.

Numerous in vitro experiments have shown that L-arginine has effects on endothelial cells that could be expected to inhibit cardiovascular disease. Inferences have been drawn from these studies suggesting that L-arginine, through its nitric oxide activity, especially in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels, inhibits vasoconstriction, thrombolytic activity, cell proliferation, inflammation and other activities that promote cardiovascular disease.

Some of the promise of these in vitro studies has been realized in animal and clinical studies. In hypercholesterolemic animal models, L-arginine helps normalize lipids and vasodilatory response, inhibits platelet aggregation and formation of intimal lesions. Further, it has been seen in some of these animal studies to cause pre-existing lesions to regress.

Similarly, L-arginine has had significant positive effects in hypercholesterolemic and hypertensive humans. It has also been helpful in those with angina pectoris. In a recent long-term study, supplemental L-arginine, given for six months, resulted in significant improvement in coronary small-vessel endothelial function associated with a decrease in plasma endothelin concentrations.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 22 subjects with stable angina, supplemental L-arginine (1 gram twice daily) significantly improved exercise capacity. L-arginine supplementation resulted in a 70% reduction in angina attacks in another study.

In other studies, L-arginine was credited with significantly reducing lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetes mellitus. Conflicting results were produced by two studies related to L-arginine's effects on vasomotor response in smokers. In one of these studies, L-arginine significantly reversed abnormal myocardial blood flow response to a cold pressor test; in the other small study, no significant positive effect was seen.

The treatment of oligospermia with L-arginine was first reported many years ago. In one of these early studies, 178 men with oligospermia were given 4 grams of L-arginine daily. Severe oligospermia was diagnosed in 93 of these subjects. Treatment ceased in subjects who showed no improvement after two months. A 100% increase in sperm count was achieved in 42 cases, resulting in 15 pregnancies. There was marked increase in sperm number and motility in an additional 69 patients, resulting in another 13 pregnancies.

Subsequent studies have shown that L-arginine improves sperm count and motility. A recent small study credited L-arginine with producing pregnancies, but larger clinical trials are needed to confirm the efficacy seen in the early work.

L-arginine is of benefit in some kidney diseases and shows some promise in interstitial cystitis. It helps improve kidney function in some diabetic animal models and prevents chronic renal failure in others. A recent study indicated that L-arginine facilitates renal vasodilatation and natriuresis in renal transplant patients. There was also the suggestion in this study that L-arginine counteracts the antinatriuretic effect of cyclosporin.

Several studies have found that L-arginine benefits some with interstitial cystitis. Other studies, however, have not reported benefit. It appears that L-arginine can decrease pain and urgency in some subsets of interstial cystitis patients, but more research is needed to confirm this.

L-arginine has long been used following trauma and during sepsis. Studies have shown that L-arginine improves nitrogen balance and thus reduces protein catabolism. Animal studies have shown that L-arginine can be of significant benefit after severe burn injury, increasing survival, improving cardiac function and preventing bacterial translocation. Intravenous L-arginine has been helpful in some human traumas, helping to speed healing while inhibiting post-injury wasting and weight loss.

L-arginine shows many effects on immune function both in vitro and in vivo. In various animal studies, L-arginine has, reportedly, improved host immunity in a variety of conditions through its effects on the thymus and T-lymphocytes. It has also been reported to reduce the incidence of chemically induced tumors and to reduce the size of pre-existing tumors. It has significantly inhibited metastatic spread of some cancers in animal work.

In human work, oral L-arginine has increased the responsiveness of some immune components and has decreased the number and percent of T suppressor/cytotoxic cells (CD8) in healthy human volunteers. In a clinical trial involving patients undergoing abdominal surgery, intravenous L-arginine diminished postoperative reduction in the mitogenic responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes to ConA and PHA. Enhancement of these same responses was reported in a study in which L-arginine was given to HIV patients. L-arginine supplementation in this study, did not, however, alter T-lymphocyte subsets or ratios.

In a more recent study of L-arginine's effects in HIV-infected subjects, supplementation for six months (7.4 grams daily) failed to produce any improvement in immunological parameters measured, but body weight increased in L-arginine-supplemented subjects.

