Qigong Practices for Hypertension #4 Part II - What to Consume

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Qigong practitioners traditionally consider various herbs and food supplements as part of their practice of preventive health.
With greater understanding of nutrition and research supporting what traditional Chinese medicine has practiced for thousands of years, it is little wonder that more and more people are turning to qigong for answers to today's health problems.
There are many herbs and food supplements that can treat or prevent hypertension.
Here is a list of those that can significantly reduce your elevated blood pressure:
  1. Vitamin C.
    A number of studies have shown 500 milligrams of vitamin C taken daily will help to lower blood pressure.
    However, avoid combining with grape seed extract.
    While there is no indication that grape seed extract reduces blood pressure, it has been found to actually induce high blood pressure when taken with vitamin C.
  2. Onions.
    Added to salads and other foods, raw onions can help to reduce blood pressure in people with moderate hypertension.
  3. Garlic.
    A natural antibiotic, it is antibacterial, antiviral and particularly, antifungal.
    Prostaglandin A, an active ingredient that gives garlic its distinctive odor, is largely responsible for reducing blood pressure and angina pain.
    Garlic can also act as a blood thinner and should not be taken weeks before surgery and during recovery.
    For best effect against hypertension, consume one or two cloves daily.
  4. Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10.
    This is a compound found naturally in our cells and is responsible for producing energy in the body.
    Not only does it appear to help lower blood pressure, reduce the effects of congestive heart failure, decrease gum disease when applied topically, but also reduce blood sugar in diabetics, as well as alleviate migraines and protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson.
    People suffering from heart failure also have reduced CoQ10 levels in their heart muscle cells.
  5. Hawthorn berry.
    Called shanzha in Chinese, it is often used in Chinese medicine to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions and to aid digestion.
    For a reasonably low price, you can obtain a bag of dried hawthorn berries in Chinese herbal stores to make your own tea.
    Add hot boiling water to steep for three or four minutes.
    Works best with mild hypertension.
  6. Mung beans.
    In Chinese medicine, they are considered yin or cold foods.
    In its dried, raw form, they are traditionally made into a pillow to effectively treat high blood pressure and heat or sunstroke by removing the heat from one's body.
  7. Folic acid.
    A vitamin B that is responsible for red blood cell formation, it can help to lower blood pressure in some people.
  8. Calcium and magnesium.
    Make sure you get sufficient amounts of magnesium in your diet to help your body absorb the calcium.
    I don't recommend cow's milk, especially if you are lactose intolerant.
    Chinese traditionally get their calcium from soy milk, which I find is a far better choice.
  9. Soy nuts.
    One study suggests that a daily consumption of half a cup of unsalted soy nuts will help lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women.
  10. Ginkgo biloba.
    Also called bai guo or yinxing in Chinese, ginkgo nuts are often added to congee and other Chinese dishes.
    It protects against oxidative cell damage from free radicals, promotes blood circulation and acts as an anticoagulant.
    Avoid taking in large quantities - six or seven per day for three to five days is sufficient to lower blood pressure.
    Side effects can include increased risk of bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and dizziness.
    Avoid using with MAO inhibitors or during pregnancy.
  11. Salvia miltiorrhiza.
    Also called red sage or dan shen in Chinese, this herb is often used in Chinese medicine to treat cardiovascular disease and to thin blood.
    When slow-cooked in raw form, the effects can be long lasting, though it may take some time to work.
  12. Chrysanthemum.
    Best taken as several whole flowers rather than as crystals or in tea bags.
    Steep in hot water for several minutes and drink a minimum of four cups daily.
    You can also flavor it with some raw honey to taste.
  13. Dandelion.
    Excellent for hypertension and congestive heart failure, particularly in the spring when it produces mannitol that is used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
    You can make a tea out of two tablespoons of chopped dandelion roots and leaves by simmering and steeping in hot water.
    Drink 2 cups daily.
  14. Panax notoginseng.
    Also called sanqi or tianqi in Chinese, it is also known as pseudoginseng.
    It has been used widely in Chinese medicine to treat all kinds of diseases of the blood.
    When ground into powder, it can be applied topically to heal bruising and sprains, and promote healing of broken bones.
    When slow-cooked in its raw form, it is an effective treatment for cardiovascular disease.
    Since it is also a blood thinner, avoid taking it before surgery and during recovery.
Always consult a physician before trying any of these herbs and food supplements.
Some may be contraindicative to medications not mentioned in this article.
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