Q. Dear Terry, “My dad is really stubborn and refuses to take medication for his high blood pressure. I’ve read some of your articles and learned about how harmful high blood pressure can be to the body. He’s open to natural therapies. What should he take?”– Hans D., Alberta, Canada
A. Dear Hans, I encourage your dad to discuss any supplementation with his healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I think there are some natural medicines that could help safely and effectively lower his 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 are pre-hypertensive or hypertensive.
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 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 this grape seed extract twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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