In healthy human volunteers, administering 30 grams of L-arginine daily for three days resulted in enhanced natural-killer (NK) and lymphokine-activated-killer (LAK) cell activity. A mean rise of 91% in NK cell activity and a mean rise of 58% in LAK cell activity were observed. The researchers concluded: "The substantial enhancement of human NK and LAK cell activity by large doses of L-arginine could be useful in many immunosuppressed states, including malignant disease, AIDS and HIV infection, in which depressed NK cell activity is an important component of the disease process."

Supplementation with L-arginine has significantly increased the quantity and cytotoxic activity of NK cells and lymphokine-activated cells in patients with breast cancer in one study. Research is ongoing.

There is recent, preliminary evidence that oral L-arginine can help some men with erectile dysfunction. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 men with this disorder were randomized to receive 5 grams of L-arginine daily or placebo for six weeks. Nine of 29 L-arginine-supplemented subjects and two of 17 controls reported significant subjective improvement in erectile function. All nine of the L-arginine responders had low urinary levels of stable metabolites of nitric oxide at baseline. These levels doubled by the end of the study. More research is needed.

In another recent study, L-arginine was found to be helpful in subjects suffering from primary ciliary dyskinesia, a genetic disorder characterized by impaired cilia motility and abnormally low levels of nasal nitric oxide. L-arginine, in combination with ibuprofen, also proved helpful in significantly reducing migraine pain intensity compared with placebo in another recent, preliminary, multi-center study of 40 migraine patients.

Research related to L-arginine's claimed hepatoprotective effects is dated. The data, however, looked promising and deserve follow-up.

Claims that L-arginine enhances exercise performance and promotes development of lean body mass while burning fat in healthy individuals are poorly supported. Weight gain was decreased in obese mice fed L-arginine, but there are no human data to support anti-obesity claims for L-arginine.

There are hypothetical reasons to believe that L-arginine, popular with some body builders, might have ergogenic/anabolic effects but, so far, these effects have not been demonstrated. High dose oral L-arginine has, however, been shown to induce release of growth hormone and prolactin but, again, no studies have been conducted to see whether this could have any meaningful ergogenic or anabolic effect.

Here is a link that might be useful: For further info on L-Arginine studies

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 2:53PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Forgot to add this.

There is strong evidence that endothelium-derived nitric oxide activity is suppressed in patients with vascular disease. The mechanism of endothelial dysfunction is multifactorial, but ADMA may contribute. In pre-clinical studies, L-arginine supplementation reduces atherogenesis, and enhances therapeutic angiogenesis. Accordingly, in this NIH funded study (Nitric Oxide for Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency), we are examining the effect of L-arginine administration on atherosclerosis and angiogenesis in patients with peripheral arterial disease using magnetic resonance imaging, physiological testing, and capillary densitometry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stanford School of Medicine

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 3:00PM
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bethany: Regarding this statement of yours:

Quote Eric: "It's worth noting that no clinical trials in humans suggest that arginine supplementation is the answer to controlling high blood pressure".
This simply isn't true.

In what way do you feel this is a false statement? I don't see anything in the PDR that you quoted at length that says that clinical studies have validated arginine supplementation as treatment for high blood pressure. Again, there's been considerable research ongoing into how this amino acid may mediate cardiovascular function, but precious little to indicate we should be taking arginine pills for any given health problem.

It's also interesting that you mention that arginine "cannot be taken by people with certain medical problems." Apparently this "natural" supplement has its own baggage with regard to side effects.

Here's one recent research report demonstrating no effect on hypertension in people taking arginine supplements (Key line:"Administration of -arginine or placebo did not change significantly heart rate, blood pressure, baseline diameter, blood flow or reactive hyperemia.")

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 4:50PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

It obviously has come to the point where we need to agree to disagree.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 7:49PM
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What is sam-e?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 1:15PM
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Bethany_Z5(Rural Z5)

Its a excellent natural anti-depressant although people who are bi-polar shouldn't take it.
You might want to do an online search on it for more details.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2004 at 2:53PM
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I see that back in 2004, this board was talking about celery and hypertension. The subject was essentially dropped because no one could find any citations.

