Q. Dear Terry, “I have been on high blood pressure medication for several years, but the doctor can’t seem to get the medication right. I feel like every time I see the doctor, my medication gets switched and my blood pressure is still high. I’ve been told not to stop the medication myself, so I won’t. Is there anything natural that could maybe help the medication work better?” – Luis M., San Juan, Puerto Rico
A. Dear Luis, I encourage you to discuss any supplementation with your healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I think there are some natural medicines that could help safely and effectively lower blood pressure.
There is a reason high blood pressure is called the “silent killer” – the majority of people who have high blood pressure (also called hypertension) have no idea there is a problem. Fortunately, nature has provided some powerful botanicals that can help people who have pre-hypertension or hypertension.
Olive leaf can help lower blood pressure by its antioxidant activity (protecting the walls of the blood vessels) and because it’s a vasodilator (widens the blood vessels to allow blood to flow more easily). I recommend looking for an olive leaf extract standardized to oleuropein (anywhere from 16-24%), which is the compound associated with olive leaf’s ability to reduce blood pressure. I would take 500 mg of olive leaf standardized to oleuropein twice per day.
Grape seed extract contains compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to health benefits. A Yale review of grape seed extract studies concluded that grape seed can lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate. Other studies have shown that grape seed extract can promote vasodilation and, therefore, reduce blood vessel tension. I recommend a tannin-free, French grape seed extract that is standardized only to provide oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that are small enough to be absorbed, with a high level of polyphenols. I would take 100 mg of French grape seed extract twice per day.
Please be patient when it comes to your blood pressure. These two ingredients can take several months for their full effects to be achieved.
Terry . . . Naturally
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