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My blood pressure readings for the past few years have been slowly going up.

Q. Dear Terry, “I am an 81 year old male who is in good health. However, my blood pressure readings for the past few years have been slowly going up. My doctor has not recommended a prescription yet and I’d like to stay prescription free. Do you have any suggestions for lowering my blood pressure naturally?” — Robert L., Sarasota, FL

A. Dear Robert, I encourage you to discuss any supplementation with your primary healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I think olive leaf and hibiscus could help stabilize your blood pressure.

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.

Aside from being a beautiful flower, hibiscus has many beneficial health properties. Hibiscus contains compounds called anthocyanins, which work in a similar way to some drugs used to lower blood pressure. These plant compounds are called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. To put it simply, they work by moderating the activity of an enzyme that causes blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to increase. This natural ACE inhibitor helps keep blood vessels relaxed and open, and therefore, blood pressure goes down. Look for a hibiscus extract that is standardized to greater than 45% polyphenols.

I would take a combination of olive leaf and hibiscus every day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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