There are more references available now. *Science News* reported this

NY *Times* reported this

(sorry about those nasty URLs). Both were reported in 1992, and both contain the primary investigator's name.

I have access to a large medical database, and the PI has lots of articles on hypertension; however none specifically reference celery or 3nbP. He was in Pharmacology at UChicago, but now he's in Preventive Medicine at Rush U. I have emailed an admin asst. in his department--looks like he doesn't have his own email--to find a specific citation for the celery research. I have a lead that says it's in conference proceedings, in which case, it's almost completely unavailable unless you have access to a land-grant university library (which I do).

I'll post back here when I have something definite one way or the other.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 3:08PM
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Apparently, it is all in the wrist: I typed in a different but similar set of search terms at Google (Elliott celery 1992) and found this

Cardiovascular pharmacology of 3-n-butylphthalide in spontaneously hypertensive rats
D. Tsi, B. K. H. Tan

which I have made available here

It contains references to Elliot's articles. Here they are:

Le, Q. T., and Elliott, W. J. (1991).
Hypotensive and hypocholesterolemic effects of celery oil in the rat may be due to BuPh.
Clin. Res. 39, 173A.

Le, Q. T., and Elliott, W. J. (1992).
Mechanisms of the hypotensive effect of 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh), a component of celery oil.
Clin. Res. 40, 326A.

This journal went out of business in 1994 (or was absorbed by another--can't tell which yet), so I'll actually have to walk to the library to get copies of these articles.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 3:39PM
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It's hard to be impressed when there's no actual research cited - just a series of claims about the supplement that Allen is promoting.

A search on PubMed (the National Library of Medicine's site for finding research publications) lists no published research for Ann de Wees Allen.

L-arginine is one of numerous amino acids (protein building blocks) that are a normal part of any healthy diet. There's no evidence that "ProArgi-9" is effective for anything. The website includes the usual disclaimer that it's not being marketed to treat or cure anything.

Maybe heatherbhealthy can respond to this, although people who register on GW and immediately begin promoting supplements on this forum typically aren't interesting in anything besides one-time spamming.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:58AM
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Interestingly, the company behind "ProArgi-9", Synergy Worldwide, runs a multilevel marketing operation. Here's what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about MLM schemes:

"The Bottom Line About Multilevel Marketing Plans
Multilevel or "network" marketing plans are a way of selling goods or services through distributors. These plans typically promise that if you sign up as a distributor, you'll receive commissions - for your sales and those of the people you recruit to become distributors. These recruits sometimes are referred to as your "downline."

Some multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. However, others are illegal pyramid schemes. In pyramids, commissions are based on the number of distributors recruited. Most of the product sales are made to these distributors - not to consumers in general. The underlying goods and services, which vary from vitamins to car leases, serve only to make the schemes look legitimate.

Joining a pyramid is risky because the vast majority of participants lose money to pay for the rewards of a lucky few. Most people end up with nothing to show for their money except the expensive products or marketing materials they're pressured to buy."

If heatherbhealthy is affiliated with Synergy as a distributor, she needs to be careful about what her expectations are. Although Ann de Wees Allen, the naturopath promoting "ProArgi-9", claims to have her own barrier island. ;)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 9:33AM
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I guess you can take from it whatever you want. I've noticed that reading up on research is a lot like religion, everyone had their own interpretation. I found a product that works and does not have the side effects of other forms of L-Arginine supplements. And all I wanted to do was share that information with other people who could benefit from it. Thank you for feeling the need to attack me for it instead.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Thank you for responding.

I'd be happy to comment on any research Ms. Allen has done, if you can provide even one example. The above links do not list a single research publication. All we get is the claim that she has done research, and a list of unsupported statements we are apparently supposed to take on faith (religious or otherwise).

Also appreciated would be any documentation that Synergy's arginine supplement is safer or more effective than any other arginine supplement.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 1:47PM
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Back to the original question.....

With a reading like your husbands, It probably wouldn't hurt to try just sodium reduction to see how it works for him. My DH was consistantly getting reading of around 185/90...within 3 weeks of cutting out all added table salt and choosing low sodium products it went down considerably. At least our doctor suggested this first before getting happy with the prescription pad and it was working for a good while. However a few months ago January, he was diagnosed with type II diabetes, his cholestral/triglyerides was perfect but his BP went back up, but not as high as previous. After starting on a low dose Lisinopril his BP is now 117/75 (295lbs). Also since January he has lost weight....beginning weight was 325. Looks like next appt. this month they will probably take him off the Lisinopril!

I wish you (and DH) well,


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 1:20AM
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While it isn't a herb, I highly recommend taking choline supplements for high blood pressure. I had high blood pressure about ten years ago and my mom suggested I try taking choline, which is one of the B vitamins. I regularly took the capsules as recommended on the bottle and have had a normal blood pressure since. My mom and grandpa have also found choline to be helpful in bringing their blood pressure down. Especially since your husband's blood pressure is relatively low, I really recommend you check into choline for him. Here is a website with more information: http://www.regardingme.com/choline-a-35.html?sPath=4
Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Hi jadeswan,

Just want to know more on the choline supplement that you are taking. Are we surpose to take choline with other B vitamins like B complex? Or is it only Choline and how many mg? How many times should it be taken in a day? Can you tell us what is the brand that you are taking? Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:39AM
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Bethany - High BP is a common (almost always present) accompaniment to sleep apnea as well, and your husband may want to check into that if he also snores, sleeps on his back, and is never refreshed after sleeping, let alone being tired all day and conking out in front of the TV, wanting to nap a lot, etc.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:50AM
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I am neither a fanatic against traditional medicine or a die hard for it, but it has been my observation that doctors do indeed make one sick...let me amend that... doctors who prescribe modern pharmaceuticals often do make one sicker. And I also agree that the use of herbs is fraught with many issues. I think living well, and judicious use of both is the better course. If I were diagnosed tomorrow with a thyroid problem I would not mind taking a thyroid supplement. But if my doctor wants to put me on a blood fat lowering pill, no thanks you. I know too many people who have prescription-created health issues to go that route. They have pills for their pills for their pills. Their original problem is dwarfed by their prescription problem, which of course the doctors say they cannot stop. And the healthiest old folks I know -- including my 83-year old mother, refuse to take prescriptions. When I noticed my blood pressure creeping up a little, I started eating celery, a proven reducer of blood pressure. (And proof there is a God because I have never cared for celery.) My goal is to stay healthy and take NO prescriptions beyond supplements of what I naturally need, or an occasional antibiotic. If the legal warning in fine print is five pages and the benefits in large print one line, I don't think I will take it. Stay away from doctors, they make you sick.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:56AM
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One of the misconceptions commonly held about visits to physicians is that they only want to put you on drugs.

Physicians regularly suggest diet and lifestyle modifications to their patients, but often the patients are not willing to make these changes and want a quick fix in the form of a pill. Diet, exercise and stopping smoking would help greatly in many cases (especially where there's cardiac risk) but you can't prescribe those changes and know that they'll be followed through on, unless the patient takes substantial charge of his/her health.

Drug manufacturers are legally obligated to list every known side effect that has ever been reported in people taking the drug, no matter how rare or doubtfully associated with the drug. That's why the "legal warning in fine print" is so long. What's important for patients to know are the most common side effects, so they can decide if the benefits are worth the potential risk.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:08AM
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It's true that many doctors do recommend lifestyle changes to their patients, which they may or may not follow through on. My GP is very big on diet and exercise to prevent heart disease. (One reason he is still my doctor.)

On the other hand, many doctors are uninformed and dismissive of the value of lifestyle changes, especially for things other than heart disease and diabetes. My wife went to an endocrinologist for her thyroid condition (Hashimoto's disease) and she specifically asked what diet or lifestyle changes might possibly improve her condition. She was flat-out told that there was nothing. Monitor the situation, use corticosteroids if there was an immune flare, and eventually the thyroid would probably fail, to be followed by thyroid hormone pills.

A search of the literature showed that 30-40% of people with her disease responded very well to the elimination of gluten from the diet. She tried it, and became a new person. Her levels of thyroid hormone have returned to normal, while her anti-thyroid antibodies have dropped markedly, although are still present.

Our health care system cannot be understood without examining the role of the pharmaceutical company and the billions of dollars spent to 'educate' the consumer and the prescriber. While some of these products are life-savers under certain conditions, there is little to suggest that current prescribing patterns are fully scientific or optimal. As a group, doctors and patients are both influenced by these psychological campaigns designed to push pills.

And how many insurance companies will pay thousands a year for a medicine, or $100k for a by-pass operation but will not help pay for gym membership or other non-drug preventive care? In the 1980's, we were promised that would happen if Congress passed laws to create "Health Maintenance Organizations." Congress and employers bit, we got lots of HMOs. Did we get health maintenance? Not so much. So the people that want to engage in exercise or stress reduction or other healthy lifestyles pay the full cost, as well as the insurance costs of being pooled with people that are committed to a couch-potato lifestyle.

Get a second opinion. Educate yourself. Take responsibility. The endocrinologist that bills $500 a visit doesn't have to live with the condition - you do. Medicine draws on science, but is an art, and not every one out there with an MD degree is a Picasso.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:42AM
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"And how many insurance companies will pay thousands a year for a medicine, or $100k for a by-pass operation but will not help pay for gym membership or other non-drug preventive care?"

I think most members of health care plans would balk at insurance subsidizing people's gym memberships, when simply walking and eating less would accomplish the goal of healthier living. Taking personal responsibility isn't easy. Taking prescription meds, herbs and/or supplements requires less effort. Or at least it seems that way to a lot of people.

As for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, while it's beyond the scope of this thread, I haven't seen any recommendations that a third or more of these patients should get a gluten-free diet.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:07PM
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Don? Is that you?

I'm interested in your statement about Ayurveda being a "perfected" 5000-year-old system. Does that mean no treatments will ever be changed, discarded or replaced, since the system is perfect? And seeing as it's perfect, why is it that people in regions where Ayurveda is popular are still getting sick?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:09PM
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I have taken Hawthorn fro about 4 years now that I buy from a local health food store and it seems to work well, its in liquid form and I take 30 drops in a glass of water 3 times a day and seems to do wonders at keeping my bp down.

I belive my blood pressure is hereditary and a big part stress, as my father had the same issues, once he quit working his BP went down. I belive anything natural is way better than a prescription med, especially the possible long term side effects. And then we wonder why cancer is so rampant in our lives.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 8:57AM
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"I belive anything natural is way better than a prescription med, especially the possible long term side effects. And then we wonder why cancer is so rampant in our lives."

Actually, the incidence of cancer (new cases diagnosed) has started to drop (cancer death rates have been declining since the 1990s).

As to hawthorn, the limited evidence suggesting it may be useful against hypertension does not include long-term studies of carcinogenic potential. A component of hawthorn, quercetin (also found in numerous other fruits and vegetables) has demonstrated carcinogenic potential in laboratory testing, though most authorities are not concerned about hawthorn as a factor in cancer risk (it might have protective aspects, as well). Also to be considered apart from questions about effectiveness, is that hawthorn can interfere with other cardiovascular drugs (enhancing or interfering with their effects). So if you're seeing a physician for a heart problem, letting them know you're taking hawthorn is a good idea.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:19PM
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long term studies have hawthorn have shown no carcinogenic properties. its been used as a food and medicine for millenia worldwide. if this were a problem we'd know about it by now.

the real danger is reductionist thinkers with absolutely no imagination or common sense.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:35PM
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The idea that an herbal drug must be safe because it's been used for a long time is a risky one. With life spans being much shorter in primitive/pre-industrial societies, dangers may not have been noticed - but with more people surviving into old age and better systems for reporting problems, risks are being discovered. A case in point is aristolochia - a genus of herbs used since antiquity and popular in Chinese herbal medicine. It is only in recent years that its hazards have come to light.

"In the majority of cases, progression to end-stage renal failure occurs despite discontinuation of (aristolochic acid) ingestion, necessitating dialysis and subsequent renal transplantation [5]. Follow-up investigations published in 2000 showed that only years later (Chinese herbs nephropathy (CHN)) patients developed a high risk of urothelial cancer. Out of 39 CHN patients with end-stage renal disease that underwent prophylactic removal of the kidneys and ureters, urothelial tumours in 18 of them were diagnosed (a prevalence of 46%) [6]. The cumulative dose of Aristolochia was a significant risk factor; patients with an intake of 200g of herbs (the average herbal intake) had a 50% risk of developing cancer. Recently, it was found that even patients who do not display the characteristic histological features of CHN are also at risk of malignancy."

While I mentioned that cancer-causing potential of quercetin (a component of hawthorn) has not been the subject of much concern, I am also unaware of any long-term clinical studies settling the matter. Perhaps you could post some.

Meantime, people will want to decide whether the safety and effectiveness profile of hawthorn is up to the standards of non-herbal anti-hypertensive drugs, looking at recently published studies like this one:

"In the Ames assay, quercetin acted directly and its mutagenicity increased with metabolic activation...In light of the above, it is necessary to clarify the conditions and the mechanisms that mediate the biological effects of flavonoids before treating them as therapeutical agents, since some compounds can be biotransformed into more genotoxic products; as is the case for galangin, kaempferol and quercetin."

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:48PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I realize that this is a dated thread. However, the last comment leaves a negative impression about herbal medicines. I have hypertension and an inquisitive and scientific mind and checked out Eric's conclusion that hawthorn is mutagenic. The mutagenic testing in the cited research paper was done with quercetin at 98% minimum purity purchased from Sigma Chemical Co. This study did not look at the many glycosylated forms of quercetin that are very prevalent with hawthorn. There are many publications that explain that hawthorn extract has many medicinal components. One recent summary goes into great detail about hawthorn's 49 distinct flavonoid compounds 5 hydroxycinnamic acids; six sugars; 10 organic or phenolic acids; 26 terpenes; and 56 essential oil constituents. Nature's pharmacy is awe-inspiring! I researched mutagenic testing on the hawthorn extract that is prepared for dosing patients. Sadly, I cannot find published data on the Ames test for hawthorn extract by itself. There is an interesting study where hawthorn is used in combination with valerian and passion flower. This study concludes that there are no harmful effects caused by the herbal mixture. The paper states " this extract does not posess any genotoxic or mutagenicity effect: both the Ames test and the micronuclei test presented negative results". Also, searching Pubmed shows many publications where hawthorn is safe and effective over the long term.

I have the impression that Eric _OH dismisses ethnobotanical knowledge is being out of date and primitive. I disagree. I think that many of our ancestors were wise healers and lived long and productive lives with the help of herbal medicines. A 2012 review in Phytochemistry explains that many Indian tribes in numerous First Nations used hawthorn. The Meskwaki, Blackfoot, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Okanagon, Okanagan-Colville, Iroquois, and Cherokee all used the berries and/or various decoctions of the shoots, roots, and bark of different Crataegus species. The Cherokee and Thompson also used decoctions of the bark as a heart medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), hawthorn fruits are primarily used to improve circulation, remove blood stasis, and treat indigestion, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. In Europe, the fruits, leaves, and flowers were traditionally used in the treatment of heart problems for their antispasmodic, cardiotonic, hypotensive, and antiatherosclerotic effects.
In summary, it appears to me that hawthorn is a great choice for treating hypertension. I hope to share personal experience once I wean myself off of Metoprolol with the help of my physician.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:48AM
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"I have the impression that Eric _OH dismisses ethnobotanical knowledge is being out of date and primitive."

Not so. But simply accepting that traditional uses of herbs were beneficial and must be equal to or better than modern therapies is unjustified, unless we apply the same standards for evaluating them as we do for new drugs.

I have not seen evidence that lifespans for Native American tribes were long compared to current lifespans in developed countries, and health surveillance was extremely primitive compared to modern times, making it hard to trust ancient reports of safety and efficacy. Use of aristolochia has been common for a very long time in Chinese herbal medicine; it is only recently that we've discovered that catastrophic kidney damage (and cancer) is caused by the use of herbs in this genus.

Whether or not hawthorn is safe and effective beyond the short term is still in doubt - something to consider for those who'd abandon better-characterized and effective treatments for it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I believe there's inadequate focus here. The wrong question is being asked. Kinda' like the dilemma created when trying to answer the question "Do you still beat your wife?"


    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:41PM
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